A Day in Rome – for this Day 3 part of the Four Country Train Trip report, I decided to just concentrate on what is going on in the Italian capital. My trip to Munich with the Austrian Nightjet night train will be featured in Day 4, even though it – in fact – of course begins on that 9th August 2020 already.
Good Morning Rome
The previous two days’ diaries before started with breakfast items, so I should just go on with that tradition. This time, I had the “traditional” Covid-19 option, order at the table. The breakfast in the lovely historic hotel was cool, so I was really looking forward towards the day. A bit of later for the day than I expected, but still sufficient time to explore the city.
How is Rome like in contrast to Milan?
You definitely see that Covid-19 hit Northern Italy / the Lombardy much harder than other parts of the country from the very beginning. Rome felt more vibrant when I arrived there the day before, but also the hotel room has different equipment. An in-room menu or a bible next to the bed feels strange nowadays, doesn’t it? The more I was curious how life in the city will be. I will give you some examples here and there, but in general: the city was significantly more crowded (which still means: it was damn empty) – but in contrast to Milan, there were few situations in which I really struggled to feel safe. Milan was the better choice, definitely, regarding hygienic standards… But of course, Rome is massive, so much history everywhere!
No Vespas… But some Roman Emperors
The first attraction I actually aimed to visit was the Vespa Museum, which is driven (for free entry!) by a bike and scooter rental agency. I arrived there at 9:15 – unfortunately, it was still closed though they were expected to open at 9:00…
Bad luck – good luck – as that gave me more time to explore the sights along Via dei Fori Imperiali, which is just a massive location for history lovers. Quite some amazing places, including the outstanding Altare della Patria.
Of Heroes and Idiots
As the Vespa thing failed, I had some more time and visited the Museo Delle Cere Di Roma – Or simply: Rome’s Wax Museum. I expected to take a selfie with Cesar as well as some other famous Italians… Unfortunately, there were also some people (in wax) around I do not feel to see on a vacation – he’s got too many followers in Germany already… Overall, not a bad place at all.
Time to head to the Colosseum, which also meant that I would pass by some of the attractions I had already seen fore.
Colosseum – Maybe the Disappointment of the Day?
Before the trip, being back at the Colosseum was definitely my thought-to-be highlight of that day. However, I rather felt it was a fail. I would have loved to see it in more detail, but there were too many guided tours (already again), which made it hard to find spots especially on the first, museum-alike part.
On top of that, this place feels to be super-popular for influencers as well, who sometimes block the same spot for multiple hours. I better not comment the outfit of the ladies… Quite… Unique…
At that point in time, temperature was easily in the mid-30’s (Celsius…). Measured in the shadow, of course… Bad luck: there is hardly any shadow… So I already felt to soon ran out of liquid – due to the heat, I added some mini-supermarkets to my route later. The queue to the Palatine and the Forum Romanum (which was part of my Colosseum ticket) was already so long with the rear part fully in the shadow that I decide to stop staying in this area and just don’t care about that part of my tickets.
Antique Stadiums and Angels
After that climate fail, I decided to do something very different and longed for a shadowy location. I took a taxi to the historic center of Rome (13 EUR) and went to the Stadium of Domitian. They discovered this huge arena during construction works for the nearby Plaza Navona (see below). Really interesting place – and more or less indoors.
After visiting this cute and interesting place, I went into the cute street Via Coronari – doesn’t it sound a bit like the current pandemic situation? A lovely narrow road with small shops and restaurants – here and there a piazza – it is a lovely walk along it. I had my lunch snack there, lovely pasta in small pasta restaurant, and – finally, my first tiramisu of the trip. The narrow street was much more convenient to walk than the very open space-alike Colosseum area.
From there, I headed on the the Sant’Angelo Bridge and had a look at Castel Sant’Angelo. I was first tempted to have a boat ride, which would have been fun definitely during less sunny times. Remembering my physical failure at Colosseum, I decided to opt for other attractions in Italy’s capital.
Following the Tourist Routes
My walk was more or less a round trip, so that I passed Stadium of Domitian again before I went on to Piazza Navona – what an amazing place with a huge number of restaurants and and bars around (not too surprisingly…) However, crossing the piazza was a challenge: a square circled by houses, no shadow, direct sun – even though crossing this one was maybe just 300 meters, it felt like a huge challenge.
I headed on towards some of the key tourist attractions. Despite the low level of tourism at that time, the lines at the Parthenon were already huge. I loved to pass along all the people in the narrow streets, even though it was hard to stay distanced here.
At a certain point in time, I just had to go for an ice cream (Italian daily tradition?). The last big tourist destination on my trip was the Trevi Fountain. Even though you were not allowed to step down to it, it felt very packed and unsafe (from a health perspective – the whole city was full of police and military police so that there was no reason to feel unsafe from that view).
The Last Museum
As I had some time left (and I actually thought this one could be more shadowy than it actually was, I finished my attraction visits in Rome with the Mercati di Traiano – Trajan’s market. Walking through the ruins was not that attractive (I had seen quite a bunch of that from outside in the morning already) – but what I really loved were countless models of temples and similar places, which aimed to illustrate Roman life and Roman influence at the early times, not only in Rome itself.
The Last Steps towards Munich
I have to say that I was terribly exhausted now and slowly walked back to the hotel to grab my luggage. I have not been able to fully reconcile my consumption, but between leaving the hotel and grabbing my suitcase, I drank some seven or eight liters due to the massive heat.
Before finishing Day 3, some opportunity to show you some views of Rome Termini Station, the largest one of the country. Not super-fancy, but quite nice. Like in many Italian places nowadays, you cannot enter the platform area if your body scan shows a certain increased body temperature.
My train has been on the boards… If you want to learn more about this trip, I will tell you in the final episode of my trip report.
Four Countries, Four Trains – Day by Day
Here are the links to my daily coverages. I will assign the entire Nightjet trip to the final day.
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