This post is written by Alka Dwivedi, my sister. We traveled together to Budapest this year, via Rome and it was the trip of the year! Here is her account of visiting the Colosseum in Rome.
I was travelling abroad with my sister for the first time. While going to Budapest, we were in Rome for a few hours only. I was very curious to visit the Colosseum, and after a while my sister figured out how to go there. We boarded Leonardo Express from the airport to enter the main city. We tried to get metro tickets but one look at a queue, we abandoned the idea. We again got adventurous and tried to reach the Colosseum on foot. But this venture was aborted too by us in the absence of Google dewta to guide us. We had a flight to Budapest so we visited nearby church, which was awesome.
When we were in Rome after a week, this time, we started early. And armed with Google Dewta, we reached Colosseum after getting down at Termini. This time again, we set on foot. How Europeans blend ancient with modern, is a thing to learn. In the middle of a modern city, they preserve their ancient monuments.
If you catch metro from Termini, you will walk right into the Colosseum. Nearby areas, you will find shops, offices, residential complexes and what not, without lessening the charm of Colosseum.
— Mridula Dwivedi (@mridulablog) December 29, 2017
When I looked at Colosseum for the first time, I felt goosebumps. This arena had witnessed bloodiest battles and extreme cruelties, a human mind can ever imagine. And sheer engineering geniuses were at work to erect this architectural marvel, where mankind had to witness sight of blood and gore for centuries. Many animal species were on the verge of extinction due to the bloody sports held in the arena. This building also symbolizes the hierarchy of society, most poor view of the amphitheater was reserved for women and slaves!!! Try doing that to fairer sex toady!
If you try to make out the underground or basement area of the colosseum, you will marvel at the architectural genius of those time. How they created tunnels and lifts to transport animals weighing in tons, to be popped up in the battle arena, suddenly to make the battle more gory.
It was also believed that the whole amphitheater was flooded with water in an hour to hold mock sea battle in the morning. Here criminals sitting in the ship were sunk. And the whole water can be drained out in less than an hour to hold the gladiator fights in the afternoon. Those engineering geniuses also took care that the whole Colosseum, with seating capacity around 50,000 to 78,000 persons at a time, could be evacuated within few minutes in case of any eventuality.
— Mridula Dwivedi (@mridulablog) December 29, 2017
So if you are visiting, Rome, include Colosseum in your itinerary, to get the feel of two extremes, architectural genius and cruelty and be thankful that as a society and civilization how far we have come.
PS. My sister and I traveled to Budapest via Rome this year on a personal vacation. There is no sponsorship involved in this trip!
I booked Hilton Rome Airport Hotel for the simple reason that there is only one hotel which is directly accessible from Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino Airport in Rome. It was my first trip with my sister as adults, so I was doing things properly.
When we eventually reached the hotel, my sister remarked, “It is my first stay in a five star hotel!” And it dawned upon me that it was the first time I booked a five star hotel! I have stayed in many five star hotels because of blogging but this is the only time I booked one. Four star hotels are preferred by me for family vacations as I like to save money! If there was another airport hotel that I could have walked to at Rome in a lower category I would have booked it. But I had no choice and Hilton Rome Airport Hotel it was!
I have practically no sense of direction! My joy knew no bounds when I realized that the mobile data I bought in Budapest (Vodafone) worked on roaming in Rome too. Walking to the hotel should have been easy with Google Maps.
But I was wrong. We are not sure why it happened but we ended up walking outside the airport when there is a connecting walkway from inside!
Then we were on the wrong side of the road too, following the Google Map directions! I think somewhere we ignored the map and that is how we ended up on the wrong side of the road! It was nighttime too.
Soon there was a police car next to us! I was not sure if we were breaking a rule by walking on the wrong side. But given my past experiences I decided to approach the officers in the car. There was a policeman and police woman inside it. I said hello and asked if we were on the right path to Hilton? The lady responded that yes, we could keep walking and it would be on our left! I asked if we could keep waking on the wrong side, and they said it was OK. In the meanwhile there was another police car on the other side which honked to this one. They exchanged a few words of which I didn’t understand anything.
We started walking again and soon we were in front of Hilton! It was a welcome sight. We were still on the wrong side. There was another person a little ahead of us and he crossed the road when there was a gap in the traffic. We Indians are the champions of crossing the rode in middle of the traffic, my sister and I followed shortly.
And there we were safe and sound at Hilton Rome Airport Hotel. I think the police car that I asked for directions came to Hilton and waited till we reached there. They drove off when we appeared near the hotel but I can’t be 100% sure.
