Back in 2019 (before the pandemic was a thing), I arranged to go to India and Nepal in April 2020 and then I rescheduled it for October 2021 before giving up, completely. Relatively recently, I booked airfare and accommodations to see Italy in 2022. I figured that despite the fact that India very recently reopened to foreign travelers (with restrictions), visiting anything outside of Europe would be a questionable idea. So, assuming that the omicron variant doesn’t wreck my plan, I am going to try to see Rome and Venice in the spring.
I am spending roughly 1 week in each city, so there is plenty of time to day trip from either Rome or Venice. Here are a few of the available options within range of Rome:
Ostia Antica is a large archaeological site, close to the modern town of Ostia, that is the location of the harbour city of ancient Rome, 15 miles southwest of Rome. The main highlight you can visit in Ostia Antica is the amphitheatre, also known as Agrippa’s Theater where once up to 4,000 spectators could attend the theatrical performances. It looks like you can take a train from Rome Porta San Paolo to Ostia Antica station and the trip only takes 40 minutes. The site is open 8.30AM – 5.15PM and closed on Mondays.
Assisi is a town on the western flank of Monte Subasio. Assisi is where both Saint Francis (who would become the Saint Patron of Italy) and Saint Clare lived and died. The area around Assisi was inhabited as far back as the Neolithic period. It boasts one of the most unique basilicas in a country that has many, a town full of the most beautiful cobbled streets, cafes, and small family-run shops. There is a regional train from Roma Termini to Assisi, and it takes roughly two hours to get there. The train station is located in the valley directly below the historic center of Assisi, in a town called Santa Maria degli Angeli.
In the year 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius buried the ancient Roman city of Pompeii under a thick carpet of volcanic ash. Two thousand people died, and the city was abandoned for almost as many years. When a group of explorers rediscovered the site in 1748, they were surprised to find that–underneath a thick layer of dust and debris–Pompeii was mostly intact. The train ride from Roma Termini to Napoli Centrale takes roughly two hours and the train from Napoli Piazza Garibaldi to Pompei takes another thirty minutes. Pompeii is open from 9:00 to 5:00, seven days per week.
Pisa is one of the oldest cities in Italy and used to compete with Genoa and Venice as a maritime powerhouse. Pisa is obviously most known for the 183 feet, 3 inch tall Leaning Tower of Pisa. The tower is open from 9:00 to 7:00, seven days per week. The train departs from Rome Tiburtina and then you just make a quick change in Florence. The train takes 2 hours and 24 minutes to get to Pisa.
So, where am I going to go? I have no idea at this point. I am open to suggestions, though.