Rome Italy:Hostel,Colosseum,Solo Backpacking and The Pizza

7.15.2015 Rome, Italy

Rome is so old that it is called as the eternal city.Rome is surely not built in a day and as ancient Romans would believe that no matter how many empires rise and fall,no matter what happened to the world,Rome would be forever.The whole of #Italy must be lovers paradise for once you are there,you could almost feel it in the carvings and the architecture that forms major part of Rome.What is also different about Rome is that you would find your own space to gaze at the intricacy in the erstwhile super crowded Rome where tourists and locals always seem to be in motion.

I love to be part of forever #Rome

 What I also liked about Italy was the fact that you wouldn’t be able to easily get away with it in your mind making it one of the most perfect Honeymoon destination.I am not sure why but my Europe trip last year turned out to be to all the honeymoon wannabe places but still these places are equally back pack able.Well of course,I came here to grab my delicious bite of Italian Pizza!

No shying away folks,I wonder why stealing the Italian Pizza Recipe is so difficult across the world..

I think I love converting Honeymoon destinations to Backpacker friendly.Remember when we backpacked Maldives 2 years back :) :)

Recommended Blogs: Rome Travel Tips by Nomadic Matt

Backpacker Tip1: Skip Ryan Air Go For Trains

 The only mistake I did as a first time backpacker to Europe was that I took the Ryan Air flight from Athens to Rome.Ryan Air has planes landing in the outskirts.Has hidden rules in their sheet.So when I arrived at the Ryan Air counter with my tickets on cellphone,they charged me 70 euros for not having a printable ticket.The ticket itself was for some 30 euros.I also found their customer care to be not at all friendly.Even though people do take it,and I might as well again,but be aware of their own terms and conditions.

They have small penalty fares for even stuff you might have overlooked.For example always always pre-book your checked in luggage,the cost of checked - in luggage is less when added online than on spot and is never included in the discounted fare.Discussing with them won’t help.I think the best bet if traveling internal in Europe should be train because you can get across with any luggage,and most stations are centrally located.

Why Staying in Roma Scout Center Hostel With Common Bathroom was fun!

That's my hostel..

 I stayed at Roma Scout Center which was centrally located. Roma Termini is the main railway station in Rome where my airport bus had dropped me from where I took another metro to Bologna which was 3-4 stops away.My hostel was in Bologna.

The hostel has some very wise rules,is affordable as per prices in Italy(euro 15 / 16 dollar) and has some 10% discount if you directly book with them instead of booking from hostel is also the largest hostel in Rome.

Tip2: Chatting with the hotel directly prior to booking on the online portals can sometimes get you great deals.Happened with me twice,that I was told if you had booked through us,we would have had discussed discounts.So well...

What I also liked about this hostel was ‘the shared room’ which had a common bathroom(separate for girls and boys) for a floor which at first annoyed me,and then I got used to it because there were so many students from different parts of the world staying here and the staff was very helpful and the breakfast was great.There was no reason for me to complain.I utterly fell in love with the chaos and would highly recommend this hostel.Compared to Greece and Turkey,Rome and Paris would have costlier places to stay.Greece was a delight for backpackers because the hostels were huge and clean and well kept.

Dark Coffee at Hostel

Roma Scout Center is a good place to crash at night after long day travel.

There are other room options as well,incase if you want privacy.A very different experience than most hostels,but in a nice way.The location too was great,its located near metro,near church,near eateries.You get pizzas here for 1-2 euros which was fantastic.

Tip3:Do not get lost at Roma Termini

The Thrilling Metro Lines of Rome

 Roma Termini is a huge hub of metros,trains and even buses.Its so huge that at first you’d get threatened or confused if you are traveling solo.You’d see people walking everywhere and everyone’s busy with their departures or arrival and you wouldn’t know if where you are standing is where you should be standing.It takes time to figure out Roma Termini,at least for me it did.

After a while,everything starts looking sorted out because Metros make travel easier.It wasn’t ever that I had to take a bus.Also be aware of pickpocketing in Italy,its something I didn’t face but there has been lot of dubious incidents online or you would hear about them from hostel mates.

Sorry guys,couldn't take video.It was so crowded that I was left checking my wallet several times a day! I also lost some of the pictures which I had taken of inside the hostel.May be I deleted them unintentionally.

There are many metro lines as well,and so its best to know and ask people if you are left confused or just ask at hostel counter.For first timers,Rome metro is a thrill in itself where lines A and B meet.

