Kristen, Student Blogger: Rome in Less than 24 Hours

KR06.06.02We completed Rome in 24 hours. We booked an Airbnb one of the first couple of nights in Torino for the night, right next to the Vatican for 30€. We struggled to find a cheap and convenient flight for the trip though. Somehow through deleting our history and continuously hunting we found one by Tuesday. We also found 12€, skip-the-line tickets for the colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum.  We woke up at 4AM on Saturday to make the bus in the center of Torino by 5AM. Figuring out which bus to get on was quite the hassle. No businesses were open and no one on the streets that early was wanting to speak English. Thankfully, (shout out to the Charleston Vision Center), I spotted a bus two blocks down the road with a sign for the Torino Airport. It was smooth sailing from there until we got to Rome. Even though we had tried to research, we had no idea how we were going to get from the airport to our Airbnb, in Rome cheaply and fast. Maybe not our best decision, but we found a guy that offered to take us straight to our Airbnb location for 15€ each. We got in a SUV with a couple from Canada and a couple of guys who spoke Italian. We knew we didn’t have a lot of time to see everything so getting to our place as fast as possible was essential. On our way in we didn’t see a lot but we did see the wall for the Vatican. There were lots of people standing outside waiting in a line… Another thing we had not planned for. There was no way we could stand in that long line all day and still have time to go see the colosseum, the city and Trevi Fountain. But there was also no way that we could come to Rome and not see St. Peter’s square, the Sistine Chapel and the St. Peter’s church. We got to our place and frantically started scouring the Internet for possibilities of what we could do. A lot of the skip-the- lines for the Vatican wanted you to book 3 days in advance not 3 hours…  We kept coming up with dead ends.

Somehow, by the grace of being so close to the Pope or God himself, we found a skip-the-line tour starting in 15 minutes. We ran to the opening and had a guard point us in the right direction for where the tour were to start. For the tour, we got handed a radio and head phones in which our tour guide talked to us through the tour. The first part of the tour consisted of paintings and tapestries by Raphael and various other famous ancient artists. In the middle there was some contemporary art that I didn’t get any pictures of and finally the Sistine Chapel close to the end. Within the Sistine Chapel visitors were asked to be silent and not take pictures or video in respect for the worship area. The art and architecture was unbelievable. After the Sistine Chapel, we went into the unbelievably huge and beautiful St. Peter’s Basilica. We walked out into St. Peter’s square. Definitely well worth the hefty price we paid for the last minute fast entrance.

Okay so afterwards we hopped on metro to the Colosseum. Again, totally amazing and glad we got a fast entrance to see everything there. We sat at a restaurant right outside of it and had lunch with the monument. A subway back led us straight into the center of Rome where we were able to buy some souvenirs, see the Trevi Fountain, The Piazza Colonna, the Piazza di Montecitorio, the Pantheon, the Piazza Navona, the Piazza dei Tribunali and finally Castel S. Angelo. The final Castel gave us a gorgeous view where we could see the river, Fiume Tevere, the Vatican and the Castel all to wrap up our wonderful day spent in Rome. We left back to Torino on a 10:50 flight to come back to our less touristy, more Italian, much loved home.

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