… it downpours.
What do you do if your a twenty-something couple, been married for 2 and a half years and embark on a train holiday through Europe? Visit Rome of course.
(I know you’ve already noticed the creases in J’s shirt ^ – you’ve just gotta embrace it when you have no iron!)
Rome was all sorts of wow – good and bad. Highlights? Plenty. Pitfalls? Just one – tourists. I’ve already mentioned this on Instagram, so I’ll get it out of the way first and try not to sound like too much of a pessimist. Rome has plenty to offer, but as a result of this it draws thousands to the architectural city every year, which means only spending two days here will have you standing in line or fighting for a seat for the majority of the time. So chums, if your thinking of visiting Rome, allow yourself at least 3 days and book everything in advance!
Onto the special stuff…
We arrived in Rome around 4pm after a train journey down from Venice. As soon as we jumped off the metro we felt the slap of warm air straight into our faces as we began the search for our Airbnb. Unfortunately, this one was a little tricky to find so a few streets wrong later, one whopping hill to climb and a lift as old as my great grandmother, we turned up to our private room, drenched in sweat. The start of our trip here was like a scene out of the Inbetweeners film, our room was old and a little tired, with air con that sounded no quieter than a lawn mower. We took a few hours to chill out after a hectic afternoon and showered ready for an evening stroll and dinner. 2 hours later, cleaned with fresh clothes on we put our shoes on to leave. Turned off the air con and heard nothing but torrential rain outside our window (bloody lawnmower disguised the noise didn’t it). This was the first day of the whole trip that I’d decided to straighten my hair! Determined not to let it stop us, we grabbed a freebie umbrella that our host kindly laid out for us, only to return it in need of a bigger one if we were going to survive this downpour. Turns out, we’d made a cracking choice in picking the golfing umbrella, especially as two minutes later it was bright sunshine and 28 degrees.
The walks around Rome are highly enjoyable, a lot of mileage covered but enjoyable. There’s stories surrounding the city at every turn and the small narrow streets are full of complete charm. Our favourite evenings wanders were around the Trastevere area + also the Palazzo Navona. Good vibes certainly evident here. Jason and I told ourselves that for every two days we spend in a new place we will eat at a typical tourist joint, clearly aimed around atmosphere and the second evening would be spent in a local/family run restaurant that had great reviews on taste. The first night was a typical outdoorsy restaurant that grabbed the attention of passers by due to the buskers that sang directly outside. The service was good and the food was a nice standard. Dolce Vita, your salmon pasta was delicious and the wine a great compliment. Lonely planet actually recommended our second choice of restaurant and this place truly outdid the term ‘cosy’. With a queue already formed prior to opening time, graffiti on the walls and the most basic tables you’ve ever set your eyes on, we made ourselves comfortable at our table for two in the corner and tucked into some slow cooked veal. Bliss. This place was called Augusto, in Trastevere.
Whilst on the topic of food, it would be rude not to mention the biggest word that floats around Italy… GELATO! My go-to flavours are 100% one scoop of pistachio and one scoop of mint choc chip. Jason’s being rum & raisin and then his new found love for stracchiatella. It’s true that the Italians really do make it best and no evening was complete without a walk through the streets – gelato in hand.
I can promise that we did more than just eat on our trip, honest.
We walked around the Colosseum for the whole morning on the first day and I’m so glad we did as it was one of the highlights of our time here. We also took plenty of walks around the many squares and stopped for lunch outside a bustling market. The trevi fountain was gorgeous to see at night all lit up and the vatican by day. Stunning architecture surrounds you in Rome, you’ll find it difficult to find somewhere that trumps it in that department!
TOP TIP: If your visiting and haven’t pre-booked tickets then grab the metro to the Colosseum, upon exit head to the right of the colosseum which is right in front of you and keep an eye out for the queue that starts in front of Palatine Hill. Here there are some small kiosks that allow you to buy a dual ticket for Palatine hill as well as the colosseum which means waiting in a short queue then crossing over to skip the large queues waiting at the colosseum entrance.