Saturday, 13 July 2019

Italy: Day 5 | Vatican City and the Baths of Caracalla

Welcome to the last post in my Italy series! Click here to read the previous post.

On Thursday morning we visited the Vatican City. We had already booked tickets online, which included skip-the-line access to the Vatican museums and the Sistine Chapel. Skip-the-line access is a must because the lines are hours long otherwise.

When we hopped off the tram, we were immediately accosted by some dude in a hat with a map, so basically Dora the Explorer but male. He immediately told us he wasn't going to sell us anything and he just wanted to show us where to go, so, like, fine. And then he somehow tricked Alex into upgrading our tickets for €79 so that we could go on a guided tour, with skip-the-line access... I kept telling them we already had that but no one listens to me. I could've just thrown €79 down the shitter, it would've been quicker, but hey ho! Moral of the story: just walk away. Don't even enter into a conversation because that's how they trap you. Rome is FULL of people like this - more so, I would say, than London, or Paris, or any other big cities I've visited. Just walk away.

The tour was good, I'll give you that. (I'm just stingy and don't like that we were scammed out of a large amount of money when we'd already paid a fair amount for the tickets we already had.) I actually would recommend booking onto a tour, but book it online before you're even in Italy. The ones I saw weren't much more expensive than a normal ticket, and in some cases, they were cheaper. At least then you can tell Dora the Explorer that you're already on a tour!

Absolutely beautiful place, though. I really enjoyed it.

By this point it was early afternoon, so we stopped for lunch nearby and I had spaghetti again. After that, we made our way to the Baths of Caracalla, the second largest ancient public baths in Rome. It's very cheap to visit - if you're a European citizen under 25, you can book a ticket online for €4 - and this is likely because it's not a huge place, and there's not much to see. However, what is there is beautiful. They even have ancient tiles and mosaics from the old baths. It's a fascinating place to visit.

And that was it, as we travelled home the next day! Italy is a beautiful country, and I loved how the ancient ruins were so integrated with modern buildings and roads. I'll definitely return, just maybe not in summer...

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