Day 1 – Airport to Rome Termini > Check-in > Sight-seeing around Rome city center > dinner at Piazza Navona
The quickest way to get to the city center from Fiumicino International Airport is by the Leonardo Express. You can get to Roma Termini within 30mins and the ticket can be bought at the station upon arrival. Remember to validate your train ticket in the green stamp machines on the platform before getting on the train.
As soon as I arrived in Rome Termini, I went to the TIM mobile shop (1/F of Roma Termini) to get a 3G sim card. I knew I would be heavily dependant on google maps to get around until my map reading expert boyfriend would join me 2 days later. Another reason I got the SIM card was that it would be easier to communicate with the airbnb apartment owner for check in and also general questions. I did some research before our trip and decided to get the TIM sim card as they have prepaid cards for tourist. It would be best to visit the shop in Termini or major tourist spots to ensure there would be someone who can speak English.
I chose the 5GB plan (actually didn’t end up being enough for the three weeks, though I’m unsure how the data got all used up so quickly) and it worked immediately. I went to the apartment for check in as soon as I sorted out the SIM card which was a shared apartment I had booked on Airbnb. The owner described the apartment as 5mins walk from Colosseum but in reality it took me around 15-20mins to walk there. There is a metro station (Manzoni, 2 station away from Termini) within 3mins walk from the apartment and the area is quiet and not as busy as the area near Roma Termini. I would highly recommend to book a hotel or apartment near subway as most of the major attractions are quite accessible from the Metro.
You will pass by Roman Forum if you walk along Via Dei Fori Imperiali street from Colosseum.
You will see Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II at the end of the street which is right opposite to the Piazza Venezia. There is a bus stop near Piazza Venezia and you can catch a bus to different areas. Check the details from google maps.
I kept walking and eventually got to Pantheon, a 2000-year-old temple (now a church). It was one of the film locations of Angels and Demons and to get there it is best to take bus 64 from Rome Termini to get there as there is no metro station around. Beware of pickpockets when taking the bus, this bus route is a well known thief hotspot (as suggested in guide books). Unfortunately, it was already a little late in the evening when I get there so I didn’t get to go inside.
Piazza Navona is about 5 mins walk from Pantheon. It is one of the most iconic public squares in Rome. There are 3 fountains in the Piazza and there are many cafes and restaurants there, whilst quite enjoyable to walk around, it is a little touristy.
I finally reached Pizzeria Da Baffetto, which is recommended by Lonely Planet. It is about 5 mins walk from Piazza Navona and is famous for their thin-crust pizza. I couldn’t wait to get my 1st authentic pizza in Italy!
I was exhausted after walking around the city and headed back to apartment after dinner to make sure I got a good nights rest to got ready for Vatican city the next day.