VTT Postcard - Day 9 - Rome, Italy

Monday, April 4, 2011
It’s a pity we couldn’t stay any longer than one night at the Venetian hotel. More pleasantness awaited my roommate and me when we arrived at the hotel the previous night to find that we had one of the biggest rooms we’ll ever have in the entire tour, complete with kitchen and lounge area!

The hotel was Base Hotel Venice. And although I do not remember much about the hotel, I just remembered our room was really nice and big and spacious.

Anyway, the bus trip to Rome this morning was okay. The bus was starting to fill up with other fellow travelers who we’ve picked up from Amsterdam onwards. There were now 42 of us in the bus.

Today was Christmas Day and to mark this very special occasion, our TM scheduled us to have Christmas Dinner in Rome.

We arrived just before dinner in Rome and proceeded to our hotel, Park Roma Cassia Hotel. The hotel felt like it was on the outskirts of Rome because it was off our Rome city centre map. But other than this small, but significant, detail, the hotel was very nice. (We’ll have more about this on the next day’s post). We had free Wi-Fi in our rooms and I don’t know if it was because it was christmas but when I placed an international call to my family for about 40 minutes, I only paid EUR12. Very, very affordable.

TM took us to the city centre and we walked to the restaurant where we were going to celebrate our Christmas dinner. We met up with some other Contiki groups at the restaurant and it sorta felt like the coming together of one very big, happy family. We even had turkey!

Afterwards, TM took us on tour around the city. There were no Metro (subway) stations inside the city centre because of the Roman ruins that the country was preserving. So a lot of walking was involved in the sightseeing of Rome. 
Trevi Fountain
We walked and saw the following sights that night: Victor Emmanual Monument, Trevi Fountain, Temple of Hadrian, Pantheon, Piazza Navona. Even at night, these places were packed, especially the Trevi Fountain. I can’t believe the amount of touring you can do even during the night.
Pantheon being re-touched
We went back to the hotel early as we had a free day the next day. Or rather, our tour driver had a free day as he did not need to drive us anymore. We were advised to roam around Rome on our own. TM scheduled a tour of the Colosseum and the Forum in the morning and the rest of the day is up to us!

I was excited as Rome was one of the cities I was really looking forward to seeing. It was a pity we could not go into the Vatican Museums because it was closed during the holiday. But we’ll have more about that in the next instalment.

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