“When in Rome, Do as the Romans Do.” Where else would you want to spend your weekend break? Rome is Italy’s most thriving tourist spot and for good reason. The city is rich in art, history, ruins and architecture. The food and wine should not be questioned since the true potential of Italian food has to be eaten in the country. The people are downright friendly and very welcoming when meeting new people. Of course we cannot forget The Vatican City which is the smallest country in the world and houses the famous ‘The Creation of Adam’ by Michelangelo.
Here’s what I got up to…
Day 1 – 26th Aug
Morning – We arrived at Maison Imperiale where The Colosseum is located just 200 yards away so perfect if you want to beat those morning queues. We started our train journey towards the Spanish Steps and bought our first gelato at this ridiculously overpriced place called Barcaccia. Watch out for tourist traps like these (if they don’t have menu prices try to avoid them). We walked down further to find the famous Pantheon and the beautiful streets of Piazza della Rotonda.
It was built in order to link the Spanish Embassy. The plaza became the Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Square).
The pantheon was first built as a temple to all gods.
Afternoon – Even though it was 35c we explored as much as we can so we can become familiar with our surroundings when we do come back (we’ve done 23k steps!). It was also perfect weather to hunt for free water. Save your euros and drink from the street fountains instead. Filtered, clean and cold – makes Brita water taste awful.
These fountains are licensed by the City of Rome and it’s tested for purity many times each year. Thank you Rome for saving us from dehydration.
My favourite Italian dish is Seafood Linguine. This one was served with just clams but it was still absolutely delicious.
Day 2 – 27th Aug
Morning – We spend the whole day at the Vatican City. The tour started at 10am and ended around 2pm. I won’t bore you with details of the Vatican (I could write my whole experience there) but these are the places the tour guide showed us (in order):
1. Vatican Museum
2. Sistine Chapel
3. St. Peter’s Basilica
The verdict? A place not to be missed and I would highly recommend booking a tour guide if you wish to understand more of its history. Incase you’re wondering we booked the tour with Viator. Don’t look at the price, it’s worth every penny. The Vatican Gardens and Bramante Staircase were not included in the tour.
The museum contains one of the largest art collections in the world.
Did you know that this isn’t the original St. Peter’s Basilica? Pope Julius II took the old structure down and build a new one.
Afternoon – After the tour finished we decided to visit the Papel Tombs which was the final resting place of the popes including Saint Peter himself. After a few excuses we motivated ourselves to climb to the very top of St. Peter’s Basilica’s dome. It was tough but the views were worth it in the end. We left the Vatican City and sat down by the Tiber River to rest our feet.
Will you take the risk and climb all the way to the top?
Tiber River is the second longest river in Italy (406km).
Evening – We passed Castel Sant’angelo along the way then made our final stop at Trevi Fountain. We didn’t stay too long as it was crowded but I can imagine it’s more beautiful at night. For dinner we decided to go local where we can see the Colosseum lit up. Of course it won’t be a cheap meal. Despite the reviews we dined at Hostaria al Gladiatore. The service was wonderful and food was delicious. We ended up ordering a bottle of red because it worked out to be cheaper. We called it a night after that.
Day 3 – 28th Aug
Morning/Afternoon – We woke up early to visit The Colosseum. We only spend two hours since there was hardly any shade inside. The whole morning and afternoon we just walked around by foot. Where? No where in particular. We explored as much as we can especially where the tourists don’t visit. You would be surprised how much graffiti are sprayed on these city walls. The street art is quite amazing. We tried the gelato and mini doughnuts at Lindt Chocolate Town. My personal favourite was the latte flavour which was super creamy. After a few more walks we decided to go back to our apartment and refresh.
The Colosseum was built between 72 AD and 80 AD under Emperor Vespasian.
Would you call this art despite the messy graffiti?
Evening – We spend our last meal at this lovely town (Viale Aventino) just a couple of minutes away from The Colosseum. All you can hear is the sound of clinking glass, people’s laughter, vespas and jazz music playing in the background. I can’t remember the name of the restaurant which was unfortunate but they served amazing bruschetta and homemade ravioli. We had another gelato as a final treat.
Pistachio and Apricot Rum Gelato.