Rome 2018 – A Spring City Break
My husband and I love travelling, or more the idea of travelling. We talk about it way more than we actually put it into action. Alas, being a thirty-something adult has its drawbacks. There is always something that comes up right? So after 8 years together and only 5 holidays, all of them in the USA, we decided on new years 2017 we would make more of a concerted effort to actually do it. After years of ‘Go big or go home’ we adopted the ‘Little and often’ concept instead. So one dreary night in January we took to Expedia.co.uk with our nectar point savings in search of a destination. After much too-ing and fro-ing looking at hotel reviews it was settled. Rome in April it was, right over our Wedding Anniversary. 2 birds with one massive aeroplane!
First off, the hotel. My was this an experience! We stayed at the Suite Sistina hotel on Via Sistina, right by the Spanish Steps in the heart of Rome. Only after doing some research did it then become apparent that the hotel is actually called ‘Suite Sistina for Lovers’!! Oh the room was a sight and a half. Purple mood lighting, romantic music streaming, rose petals, disco ball-esque spinning light feature, huge round bed, a Jacuzzi tub with a massive rainfall shower head coming from the ceiling into the tub. (There is no shower curtain or privacy at all so if you do go, make sure you are uber comfortable with your travel companion!!) This is in absolutely in no way a place for friends or family members to stay together! However I’m sure if you were coming to Rome with a friend or family you would look at appropriate hotels. If I was sharing a room I most definitely wouldn’t be booking one with a damn Jacuzzi tub in the middle! There was also a naughty room service type menu complete with full selection of, ahem, adult products.
There was a Nespresso machine, teas and coffees and complementary mini bar too which was amazing! There was a beer, soft drinks, still and sparkling water. (These things didn’t get restocked at all but we were only there for 2 nights so there was a perfect amount.) The soaps, shampoo and bath oils etc came in small glass jars, apparently in an effort to reduce their plastic usage. I’m still not quite sure how I felt about that to be honest. Bit weird? No? Just me…? The products were lovely though and plenty of them, of course these were refilled, or replaced I hope, every day when the room was cleaned. They smelled so similar to LUSH products!
Another amazing thing about the hotel was the breakfast! OMG I would go back for the breakfast alone. Each night on the door we were left a card with a full breakfast menu and we could tick as much as we wanted, stick it back on the door handle and it was delivered at time of your choice in the morning. Amazing! This hotel really do know how it’s done.
Vaycay to Rome and drink tea from my home town Dorset!
Anywhoo, awkward hotel bit out the way. We only had 2 nights in Rome so we wanted to make sure we saw all the main sights and get in as much food as humanly possible! First off is the Spanish Steps. A stones throw from our hotel and a popular tourist destination. It is also the area where all the good shops are from the Via del Babuino leading up to the Piazza del Popolo and back down the Via del Corso.
Not even the rain on our last day could ruin just how beautiful the Rome is. It just turns the pavement into a death trap! No joke! The Romans may have brought straight roads to the UK in 40 AD but they sure as shit haven’t done any repairs on their own since that time either. Every other step I was slipping on a loose cobblestone or a tripping on a broken curb. Roads in Rome are mean! Bring sensible footwear and a knee brace! OK OK, maybe I exaggerate and I did only have flip flops which didn’t help.
Pure beauty around every corner.
One of, if not the, most popular Piazza in Rome. The Piazza Navona. Full of fountains, statues, restaurants and selfie taking tourists. As nice as it is to sit Al Fresco with a glass of wine and soak up the atmosphere it it incredibly expensive! One prosecco and one Virgin Cocktail costs a few euros less than dinner and drinks for 2 just off the beaten track. It has to be done though, I love nothing more than sitting and people watching. We got into the habit of checking restaurant ratings on trip advisor and 9 times out of 10 the ones in the populated tourist spots had low reviews which is a shame.
Next we walked the Pont Sant’Angelo over the River Tiber towards Vatican City. Since it was Sunday, the holiest of days, it was a busy one. We didn’t head into the museum itself because A) it was redonkulously busy and B) I had read up that it was the the done thing to enter religious buildings with a certain amount of skin on show. So me and my chest\shoulder\arm baring camisole top just sat and absorbed some sun.
A few seconds after taking this pic I got viciously assaulted by feral unsupervised child with plastic sword. Little shit! I am still sporting a hefty bruise 2 weeks later I might add.
Lets just take a minute to appreciate how beautiful Roman architecture is. Pristine marble, fountains, columns and statues everywhere. It really is one of the most stunning places I have ever been in my life and I cannot wait to go back again. I’m no history boff and you really don’t have to be to appreciate Rome for what it is.
Day 2 is Colosseum day. After another mahoosive breakfast we began the short 45 ish minute walk from our hotel towards the Colosseum. It was another scorcher of a day so my social anxiety was already off the scale at the thought of being cattle herded. We were given a tip to head to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum entrance first to get a joint entry to the Colosseum without the queue. Weeeeell ….. apparently about a gazillion people had that very same tip and we had to queue for almost 2 hours. However once we were onside it was totally worth it. There was no cattle herding, it was not crowded at all and turns out it was still a shorter queue. Bonus Jonus!
Sightseeing done we started the trek back to the hotel to soak my weary legs and freshen up for an evenings mooch. My feet really were beyond repair at this point so we really didn’t walk too far at all. We had an amazing romantic dinner for our wedding anniversary and took a slow walk to the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. It would have been lovely to see them in the daylight but it looks just as pretty and impressive at night. The buildings are beautifully back lit too! Rome really is as beautiful by night as it is by day. There are very few street lights and a lot of up-lit buildings.
And now onto my favourite part, FOOD! Oh I would move to Italy for the food alone. It is amazing! They take so much pride in their food and although the menus vary very little from restaurant to restaurant there is still variation to each dist everywhere you go. I may have fallen in love with cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper). A simple yet delicious pasta dish, pasta, butter and lashings of Pecorino Romano, Parmesan cheese and black pepper,and yes I may have had it 3 times in 24 hours but it was so bloody amazing and every restaurant has its own take on it. Of course the pizzas were outstanding too. I mean why wouldn’t they be right? Its Italy!
Just having a light lunch and gelato with an iconic landmark behind me. No biggie! Also no blog post would be complete without the obligatory awkward selfie. I would also like to point out that this is the moment I used the selfie function and flip screen on my camera for the first time, hence the not looking into the lens concentration face!
Classic example of the reason I don’t appear this side of the camera too often. I really do lack that natural photogenic flare.
Speaking of desserts, we couldn’t come to Rome without having a traditional canollo and tiramisu. On our last day we had a wander through the shopping district by the Spanish Steps and stumbles across this little gem called Pompi claiming to be the Kingdom of Tiramisu. Boy was it! There were so many varieties! The shop was crammed full so I couldn’t take a pic of the counter but trust me, it was to die for! Apparently this was a ‘single serving’ for something like 4 Euros and it was enormous! Like wise with the canollo, absolutely huge and oh so amazing.
Check out their Instagram page. It really speaks for itself.
And there we have it, the highlights of our trip to Rome. Phew! long post alert right!?! Well done if you made it this far. It was so amazing and so romantic I cannot wait to go back. The weather in April was amazing and its only a 2 hour flight from London. Although we are both mega fans of the States we are so excited to explore more of Europe together. Where are your favourite places to travel? I’d love to hear about them. Point me to any travel blogs you love reading too!