Rome, Italy (14 hours)

After escaping from our pretty terrible American Airlines flight from Dallas, we made our way to baggage claim. In the baggage claim area we found a foosball table. We assumed it would cost something, but it was completely free!

We had planned to catch a Leonardo Express train from Fiumicino airport to Rome Termini – but a quick search as the plane was taxiing in Rome showed that there were airport buses that were substantially cheaper. While the Leonardo Express train would have cost us 14 per person each way (so 56 for both of us round-trip), round-trip Terravision bus tickets were just 9 per person (so 18 for both of us round-trip).

We bought our Terravision round-trip ticket on board – there was no surcharge for buying on board instead of at the ticket window.

We caught the 7:45am Terravision bus. Although this bus was scheduled to arrive at Rome Termini at 8:40am, it arrived about 20 minutes early.

We decided to not pay 6 per bag to store our bags at the airport left luggage and instead carted our bags to Stow Your Bags, a storage center near Rome Termini that rented large lockers.

We chose this option so that we could leave a daypack and some additional belongings in the locker in addition to our larger checked bags. However, this service ended up being more expensive than expected at 16.99 for a day.

After locking up our bags, we started to wander the city.

We stopped at a cafe for a quick 9 breakfast before walking to Piazza di Spagna.

Three cookes and a coffee were €4.5!

We had planned on attending the 10am Rome Free Walking Tour, but when we reached the meeting point in Piazza di Spagna we found that the company couldn’t find a guide to lead the tour! Instead of notifying potential attendees on social media or having the Spanish-language guide host a tour in both English and Spanish, we were told we were just out of luck.

This was a big disappointment for us since we had planned on going on the tour and visiting the Coliseum. We had to improvise and instead wandered to a bunch of different sites in Rome.

Fontana della Barcaccia in Piazza di Spagna
Crowds in Piazza di Spagna, as seen from the Spanish Steps.
Standing on the Spanish Steps with Fraternita’ Monastica delle Sorelle di Gerusalemme in the background.
Trevi Fountain
Sant’Ignazio di Loyola is best know for it’s false dome.
But the ceiling is also very beautiful at Sant’Ignazio di Loyola.
The artist has some humor though, as evidenced by this guy peering down at the congregation.
A service was beginning just as we left Sant’Ignazio di Loyola,

We lucked into finding a little sandwich shop – Il Panino Ingegnoso – for lunch. The sandwiches were delicious and filling – the bread on the sandwiches was heavenly. Our lunch cost 12.

Perfect little sandwich shop for lunch: Il Panino Ingegnoso.
Salmon, cream cheese, and green sandwich at Il Panino Ingegnoso.
Pesto, mozzarella, tomato, and basil sandwich at Il Panino Ingegnoso.
Crowds outside the Pantheon

The Pantheon was very crowded on this Sunday. It should be a calm, quiet and peaceful place – but this time it was a bit overwhelming due to the crowds.

Inside the Pantheon after a short wait.
Largo di Torre Argentina and it’s colony of cats

One place Katie visited on her last trip to Rome that made a lasting impression was the Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary in Largo di Torre Argentina. We stopped by for a quick visit – it’s a must visit if you like cats. They do a lot of work to spay and neuter stray cats in Rome and help the stay cats that do exist live as safely as possible.

Cats hanging around outside Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary
We walked by the Altar of the Fatherland on the way to the Colosseum.

We were both tired by the time we reached the Colosseum. The touts and ‘guides’ were out in force today. As the first Sunday of October, it was a free admission day, which resulted in very large crowds and long lines.

The Colosseum was extremely crowded.

We decided we didn’t have time to wait in line, so we just enjoyed the Colosseum from the outside before taking the metro (1.50 each) to Termini station.

We climbed up on a hill to get some good photos.

Katie paid 0.50 to use a self cleaning toilet in the metro station – but the toilet was disappointedly out of toilet paper.

We traveled a few stops on the metro to Termini Station and the hurried to get our bags from the storage locker and make our way to the 4:10pm Terravision bus to Fiumicino airport. Unlike our morning bus, this bus was almost full! On the positive side, the route back to the airport had substantially less bumps. We arrived at the airport at 5:05pm.

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