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I'm a 30 something who loves to travel.  I have a full time job and enjoy writing (or blogging) about my travels.  I've traveled through several countries in Europe as well as Russia and Egypt.  I also enjoy domestic travel in the United States, including Disney.  My long term travel goal is to do a round the world trip.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Civitavecchia - Rome On Your Own

When I sailed on the Norwegian Epic and was stopping in Rome I decided to make it an easier day on myself.  I've been to Rome previously and really just wanted to see the Colosseum and The Forum.  I would have taken the NCL transfer to Rome, but it was $99.  I don't mind paying a premium for convenience, but that was rediculous!  Instead I took the train for 9 euros, which includes the Rome metro.

I can tell you how to do that, but this review is way more detialed then I could ever imagine writing so for step by step directions - Civitavecchia to Rome by train.  The short story is that you take the free shuttle out of the port into town (5 minute bus ride), walk 5-10 minutes to the train, by tickets and get on the next train.  I HIGHLY suggest getting a train schedule before taking the cruise, NCL did not have one available onboard.  But the train seemed to run every 30-60 minutes.

I'm also going to suggest Cruize Cast Podcast #4 on Rome if you would like to try and do all the major highlights of Rome in one day.

I did things slightly differently then suggested, which was good and bad.  When I got off the shuttle bus I went into the Tourist Information booth, here they tried to sell me the "fast" train for 15 euros, but it didn't leave for over an hour.  The "slow" train was leaving in about 20 minutes.  Also, the "fast" train only seemed to have 1 return time, but the "slow" train left every 30 minutes to an hour.  The difference in the ride time was about 20-30 minutes.  The "fast" train took 40 minutes the "slow" train took just over an hour, Italian time.  I had a little fight with the woman here, she wouldn't answer any of my questions, just kept trying to push the fast train on me and then every other tour she could.  I got annoyed and yelled at her then I bought my slow train ticket and tickets to the Colosseum/Forum.  Buying the Colosseum/Forum tickets here was a FABULOUS idea, it meant I didn't have to wait on line in Rome and I was able to kill the 20 minutes I had to wait for the train anyway.

Once in Rome my friend (I met him on the ship) and I walked to the Colossum.  We got a little lost and it took a while.  I would suggest taking the metro unless you want the exercise (you might after eating all that good food on the ship), the walk was not in the nice touristy area of the city.  I LOVED Rome the first time I went there, after walking through regular areas (for all I know I was in the ghetto, ack!) I lost some of my love for the city.  It had a dirty, rundown feeling and look to it, which the tourist areas do not have.  But it was also an adventure.

It was hot, I needed it!
After the Colossum and The Forum, which I'll discuss in another post, we walked to the Wedding Cake and found a nice little sidewalk cafe for lunch. 

After lunch we walked back to the train station, getting pretty lost this time, we had to pull out maps and ask complete strangers for directions multiple times.  This did allow us to stop and throw coins in the Trevi Fountain and just miss a train back to the port.  But at least this walk was in nicer area of Rome.  But if we had gotten any more lost we would have had to take a Taxi back to the train station.

I always show nice pictures, but the true Trevi Fountain has construction in front.
Unless you're interested in doing a tour in Rome, I would highly suggest taking the train into Rome, just get the schedule before you leave.  It's economical, and although the train was a little run down, we didn't hit any traffic and we got to travel with Italians, who don't speak English so I have no idea what any of them said. No, I didn't expect them to speak English, but it makes it hard to find out what the locals are talking about when they're not speaking in English.  You will find plenty of other cruise passengers on the train too, you wont be alone.