#1175 – 2012 Year-End Trip (Part III)


Previously onΒ 2012 Year-End Trip: Zilko and his brother went on a 12-day trip to four countries in Europe. They spent three days in Paris and now was in the capital city of Italy: Rome.


Day 5 (Sunday, 30 December 2012)

Having two full days to spend in Rome, we decided that the first day would be spent at the Vatican City. So, after having breakfast at a cafetaria across Rome Termini station, we took a public bus to go to St. Peter’s Square. Long story short, we arrived there at around 11:00 and saw a lot of people flocking the worldwide-famous square.

The first main goal was obviously to get into the St. Peter’s Basilica. I knew to do that, we had to join a queue first as there would be a security check before they let us in. We did see one line that seemingly was the one we were looking for, but it was VERY long!! So the security check was in the right half-circle of St. Peter’s Square but the line went literally circling the square and the end was near the exit of the basilica at the far left of the area! Crazy!

While we were getting close to the security check, (of course) there were some people who didn’t have the dignity and just wanted to get into the basilica quickly by cutting the line. FYI, we were queuing for literally two hours to get to that point. Obviously some of the people who did queue couldn’t let this happen and reprimanded those people that they needed to get to the end of the line. But then there was this one blonde American woman whom, after being reprimanded about her cutting the line, responded: “Well, I saw many people were doing that as well so whatever…” . Wow, what a bitch!! πŸ‘Ώ

Anyway, back to the fun story, while we were wating in line, at one point, people started to gather around (so that the square was literally so full of people) and we heard a guy was giving speech in Italian (so we didn’t understand). Then, the Italian guy in front of us showed us that there was a guy standing in a window of a building near the St. Peter’s Square, and there was a red rug coming out from that window. And then we immediately knew that we were looking at (and listening to):Β THE POPE!! 😯 . This was totally unexpected and unplanned! But this explained why I saw much more people than I expected today there… .

So, after queuing for two hours, we finally got in the basilica. There, instead of going directly into the basilica, we picked the wrong alley and somehow we were in yetΒ another queue ( πŸ™„ ) inside the basilica. At first we didn’t know what this queue was for ( lol πŸ˜† ) but after some time we realized this queue was to get to the top of to cupola (the dome) of the basilica.

After spending another hour queuing (that we fed up with queuing by the end of that), we finally got in. We chose the elevator – stairs combination to get to the top of the dome (the other option was stairs only). We took the elevator which already saved like 280 steps or something and then continued our way to the top of the dome with another 300 steps, by walking.

I did not pay a visit to the top of the dome during my previous visit to Vatican City in 2010, so it was definitely a new experience for me. The top of the dome offered the classic view of Rome, and specifically the St. Peter’s Square. It was stunning! The stairs to get to the top of the dome was so memorable as well as sometimes we had to lean because the wall was leaning due to the dome’s shape. However, looking back now, it might not be that of a worthy experience given the price (of queuing) that we had to “pay”, lol. I mean, we spent good three hours just queuing that day plus the queue we had to join along the way to get to the top of the dome!!

It was around 15:30 when we finally got back to the main door of St. Peter’s Basilica. And now we entered this very beautiful church. We went around the gigantic basilica and decided to go out quickly to hopefully still have enough time to go to the Vatican Museum. We asked the security guard there but he told us it was already too late to go to the museum as it was already closed for entrance 😦 . See, we spent too much time queuing today!! 😦

After awhile we decided to leave St. Peter’s Basilica and explored a bit of more Rome. We went towards Castel Sant’Angelo. After sitting (resting) in front of the castle a little bit, we took a bus to go back to the city centre. We walked to Pantheon and Piazza Navona before having dinner at a nice Italian restaurant I knew. My brother tasted the delicious 500 gram Florentian steak. It was, indeed, very special! πŸ™‚

Day 6 (Monday, 31 December 2012)

After spending the day in Vatican City the day before, we allocated today for the other side of Rome: Ancient Rome. So, after breakfast, we took a public bus to get to the Colosseum.

