I have been to the eternal city twice now. The first time was the first stop on our adventure. It was all about budgeting, cheap pasta and how to get through the day in a different country with no 3G or parents. The second time was a weekend full of fancy food, naughty Prosecco bubbles and more gelato than I care to admit. They were so different in experience, but one thing the same? Beautiful, beautiful Rome.
Walking down the wide road from Altare Della Patria to the Colosseum is probably one of the most amazing stretches of walkway. You’re walking along and everywhere you look your eyes can’t help but stumble on another ruin or treasure from ancient times. Behind you is a masterpiece of white marble; the most grand building in all of Rome in honour of the founder of new Italy that stands proud in the centre. In front of you stands the ‘collseo’ the most famous ruins and the most amazing history, its quite unbelievable to believe what happened there even when its right in front of you. In between these two treasures – Palatine Hill. A peaceful mix of pretty trees and gardens within an ancient town that is now just brick and ruin.
One of the reasons this trip was so special was the place we stayed – Trastevere. We stayed there on a recommendation and booked our accommodation with airbnb (see my post here) and it turned out to be the best place for us. It was the perfect mix of tourist hotspot and local living. It was 15 minutes walk to the centre of Rome, and 20 minutes in the opposite direction to Vatican City. But in Trastevere was like a different world – small streets with flowers on the balcony, a quiche bar on every corner, quaint churches and squares buzzing with nightlife. I would definitely recommend it, and it’s cheaper than the centre of Rome! Massive bonus. There was a little bar we found that was 2euro for a big bottle of Peroni, we were very merry.
As well as seeing the usual tourist stuff, we also walked. We walked in all different directions for a long time seeing what we could find. Well, what we found was a fab juice bar (that I was craving, Italy runs on carbs), Laudree – a famous French brand that sells the BEST macaroons, and a gelato shop with over 150 different flavours of ice-cream! Honestly that was an absolute FIND. We thought we would go in because it looked busy, so must have been good. We walked in and was greeted with the biggest fridge of ice-cream. After gazing for what felt about 6 hours, we picked our jaws up off the floor and got investigating. After much consideration (me and Dan have massive sweet tooth’s) we decided on chocolate orange and caramel nutella. Good, good choices.
I have also found out a few more things about Dan in those couple of days, which are inevitable when you spend a decent amount of time in each others company, and one of those things is that he cannot make a decision under pressure to save his life. This, I have learnt, can lead to us having a bottle of prosseco instead of a glass, him choosing vanilla ice-cream when there are 150 flavours to choose from and ordering a meal he didn’t want because he doesn’t like to keep the waiter waiting. And if that’s the only negative thing I have to say about him after spending 3 days with the lad, I’m pretty impressed – and lucky. I thought we’d fall out at the airport in England. I have no faith.
Unfortunately, the Trevi fountain was under construction (massive frown, its my most favourite) so we couldn’t throw a penny in to return to Rome. But hopefully I will soon. When I do I will definitely be staying in Trastevere and trying to find that gelato shop again…
PS. Couple of tips:
-If you do stay in the Trastevere area, find out a restaurant called Trattoria de Lucia. Another blogger recommended it to me and it was great! Its a few streets away from the centre part, but well worth the hunt. The pannacotta is a treat.
-It doesn’t matter what time you go to the Vatican – it’s always busy. Don’t let the massive lines put you off queuing, and take the extra time to go to the top of the dome. It costs only a few euros, it’s quite a walk but the views are unlike any other. You can see all the way across the City to the Colosseum.
-On the viewing balcony of the Altare Della Patria, on the back bit that looks on to the Colosseum, there’s a bar. I didn’t realise it was there last time as I didn’t walk round that far, but it’s worth a drink simply for the views. Before we started our walk back to Termini to go home,we went there and had a drink (prosecco for me because I’m so fancy and all), sat and stared at everything around us. The ruins on one side and a marble masterpiece to your other side, whilst your sipping alcohol. Perfect way to end a perfect trip in Italia.