 But if you are looking for less crowd,Rome just may not be for you.Its crowded.Period.Unless you go outskirts.. or not so touristic Rome.

 I took a blue line metro from Bologna to Colosseo.All the attractions in Rome are connected by metro.When traveling,do not forget to get the day pass.

Tip4: Its a little tricky to get tickets in Rome you can either get in newsstands or shops or even automated ones(some stations have just automated tickets),some have counters.You can buy a B.I.G ticket for one day costing around 6 euros on all modes of transport.For more information read here 

 Colosseum : The Biggest Attraction and Why!

They say Colosseum can hold around 50,000 to 80,000 people,making it the largest amphitheater ever built.It was earlier used for Gladiatorial contests,dramas and executions.There are no records of Colosseum as a place of execution for Christians but its said that Christians were executed as common criminals - their crime being refusal to Roman Gods.You can read more detail here

 The spectacle day began in the morning with the presentation of all the participants(pompa).This was followed by hunts i which hunters tackled wild animals lurking among sets replicating the geographical contexts from which they came.During the lunch interval when executions ad bestias took place,the condemned,naked and unarmed,faced the wild beasts which would eventually tear them into pieces.

During the interval there were performances by jugglers,acrobats and magicians as well as re-enactments of ancient myth.Finally gladiatorial combats(munera) were held in the evening. The participants of these combats were prisoners of war or slaves but some gladiators were free men seeking fame and fortune.

There were numerous categories of gladiators,distinguished by weapons and combat.Thanks to the popularity these events were  sponsored by politicians.

 So that's what Colosseum is all about and its just there at the Colosseo metro station.The moment you come out of metro station,it stands right in front. You would never anticipate the crowd that gets in,which as the time passes,forms a queue.And that queue itself takes a long long time to get in.

When I went,I was alone without a package,and all I knew is since I forgot to buy the Roma Pass(which has all inclusive historic site and which makes you skip the line),I have to buy over the counter ticket which was euro 12 for Colosseum that includes Foro Romano and Palatino.

Tip4:Do everything to skip the Colosseum Queue

It took around 1.5 hours to get in to the ticket counter with the queue,and when I came out of Colosseum and had a look at the line then,I felt it would have had taken people now more than 3 hours to get in.I think its best to buy tickets either online or choose one of the 5 methods mentioned here The Colosseum is grand but still under restoration inside at some parts and will be renovated fully by 2016.The folks who plan to go then,will see the full arcade of Colosseum from inside.

Colosseum Tickets Include Foro Romano and Palatino

 The ticket also gives entry to Foro Romano and palatino which are just opposite Colosseum.The Palatine is on 7th hills and its one of the most ancient parts of Rome.According to Roman mythology and wikipedia, the Palatine Hill was the location of the cave, known as the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf Lupa that kept them alive.

According to this legend, the shepherd Faustulus thereafter found the infants, and with his wife Acca Larentia raised the children. When they were older, the boys killed their great-uncle (who seized the throne from their grandfather), and they both decided to build a new city of their own on the banks of the River Tiber. Suddenly, they had a violent argument with each other and in the end Romulus killed his twin brother Remus. This is how "Rome" got its name - from Romulus. Foro Romano is rectangular forum consisting of ancient government buildings at the center of Rome.

After the fire of AD 64,the slopes of Palatine became a commercial area.Initially was used as a warehouse for imperial goods and then a shopping center.

Let's Talk about Pizza and Language Barrier

Tip5: But obvious,Taste the pizza...

 Guys,enough talk for today,lets grab some Pizza.Let me tell you Pizzas in Rome are special.They would have a pre-made large piece in different varieties,and they cut it and weigh it as much as you want and quote price.Its the most delicious pizza I have ever had,they are so yummy that I wonder why don’t anyone copy them across the world.If you like Pizzas in India which I generally am not so fond of,Pizzas in Rome will change your taste,both for vegetarians and non-vegetarians.

Be mindful of the fact that Italians speak direct,so if you want a vegetarian pizza ask for no ham,no chicken,no fish,no beef plain vegetarian.I had Pizza mostly in small roadside shops but they all were yummy.In case if you have time,you can have a look at the link here of top 10 pizza places in Rome and plan accordingly. 

 I never faced language problem in whole of Italy.I think since its a touristic place,everybody understand English and are happy to speak.Well my half a day is well spent above…next we talk about a bit more about Rome and why Trevi should be given a skip and why Venice is so unforgettable that you will forget if roads are the way ahead which instead would be replaced by vaporetti and the islands.Love you.


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