Rome to Venice

Staff member: Shariah // Trip date: Nov 2017

When in Rome, do as the Romans do... Which for me, meant eating lots of pasta, pizza and gelato! You will find so many reasons to travel to, love and stay in Rome. A few of my own reasons were the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.

 

Each site is definitely bustling with tourists, buskers, artists and the occasional beggar, but when you've travelled halfway around the world, it hardly even matters. I found the people of this capital to be very diverse, helpful and funny. It really was a wonderful few days in Rome, but it did have to come to an end.

 

Over the course of a few weeks, I've been travelling through Europe with my partner, who so happens to be a massive car fiend (yawn hahaha). So when I let him know that we'd be travelling through to Venice, he made sure that we'd be able to make a stop in Modena for the Ferrari Museum. Now, Modena does not have a left luggage area, but there is accommodation (San Filippo Hostel) nearby that will allow you to store your bags for 1 euro per bag, each hour.

 

So with a heavy heart (I really mean belly haha), we departed Rome by Frecciarossa, then changed trains at Bologna. Bologna station can be quite hard to navigate as they have about three platforms that are underground like a subway, which is where we arrived, then they have above ground platforms, which is where we needed to depart from. On the above ground platforms, you will usually find that the high speed and intercity trains are in the central platforms (1 - 11); regional services operate from ovest and est platforms which are from 1-5. This is where it gets a tad confusing! Ovest and est platforms 1-5 are not the same platforms as the high speed and intercity platforms from 1-11 but don't worry, the platform board will tell you whether your platform is 3 ovest or just platform 3. And if you ever need reassurance, you can always ask one of the staff members inside the station.

 

From Bologna, we used a Trenitalia Intercity train to reach Modena.
After storing our bags at San Filippo Hostel, it only took us roughly 15 minutes to reach the Ferrari Museum. My partner purchased entry into the Museum itself for 16 euros, while I sat in the cafe area and had something to eat. I decided to sit this one out as I knew I wouldn't be able to stand through an hours worth of my partner saying "Oh my gosh! It's a V12 19 something which Enzo drove through the street of something rather" - I love my partner, but car talk to me is like my train talk to him, in one ear and out the other haha!

 

After a few hours at the Museum, we decided it was time to move to Venice. We took a regional train back to Bologna and then from there another Frecciarossa service to Venice. Once we arrived at Santa Lucia station (this one is found on the actual island of Venice) we found porter services outside the station, who only accept cash and offered to either take us to the taxi bay or the ferry shuttle (public transport). The taxi prices to me were quite high as we were only 15 minutes away and it was going to cost 75 euros! I was aware that they were going to get me right to the front door of my Hotel, but after all the cheap prices I found in Rome, I wasn't willing to settle.

 

I opted for the ferry shuttle instead, which may have been a lot slower, but this meant I was able to get some really good photos at night. The porter service that I used let me know where to get off and it only cost me 7.50 euros instead of 75! Now, you may get lost in the many canals of this beautiful city, so if you ever need any directions, walk into a hotel and ask the receptionist. If you ask a local on the street, they can sometimes be a bit cheeky and lead you on a wild goose chase!

 

Also, always opt to stay at a hotel that includes breakfast - it helps you get up early and saves you time and money. I chose to stay with Duodo Palace Hotel, which is a 600-year-old palace that has been revamped into a 4-star hotel with modern amenities. This Hotel was gorgeous, in a very good area and had a drool-worthy buffet breakfast where we met our first Kiwi in Europe! After 2 weeks it was really good to hear a familiar accent and you seriously have no idea how good it feels to speak with your fellow countrymen and have them understand what you mean when you say "Sweet as" or "Chur, that's mean as bro!".

 

This fellow kiwi also let us know the easiest way to get to Rialto Bridge and where all the good food could be found. So we explored what felt like all the canals, squares and bridges that Venice could possibly offer. I really wanted to do a gondola under Rialto Bridge but the weather was just not on my side - but that didn't take away from the experience at all. So please, if you are ever in Venice, take a gondola ride on my behalf and let me know all the details!

 

Ciao for now and happy travels to you all!

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