01 November 2012

3 days in Rome, Italy

Italy! Rome! Pizza! Pasta! Gelati! LOL...

Ok so my first trip to Italy last month was a bit cliche, it cant be helped really, but id like to think that i did my best to find a few authentic moments here and there. Three days is not nearly enough time for Rome. There is SO much to see, so much food and gelati to eat...hehe, just so much! Yes, i know, enough with the exclamation marks. Three amazing days in Rome...i fell into the trap that inevitably everyone falls into, and that is, running around trying to see everything that you barely realise how fast the time is flying or give yourself enough time to just stop and absorb where you are. Despite that, i still had a brilliant time and it was marvelous being able to escape the oncoming cold London winter into a balmy 28 degrees Celsius and blue, blue sky each day i was there - utter bliss.
The Roman Forum
I could go on about every little thing, every tourist place but I'll let my pictures do the talking for me. What i will give you are the highlights of my trip - in no particular order.

Pantheon at night
1 - Walking around the winding alleyways trying to find a restaurant and, when my friend suggested a shorter route, saying "All roads lead to Rome" and it being literally true! Yes, i do realise how corny that is, still a highlight damn it! LOL!

2 - The Colosseum. No surprise there i admit, but there is something about seeing it right there in front of you...my first glance was from a bus on the way to the city centre from the airport at night. It just came out of nowhere, lit up in a warm amber glow, it hit me like a bus and took my breath away; i was in Rome. Even by day, its magnificence didn't fail to impress.

Colosseum by day
Colosseum by night
3 - The map room of the Vatican museum (little tip, it is worth booking ahead to skip the queues!) The museum is huge and full of amazing frescoes, art and artifacts, as a traveller though, i found the hall of maps fascinating, somehow someone had minutely detailed coastlines, villages, towns hundreds of years ago to extraordinary accuracy.

Map room in the Vatican Museum
4 - The hotel i stayed at - the Auditorium di Mecenate - was truly a hidden gem. Why? because your room comes with your own personal ceiling frescoe! Thats why! Of course it doesnt hurt that travellers have rated it 4.5 stars on Trip Advisor, affordable, in a good location, has breakfast delivered to your room included in the price, the people that work there are very friendly and very much Italian, especially the owner who is quite the character.

5 - How "meh" people who live there are about living among ancient ruins

Kids playing in a local park
6 - The ceiling of the Church of Sant'Ignazio di Loyola - the photo does not do it justice by the way, the painting is done in such a way that the ceiling appears to go a lot higher than it physically does.

 Trompe l'oeil ceiling of the Church of Sant'Ignazio di Loyola
7 - Watching an Italian opera (La Traviata) in an authentic Rome opera theater - they served gelati at intermission :)

8 - The food, Oh. My. God. the food. The most basic fettuccine bolognaise was devine, the house bread delicious and hot waiters a bonus. The trick with gelati is to get small portions so you can try more flavors.

9 - Good coffee (stay away from the tourist places, they serve crappy coffee), at a local joint across from my hotel with a pastry and women sitting nearby prattling away in Italian

delicious coffee and pastry breakfast at a local Roman cafe
10 - Condom vending machines on the street. It was a laugh out loud moment. It reminded me of the part in Eat, Pray, Love where they say the word for Rome is "Sex". I thought to myself 'so true' and took a photo for my friends back in London because i knew they wouldn't believe me.
Condom vending machine...now thats efficient, you can post your mail and pick up some condoms.

11 - I was only going to put in 10 highlights only but then i remembered the water fountains. They were everywhere. No need to buy bottled water, these fountains are free for everyone to drink from and have the most delicious, fresh cool and clean water. I drank and refilled my water bottle from these whenever i came across one.

I have already decided that Rome needs another trip, at a slower pace so i hope I'll be heading back there again soon. For now though, i hope you enjoyed this post and the photos. If you do have a highlight from your own trip to Rome, leave me a comment, I'd love to hear about it.

Vanishing Point at the Roman Forum

Vanishing Point.

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