Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A Roman Holiday - Part I


I've been a lover of Italy and all things italian for years now, despite never seeing most of the beautiful country - three days in Piza as an 8 year old girl was enough to make me fall in love. This February, I ended up having a lot of annual leave left to use, so it seemed like the perfect excuse to see more of Italy, as it's something I've been meaning to do for what seems like forever. So last week, we headed out to Rome for four days of italian bliss (expect to see lots of eating and touristing over the coming weeks here on sail away!).

As it was still February and out of season for Rome, we ended up being able to see so much of the city in such a short space of time, as we didn't really need to queue for anything like you'd need to in the height of summer. With so much to cover, I'll be posting a wrap up of each day in Rome, and sharing all of the photos with you over the coming days and weeks. There will also be an 'Ultimate Guide to Rome' coming your way pretty soon, but for now, grab a snack and settle down for day 1 of our Roman adventure...


As it was our first day, and we'd arrived fairly late the night before, we decided to give ourselves a little lie in to give ourselves the energy we needed for  the full day of touristing that we had ahead of us. A lazy morning also gave us the chance to really enjoy our apartment in Rome. We rented this apartment through AirBnB and couldn't have asked for more. The apartment was centrally located (under a minute walk to the Trevi Fountain and a stones throw away from the Spanish Steps), decorated beautifully and had it's own roof terrace! The roof terrace was lovely in the sunshine, and the perfect spot for some breakfast before kicking off our day. 


As our apartment was so close to the Trevi Fountain, or Fontana Di Trevi (which I think sounds much more romantic than our English version!), we decided to head there first before the crowds descended. The fountain was pretty deserted when we arrived, so it was the perfect opportunity to take it all in and truly appreciate its beauty. The Trevi Fountain is one of my favourite places in Rome, I love the magic of the fountain and as you can see from the photographs, it really is a beauty, especially in the morning light. 

With the fountain being so quiet, it gave us plenty of time to throw our three coins into the water (although I completely messed up and threw them over the wrong shoulder, so we planned on coming back to rectify the situation!). After we'd all thrown our coins into the water and had a bit of fun with our cameras (followed by being whistled at by the armed guards and almost losing my shoe in the water!) we headed on our way, just in time too as there were about 7 tour groups headed our way! 



After our time at the Trevi Fountain, we decided to walk the 20 minutes to the train station, where we would be catching a sightseeing bus. Walking to the starting point was lovely, and gave us time to see a bit more of Rome in all of its beauty. Rome really is a very pretty city, walking through the back streets only went to prove this further. Each corner you turn has something else to offer, and we managed to stumble across some beautiful piazzas, churches, fountains and of course vespas on the way! If you're visiting Rome, I really would suggest taking some comfy shoes and spending some time walking the city...you never know what you may discover!

I'm not normally one for sightseeing busses when I travel, but the attractions in Rome are fairly spread out, so the hop-on-hop-off bus really was the best option for getting from a to b. The bus also came with an audio player which explained some of the city to us as we whizzed across it, which I found really helpful. Rome is such a diverse city and so rich in history, a lot of which I would have just walked past, not knowing why each building is so special. 



When the bus took us past the Colosseum, we decided to hop off and explore a little. As it was now around 4pm, the queues to get inside were huge, so we decided to return on the Sunday to go inside when the lines would have likely died down a little. Instead, we walked around Palatine Hill, discovering quaint little Roman churches and statues, along with the ruins from Ancient Rome. History was always one of my favourite subjects at school, particularly ancient history, so I was in my element here...it also helped that the sun decided to show it's pretty little face! I loved seeing the Colosseum, its something that has been on my bucket list for years now, so to be able to see it in person was just so special. It really is amazing seeing how much of the magnificent building has survived all of these years, and also how big it was - it probably sounds silly but I never imagined it would be as big as it was! 

After we'd walked around the Colosseum (and avoided about 2 million men trying to sell us selfie sticks), we were feeling a little peckish so we decided to head back to the apartment. We made full use of our beautiful roof terrace over the five days we were in Rome, and Friday was no different - we set up camp overlooking the Vatican City, and watching the sun go down as we ate our bodyweight in burrata, italian meats, bread and red wine before heading out a little later for pizza in one of the restaurants in Piazza Navona - the perfect end to the day if you ask me!

Stay tuned for days 2 and 3 coming up soon - xo Becky  

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