This is what I posted on facebook as my Rome highlights: Bikrams walking, Bikrams drinking…. pretty much everything Bikrams. Hot sweaty mess. Pizza. Pasta. Wine. And more wine.And more wine. Big blisters. Boob sweat. Butt check. What time is it? What days is it?Midnight Vatican visit. Prego. Makeout point. Random Italian men. Wow. Stunning. Holy %&$ balls. Maps. What street again? Chafing. Swollen feet. When in Rome….
That was Rome in a nutshell but to elaborate more…
We left London early morning on Monday, July 12th flying Alitalia to Rome. The flight was awful. Very turbulent and I am not a comfortable flyer so I was holding on for dear life while Sue kept telling me it was going to be ok. We did get to see a stunning view from the plane through all the bumps.
Was happy to land safetly and without too much problems found the train station which would take us to Termini, the main station in Rome. Luckily our B&B was close to it although we did have to wander around a bit trying to find it. None of the street numbers made any sense! That 10 minute walk to the B&B resulted in a complete Bikrams experience. Totally dripping in sweat. I know it is not attractive but there is nothing you can do about it! So to have walked in to air conditioning was a complete life saver!
The little B&B we picked was great and the people there even better. Highly recommend staying at La Casa di Amy in Rome. You will not be disappointed. This is the picture of the courtyard.
We didn’t want to waste any time so we basically just dropped off our bags and hit the road. We went straight to Santa Maria Maggiore which was a church quote close to our hotel. It was so beautiful. All the churches in Rome really blew my mind. It is hard to describe how elaborate they all are. And all so different.
Sue and I continued our walk and was greatful to come across this fountain where we cooled our feet off before walking more. I believe the temperature was around 37 degrees on this day.
We were on a mission to find the Trevi Fountain but stumbled upon the Spanish Steps instead. The steps are definitely a major tourist area. So many people it seemed no matter what time of day it was. I have a great picture of the steps at nightime but will show that later in this post. After we hung out on the Steps for a litle bit, we made our way to the Trevi Fountain which again is another huge tourist spot. It was nearly impossible to get a shot without someone standing in the way but at least we got this one.
There are a lot of different interpretations of coin throwing into the Trevi Fountain. Some say if you throw one coin your are guaranteed a return visit to Rome. 2 coins means a new romance. Three coins means either a marriage or a divorce. A reported current version of this legend is that it is lucky to throw three coins with one’s right hand over one’s left shoulder into the Trevi Fountain. I did the latter. I hope it was lucky!
We then made our way back to our room for a little nap before getting ready for dinner.
We wanted to see the Spanish Steps at night so we thought we would have dinner close to it. We found a great little place a couple of blocks away and settled in for a nice meal. There were only a couple of tables outside so we grabbed one of those. I loved the streets in Rome. So much character.
We people watched and relaxed over a bottle of wine and some pasta. The food was phenomenal.
After dinner, we strolled up to the Spanish Steps. I couldn’t believe how many people were still hanging out there. It was even busier than the daytime.
So day 1 in Rome was complete. Couldn’t wait for Day 2 as we had tickets to see Ancient Rome.
We woke up nice and early so we could grab some breakfast before heading to the metro. The breakfast spread was great. Cheeses, meats, yoghurt, bread and fresh fruits. And the tomatoes. I don’t know what it is about the tomatoes in Italy but I couldn’t get enough.
There are only two metro lines in Rome so it wasn’t too hard to figure out. We got to the Colosseum in perfect time for our tickets. I highly recommend buying all your tickets for the main sites ahead of time because while everyone else waits in line, you walk right in with zero hassles. Our tickets allowed us passes to the Colosseum, Palantine Hill and the Roman Forum.
The Colosseum was absolutely incredible and was a bucket list moment for me. I had always wanted to see it in person and it did not disappoint. My mouth was agape the whole time. Everything about it was amazing… the size of it, the architecture of it, the history.
We spent at least an hour in it just wandering about, just being in the moment of having the chance to be there. I understand it needs another facelift which isn’t surprising since millions of tourists visit it each year. I just hope they are able to do whatever it takes for this piece of history to remain as it is today.
We then spent some time wandering through Palantine Hill. Palantine Hill is a place where the original Romans had their residences and apparently archaeologists are still making discoveries in the area.
