From Joy to Rome – Travel Tips!

If you’re coming from IG or FB, you already know I’m out in Europe pulling culturally-sensitive touristy shenanigans on the Gram

Here’s what I’d advise for anyone planning to spend a day or 2 in Rome:

  • Use ItaliaRail to buy your ticket from your host city (mine was Naples) to Rome
    • Enjoy the safest, most gorgeous (and quick 1 hour 17m) train ride
    • Freccarosia Super Economy will do you well. There probably won’t be anyone else riding & you get the same snacks as in Business Class (€20 more)
    • With TI’s mobile PDF, you won’t need to validate at the station
    • Ensure your phone is charged well before boarding; the chargers onboard may or may not work
    • At the station platforms, look for the Train #, not your destination name
    • Arrive to the departing station at least 20m before your train departs
  • Walk in Rome. There’s something to see around every corner.
  • Consider Hotel Ivanhoe, or any of the many hotels/hostels positioned between Roma Termini Station and the Colloseo
  • Bar Monti has amazing risotto, meatballs and traditional dishes, served on a quaint outdoor patio in the heart of Rome
  • Most gelato is good gelato, but I had the best (and BEST service) from Gelateria S.M. Maggiore on Via Cavor!
  • Eat further away from the toursity monuments to save money
  • Use GetYourGuide for fast track entry into the Vatican. DO NOT wait in the Vatican’s lines without an advanced ticket from a tour company; you’ll waste hours
    • The best Metro stop for the Vatican Museums is Cipro, not Ottaviano, on the Battistini line (€1.50 each way via Roma Termini)
    • Buy the option with an audio guide to explore the Museums on your own, and really listen for some gems 🙂
    • Women: shoulders and knees must be covered to enter. Don’t get caught up.
    • Photogs: tripods are not allowed in the Vatican/Sistine Chapel
    • Photography is not permitted inside the Sistine Chapel itself
    • Oooooh baby, get ready for crowds like you’ve never seen them before
  • Hold onto your belongings (or better yet, tuck them securely under your clothing) when riding Rome’s Metro. Expect folks to violate your personal space boundaries much more than on US metros. It’s just packed like that, but well worth the savings
  • Arrive at the Trevi fountain early in the morning to avoid (you guessed it) crowds of other tourists like you
    • Approach and perch on the base of the fountain for the best photo + elimination of meanderers in the back of your shot
  • For about €14, the I ❤ Rome Hop On/Hop Off Bus will carry you around the most iconic parts of the city.
    • No need to hop off if you’re just looking for a smooth, scenic ride
    • Sit on the top deck (open air), near the front, and pounce on any open first-row seats for shade
    • This ride comes with another helpful audio guide in at least 4 languages!

At the Fontana di Trevi, I finally reached the point of being travel-weary. What excited me most about creating the visual mementos to share & treasure – the makeup, the framing, the fits, the lighting, the ancient history combined with modern tech – no longer brought me as much joy. It almost started to feel like a chore. Because of the pressure to SEE and also APPEAR during this trip, I forgot to schedule a day to do ABSOLUTELY nothing. I forgot that in my normal life, I usually have at least one day in sweats, without a wig, in bed. I didn’t feel like I could do that with so much unseen and so much value to reap from money spent. My Fountain wish was for American politicians to start treating the right to a safe public edu. the way they treat the right to bear arms: with a shload of $$$ and policy. I think 8-10 days is ideal for a first solo trip abroad. Remember to do nothing sometimes. Thank you all for being so loving & supportive. You are why I have the bravery to do this.

A post shared by Joy Ofodu (@joyofodu) on

I preferred Naples to the capital city because I could soak in the culture, sights and sounds without the pull of the crowds. However, Rome admittedly felt safer than Naples (in the heart of the city). But don’t be a victim either way; street smarts will serve you well. Finally, I did feel as if Rome would have made a better day trip rather than an overnight stay. If you’re going city to city, consider blocking out only one day for Roma.

Ciao!

signature sign

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s