Thursday, 22 June 2017

Our Rome Accommodation: Experience Roma Terrace

Usually I pick hotels or apartments near a Metro Station for convenience. Experience Roma Terrace is a service apartment about 7 minutes walk from Spagna Metro Station.
The mesh door on the left is the gate to the manual lift.
It opened to a very tiny lift enough for two average adults.
When we first got there, two luggage had to be stacked on top of the other two for William to squeeze into the lift while the rest of us used the stairs to reach the apartment.
We entered through this door to our lovely apartment.
The only bedroom in the apartment
See the little nook in the corner? Baby decided to cosy herself up there and sleep for the nights we were in Rome.
The living area
Coco slept on the sofa.
Dining area
Beautiful place
The little kitchenette was hidden in a closet
We boiled water in a pot to prepare milk for Baby every night.
My only grouse about the place: While the bathroom was large, the shower area was very tiny. 
I am petite by Asian standard, but it was still a tiny area. 
The worse thing was it got flooded after a few minutes of bath as the drainage was not working well.

The towels were supposed to be changed every three days (!!!). I requested to have them changed every two days after Michela, the nice lady in charge of the place, showed me the fine number of towels we had.

Michela also recommended a few dining places before we left, keeping in mind that we might not want to splurge on expensive restaurants given that we came to Italy as a family.

All in all, we were happy with the place and would recommend it for its location.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Day 1: The Colosseum (on our own)

The Italy trip was quite a last-minute decision. 

The idea of going to Italy started brewing when I watched a Channel 8 documentary hosted by Bryan Wong some months back. The Venetian gondolier was a romantic man who continued the family tradition of being a gondolier for sentimental reasons. The idea of going to Italy came about because I wanted to experience the air of romanticism in Italy.

So, a month before the trip came to fruition, I told William that I would go. 

After a short discussion, we decided to make this a family trip.
 This was what we took. $4450 for 3A1C.

We browsed through the online menu and had to opt for 'gluten-free' meals as the rest of the options were highly unattractive to us.

Alas, the meals were quite awful to say the least. 'Gluten-free' basically means 'boiled chicken, boiled carrots, boiled beans'. Food was tasteless. The best part of the meal was the fruits.
 Baby's kid's meal was more palatable than ours anytime!
It was a 17-hour flight including the 2-hour wait at Abu Dhabi Airport

 Our breakfast on board: grilled eggs that tasted boiled, grilled potatoes and something else that we can't remember.

 Baby's breakfast
We finally reached Fiumicino Leonardo Da Vinci Airport!
We bought our train tickets here before boarding the train bound for Rome Terminal Station.

 It was a quick 20-minute ride to the terminal station.
Then Coco got hungry. And she craved for McDonald's, of all things!
But look at their Mc Cafe! 
And then we learnt that the ang moh way of road-crossing is not very different from China's road-crossing: pedestrian crossing is non-existent even if the stripes on the road are evident. You cross at your own risk!

So we dashed across the road when we saw there was a window of opportunity!
We stayed at Spagna where we could have easy access to the Spanish Steps and Spagna Metro Station.

But oh, the long flight of steps!

Followed by a long flight of escalators

We reached our apartment after some searching. It was quite near to the metro station but we went a big round to catch our first Mr Mime, the region exclusive in Europe.

It was a beautiful apartment too! Will do a separate post on it!

We did an L-shape walk and we saw the Spanish Steps!
The nice lady who brought us into the apartment recommended us a few cafes and this is one of them, Trattoria Otello.

We tried their fried zucchini, a local cuisine, and we wished we had asked for more.

Baby and I opted for Carbonara, something I thought was safe.

It turned out that the Italian Carbonara is cooked differently. The sauce comprised mainly of egg and cheese, which made the dish saltier than what we have in Singapore.

Coco had lamb ribs

William had pasta as well.
When it's colder, diners sit indoors. 
During summer, diners are invited to sit at the pretty terrace.
We walked back and were horrified to find that it was close to impossible to take a decent shot!

We monopolised this spot for a while because William had to take 10 shots (as usual) to get a decent picture.

Then we ventured out.

Our first stop was the Colosseum

Queuing up for tickets
William had bought the Colosseum tickets by mistake so I thought we might as well make use of them by visiting the monuments on our own and taking lots of pictures before going for our guided tour a few days later.

On the opposite was the "Gate of Death", where the dead animals and dead gladiators were carried out from.

The visitors were standing on the arena, which I believe was rebuilt, where the gladiators fought.

Standing at the first level, we could see the underground where the gladiators prepared themselves for the fight and animals were kept. 
We cam-whored for a while 

We took so many pictures we forgot to go up to the second level!

We hurried to the Roman Forum before Baby ran out of patience. 

Under the olive tree, we saw a gull which didn't seem perturbed by human presence.

A few taps like this were at different parts of the various ruins in Rome for visitors to refill their water-bottles or simply to drink from.

Then we wandered around not knowing what we were looking at

although we did know that these were parts of a palace.

We stood at the top of the monument to get a bird's eye view of the ruins. 

And of course to take pictures   

After that, we descended to the ground and continued to roam around the ruins as if we knew something about them. 

Then the girls got bored,"When can we go back?"

We exited the Roman Forum and saw some street artists

People were getting a refill of their water-bottle for free opposite the Colosseum.
It was challenging to get anyone to take a decent picture for us as the tourists were not well-versed in DSLRs or the flash just didn't work when the tourist took over. This would have to do.

We stayed so long till the light came on.
The Colosseum was beautifully flood-lit with a tinge of romance.