Freesteel Blog » Before Croatia we did Rome

Before Croatia we did Rome

Saturday, July 15th, 2017 at 11:08 am Written by:

Becka needed a holiday after the hardship of being near a hang-gliding competition, so we abandoned the car behind the hostel and got a lift to Fossato which had direct trains to Rome Termina for 11 Euros each.

Here’s us waiting on the wrong platform, proving that we don’t know the Italian for: “The platform for the train to Rome has changed.”


The very first off-the-street up-the-stairs hotel we walked into put us both up for 100 Euros for two nights. We got lucky. We were both hot and bothered, so I snoozed on the bed while Becka went out and used up some excess energy and sweat for no particularly productive reason.

Then we had a beer and went out for some undiluted touristing.


Guess what? On the first Sunday of each month entry to the Colosseum is free.


We spent no money on the busses or tour guides either and hoofed around the city in the hot sunshine.

For dinner we found a cafeteria-like restaurant away from the tourist districts that was packed out with local Italians, but the food turned out boring and expensive. The guy next us kept lifting and looking under his pizza over and over again with disgust. Every time he looked it was still burnt.


The next day was our trip to the Vatican. On foot. So we went via the Pantheon, which is the most impressive improbable building in the city, being a very striking ginormous dome with a circular hole at the top.


I was sure there was more to the Vatican than on the map, but we got to see a lot of it. The queues were not as bad as the hawkers hassling you to pay them money to jump the queue. Luckily the security checkpoint X-ray machines filtered them out. We got to the top of the tower, all over the roof-tops and into the basilicas.


Every corner of every ceiling was fantastically decorated, with the intention of being the apex of human artistry. Then it was out and round to the Vatican museum, and eventually into the Sistene Chapel where one of the panels shows God’s bum.

Dinner 2 was at a more normal small restaurant for tourists where we were attracted by the vegan option.


Final day took us on a trip to the dusty baking ruins of Ostica with its tasteful Roman mosaics. This is supposedly a picture of a dolphin eating an octopus on the floor of a fishmonger with words “Envious one, I tread on you”.


And this place is clearly a public bar, so we stopped for our complementary cokes from the hotel. We’d also splashed out 10 Euros each for audio tour guides (take your own headphones), which were well worth it as we are know-nothings and there is not much to read.


We finished off on the way back with some lower scale tourist attractions, like a modern pyramid mausoleum and the old Roman baths, and then came past the huge UN building of the Food and Agriculture Organization (guarded by Italian soldiers with machine guns). It would be nice if they had a public museum/library on the site where they explained what they were on about, because it’s probably quite important to have an international agency that knows it should be professionally concerned about the future food supply for the human species during this period where the world economy is dominated by capitalist organizations that are emphatically not interested in such factors.


We caught the train back to Fossato, walked the 3 miles back to the hostel and then drove to Croatia, spending one night in the carpark of an Italian motorway service station to save time.

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