Carefree in Rome and Milan, Italy

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From Bruges, we made our way by train to Brussels, Belgium to catch our flight to Rome. It was a quick one-hour flight to Rome via Alitalia, a European budget airline. The flight cost was pretty affordable and came with onboard light snacks and coffee, tea or juice. Not bad compared to Philippine budget airlines where even water isn’t free. I napped on the flight and when I woke up, we were about to land.

A skip and a hop later, we arrive to warm weather and warm people in Rome. Fresh off the plane, two people offered their seats to us on the bus from the plane to the airport. Italians, in general, seem pleasant and cheerful. Our hotel, for a change, had a busboy who took our luggage to our room. The elevator wasn’t tiny and there were the complimentary hotel stuff we were accustomed to getting in hotels in Asia. Unfortunately, the trade-off with staying in traditional European hotels was the lack of complimentary stuff, at one point even a hairdryer and the lack of busboys and just the general service-oriented hotel staff.

 

Rome

 

We deliberately booked hotels within the city-center so that meant walking tours of Rome. We arrived in the evening and found some street performers busting a move or belting a song here and there. Rome was definitely hopping! It was a bit crowded when we came with most of major streets closed due to the Rome Marathon. It was a good excuse to walk though. There were lots of law enforcement around too. Here are some photos.

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Right beside our hotel

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Gucci store in Rome

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Rome Marathon 2018
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Restaurant
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Restaurant – you pay more if seated outdoors
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Floating trick

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Heightened security was a little frightening

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Near the Spanish Steps
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Spanish Steps

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Pantheon

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Roman Forum

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Colloseum
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Arco di Constantino
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Colloseum
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Ruins

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The beauty with Rome is that most of the beautiful places you’d want to see are located so close to each other there isn’t much need of taking cabs or buses. The bus to and from the airport is quite affordable too, if you’re a group of three to four persons (five persons exceed the maximum number of passengers requiring you take a separate cab). The Vatican was  a mere 5-minute bus ride from our hotel.

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St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican city

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Milan

 

After our third day in Rome, we flew to Milan. The roads of Milan are paved with actual bricks. That must be a pain for heels! This was the last leg of our trip and by the time we arrived, we were mostly tired and essentially wanted a relaxing pace. Nevertheless, Milan was a whirlwind of churches, castles, shops and museums.  Transport system consists of trains, trams, buses and cabs.

 

Milan is so open to tourists that we were able to enjoy  free entrance to some city landmarks (I am unable to recall names of the places we went to as they were in Italian, aagh).

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Sforza Castle Milan

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Milan Cathedral under repair
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Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

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Milan Cathedral

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Santa Maria delle Grazie Milan

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Streets of Milan

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Which Italian city should I check out in the future?

George

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