After our stay in Rome, we left the Eternal City from the Termini railway station aboard one of Trenitalia’s high speed “bullet” trains headed for Florence, or Firenze, as the natives would say. I’ve loved rail travel all my life but this was my first experience traveling on the high speed variety. I was of two minds beforehand about doing this. Getting from Rome to Florence in ninety minutes sounded great, but I was afraid of missing something, that perhaps the speed would cause it all to be a big blur rushing by us. Topping out around 150 miles per hour, this seemed a distinct possibility. After all, part of what I love about trains, the romance if you will, is watching the countryside roll by at a pace where you can take it in and really see the land, with the added advantage of not having to pay attention to my driving like when auto touring.
As it turns out, I needn’t have worried. Irina and I both loved the bullet train. It’s smoother than glass, extremely comfortable and while I wished that some of the picturesque Tuscan countryside might have passed a bit more slowly, it definitely was not a blur. I actually wanted the ride to last a little longer, not something I say often when traveling.
If you’re looking for a relaxing, green, park-like space to enjoy and explore while in Rome, and one that is also steeped in history, then Palatine Hill is your go-to spot. I can’t say it was high on my list of places to visit beforehand, but the way things happened on the day we were in that area of town it couldn’t have worked out better for us.
The heart of ancient Rome lies in a rough triangle comprised of the Forum, Palatine Hill, and that most iconic of Roman landmarks, the Colosseum. In this article we’ll be focusing on the latter, surely one the world’s most recognizable buildings.
It was our third day in Rome, but only our second full day as the first consisted of travel, arrival, and settling in. We’d walked a ton the previous day to Vatican City and back (not to mention the miles and hours spent on our feet inside the Vatican Museum). Nevertheless, it was going to be another jampacked day of footsore sightseeing as we set forth from our hotel.
The good news was it only required about a twenty minute walk to get there rather than the hour plus of the day before. Of course, that’s twenty minutes if you’re walking directly nonstop in a straight line, and that wasn’t gonna happen. We were there not to score points for speed, but rather to see and savor Rome and all the Italian flavor we could find along the way. That’s why we always prefer to walk as much as possible when traveling. If we see a shop or a square or a building or a street that looks intriguing, we can check it out at our leisure. If we are under a time constraint, we can always mark it down as somewhere to return to later.