Based on my experience, one of the better things for us to do was to join a local tour arranged for tourists. With this tour, we could skip the queues for the tickets and we got English native-speaker tour guides to explain everything about Colosseum and the Roman Forum just next to it. Β And we found one, yeah!!

The tour started about 15 minutes after we joined the group (so they were waiting until a certain amount of people joining the tour). The first tour guide was Stephen who took us around Colosseum and told us stories about the history of this magnificent building. After one hour, the tour ended. We still had time to go around the Colosseum before the second tour, which was optional btw but of course we planned on joining as well as it was included in the price that we paid πŸ˜› , started. So we circled the Colosseum once, hahaha.

The second tour was another 45 minutes tour to the Roman Forum at the Palatine Hill. The tour was guided by Jill who told us stories about the life of the Caesars there and about the ruins. At around 13:15, the tour ended at the top of the Palatine Hill.

At this point, guessing the admission to the Vatican Museum would be open until around 15:00 and we missed it the day before, we were thinking that maybe we could make it just in time to the Vatican Museum today. We agreed on this. So, we just had a very brisk tour at the Roman Forum down the Palatine Hill (where the main street in Ancient Rome was once there) and left the area at around 13:30 to catch a bus to Vatican City.

Long story short, we arrived at the Vatican City. Unfortunately, we got off at the opposite site of the city from the Vatican Museum’s entrance. So we had to circle the country (Vatican City is a country :D) by walking around. Okay, it was not really a big country but walking around half a small country was still quite far away, hahaha. Along the way, however, we already got some not-so-good indication that we might not make it. We overheard an American tourist saying that the museum was closed for entrance earlier today because it was December 31st. Okay, we were already making our way so we thought at the very least we should get to the entrance and if it was true it was already closed, we should get the information first hand.

And the information was, sigh, true. Admission was closed at 13:30 today due to it being the last day of the year. Damn! We should have stayed longer at the Forum as we would not make it anyway had we been able to get there faster, given we left the Forum at 13:30.

Okay, feeling tired, we decided to have lunch at a cafe near Vatican City. We had pizza, bruschetta, and gelato. The food was okay but the service sucked as hell. So I was ordering something when my brother was looking for a table to sit. When he got one, one waitress shooed him away saying that seat was only for the cafe’s customers, which we WERE πŸ‘ΏΒ . But then, upon knowing we were ordering some menus (other customers mainly just ordered coffee or light snack or something like that at that time), she became very ‘friendly’ and smiled a lot. But well, we knew the smile was fake…

After that, we had a lot of time to spare. So, we decided to walk from Vatican City to our hotel near Termini Station, huahaha πŸ˜† . From Google Maps, it was a 4.5 km route, not that far apparently. Then we took a rest for a little bit at the hotel before going out for dinner. We had dinner at Pastarito, again. We ordered spaghetti carbonara, a seafood bucatini, and calzone.

We did not really celebrate New Year’s Eve this night. One reason being we would have to go to the airport the very next day to catch our flight to Madrid, the other being New Year’s Eve is kinda crazy and I don’t really like it, hahaha πŸ˜† .


Next on 2012 Year-End Trip:
– Trip to Madrid
– Estadio Santiago BernabΓ©u
– Off to Barcelona


Sebelumnya dalamΒ 2012 Year-End Trip: Zilko dan adiknya pergi dalam perjalanan 12 hari ke empat negara di Eropa. Setelah menghabiskan tiga hari di Paris, kini mereka berada di ibukotanya Italia: Roma.


Hari 5 (Minggu, 30 Desember 2012)

Karena ada dua hari penuh untuk dihabiskan di Roma, kami memutuskan hari pertama untuk dihabiskan di Kota Vatikan. Jadi, setelah sarapan di sebuah kafe di seberangnya Stasiun Roma Termini, kami naik bus umum menuju Lapangan Santo Petrus. Singkat cerita, kami tiba disana sekitar jam 11:00 dan melihat lapangannya yang terkenal itu dipenuhi oleh banyak sekali orang.

