The “Art” of asking directions in Rome


Boarding the train in Civitavecchia, Italy, on my way to explore Rome for the first time, I was prepared for the long day ahead.  Having organized my own shore excursion to save money, in lieu of purchasing one through Royal Caribbean, I was aware of the strict timeline for my traveling companion and I.  Twelve hours to make our way to Rome, explore and return.  I had purchased train tickets in advance and the trip was approximately 1 1/2 hrs, each way.  The first stop was Vatican City and I was surprised by how quickly we were able to gain entry.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to see St. Peter’s Basilica because the Pope was going to speak.

I’m not sure how I managed to get a photo in Vatican City without a person in it…

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We quickly walked out of that Country and entered Rome!  Next…we crossed the Tiber River.  Side note:  I was using someone else’s camera…mine had broken!

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This is where the fun started.  Although we were equipped with three maps, locating the Pantheon was not happening.  I’m usually very good with maps.  I started asking people for directions.  My theory from years of traveling is that unless you get a gut feeling someone’s directions are really good…ask someone else…which I did…again and again…so we arrived at the Pantheon (which I didn’t post a picture of).

Multiple people were responsible for our arrival to the Trevi Fountain…which we tossed a coin into standing backwards.  That way you are assured you’ll return to Rome!

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 The following two pictures are obviously a street with lots of people and a street with very few!

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 We were guided by a few kind souls to the Spanish Steps…which we didn’t climb attempting to conserve energy for all of the walking!

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 I’m not sure what or where this was…but it had nice light!

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 Finally, armed with directions from the friendly locals, we headed towards the Coliseum.

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You can almost imagine yourself living back in the “hey day” of the Roman Empire!

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Rome was a City that surprised me for a variety of reasons.  I was surprised that you’re just walking along and then the Coliseum is…just there…I thought it would be farther outside of the City!   I did so much research on the flight, cruise, train travel and hotels that I didn’t research every City – I guess it’s nice to be surprised sometimes!

For some reason, I thought Rome would be a bit “dirty” and be more crowded, but it wasn’t!

 Tomorrow we skip over to Croatia…one of my favorite places!

33 thoughts on “The “Art” of asking directions in Rome

  1. I love Rome, you lucky lucky woman! I was surprised by the no-high-rise, which you really appreciate from the surrounding hills – an even skyline and clear view interrupted only by the occasional triumphant golden rooftop flourish. Also, that you can pootle up a road heading towards something that the map indicates is a roundabout or junction. But it’s actually Another Incredible National Monument. Rome is full of surprises, sensuality, love, fun and the best coffee in the world.

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  2. Pictures of Rome make my heart beat faster. I LOVE Rome and Italy, yes, even Venice! I thought for a day that we were going back, but instead we booked flights to Madrid, Spain in October/November, then we’re cruising the Transatlantic from Barcelona to New Orleans. I’m already starting to read the TripAdvisor and Rick Steves forums and bought the RS book. I’m so excited.
    You should send your resume to G Adventures!

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    • That’s sounds fabulous Merrill! I’m so excited for you! I’ve decided to go to 5 countries in Africa. I’m booking it by Monday. Fly into Cape Town for a few days…on through Namibia–Botswana–Zambia–Malawi–Tanzania. I’ll camp for 28 of the 38 days. I’ll leave at the end of April.

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      • Are you doing that with G Adventures? That is a LONG trip!
        You need to tell me what I need to know about Madrid and Barcelona! I seem to be “following” you. I was on the RCCL cruise itinerary that you did but in 2010, and now – Spain! I have a lot of catching up to do!!!

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  3. Loved Rome as well. It’s a shame you didn’t make it into the St. Peters as this is really something to see. The good news of course is that you did throw the coin into the Trevi Fountain so you should get a second chance at the Vatican… by the way did you throw the coin properly into the fountain? Standing backwards but over what shoulder with what arm? It could be the difference between that second chance and not!

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  4. I think I would have done my excursion the same way – on my own. It’s a bit more risky trying to meet schedules, but at least you could go where you wanted and see what you wanted without having to stand around with the group, being lectured to. Your photos look great and I love the warm feeling of looking at summertime pictures. And what culture and history!

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  5. I have a travel-question and it seems like you’d be the right person to ask; one thing on my bucket-list is a safari in the Serengeti or Masai Mara and I’m thinking about crossing that off of my list this summer. I don’t have anyone to go with me, so I’m thinking about going alone (with a safari company). Now, would you do this? I’m 27, have travelled quite a lot on my own before, but not gone on an organized tour. I’m a little worried that it’s just gonna be me and a disgusting bunch of newly weds and big, happy families (am a little disillusioned when it comes to that department at the moment) and that I’m just gonna end up feeling (more) depressed and (more) alone. (And poor, too). On the other hand I’m dying to get some new inspiration and impressions. Would really appreciate your input, thanks!

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  6. Hi,
    Rome looks spectacular, just so much to see, it was a shame you didn’t have more time there. I love the photos, and I was also surprised when you said the Coliseum was so close, I always thought it was a bit out of the city as well. Sounds like a great few hours, and you definitely fitted in a lot in the time you had.

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