I don’t think the feeling will ever get old, flying into a place I’ve never been but seen and heard so much about. The feeling of so many adventures to be had, so many sights to see and different food to eat. Landing at night is almost more pleasing because when you wake up in the morning, who knows what’s behind the curtains!
We landed at 8pm and waited an hour for an Uber as we couldn’t find the meeting point and the driver ended up coming to find us about 500m away from where we should’ve been with my name on a sign and calling out “Dannielle” (lol). We made the trip to our hotel where we were staying for one night before we met up with Brookes family the night after. I was so pleasantly surprised by the hotel! We booked it very last minute and choose it as it was cheap and in the centre of town, but when we got there it was actually really nice with the coolest feature wall of black and white palm trees. We settled in for a good nights sleep, OH, after putting in our order for brekky the next morning of course (free with the booking and delivered to the room at our desired time yaaassss).
After getting ready listening to the Lizzie McGuire playlist *had too*, we checked out at 10.30am and as we weren’t meeting Brookes family at the new accomodation until 9pm we left our suitcases with the hotel and set out for the day. Having a quick look in some shops, we then headed to find the Trevi Fountain and wow it is definitely as beautiful as I thought it would be. We then walked to the Spanish Steps and then stumbled across a random place for lunch… I say “random” but we were looking for one thing, red and white checkered table clothes. When in Rome, hey!? We ordered an Aperol Spritz and a pizza and pasta to share and we were not disappointed! I’m SO glad that the best pasta I’ve had has in fact been in Italy. It started to rain while we were eating lunch and afterwards we were a bit stumped on what to do as we had planned just to stroll around outside for the day. But Brooke had a rain jacket and I brought an umbrella and off we walked to the Pantheon. By this time I was absolutely loving turning corners and being impressed every time whether it be a cute street or large landmark. The Pantheon is hidden until it smacks ya right in the face and just like everything else in Rome, its a beauty. Around the corner is the St Maria Sopra Minerva Basilica Church which is worth having a look through too. It interested Brooke and I that even though a Church is sacred space, a space to respect, with signs of no photography/flash photography etc that some tourists still have their large cameras out using flash to take photos all over the place. Ha! We suppose some people just do wrong until they’re told to stop. We then Uber’d to the Vatican City which is another state within Rome! Its is the smallest state in the world by both population and area. We visited St Peter’s Basilica which was so detailed and beautiful, so much to look at. It wasn’t until we left I was told that the Michelangelo painting The Creation of Adam was in the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling which we were so close too! Guttered but definitely adding it to my list of “next time”. By now it was around 6.30pm so we headed back into the city to get a drink and dinner and headed to meet Brookes family at their AirBnB.
We had a slow morning and then headed for a little walk around Trastevere, the suburb we were staying in, which is super cute and we were lucky with the day as it was beautiful blue sky but still quite crisp. We sat for lunch in a restaurant we found on our walk and were drawn in by their menu. One of the dishes we got, truffle pasta, was prepared fresh so we waited awhile but the fresh pasta was absolutely worth it. It was another delicious meal and we set off full and happy for the Colosseum. A ticket into the Colosseum and Roman Forums nearby only set us back €12.50 however we gave up on the Colosseum line after getting impatient for waiting longer than 5minutes (lol we’d be terrible in the summer) and headed to the Roman Forums which gave us a great view of the Colosseum anyway, win win! After spending some time wandering through there, we crossed the road on the hunt for some Italian gelatooooo! We sat in the sun, gelato in hand, Roman Forums in sight and the Colosseum down the street and I think we both felt extremely lucky to be here. We headed back to the AirBnB for a relaxed afternoon then headed out for a drink at Pimm’s Good in Trastevere (recommend) before dinner and then back to Pimm’s Good for another Pimm’s and dessert. SATISFIED.
My first experience in Italy was great. Rome is stunning, the people are lovely, food is delicious and so much history along with all the shopping you could want. The city does have a heavy security vibe around its landmarks, standing outside their military vehicle with tanker guns… its pretty in your face but at least they are there if anything goes wrong! Along with the security, there are also a lot of people selling trinkets around the landmarks, selfie sticks, umbrellas (a $5 umbrella saved me one afternoon actually, thank you), mini colosseums and Trevi fountains… you name it. We had no trouble with visiting the monuments that we did, no trouble with lines etc. There were plenty of people around, but I could imagine how crazy it gets in the peak season. As I fly back towards France (so surreal that I live a 2 hour plane ride from Rome), I have a total moment. If you travel too, I guess you’ll know the feeling. Reflecting back on the sights you’ve seen, things you’ve done, places you’ve been that have only been in your dreams until now. How good!! And if you don’t know that feeling, just book a ticket and go. I’m no intrepid traveller but I can guarantee that you’ll never regret a travel decision. Grazie, Rome! What an absolute treat.