A city with a rich history dating back more than 2500 years, Rome transformed from a little village of settlement to the centre of importance, wealth and power of the Roman Empire before its downfall. Even after the downfall, Rome continued to be a center of attention of the various rulers that followed. Following the reunification of Italy, Rome became the capital of the nation and also a major attraction for tourist from all over the world.
Arriving at Fiumicino Airport an hour late due to an onboard passenger and his questionable luggage, we somehow managed to locate or shuttle driver to take us the Picasso Hotel in city centre Roma. Just when I thought that New York taxi drivers took the cake on driving skills in a big city!!! Low and behold I meet the Italian’s or better yet The Roman’s!!! This is where I truly became aware that there is NO Rule’s of the roads as I was “conveniently” reminded and even given a book on while living in Ireland…
Not like “I” would ever drive on a side-walk or ride someone’s bummer let alone over-take another vehicle going at the speed of sound! 😉 Needless to say, even with the language barrier, the magical skills of the said driver, he managed to get us safe and sound to our first stop! “The Hotel Picasso”
We did however learn, that IF a hotel offers you transfers from the airport to their hotel which was roughly 100 Euro for two, it’s better to wait in line for a taxi, which would have cost roughly 60 Euro.
Hotel Picasso is set in one of the quietest streets in the historical centre of Rome. With its perfect location this was the right place to start our sightseeing tour of Rome. Just around the corner from the hotel is the famous Opera House, the National art gallery and endless beauties of the Eternal city such as the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, the Trevi fountain, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Barberini, Pantheon and Piazza Navona and The Vatican is easily accessible by the Metro.
Even exhausted; as we both were, somehow when we reached our hotel room, opened up the window and heard the Romantic sounds of a fellow playing the accordion, it energized us enough to a wander around the streets of Roma near mid-night!
What a city, the vibe is incredible, people all over the place at midnight onwards, as if it was mid-day. We wander up to, Piazza della Repubblica, also known as Piazza Esedra is located a short distance from the Roma Termini Station.
The square is also known for its historical buildings dating from the late nineteenth century, the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs and the central Fountain of the Naiad. It shows the Nymph of the Lakes, which takes a swan, the River Nymph, lying on a monster, the Ocean Nymph, riding a horse symbol of the sea, and the Underwater Nymph, resting on a dragon.
From Piazza della Repubblica starts one of the main streets, via Nazionale, renowned for luxury shops, historic churches and the Eliseo Theatre, and connects off the road to our hotel; The Picasso.
It was lovely to feel the warm air and experience the atmosphere at 2am, sitting on a bus bench enjoying a few snacks and cold beverages, but most of all and being able to say “Wow..We’re actually in Roma”!!! ROMA!!!!!
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Dianne & Mike