From Florence, we did a quick day trip to Rome. Our train departs SM Novella at 9:38 and arrives at Roma Termini, Rome at 11:10. That’s a 1 hour 32 minutes ride for a distance of 276 km with the train cruising at a maximum speed of 250 km/h on some stretches and 120 km/h on curved track. It will take 3+ hours if you drive. As always, the train is smooth and comfortable.
Once you’re at Roma Termini, you can choose taxis or buses for you to explore Rome. The metro also converge into Roma Termini and is a level down. The metro ticket cost €1.50 and can be used on city buses and trams as well. You can also buy the ticket at the newstand at the metro level.
Our itinerary in Rome is to visit the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the grounds of the Vatican. All these has to be completed fairly quickly as our return train to Florence is at 16:50. Although hectic, we did manage all of it with time for lunch and tea before returning.
Seats on our train. Free light refreshment is served too.
Florence to Rome … 276 km, 1h 32m by train.
Train clocked at 248 km/h.
Scenery along the journey. Blurry pictures even at 120 km/h.
Disembarking onto the platform at Roma Termini. No baggage for us this time.
Need to pass through security door before entering main terminal building.
Main terminal building of Roma Termini.
Exterior of Roma Termini. White taxis awaits you.
Another view to Roma Termini.
Bus station in-front of Roma Termini. You can choose the taxis, buses or metro. The metro also converge into Roma Termini.
A short distance from the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, we reached Hard Rock Cafe & its Rock Shop. As in most of the Rock Shops elsewhere, the merchandise are similar in design except for the name of the city you’re in. Florence’s Rock Shop offers a little bit of more of a choice for T-shirts as there are a couple of designs we’ve not seen elsewhere. The floor area for the Rock Shop isn’t so cramped as some other cities.
Hard Rock, Florence
Located not far from Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral.
Merchandise inside Rock Shop.
That classic white Hard Rock T-shirt.
That T-shirt with guitars is something new we’ve seen.
Our choice of staying at Hotel Montreal was partly due to the availability of halal food close-by. One eatery that is only a few doors away is, ‘I Re D’egitto’, literally translated “The king of Egypt”. It serves tasty food and priced reasonably. They open in the morning and close quite late at night. Apart from kebab, they serve rice, vegetable and curry among others.
The street at the back of Hotel Montreal, you can find another kebab eatery, Panini Kebab. We also found 2 more eateries around the San Lorenzo street market area namely Pak Halal Kebab and Asian Halal Fast Food.
In Italy, it would be wise to seek on the authenticity of the halal status of an eatery, as we found another close-by to our hotel but local muslims says otherwise despite the presence of halal sign.
A little further away from Hotel Montreal, near Ponte Vecchio you’ll find another halal eatery called Maddina Tandoori Restaurant. It’s about 30 minutes stroll but we visited it for lunch on our way back from visiting Piazzale Michelangelo. Scroll below for its write-up.
Location of Halal eateries, Florence. Click map to enlarge.
I Re D’egitto halal eatery on the same row as Hotel Montreal just a few doors away.
Meal selection available at I Re D’egitto
Dining area of I Re D’egitto.
Another section of the dining area.
Chicken curry and eggplant for me.
Kebab and veggies for my wife.
Panini Kebab at the back of Hotel Montreal.
Pak Halal Kebab around San Lorenzo street market area. Refer map above for location.
Asian Halal Fast Food just a few doors from Pak Halal Kebab. Refer map above for location.
If you intend to experience a full-fledged restaurant dining, head for Maddina Tandoori Restaurant near-by Ponte Vecchio. They are more towards Indian cuisine but you’ll also be able to order local food as well. I had seafood spaghetti while my wife ordered chicken briyani rice. They were delicious.
As soon as the manager confirmed our nationality, he brought pictures for me and my wife to view. Its one of their repeat customers the manager informed. That being said, it’s Sultan Abdul Halim the current King of Malaysia and one of his daughters. Wow, if our King frequents this restaurant, its got to be good. Price wise, do expect to pay a little more but still affordable.
Maddina Tandoori Restaurant near Ponte Vecchio.
Map to Maddina Tandoori restaurant from Hotel Montreal. Click map to enlarge.
Dining area of Maddina Tandoori Restaurant.
Another section of the dining area.
Chicken briyani for the wife and seafood spaghetti for me.
Whats left of the food. Delicious.
sampaisudah.com & the previous King of Malaysia, Sultan Abdul Halim had dined at Maddina Tandoori Restaurant, Florence.