Colosseum, Rome, Italy

Rome

I stay at the Best Western hotel near the university, near the Policlinico metro station (about an 8-minute walk). It’s slightly away from the historical sites, but it’s still very convenient. The price is very reasonable: 99 Euros for a single room including a gourmet breakfast. It also offers snacks and drinks throughout the day near the registration desk. The internet is not very stable, but usable. It’s clean and quiet at night so you can enjoy a good sleep. It also provides a free detailed map that allows you to navigate around the city easily.

Traveling around

The best way to move around in the city is to purchase a 6 Euro Metro ticket that allows unlimited travel for 24 hours. In Rome, many scenic spots are right next to a metro station, and except for a few places, most of them can be visited within 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how much details you want to look. To visit those places, the unlimited day pass allows you to hop on and off the Metro trains without worrying about cost.

However, for certain attractions, such as the Colosseum and the Rome Forum, you will expect to spend at least half a day to one day in there, so if you plan is to visit those places, you don’t want to buy a 6 Euro ticket, but to purchase the one time ticket for 1.5 Euro each.

Avoid the long waiting line

Buying tickets in most Metro station is fast and easy, but it can take 30 minutes or more at the Termini station (train station) where tons of people line up for tickets. Unfortunately, if you arrive in Rome for the first time at the train station, there is no other easy alternatives. However, since the Metro station is so close to each other, you may want to get out and take a short walk to enjoy the city and go to another Metro station to take the train instead. You may save more time that way since it can take you 30 minutes to stay in the line.

There is typically a long line in front of Colosseum to purchase tickets, however, you can just walk a few more steps to the Roman Forum to purchase  ticket (14 Euro) that include the entrance to Colosseum. You can visit Roman Forum first then come back for Colosseum. This way, you avoid the long line.

 

Capri Island

Attractions not to be missed

1) Chair lift. It costs 10 Euro for a round trip, but it’s well worth the money. The lift itself is exciting with great views. Being able to view the entire island on the top of the hill is breath taking.

2) Capri Palace Hotel. one of the most artistic and luxurious hotel I have even been to. Even if you are not living there, it’s worth visiting. The design of the hotel is a piece of art. Highly recommended.

Where to stay

If you want to save a few bucks, you can try the 3 star Hotel Mulino http://www.mulino-capri.com/en/index. The host lady is super nice and friendly. If you tell them beforehand, they will pick you up at the sea port. The hotel staff also will drive you to the central part of the island every morning. The Internet service works well compare to other hotels. The price is around 100 Euro to 120 Euro (May, 2012). The rooms are spacious. Although the breakfast is not impressive, it serves the purpose of not getting you hungry in the morning. One more thing, if you want to buy drinking water, you can go to the neighboring hotel: Villa Eva, http://www.villaeva.com/. The sparkling water there is 2.5 Euro for 1.5 Liter, but Al Mulino sells it for 4 Euros. If you are not picky about the rooms, Villa Eva is also a nice place to live. The rooms there are not as nice as Mulino, but the price is cheaper, and the breakfast is better than Hotel Mulino.

Naples

Compare to Rome and Capri Island, Naples is nothing much to see. However, Naples is the city you will like to visit before going to Capri Island since it’s close by, and if you go by flight, you need to use the Naples airport. It’s recommended to spend time in Capri Island or Rome instead, and only take the train from Naples to Rome in transition.

Written by Shengdong Zhao

Shen is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department, National University of Singapore (NUS). He is the founding director of the NUS-HCI Lab, specializing in research and innovation in the area of human computer interaction.