Tujuan pertama kami tentu saja adalah masik ke Basilika Santo Petrus. Aku tahu bahwa untuk itu, kami harus mengantri dulu karena akan ada pemeriksaan sekuriti sebelum masuk. Kami melihat ada satu barisan panjang banget yang sepertinya adalah antrian yang kami cari itu, tapi kok panjang BANGET ya!! Jadi pemeriksaan sekuritinya kan di bagian setengah lingkaran kanannya Lapangan Santo Petrus tuh; tetapi antriannya, dalam artian sebenarnya, mengitari lapangannya dan ujungnya itu berada di dekatnya gerbang keluar basilikanya di ujung kiri lapangannya! Gila!

Nah, selama kami bergerak mendekati area pengecekan sekuritinya dengan mengantri, (tentu saja) ada beberapa orang yang tidak memiliki harga diri dan maunya langsung cepat masuk aja ke basilikanya dengan memotong antrian. FYI, kami mengantri selama sekitar dua jam, dalam artian sebenarnya, loh untuk mencapai titik itu. Tentu saja ada beberapa orang yang juga mengantri yang tidak terima dan menegur beberapa orang yang mau memotong antrian itu agar mereka ke belakang antrian. Dan kemudian ada seorang wanita Amerika berambut blonde yang, setelah ditegur untuk tidak memotong antrian, malah menjawab: “Eh, aku lihat banyak orang kok yang memotong antrian juga jadi whatever lah…” . Gila, what a bitch banget kan!! πŸ‘Ώ

Anyway, kembali ke cerita yang menyenangkannya, ketika mengantri, di satu waktu, orang-orang tiba-tiba berkumpul (jadi lapangannya itu penuh orang dalam artian sebenarnya) dan kami mendengar ada bapak-bapak yang memberikan semacam kotbah dalam bahasa Italia (jadi kami nggak ngerti). Lalu, lelaki Italia di depan kami menunjuk ke satu orang yang sedang berdiri di balik sebuah jendela di gedung di dekatnya Lapangan Santo Petrus, dan ada permadani merah yang menjulur keluar dari jendela itu. Dan langsunglah kami sadar bahwa pada saat itu kami sedang melihat (dan mendengarkan ceramahnya): PAUS!! Gyaaaa 😯 . Ini benar-benar nggak disangka-sangka dan direncanakan deh!! Pantesan aja ya sehari itu kok rame banget lapangannya… .

Jadi, setelah mengantri selama dua jam, akhirnya kami masuk ke basilikanya juga. Disana, bukannya langsung masuk ke basilikanya, kami malah memilih jalur yang salah dan tiba-tiba kami berada di antrian lain ( πŸ™„ ) di dalam basilikanya. Awalnya kami nggak tahu ini antrian buat apaan (huahaha πŸ˜† ) tapi kemudian kami menyadari bahwa ini adalah antrian untuk naik ke cupola, alias puncak kubah,-nya Basilika Santo Petrus.

Setelah mengantri selama satu jam lagi (yang mana sampai kami muak ngantri deh setelahnya), akhirnya kami masuk juga. Kami memilih tiket kombinasi lift – tangga untuk naik ke puncak kubahnya (pilihan lainnya adalah naik tangga aja). Kami naik lift yang artinya kami meng-skip sekitar 280an anak tangga dan kemudian melanjutkan perjalanan ke atas kubah dengan 300 anak tangga lagi, dengan jalan kaki.

Aku tidak menaiki puncak kubah di kunjunganku ke Kota Vatikan di tahun 2010, jadi ini adalah pengalaman baru untukku. Puncak kubahnya menawarkan pemandangan klasik Roma, dan terutama Lapangan Santo Petrus. Keren deh! Tangga untuk naik ke atasnya juga unik dan berkesan karena miring-miring gitu mengikuti bentuk kubahnya. Namun, melihat ke belakang sekarang, mungkin pengalamannya ya nggak se-worthy itu sih dengan harga yang harus kita “bayar” (mengantri), lol. Maksudku, kami mengantri selama tiga jam loh hari itu ditambah dengan antrian sepanjang tangga untuk sampai ke puncaknya!!

