Hello! I’m back after a short break and ready to fill you in on what I’ve been up to. If you’ve been following me over on Instagram then you’ll know I’ve spent the last 5 days exploring Rome with my boyfriend. We’d been planning this trip for ages (since the end of last year to be exact) so you can imagine my excitement when it was finally time to board our flight and leave England for 29 degree heat!
I’ll break the trip down by days although you’ll probably find we did a lot of napping. Exploring is exhausting…
Upon arriving, we were pleased to find our hotel had a picturesque, little courtyard which was only a snippet of the beauty that Rome has to offer. The room was great but who wants to see that really? We unpacked, had a nap and got changed for dinner. We decided on a cute, local restaurant called The Bramble Bar which was just round the corner from our hotel; perfect for two tired travellers! It was also recommended by the hotel which helps and they gave us a voucher for two free glasses of Prosecco so how could we refuse?
As you can see, the pizzas were bigger than the plate but definitely not my stomach! They were delicious. The Italians certainly do food well. We drank Prosecco and a Gin Fizz cocktail each before the meal so both felt a bit tipsy by the time pizza was served. We finished the meal with a milk gelato to share which was so good.
This marked the end of day one as we were both exhausted from travelling. I guess the only thing to add to this could be the amusing journey from the airport to our hotel. Anyone who has been to Italy will know that the roads are manic and the drivers are just bonkers. Rich and I spent most of our time laughing (and sometimes fearing for our lives) as cars pulled out in all directions, drivers stopped to chat to others in the middle of the road whilst driving (!!!!) and cars parked in the weirdest of places. It’s an experience for sure.
Probably one of our busiest days in Rome was our first full day. We got up early and had some breakfast in the hotel. (Everything from yogurts, croissants, fruit, cereal, bacon and boiled eggs.) We then walked from our hotel to the iconic Colosseum. This took us about 20 minutes and we were able to get our first proper glimpse of Rome.
So many fountains in Rome and you can even fill your water bottles up on some of them! There’s a spout round the back and it’s perfectly safe to drink. Also great for hot days wandering around the city.
We then approached the Colosseum which is just as amazing as you imagine. We walked down through some gardens surrounded by pink and white shrubs and down the steps to get in.
It’s pretty impressive and the inside is even more amazing. (How many adjectives are too much?) As you walk round, you can imagine huge battles taking place between Roman soldiers. The lower ground (which we weren’t allowed to walk round, was where the animals were kept.)
It was such an incredible place to visit and something I’ll remember for a long time. I’d recommend buying a Roma Pass to skip the line as this is what we did and we almost walked straight in. We went mid Wednesday morning which seemed to be a good time to go but we probably only spent 45 minutes to an hour there.
The best place to visit after this is Palatine Hill which you actually have to pay to go up. (I know, who’d have thought you’d have to pay to walk up a hill!) Anyway, we used the Roma Pass for this again which doesn’t let you skip the line but saves you about 15 euros. The view from the top is worth it.
We stopped for a bit of lunch at the top of the hill as there was a rare bit of shade. It was also the hottest part of the day at about 28 degrees so a pit stop was definitely needed. You can then walk down the hill to the Roman Forum which is a collection of ancient ruins. I enjoyed these far more than I thought I would as the scenery is simply stunning. Definitely worth a visit.
I’ll try not to overload Instagram with all these photos but I can’t promise anything 😉
After walking round here, I was tired, hungry and extremely hot. Poor Rich thought there was something wrong with me and had to find us a cafe so I could stuff my face. After a lovely ham salad roll and a cold Lemonade, I was feeling more myself again. We then trekked back to the hotel for a well deserved nap before dinner.
Dinner that night was another local restaurant which I found on Google Maps. I had the most amazing pasta called Spaghetti Amatriciana which had tomato sauce and bacon in it. Yum! Rich had a four cheese pizza which had no tomato sauce on it (weirdly) and was mostly covered in blue cheese. That wasn’t so good! We headed back to the hotel for an early night in preparation for a full on day the next day.
Day 3 was the day I’d been looking forward to the most; visiting Vatican City. We took the Metro to get there which was easy to use and was much like London underground just even busier if possible.
I overheard a tour guide say the Vatican attracts 55,000 visitors a day. 55,000 people! I believed him as well when I saw the queue outside. We’d probably have been queuing for 3 hours had we not bought a skip the line group tour pass. I’d definitely recommend doing this. Even though we still had to pay 23 euros each for a ticket, our pass meant we got access to the Vatican museums including the Sistine Chapel and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Alongside this, we had a tour guide leading a group of us round and explaining what everything was. It was brilliant.
In all honesty, I would have liked to have seen a bit more of the outside of Vatican City such as the gardens but you’re not allowed as people live in the houses over looking these. It would also have been nice to wander at our own pace a bit more as I kept panicking that Rich wasn’t behind me because there were so many people. Overall though, it was an amazing experience and it was a 3 hour tour so was well worth the money.
My highlight was definitely the Sistine Chapel which was breath taking and reminded me of The Da Vinci Code. You weren’t allowed to take photos in the chapel so you’ll just have to imagine it.
We sat in Saint Peter’s Sqaure which is the square pictured above with all the seats. We ate lunch here and tried to avoid all the people trying to sell us selfie sticks and water numerous times. GO AWAY! After this, we took the Metro back to our hotel and did what we do best; nap!
We headed out to dinner to the most picturesque restaurant where we sat outside and ate our dinner. We ate outside every night as it was so warm and it was just a nice change from home where we only eat BBQ’s outside! I had carbonara that night which was gorgeous and Rich had lasagna. Since we finished dinner early, we decided to head back to The Bramble Bar for a cocktail. I had a Mojito and Rich had a Gin Fizz.
This was our final, full day in Rome and I really enjoyed just wandering the streets and seeing how the locals live. We walked for what seemed like miles and stumbled upon some kind of presidential event that was happening high above the city. We presumed it was for the president or leader in Rome as there was a big crowd gathered and also horses, soldiers and smart cars.
After the unexpected detour, we made our way to the Trevi Fountain and it really was a mouth wide open moment. It’s stunning. You will never see a fountain quite like it. I couldn’t get over how tall it stood and we fought our way through hundreds of people to get some good old selfies and to throw a euro into the water as tradition says you should. After hitting myself in the back with said coin (you’re meant to throw it over your head) and deciding it was far too hot to hang around, we found a restaurant for lunch.
We shared a pasta and were soon on our way down Via dei Condotti which is a highly fashionable (and expensive) street in Rome. It boasts the likes of Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Prada to name a few. At the end of this street is the Spanish Steps which are another stunning work of art. We walked right to the top of these and took some pictures from the top. We then walked down again and I was pretty sure my legs were going to give way at this point.
It was a long walk back to the hotel so we stopped for gelato and a cold Lemonade along the way. Much needed in the searing heat. We may have had another nap when we got back to the hotel and headed out for our final dinner. We chose the Bramble Bar again as we enjoyed it so much the first night. I had exactly the same par the gelato and free Prosecco of the first night.
On day 5 we returned home. It was a brilliant trip that went so smoothly. It was easy to find our way round, the people are lovely, the sights are amazing and the food is just too good for words. We managed to pack a lot into 4 days and are already thinking about another holiday to somewhere else in Italy. See you again soon Italy 🙂