From one side of Palantine Hill, there is an amazing view of the Roman Forum. We didn’t know this so when we looked over, we were in awe of the view.
We made our way down the steps to the Roman Forum to get a better look. Again, what amazed me was the sheer size of everything.
Before we knew it, we had spent all morning in ancient Rome. We wanted to check out the Pantheon so grabbed a bite to eat before checking it out. We needed our energy after all that walking! The Pantheon, like the one I saw in Paris, is just a massive structure. Apparently its dome roof is the largest unreinforced domed roof in the world.
We had tickets to the Borhese Gallery that afternoon so we slowly walked towards it and happened upon The Church of Saint Ignatius which was such a pleasant surprise. Gorgeous is how I would describe it. And the best part that there was barely anyone there unlike the churches we had seen prior. It was nice to step out of the busy roads to a such a quiet peaceful place.
The walk to the Borghese Gallery was brutal. I would say a good couple kilometers in 35 plus degree heat. We were dying! By the time we got there, I couldn’t wait to get inside its air conditioned walls! But it was nice to just take the time to stroll through its halls looking at all the art. The greatest part was that they basically kick everyone out after their allotted 2 hours but they had let us in prior to our set time, so we actually got the entire gallery to ourselves for about 20 minutes. Bliss.
My feet had horrible blisters at this point so we decided to skip the walk home and take the metro. Thank god!!! And then it was siesta time. I really enjoyed our daily little naps which was then followed by our afternoon snack which consisted of cheese, bread and wine. Oh how I loved the $3 euro bottles of wine you could buy that were so tasty! You can’t do that here!
Because of the blister issue, we decided to stay close to our room for dinner that night. We settled on a place literally 2 blocks away and ordered the usual wine which was Pinot Grigio. With it being so hot, it was the most refreshing thing to drink. Sue and I always shared an appy (usually Bruschetta or a Caprese salad) … again the tomatoes were just too darn good to not eat! The wine was definitely flowing that night. We were just having such a good time. Enjoying the conversation, enjoying the wine and the food.
And we were also enjoying the cute Italian men. So when they asked if they could show us the city, how could we say no? So glad we took them up on their offer because we would never have seen the Vatican at midnight like we did. Not a soul there except for a police car keeping watch. So beautiful.
We also would have never been taken to this park that overlooked all of Rome. The view was stunning. We sat on a park bench and just relaxed enjoying a beer that we bought at the concession stand.
We were so thankful to have been given the locals tour of Rome. We knew we had another big day planned so we said goodbye to our new friends and headed back to our room.
With another La Casa di Amy breakfast under our belts, we again walked to the metro and made out way to Vatican City. I couldn’t believe the line up at 9:00am. I don’t get why these people didn’t buy their tickets ahead of time. Standing in line in that hot sun for a couple hours would have been the death of me! We just walked around the lineup and right into the Vatican museum. We basically beelined it for The Sistine Chapel. It is breathtaking. Its decorated by the Renaissance greats Michelangelo, Raphael, Bernini and Botticelli. You have to be silent when you enter the chapel and you are not allowed to take any photographs but I happened to snap one before I realized you were not suppose to. You basically have to try and find a spot amongst the hundreds of people in there to get a good look at everything. You could spend hours looking at all the detail. Truly amazing.
We then wandered the rest of the halls of the Vatican Museum before getting in line for St. Peters Basilica. Knowing that they have a strict dress code, we made sure we brought a sweater to cover up with. They have a security check that only examines clothing for entry. So many people wearing inappropriate wear were turned away. Not sure why they bothered lining up because there are signs everywhere saying what the dress code is. So yes, you with the hot pants, you are not getting in! and don’t look so shocked! 😉 So we got in without any issues and made our way into the Basilica. I would say out of all of the churches and cathedrals we saw, this is the one that was the most impressive.
Another long morning/afternoon of walking which meant it was time to grab some lunch, then nap, then snack, then eat dinner. Really half the experience in Italy is looking forward to what you were going to eat and drink next. We picked Piazza Navona as the place we wanted to have our last dinner at in Rome. There are so many restaurants lining the square so we had lots to choose from. We had another wonderful, relaxing meal.
We really wanted to savour this last night in Rome, so we just wandered about afterwards, took in the architecture and the streets and the life and slowly made our way back to our room.
Oh Rome. How I absolutely loved you and would come back in a second. You inspired me. You made me happy. I miss you.