In case you’ve ever wondered if a long layover in Rome is worth it, I'm here to tell you it is.
I was in Johannesburg and needed to go home. Instead of flying directly from South Africa back home, it didn’t take me too long to realize I could fly to Greece, stay 5 days and then fly home for the exact same price.
While searching for flights to Athens, I realized that not only could I do that, but I could pick a flight to Greece with AN EIGHT HOUR LAYOVER IN ROME.
It seemed too good to be true so I reached out to an Italian friend who lives in Rome.
Could I do it? Was it worth it?
Not only did he say it was worth it, but he instructed me to take the train to the city center and he’d pick me up at the train station, take me to breakfast and show me around.
Done and done.
The flight was a red eye from South Africa to Greece with a stop in Rome. It’s about 10 hours from Joburg to Rome, which was just enough time to get on the plane, eat and then sleep the rest of the flight.
I woke up to sunrise over Italy. Dreamy.
I landed at Leonardo Di Vinci Airport and made a beeline for the bathroom to freshen up. No way was I going to meet an Italian man without pulling myself together. Obviously.
The airport has bag storage and that was my next stop. I did not want to lug my carryon around the city with me. The cost is 6 Euro per bag for 24 hours.
From there I bought my train ticket to the city center and boarded the train. The train takes about ½ hour and the entire process is very straightforward.
I arrived in Rome and from there we drove around a bit to see the colosseum and get a brief tour of Rome.
We stopped in for gelato and, of course, pasta carbonara, Rome’s signature dish. Gelato first because, why not? When in Rome!
I wandered around some more, soaking in the cobblestone streets and Roman charm and then it was back to the train station so I could make it to my flight in time.
All in all, it was 100% worth it and I would do a long layover in Rome again in a heartbeat.
Ciao, Roma! Until next time, amore.