Wednesday, September 30, 2009

free in Rome

While staying at Marco and Caterina's farm in Lazio, we spent each weekend on our days off going to Rome.

Although we have seen so much of Rome before when we studied here or when we returned here during our Europe trip, we just can't get enough of this city. What was the most amazing this time is how little money we spent, and I have to just gush about this now.

The first weekend Marco and Caterina were going to Rome to visit Marco's sick uncle in the hosptial, so they dropped us off in the early afternoon. We hopped on a metro (one euro each) to the Coliseum, where we found some Americans coming out and asked them for their used tickets which we then used to get into the Forum and Palatine Hill (so this was free). We then walked to the Capitoline Hill (free) and through the historical center to the Pantheon (free), sat and had our lunch (which we brought from the farm, so free) in a bookstore, and then walked over to the Trevi Fountain (free) and splurged on some gelato (3 euro each) - we both got chocolate and lemon, yummm. We also stopped at Boromini's Baroque church, which is obviously free. We took a metro (again, one euro each) back to meet Marco and Caterina to go back to the farm. Overall, this trip to Rome cost 10 euro, or about 15 dollars total.

The next weekend we took a bus from the farm (2 euro each) to a town where got on a train to Rome (no one ever came to sell us a ticket, so free) to a metro (one euro each). We went onto the Aventine Hill (free), when to a park overlooking the city (free) and into Santa Sabina church where there was a wedding happening (this is also free). We then went to another church to see a Bernini masterpiece of a sculpture (free), then to another church, Santa Maria in Trastevere, where we saw ancient gilded mosaics of the highest quality for, you guessed it, free. We decided to treat ourselves to some pizza - and we spent about 3 euro on this. We then sat in Piazza Farnese and enjoyed a free concert put on by Amnesty International and stole some wifi from a local apartment, where we called people, checked email, uploaded pictures, for free!

We then spent the night at Giorgio's - who is an old friend of Caterina's - so, free accomodation. We then got up in the morning and ate some of the delicious breakfast food he offered us - yogurt, cereal, coffee. We then headed out to see Michaelangelo's satue of Moses, free, and then went to see 9th century mosaics in Santa Prassede for free. We then caught the end of a church service in one of rome's four most important churches, St. Maria Maggiore, for free. We grabbed some bread and meat to eat for lunch at a supermarket for about 4 euro and headed to another church with gorgeous ancient mosaics, San Clemente. Then about a block away we paid one euro each to go into a tiny secret chapel San Silvestre - which you must ring a bell and pay a nun to enter. We then took a metro (one euro each) to a train (again, no one sold us a ticket) to a bus (where they also didn't take our ticket, so it was free). This second weekend in Rome cost a total of 17 euro, or 25 dollars.

Okay, so you get the idea. The last weekend we saw the Ancient Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill, The Imperial Forum, and the entire Vatican Museums, including the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's and Michaelangelo's Pieta sculpture - all for free. We paid only very little for transport and some food from a supermarket. Again, I think the total came to something like 25 bucks for both of us.

Here are some of the most famous and perfect works of art in the world, which we enjoyed for free:

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