Jam menunjukkan pukul 15:30 ketika kami akhirnya tiba kembali di pintu utamanya Basilika Santo Petrus. Dan sekarang barulah kami memasuki gereja super indah ini. Kami berkeliling basilika raksasa ini dan memutuskan untuk keluar cepat dengan harapan masih sempat untuk pergi ke Museum Vatikan. Kami bertanya ke pertugas keamanannya tetapi ia bilang bahwa saat itu sudah terlambat karena akses masuk museumnya sudah ditutup 😦 . Nah kan, kelamaan ngantri deh sehari itu!! 😦

Setelah beberapa waktu, kami meninggalkan Basilika Santo Petrus dan berkeliling Roma. Kami berjalan ke arah Castel Sant’Angelo. Setelah duduk-duduk (istirahat) di depan kastilnya sebentar, kami naik bus untuk kembali ke pusat kota. Kami berjalan ke Pantheon dan Piazza Navona sebelum akhirnya makan malam di sebuah restoran Italia yang oke banget yang aku tahu. Adikku mencoba steak ala Florence seberat 500 gram yang enak banget. Restorannya memang beneran enak banget loh! πŸ™‚

Hari 6 (Senin, 31 Desember 2012)

Setelah menghabiskan satu hari di Kota Vatikan sehari sebelumnya, kami mengalokasikan hari ini untuk mengunjungi sisi lainnya Roma: Roma Kuno. Jadi, setelah sarapan, kami naik bus umum menuju Colosseum.

Berdasarkan pengalamanku, satu alternatif yang oke adalah ikutan tur lokal yang diadakan untuk turis. Dengan tur ini, kita nggak perlu ngantri untuk tiketnya dan kita juga mendapatkan pemandu wisata yang merupakan penutur asli (native speaker) bahasa Inggris untuk menjelaskan semuanya tentang Colosseum dan Roman Forum di sebelahnya. Dan turnya ketemu loh, yeah!!

Turnya dimulai sekitar 15 menit setelah kami bergabung ke grupnya (jadi mereka menunggu sejumlah peserta dulu sebelum turnya dimulai). Pemandu wisata pertama hari itu adalah Stephen yang membawa kami berkeliling Colosseum dan menceritakan sejarah bangunan keren ini. Setelah sejam, turnya berakhir. Kami masih memiliki waktu berkeliling Colosseum sebelum tur kedua dimulai, yang mana bersifat optionalΒ tetapi tentu saja kami berencana untuk ikutan dong kan sudah termasuk di harga yang kami bayar πŸ˜› . Jadi kami mengelilingi Colosseumnya deh, hahaha.

Tur keduanya adalah tur sepanjang 45 menit ke Roman Forum di Bukit Palatine. Tur ini dipandu oleh Jill yang menceritakan kehidupannya para Caesar disana dan tentang bangunannya. Sekitar jam 13:15, turnya berakhir di puncak Bukit Palatine.

Di waktu ini, menduga bahwa akses masuk ke Museum Vatikan akan masih dibuka sampai jam 15:00 dan karena kami melewatkannya sehari sebelumnya, kami berpikir bahwa mungkin kami masih sempat untuk pergi kesana. Kami setuju akan hal ini. Jadi, kami mengitari Roman Forum di bawahnya Bukit Palatine (dimana jalan utama Roma Kuno berada) dengan cepat dan meninggalkan areanya sekitar jam 13:30 untuk naik bus menuju Kota Vatikan.

Singkat cerita, kami tiba di Kota Vatikan. Sayangnya, kami turun di sisi lain kotanya dari lokasi dimana Museum Vatikan berada. Kami harus berjalan mengelilingi negaranya (Kota Vatikan kan sebuah negara πŸ˜€ ). Oke, ini bukanlah negara yang besar ya tetapi tetap aja masih jauh jaraknya, hahaha. Di jalan, kami mendapatkan beberapa indikasi kurang menyenangkan. Kami mendengar seorang turis Amerika berkata bahwa akses masuk museumnya tutup awal hari ini karena tanggal 31 Desember. Oke deh, sudah jauh-jauh kesana ya kami pikir setidaknya kami harus tiba di pintu masuknya dan kalau beneran tutup ya kami mesti mendapatkan informasinya langsung lah.

