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.
We arrived at Roma Termini from Florence at 11:10 and decided to have an early lunch. It’s not difficult for Muslim travellers to obtain halal meals in Rome as there are surprising plentiful of eateries just across the station. So many in fact, you’ll be hard press to choose which one. Like other Italian cities, expect to pay €7-10 for a meal. Halal meals in Italy has been delicious with their taste resembling the use of similar spices what we would have used back home. Location of halal eateries are marked on the map below.
Once filled up, we headed for the Roma Termini metro station located one level down to start our Rome itinerary, the Colosseum being the first.
Chicken briyani and boiled egg.
Halal eateries nearby Roma Termini.
At least 3 halal eateries here. Further down are mini markets. Location ‘A’ in map.
A continuation photo of the above. Location ‘A’ in map.
Decided to eat at ‘Roma Halal’. Chicken briyani please. Location ‘A’ in map.
Dining area of the eatery. Location ‘A’ in map.
More halal eateries on the other side of the street. Location ‘B’ in map.
Place you order here. Location ‘B’ in map.
Quite pack in the indoor dining area. Location ‘B’ in map.
Halal eatery signboard outside Ottaviano metro stop.
As you exit Ottaviano metro stop, on the other side of the road heading towards the Vatican, you’ll see this signboard. Didn’t try though.
Our 5½ hours Rome itinerary covers the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the grounds of the Vatican in that order. Arriving Roma Termini at 11:10 from Florence, we’ll be taking the metro to visit all of our itineraries as we wanted to save time. The Roma Termini metro station is a level down from the train station and you can purchase your metro tickets at the newstand at that lower level. It cost €1.50 each.
Our 5½ hours Rome itinerary.
From Roma Termini, we took the metro to the Colosseo stop where the Colosseum is situated. It’s just a few minutes metro ride and as you emerge from the metro stop, the Colosseum looms to greet you. The grounds surrounding the Colosseum is open and when the wind blows, you’ll get dust in your eyes. Bringing sun glasses and probably a face mask is a good idea.
Entrance tickets to the Colosseum which includes Roman Forum and Palatine had been purchased online (€12) in advance but we still needed to queue for a while for security check ala airport style. Once through security, we are straight in compared to the others who still need to queue again for tickets. We toured the Colosseum for an hour and nothing seems changed when I first visited it some 31 years ago. As we are not such a history buff, we skipped the Roman Forum and Palatine, suffice by just seeing it from afar from the Colosseum.
After the Colosseum, we headed for the Trevi fountain. You’ll need to take the metro back to Termini for a change of metro line heading towards Barberini metro stop. This is just a change of line and is a single ticket trip.
Colosseo metro stop where you want to get-off for the Colosseum.
What you’ll see as soon as you exit the Colosseo stop.
Lining up for the security check. Common line even for pre-purchased tickets holders.
The airport style security everyone has to go through.
Back again after 31 years. White hairs evident. Back then, this upper terrace was close to visitors.
Overview of the Colosseum.
Not so crowded at mid day.
Lower terrace of the Colosseum.
Probably where the gladiators run around chasing the beast or vise versa.
Upper level of the spectators terrace.
Ground level and way out. I’m definitely sure the floor isn’t original.
Colosseum through the window.
The Arch of Constantine situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. Photographed from the Colosseum.
Temple of Venus & Rome on the adjoining grounds as seen from the Colosseum.