We survived the long haul flight from BKK to Roma. Achita was still watching movies on first leg flight but then half way she fell asleep and she continued sleeping until we boarded the second leg to Roma. She woke up briefly to eat her dinner and then went back to sleep on her plane pal.
We landed in Roma on time at 06.50 am and to my surprise Italian immigration was very efficient and very family friend. When the officer saw Alyssa in her stroller he gave me a fast track lane and we were second in line. Wow… the whole immigration clearance took only 15 minutes. (I remembered last year in Berlin, the immigration clearance took almost 2 hours!). I didn’t expect we would be cleared so fast and there was no traffic from airport to Termini. We took the airport bus which was more expensive than Teravision Bus, but it departed earlier. We only paid for 3 person as Achita was free. As we could only check in to the airbnb after 10am, we decided to store our luggages at the train station and rescheduled appointment with the airbnb guy at 2pm. There was also Leonardo Express Train which was faster (25 minutes travel time) but more expensive at Eur 14 (children under 12yo free). However if we landed in the morning it seemed pointless to use the train as the travel time was not that big of a difference but it cost twice more expensive.
We only traveled with 2 medium suitcases, a yoyo stroller (perfect and most favourite travelling stroller which can be stored in airlines cabin) and plane pal. Each of us carried our personal backpack (sling back for me). Even though we traveled for 2 weeks each of us only brought 7 tops and 4 pants so our stuff could fit into our 2 suitcases. We brought an extra hand luggage for later when we bought more stuff along the way. I made sure we traveled light because there would be days where Hubby was not with us and I needed to make sure Fabio and I could handle the 2 suitcases (meaning we could actually lift the suitcases when needed plus the stroller).
Arriving in Termini Station, we dropped our suitcases in Left Luggage store managed by KiPoint inside the train station. For each piece of baggage service fees are € 6,00 for the first 5 hours, € 1/hour from the 6th to the 12th hour, and € 0,50 for every additional hour. More info here: https://www.romatermini.com/en/service/detail/left-luggage
We bought several bus tickets from the tobacco store (Eur 1.5). Children under 10 is free. There is a Roma Pass option for 48hr and 72hr but after doing some maths buying bus tickets and museum tickets separately worked cheaper for us. Especially as we only planned to go to Colloseum (which ticket include Roman Forum and Palatine Hills) and Vatican Museum (include Sistine Chapel). Children below 18yo are also free to enter museum exception for Vatican museum were 6-18yo pay reduced fee (50%).
Our first stop was Piazza Navona which was still empty in the morning (Later I found out it was more relaxing to visit this piazza in the evening as we can hear the street musician playing).
From Piazza Navona we walked to Trevi Fountain and made a brief stop to see wooden Pinocchio store
We actually passed Pantheon on the way to Trevi fountain but Hubby insisted we saw the fountain first before the sun made it impossible for a good photo session. Alright! Trevi fountain was buzzing with people and it took skill to find a good photo spot without too many people swarming around you.
The sun was getting hotter so we decided to skip Pantheon today and went straight to the Spanish steps as it was closer before making it back to the train station.
Going back from Spanish steps to the bus stop I had to restrained myself from entering my favorite branded shops.
We didn’t have much time for lunch so we went to eat at McDonald in front of the train station, took our suitcases (it took us 30 minutes to retrieve our suitcases due to the long queue) and queue for Taxi (the queue was long due to the heat). We also learnt not to take a Taxi from the Taxi queue at Termini train station. The staff who manages the queue requested a tip. So Hubby gave him EUR5 and then we found that the taxi was not metered and asked for EUR 20 for a less than 10 minutes drive.
We checked in alright to our airbnb and freshen up before headed to Colosseum (We booked ticket for 16.20 entrance). We took a metro to the Colosseum. I felt so much better after taking a bath and able to dress properly for the weather. Our airbnb is nicely located near the bus stop and not too far from the nearest metro stop.
When we reached Colosseum I felt so glad that we have got the ticket so we could skip the extremely long queue. (We bought the ticket at the official website here: https://www.coopculture.it/en/colosseo-e-shop.cfm ) We went straight to the security queue and then I went to the reservation counter to pick up our tickets and the free tickets for the children. There was an elevator which we could use to go up and it was strictly for stroller and wheelchair.
Even though the ticket came with entrance timed but once inside we were free to stay as long as we wanted (until they close the Colosseum). We had dinner in a place not too far from the Colosseum, which was actually too touristy but everybody was hungry. The food turned out to be okay. We took the bus back to the house and called it a day. The nicest part of traveling in summer was the sun only set at 9.30pm so the day was long.
We started the day with coffee which I badly needed as Achita woke up at 3am and refused to let me go back to sleep. Coffee in Italy was so cheap and good. Drink at the bar standing was only EUR 1.2 and in a table EUR 1.5 It was even cheaper than my Deli2go coffee back home.
After everybody’s tummy were happy we took a bus to Pantheon which we didn’t get to visit yesterday.
From Pantheon we walked to Villa Borghese to have lunch there and let Achita had some playground time
We spent few hours there sitting in the shade while Achita playing and then we walked home as it was getting hotter with heatwave already started.
We scrapped the plan on going to Roman Forum and Palatine hills because it was too hot to walk in the open area and there were not many shades in those 2 places. So we opted to stay back and went out later for dinner and check out the shops.