Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Travel | When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do

Ok, so we did do a little of what the Romans do but we definitely threw a lot of touristy stuff in there as well (naturally!). I loved Rome, and I'm already counting the days until we can go back. Unfortunately, it wasn't the smoothest trip we've ever had with flight delays and a couple of the things we wanted to see being scaffolded (why trevi fountain, why!) but its safe to say both Dan and I fell in love with Rome and have already talked about when we can head back there. My parents are going in February to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary and I'm already working out ways to fit a 5 foot 4 person in a hand luggage suitcase so I can go too!

We had three days in Rome roughly, as we flew early on the Sunday and late on the Wednesday home. This was the perfect amount of time for us to fit in everything we desperately wanted to see, although I could have done with a few more days of the beautiful Italian food. We arrived at our hotel, freshened up and napped so we were ready to face the afternoon/evening. Rome's metro is definitely not as good as places like London or Barcelona, so the centre was more easily reached by walking, and our hotel was about a 20 minute walk from the Spanish Steps and Piazza di Spagna which is where we headed first on the day we arrived. Even though the top section was scaffolded, it was still really nice to see and the christmas decorations were also really cool! Being in Rome really reminded me of the Lizzie Mcquire movie, I must watch it again now! Such a classic...We wandered through the streets to the trevi fountain which was unfortunately really scaffolded. It was such a shame, but luckily we were able to walk on a walkway above the fountain and throw coins in so hopefully we'll be returning to Rome in the future! My mum calls my family "pasta powered people" because we love it so much (partly to do with our Italian roots!) and I was dying to try a spag bol italian style. Its safe to say I had the best spag bol ever that night, in a little restaurant cafe at the end of our road. We even went back again on our last night before it was so good, and of course I got the spag bol!

On the second day, we decided to stick to the Ancient Roman stuff, so caught the metro down to the Colosseum. They have a three day transport pass in Rome which can be used on buses, trams and the metro for only 17 euro, which is something to remember if you go there yourself! The Colosseum itself was amazing. It was absolutely massive, and I think you are really struck by thoughts of what actually used to happen there, its crazy! Across the road, there is the Palatino (entry is included in your ticket to the Colosseum) and we checked that out. It had ruins from the old forum which I guess is like a marketplace, and I saw some of the things I used to learn about it A Level Classics which was pretty cool. Unfortunately it began to rain whilst we were looking at this so we headed back to the hotel for a nap before venturing out to the Pantheon. This was probably my favourite thing we saw, it was was just so impressive, and I loved the fact that they didn't close the hole in the dome, just let it rain down. After the impressive Pantheon, it was time to find food! The food was something I was especially excited about. We had dinner in a restaurant called That's Amore, which was delicious and very near the Trevi Fountain. My pizza came in the shape of a heart - so cute!

The next day it was really really rainy in the morning, with thunderstorms so we just chilled in our hotel room - I was pleased I brought my kindle! Even though it was a shame we missed out on more of Rome, I was actually grateful because we had had such a busy last couple of weeks of term that we both really needed a break. In the afternoon we headed out for lunch, and then to the Vittorio Emmanuel II building, which is huge and pretty ugly. We got the chance to go up a lift to the top of the building though for seven euro, which is why we went really because it meant we could see Rome from 360 degrees, very impressive! This was our last night so we had that incredible spag bol again.

On our final day, we went to the Vatican. It was pretty impressive, and one of my favourite parts was the Gallery of Maps - it was so cool seeing huge paintings of different parts of Italy, I really didn't expect anything like that to be there, and I really really enjoyed it! The sistine chapel was also incredible. I wasn't a huge fan of the Michelangelo art, I found it quite dark in a way, but there was other artists work in there which I found lovely! My generous sister had given me and Dan some money for my birthday, along with a blog post about different places to eat in Rome that she had found online. Luckily, one of those places was about a 10 minute walk from the Vatican. Pizzarium is a takeaway pizza place and I'm not even lying, we spend 35 euro on pizza, with slices being around three euro each. Its safe to say we ate a lot! I don't actually eat cheese so I was a little worried they wouldn't have anything for me to eat but they did! There was an onion pizza which was weird, but very lovely and a plain tomato sauce with herbs. This was the best pizza I have ever had in my life and I easily could have eaten the whole massive tray. If you are in Rome, this is definitely a place I would recommend, and make sure you go hungry!

I had such an incredible time in Rome, and I definitely, definitely will be back in the future. Its such a gorgeous city, the food was amazing and there was loads to see.

Have you ever been to Rome? Is there anything we didn't do that you'd recommend if we went again?


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