(f) Arrived in Rome
Walking back to Rome on the Via Francigena
Mon - walked to Rome
- I was still more than 35Km from Rome
- First I walked down tracks until I can to a road and then I came to Magliano Romano village, the first place where people commute into Rome. Strangely every water fountain had water which tasted awful and I had to buy it. Then walked up hills past fields another 8Km befor reaching the beginning of Sacrofano, I took the fork to the left to look at the town. Not spectacular, but there was a bit of a medieval section, where I had a picnic, and some bloke let me recharge my phone at his office. It was market day, I couldn't find any internet place, but I did get a good map eventually from the Municipio. I saw people stranded cos the buses were on strike.

- I came back up to the junction & took the road south ..wasted a lot of time looking for a path, but getting trapped between house plots sold off to rich Americans etc...I was now on the Via Prima Porta coming into the north of Rome .. I kept walking expecting to reach Rome sometime on Tuesday then I could go to the Tuesday alternative weekly Couch Surfing CS meeting. I hoped to find internet so I could try to get a CS hosting in Rome that night.

- I had a coffee at Borgo Pineto. Then I came to a supermarket at Monte Piedra Pertusa. walking was getting boring so I took a bus for 2Km then walked through the first suburb of Prima Porta. I met Vincenzo who has a Vespa repair workshop. At 7pm I passed some more Roman ruins : The Villa of Livia & came to Prima Porta station. Wow I had arrived in Rome a day earlier than expected. At the station there was an internet cafe so I was finally able to get internet access, send some posts about getting a Tuesday CS hosting in Rome & contact Vilma, who was driving me mad with her constant change of plans .. turns out she had changed her phone number so hadn't got my texts and I finally found which airport she was flying into..

- The internet closed at 8pm so I went to take a bus out of Rome to camp...but it turned out that the buses were on strike, but they had come back on from 5-7pm to let people get home. Eventually I got a bus to Monte Olviero

Tues - tourist around Prima Porta

- 2 more nights before Vilma arrived so my plan today was to be a tourist around Prima Porta & then go to CS meeting in the evening. First I spent another 3 hours on the internet. Then went to the market at Prima Porta & tried to visit The Villa of Livia, but it was closed for lunch ..so then I went upto this huge cemetery as the map said there was another Roman villa there. There were good views of the city from there.

- I had to come back into Prima Porta pick up the train into Rome then I walked 2 blocks to the CS meeting. It was in some swanky expensive book cafe, better than the Thursday one, but this time it had distracting Salsa dance music. When I arrived we were 2 foreigners and 2 new Italians non of the normal members turned up until 45 minutes after the meeting time. We moved into a quieter side room, we'd been there abut 5 minutes when on of the organisers turned up and persuaded everyone to move into the noisy room . As ever the city Italians were cliquey & no one wanted to speak to me.

- There been no luck finding a CS hosting so I took the train south to camp back on the Via Appia, but I ended up at some olive farm past Ciampino Airport cos there were no more trains.

Wed - last day before Vilma
- Basically i spent the day in Ciampino .. I went to this huge weekly market & bought some cheap socks a shirt etc. Then went to the laundry & washed all my clothes and spent an hour & a half on the internet.

Getting to the airport
- Vilma was flying in in the morning so I had to get there Wednesday night. I took the train to Roma Termini & tried to figure out the cheapest way as I had so much time to spare. I found I could get a local train to the airport for €1 via Roma Ostiense station and I thought I'd change to a bus, but when I arrived I found the only way to get from there to the airport was by train not bus, but unluckily the ticket office was closed & the machine was vandalised as usual so I got to the airport for free. Found a good place to sleep.


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