After this, there were no more adventures for us, barring our room door not opening after we came back from dinner. But that was nothing in comparison to finding the hotel!
Hilton Airport Rome is a busy hotel, many airlines use it for their staff’s layover. We stayed there just for one night as our flight to Delhi was the next day. The hotel was hosting participants of 2017 Wheelchair Fencing World Championships. It was a heartening view to see so many wheelchair users in one place. It is the biggest testimony that the hotel is wheelchair friendly!
In spite of being busy, when we entered the lobby there was not much of a queue for check-in. The helpful staff at the counter saw through the formalities within no time. He asked if we needed twin beds and I nodded my yes. We were off to our room soon.
Our room at Hilton was huge, clean and comfortable! We had a good night’s sleep. The bathroom had a bath tub. It had nice amenities. There was tea maker in the room which we put to good use. I didn’t think much of the view but my sister liked it.
The Hotel has heated swimming pool but we had no time to explore it! Other than staying for one night, we hardly used any other facilities.
After we came back from our dinner, I could not open the room door, even thought the key access worked. The reception staff was really helpful in resolving our issue. In the end a staff member walked with us to our room and opened the door for us! He could do it without any fuss, making me look silly! When I said so, he was all grace, saying it can happen to anyone!
We went to the airport for dinner. This time I made sure to ask the staff about the direct walkway. There was another Indian guest who was talking to a hotel staff in Hindi! I waited and asked the same staff how could we go back to the airport from the hotel and he showed us the walkway which directly leads you to the airport. So, the hotel is directly approachable from the airport, it was just us who could not find it at the first go.
From the airport look for the sign that I have circled. Also the passage goes through parking A,B,C so those signs will also take you on the correct path!
Overall we had a good experience with Hilton Airport Rome Hotel! I would prefer to book a less expensive hotel, but if you are in transit for one night this is a good option.
PS. As a blogger I travel a lot on blogging trips. But this was a personal vacation and I paid for my accommodation in full.
In this post, I bring to you the Metro Project in Rome. My sister Alka and I were in transit in Rome while we were on our way to Budapest. While I indulged in the Metro Project in a more comprehensive way at Budapest, I had a short tryst with it in Rome too! I document my tales with #themetroproject on various social media platforms.
Our Metro story of Rome is intertwined with the Colosseum and the Leonardo Express. As we were transit passengers we took the Leonardo Express to Termini, the City Center. Colosseum is close so by we wanted to go there by hopping on to Line B at Termini. But there were a few twists in this straight forward story.
When we arrived in Rome, we were tired as we were flying thorough the night. Even though our Alitalia flight was comfortable I always look crumpled and tired after a night flight!
Yet the excitement of being in a new city wins every time, bleary eyed, we marched ahead in Rome. All went well till we reached Termini. Our original plan was to buy metro tickets on Line B to Colosseum. But the queues at Termini for the metro tickets defeated us. At the automatic machine there was a long wait. At the ticket counter there was a token system and another long line.
Feeling clueless for a while, we simply decided to take a walk near Termini. That is when I encountered the tram! I regret I did not had a day pass, or I would board it for fun.
While going to Budapest, we settled to eat pasta near Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. We went inside the Basilica too. Then we turned back to the airport to catch our flight to Budapest.
On our return we had a night and half a day in Rome. We initially thought we would go to the Sistine Chapel but after doing all the calculations we realized we didn’t had enough time. So this time we were determine to reach the Colosseum.
Reaching Termini was not a problem at all. As the mobile data I bought in Budapest was still working in Rome, I happily switched on the walk directions of Google Maps. We reached Colosseum without any problem.
It is no fun to explore a monument when at the back of the mind you have to worry about a flight. At Colosseum we thought we would not go in as it would take time to walk to Termini.
Then we spotted it, the Colosseo Metro Station! The next challenge was to buy the ticket to Termini. We entered the station, looked at the automatic machine and hey presto a gentleman appeared and asked us if he could help us with buying the tickets. Thanks to him we had the metrotickets to Termini within no time.
Now as we didn’t need to walk back, we could go inside and explore the Colosseum for an hour. We bought the tickets to the Colessum from a third party at the Metro Station itself. That is what happens when you are in a hurry.
It was a hurried walk inside the Colosseum for us but it was better than not going in at all. And our date with Sistine Chapel still remains!
After a short tour of Colosseum we headed to the Colosseo Metro stop. Termini is two hops from there. Our metro ride to Termini was unadventurous. But it was because of this metro ride we were able to spend time inside the grand historical monument!
So, this is my short tryst with the metro in Rome. I hope we will go back one day and explore Rome for days on end!