Well hello to you my reader chums!
Stunning sights, gelato galore, scrumptious dishes, historic significance and heart warming culture, what an exceptional city Rome is! Ever since I can remember, I've always dreamt of visiting the Italian lands, delving into the history, tasting their delicious culinary wonders and soaking up the cosy character it holds.
Last week, my twin sister Maria and I ventured out onto our Rome adventure and discovered all the hidden beauties, here's what we got up to:
Wednesday 17th August - Day 1:
After a stay in an airport hotel, we left around 4.00am for our 6.40am flight from London Gatwick to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome for 10.10am, our transfer took us to our hotel, Gregorio VII Luxury Suites and we were so amazed with its contemporary flair. Prior to the trip, I booked us 'skip the line' tickets for the Vatican at 2pm. We then freshened up and were ready for the Vatican City!
Maria and I
Once collecting our tickets, we took our time walking around the numerous astounding Vatican museums, including the awe inspiring Sistine Chapel and Raphael rooms. I was utterly impressed with the intricate detail on all the ceiling artwork, religious paintings and many artefacts we discovered; too incredible for words.
After the Vatican Museums, we made our way back to the remarkable St Peters Square and took a few photos at the location! I was blown away by the vast size and the striking buildings its surrounded with. My favourite part was St Peters Basilica, the church found in this square - As soon as we entered, I was mesmerised with its high ceilings, detailed artwork, statues and magnificent interior; the whole church is stunning. No picture is able to justify the beauty, it's one of those places in life where you're at awe with everything you're witnessing.
St Peters Square
St Peter's Basilica exterior
St Peter's Basilica interior
The first day meant our first taste of the scrumptious Italian cuisine. Half way through our sight seeing, we popped into a gelato shop and tasted the esteemed Italian ice cream; it certainly didn't disappoint. Once walking round every aspect of the Vatican we wished to see, we found a nearby restaurant and enjoyed our first meal; spaghetti Bolognese, veggie pizza and bread; absolutely charming.
Thursday 18th August - Day 2:
The second day was when we explored the main centre of Rome, visiting the likes of the Colloseum, Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and Parthenon; my favourite day of the three. On that morning we hoped on a bus from our hotel to Piazza Venezia, one of Rome's main city areas. We found a breakfast eatery and enjoyed a couple of delicious pastries before looking around the area. Our first stop was Altar of the Fatherland, a distinctive palace like structure which stands in the middle of the square.
We had a good old venture around, taking pictures and admiring the surrounding views from the highest points!
Then, it was time to visit the incredible Colloseum, a sight I've wanted to see for the longest time! We got our tickets and walked on over - I couldn't believe my eyes when the significant structure stood in front of me; it was captivating. I loved looking around and learning about the history behind such a renowned location.
Me and Maria inside the Colosseum
Me outside the Colosseum
Next to the Colosseum was the Arch of Constantine, the largest Roman triumphal arch. Initially it reminded me of the Arc de Triomphe in France and a similar version I saw when visiting Barcelona. Nevertheless, the sight was wonderful and what truly amazes me is how well the structure has been preserved over time. Afterwards, we went for a spot of late lunch and I tasted my first ever authentic Italian lasagne! Safe to say the dish was gone in 10 minutes, I enjoyed it that much.
Aside from the Colloseum, one of my other favourite spots had to be the Trevi Fountain. When I first laid my eyes on the sensational structure, I couldn't believe it. Despite the mass of tourists, the pouring water sound echoed, creating a calm vibe in this location; it was stunning. We returned here quite a few times afterwards as we both loved it so much. To keep with tradition, we threw a coin in and made a wish (fingers crossed if it comes true.)
Me and Maria at the Trevi Fountain
Another area I wanted to visit beforehand was Piazza Navona as I'd read many beautiful things. The calm yet heart warming buzz in the air, cosy eateries, stalls and astounding architecture made for a delightful evening location. We stopped for dinner here in a classic Italian eatery where I opted for the most yummy pizza! I actually ate the entire thing and we even went for gelato afterwards, the best way to complete a sightseeing day.
Me with the best pizza ever!
On our nightly stroll back to the bus, we came across the Pantheon! It looked gorgeous under the night sky with the surrounding outdoor lights shining through. We found out on our birthday, 21st June aka the summer solstice, an event is put on where the change of the sun gives a beautiful light show through the Pantheon.
Friday 19th August - Day 3:
For our third and final day, we aimed to do a little bit of shopping, soak up the last bit of sightseeing we hadn't done and taste our final heavenly dishes. We bought tickets for a hop on hop off bus tour, to take us round the entire city and explain all about Rome's fine history! It was an opportunity for us to absorb a last look at the entire location and get off at points we weren't able to see yet.
One of the spots I'd been dying to see was the famous Spanish Steps, located in Piazza di Spagna, an area filled with high end stores and amazing buildings. I'm glad we were able to finally come across this beauty because in person the Spanish Steps and square look even more magnificent.
Fountain below the Spanish Steps.
Another part we hadn't visited was Circus Maximus, an ancient Roman chariot stadium. The bus stopped off here so we were able to admire the historic site from afar.
For our last supper, we discovered a hidden gem of a restaurant, tucked away by the Trevi Fountain. Al Picchio had been running since the 1930s and served up the tastiest food I've ever had, I would highly recommend!! We shared bruschetta and mozerella balls for starters and I chose pesto pasta for mains. I can't even describe to you how moreish this dish was; absolute heaven. I wish pesto pasta tasted that scrummy in England!
Maria and I in our favourite restaurant.
On our final day we had gelato twice ( I mean when in Rome..), the first was in a little gelaterria nestled away from the hustle and bustle of the Trevi Fountain. I got Nutella and Cinnamon; it was truly the best ice cream I'd had on the entire trip ( pictured above). We also had more gelato after our last supper in a place located right next to the Trevi Fountain, bon appetite!
Saturday 20th August - Day 4:
Ciao Roma - It was time for our 6am flight to the English soils once more, here's to our next adventure!
I hope you enjoyed an overlook of our Rome trip! Have you ever visited?
Thank you for reading <3