Dan informasi itu ternyata benar loh. Akses masuk ditutup jam 13:30 hari ini karena hari ini adalah hari terakhir dari tahun 2012. Sial! Seharusnya kami tinggal lebih lama di Forumnya karena toh kami nggak akan keburu untuk kesana kan andaikata kami bisa kesana lebih cepat pun, dengan kondisi kami baru sempat meninggalkan Forum jam 13:30.

Oke, karena lelah, kami memutuskan untuk makan siang di sebuah kafe di dekatnya Kota Vatikan. Kami memesan pizza, bruschetta, dan gelato. Masakannya lumayan sih sebenarnya tetapi pelayanannya jelek banget deh. Jadi, aku kan sedang memesan sesuatu sementara adikku mencari meja kosong untuk duduk. Nah, ketika dia menemukan satu, seorang pelayannya malah mengusirnya dan bilang bahwa meja itu hanya untuk customer restorannya, yang mana kan kami CUSTOMER-nya gitu! Tapi kemudian, setelah tahu kami memesan lumayan banyak (customer lain kebanyakan pada memesan kopi atau snack ringan jam segitu), baru deh si pelayan yang sama itu menjadi ‘ramah’ dan senyum-senyum. Ah, tapi kami tahu kalau senyum itu palsu kan…

Setelah itu, kami ada banyak waktu untuk dibuang. Jadi, kami memutuskan untuk berjalan kaki dari Kota Vatikan menuju hotel kami di dekat Stasiun Termini, huahaha πŸ˜† . Berdasarkan Google Maps, jaraknya sekitar 4,5 km deh, nggak jauh-jauh amat ternyata. Kami beristirahat sebentar di hotel sebelum makan malam di Pastarito lagi malamnya. Kami memesan spaghetti carbonara, bucatini seafood, dan calzone.

Kami nggak merayakan Malam Tahun Baru malam itu. Satu alasannya karena kami harus pergi ke bandara keesokan harinya untuk naik pesawat menuju Madrid, alasan lainnya adalah Malam Tahun Baru kan gila ya dan aku kan nggak terlalu suka itu, hahaha πŸ˜† .


Selanjutnya dalam 2012 Year-End Trip:
– Perjalanan ke Madrid
– Estadio Santiago BernabΓ©u
– Ke Barcelona


15 thoughts on “#1175 – 2012 Year-End Trip (Part III)

  1. yance says:

    gilaaa antriannya kebayang dahh panjangnya ko…untung kamu sabar ya gak nyalip2 orang…hahahaha…
    tapi bener2 bagus dehh foto2 Roma vatikan colleseum nya…

    • zilko says:

      Iya, panjang banget ngantrinya, gila dah. Makanya habis sehari itu rasanya muak dah ngantri, huahaha πŸ˜› . Iya dong, nggak suka dah nyalip2 orang.

      Yup, Roma memang keren kotanya, hehehe πŸ™‚

  2. nyonyasepatu says:

    Foto2 bikin ngilerrrrr

  3. lovelyristin says:

    eh coba tuh satu2 naik anak tangga 280an hihihi, pulang2 lumayan kayaknya bisa ilangin lemak di perut berapa kilo hehehehehe…

  4. Arman says:

    waaa keren banget bisa liat Paus!!! πŸ™‚

  5. […] onΒ 2012 Year-End Trip: Zilko and his brother went on a 12-day trip to four countries in Europe. They already spent six […]

  6. niee says:

    Waaahh.. kalau emang ngrerti bahasa italia pasti keren banget tuh zil dengerin paus nya ngomong. jarang jarang kan bisa mendapat sesuatu seperti itu. tapi kalau 3 jam emang waktu yg panjang deh yak..

  7. […] name was self-explanatory, as you can see in the photo above. While the church was certainly not Saint Peter’s Basilica grandeur or Sagrada Familia majestic, I still found it to be very charming and unique! I just felt […]

  8. […] and Rome in this trip. I already went to Firenze in 2010 while I have been to Rome twice; the second time with my brother, actually. But both were beautiful cities so I was not uninterested to go back […]

  9. […] brother and I planned to visit it in our year end 2012 trip but could not because it was already closed due to the holiday season and stuffs. And I wanted to […]

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