Thursday, February 28, 2008

The dollar dumps

One of the drawbacks to winter travel: unpredictable weather. The day was gray and damp – not quite what I’d hoped for on the day designated for the Colosseum and Piazza Navona.

But it was fairly cheap, thanks to having bought my Rome Pass and paid my hotel before the dollar dumped to a new low.

The Pass covered my bus to the Pantheon, my bus to St. Peter’s for the Pope’s weekly blessing, my metro ticket to the Colosseum. The ticket to the papal blessing is free, of course – you pick it up a day in advance.

But before you buy the Pass, think hard about what you'll be doing, I learned. Day passes on the Metro/bus system cost 4 euros each -- meaning the Rome Pass is only a good deal if you'll be staying a full three days and if you'll be visiting at least two museums. (The Vatican Museums aren't covered.)

Still, I already have mine. So Wednesday's only costs were lunch and dinner. With lousy weather, I lingered at both and ate more than I should have. It was yummy.

Sadly, I never did see the Colosseum. Winter hours were shorter than my guidebook had indicated, and I arrived exactly 6 minutes after it closed. I tried again early this's closed until noon for a workers' rally. Now, couldn't they have posted that yesterday?


  • Lunch: $21 (14 euros)
  • Dinner: $21 (14 euros)
  • Bottle of water: $1.50 (1 euro)
  • Hotel: $115

    TOTAL: $158.50
    (If I’d been sharing my room with another person: $101)

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