Italy!!! A destination we had been excited to visit together for a very long time, it finally made it to the top of the list. (We have a very long list, as I’m sure all you travel dreamers out there do). Knowing how many beautiful destinations there are to visit in Italy, we didn’t want to spread our selves too thin. We decided to split our 10 days of travel in Italy in half , first 5 spent…. Roaming round Rome….
Rome is a strangely set up City, for the most part you can Wander Purposely (You’ll catch the theme 🙂 ) and you’ll cover a lot of the city, hitting bright, lively Piazza after Piazza. Other attractions and sights take the use of the Rome public transport, which consists of the local buses or the very simple Metro system, Line A and Line B. Take your walking shoes, those ancient roads take their toll.
First day wandering, lead us to the famous Piazza Navona. Usually we would try to say stay away from these heavily tourist areas, but this square sets the Rome travels perfectly. Cobble stones, Alfresco dining, local artists and a couple of fountains out of a storybook. We sat down for our first Pizza and Peroni in the square and quickly realized all that instagram photo preparation worked on before arriving, was about to quickly be undone.
After a pasta and pizza fueled coma, onto day 2. Get on the metro, Line B, and head straight for “Colosseo Station”. As you can imagine, this will drop you right at the site of one of the most famous historic attractions in all of Europe, The Colosseum. If you can ignore the selfie stick street sellers and the hoards of tourists, The Colosseum is truly spectacular. Highly suggest taking up one of the kids selling tours on the street, You may have to endure the information being repeated in three different languages, but you will skip the lines and you’ll get information on the Roman Forum which we found just as interesting.
Energized by visiting the magnificent Colosseum, back in the centre of Rome you can wander for hours, until your feet finally give up on you and more bruschetta is needed. Every corner you turn will bring a new tiny slice of Piazza. Occasionally you’ll stumble across grander squares as we did when we found the Pantheon. The ancient Roman Temple is splendid inside, and well worth seeking out. This is a crowded area, and with that brings the danger of pick pockets. After reading so much about Rome pick pockets, we concluded we’ll be coming home without the lint from our pockets, but really it’s just being aware of your surroundings. I’m sure giving in to the fanny pack (BumBag) would keep you safe.
After a couple of days in the city, we took day three to venture to a nearby town, Anguuillara. Just over an hour outside of Rome, using the Italia rail, was the quaint little village. A romantic walk along the lakeside, stopped of at the local market for some homemade honey and back into City living. There’s no better way to get back into the thick of than the one and only Trevi Fountain. I’m sure the day time view is lovely, but the evening was magical. The Rome fountain lighting guy is extremely talented.
By Day 4 you’ll have your routine down and have your favourite little coffee shop to stop for the morning espresso and pastry. What you’ll learn about us is that we love coffee! What better country to be in. All espresso’d, we would recommend from the center of Rome, a short bus ride (or an epic walk as we found out) to Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo. A wonderful piece of Rome’s history. While your near this area, cross the river, you will find some ancient winding streets with restaurants and bars in the neighborhood of Trastevere. We had not come across too much in the tourist books about this area, you can lose yourself in the street music, and outside dining and drinks.
Our final day in Rome and the train wasn’t until the afternoon, so we can positively say if you have a few spare moments in the morning before catching your train to the Amalfi coast, The Vatican is not the attraction for this day. It was not hugely high on our list, but when in Rome and all that good stuff. The lines were outrageous, devout Catholics, and other non catholic sightseers were lined up, waiting for a glimpse of the Pope, or Tom Hanks filming the Da Vinci code 4. A quick wander around the Vatican wall, a photo in front of St Peters Cathedral and we left the ancient city feeling accomplished.
Rome is authentic, in the way it is not trying to put a shiny gloss on its streets and people for tourists. The roads are worn, the walls are dusty and the people are elegantly abrupt. These city attributes create a beautifully, balanced destination. From crowded, “selfie stick selling” attractions, to local espresso filled coffee shops with a “Ciao Ciao” and the classic Italian “Puffy”, brightly colored jacket. Arrivederci Rome!! We will be back!
For more on our Italian adventure, visit our post on Positano and the Amalfi Coast