Terme di Diocleziano Rome, the National Roman Museum, Baths of Diocletian, Viale Enrico de Nicola, 78, 00185 in downtown Roma, Italy. What a delight it was to discover another fascinating and different museum during my two-night stopover in Rome. It is located basically around the corner from where I was staying in the Castro Pretorio area of Rome, close to the Roma Termini. The museum, once a huge thermal bathing area dating back to the Aurelian period, now houses funereal artworks and other artefacts and worthy a visit if you are in this area.
One of my writing buddies who was joining our writers group with me in Caprignana, Tuscany, suggested we stay nearby to the Rome train station for a couple of nights. We wanted to be fresh and rest up before the next leg of our journey that included catching three connecting trains to our destination point in Tuscany.
We arranged to meet up at the Rome airport, we were flying to Rome from different states, on different carriers and fortunately it all worked out. There was about half an hour difference in our arrival times. We managed to meet outside the baggage area and share our cab into the main city to our own little apartments, close to the train station. We both had been to Rome a number of times and visited many of the popular tourist attractions so ‘playing it by ear’ was fun and we decided to investigate the area around us.
Our map highlighted the baths and seeing it was so close decided to pop in for a quick look. Well our day was consumed by a surprisingly wonderful large museum and gardens and for two jetlagged women, we didn’t need much else for the rest of the day other than a freshly made pizza and a glass of prosecco, as one does in Italy.
For retirees who may be travelling on a limited budget, there is plenty of clean, comfortable accommodation with all the mod-cons, only a short walking distance to the Roma Termini. My absolute advice wherever you stay is to make sure they have lifts. Some places only have stairs access which is not an option for me with heavy luggage. I normally take nothing larger than a 64- 67cm suitcase, but when a girl goes shopping that expander zipper is put to the test and 18 kilos puts pressure on my lower back.
The train terminal is huge, trains going in all directions. It was fantastic once checked out we wheeled our bags a few metres down the street to the station. We didn’t need to catch a cab and even the dining facilities in the station complex offered fresh, locally made gourmet delights all at your fingertips and certainly not the average food court, it has atmosphere and character. We found an even quieter area on the second floor of the termini with lovely eating options.
On return from Tuscany we stayed even closer to the airport train which was perfect. The Leonardo Express runs every half hour directly to the international airport. We purchased our tickets the day before, it took some time to find the precise office as most ticket machines are there for purchase on the day you are catching a train and they are everywhere. Ticket validation is mandatory before you go through the platform gates and the little green validation machines, dotted around the termini are quick and easy to use. You will not get through the scan machines if your ticket is not validated, and this is for all train stations.
Train travel is not complicated, everything is there for the uninitiated. Of course it helps if you do your research before you travel. You can pay extra for someone to attend to your bags, but I find it easy to take my own bags onto the carriage and place in the hold or even between the seat backs if case is not too big. If you prefer food service and a more comfortable seat with your own table for the longer trips, it’s only a few euros extra and is worth it. I love travelling by train there is plenty to see along those long parallel metal lines. Next stop, Tuscany.
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