Sunday, 18 March 2018

WHEN IN ROME (FOR THE FIRST TIME)

Six whole months have passed since I visited the actual city of dreams for the first time and I'm still craving another trip back. Like pronto, please.

We all know how I love Paris for being the dreamiest city ever, but my darling Rome, you're in close second. 

Back in the day, my mama lived there for a year (I'm not jealous one bit, I promise), but sadly had never returned in all the years since leaving it behind, so the whole trip was far more special than being just another city break.

Rome is nothing short of wonderful, there's heaps to do, see and explore, and don't even get me started on the history because it'll probably result in me crying. Yeah, I'm really emotional over history.

So, without further ado, I'm gonna give you a wee rundown on my fave spots (obviously it's gonna feature most of the main attractions because hello, this was my first time in Italy!) and re-watch The Lizzie McGuire Movie to feel nostalgic for multiple reasons.

Be warned, it's gonna be lengthy post.

THE SPANISH STEPS



Naturally, the first day was so jam packed that I don't know how we still had legs or feet left at the end of the day. Do you ever just arrive at a new place and want to devour everything it has to offer within in the first twenty-four hours? I do, and that's my weakness.

I heard some mixed reviews about the Spanish Steps in terms of how it is to view in reality - and I get that, I really do because they're stairs - but the view from the top is seriously something else. It's worth the wheezing and realisation that you're really not fit enough.

VIA CONDOTTI



You can't be a Fashion student in Rome without taking a walk down Via Condotti (and crying outside Gucci's window). Italy is home to so many major luxury brands, so this is a much if you want to really treat yourself, or just window shop longingly until your mum moves you along because no, you are not spending all your savings on a Gucci bag.

It's a rather narrow street (just opposite the Spanish Steps) but their window displays, and visual merchandising, is just next level.


THE PANTHEON



Honesty hour; The Pantheon didn't impress me one bit, soz. It was exciting from the side because it amazes you how such buildings are still standing in this day and age, however from the front all I did was take a few photos (but every single one looked the same) and then exited the area to find something more interesting, and probably food. 

By no means am I saying to not have a nosey at it down there, because it's a Rome must-see, but don't expect to be wowed.


COLOSSEUM



Do, however, expect to be wowed by the Colosseum because holy guacamole, it's unreal.

We stepped out of the Metro station and it's quite literally outside the front doors, you can't miss it. As the weather was so hot, and we just wanted to explore the area and see it up close from the outside, we didn't take the tour inside or do any of that kinda thing while we were in Rome, we decided our best option was to enjoy it on our own times for this trip. Next time I fully intend to do tours and all that jazz.


Opposite the Colosseum there are tonnes of ruins, some of which you can pay to go in and see, or you can view it from the other side of a fence for free. If you love history (like I do endlessly), I would definitely recommend taking a walk down from the Metro station (cross the road and take a right, then keep walking) to the Roman Forum to see the ruins. You can pay to get into the grounds, however if you keep walking straight down the road, the first left turning you come to (beware there's an incline) allows you to see so much that it's probably not worth paying unless you really want to see everything up close.

TREVI FOUNTAIN



If I'm to choose my favourite attraction, in the whole of Rome, it has to be the Trevi Fountain, without a shadow of a doubt. 

For as long as I live, I'm pretty sure that I won't forget rounding the corner and seeing this with my own 2 eyes for the first time. It's breathtaking, I can't simplify it any further than that.

No matter what time of day you head there, it's jam packed with tourists, there's no escaping that, but after seeing it both in the day and the evening, my tip would be to head down there at night. We arrived there around 10/11pm and you could barely move but the atmosphere is something very special. The way it's lit up is stunning and I think I'm about to cry just thinking about it.

It almost has the same effect on me as the Eiffel Tower does. And trust me, that's saying something.

However, as luck would have it, the lens on my Olympus broke. Yeah, 3 days into the trip and the day before going down to the Vatican. Devastated didn't even cut it. On the up side, I'm just glad it last as long as it did.

VATICAN CITY


First thing's first, unless you're paying, be prepared for a very long wait to enter St Peter's Basilica. I think we were there around 3 hours (in really insane heat) before we managed to get through security, and even saw families being turned away after that wait because they had their shoulders exposed. That's a major note to make, make sure you have something with you to cover your shoulders if you're there in summer. I threw on a cardigan which was fine once you were inside the building because it was much cooler in there than outside.

The same goes for all Church's and places of worship, cover those shoulders.

Once inside, you're mesmerised and blown away. Despite being raised a Catholic since I was born, I'm the least religious person you could wish to meet, but I can appreciate beauty and architecture - so for that alone - it's worth it. 


THE REST



There's so much I can boast about in this city, there's something new and exciting around every corner and I spent the whole trip mesmerised and transfixed. The city is utterly beautiful and virtually everyone we met were so lovely, helpful and friendly. 


Considering we were in the home of gelato, we had approximately twice, what a crying shame. However, this was so lush that I could probably eat it every day for the rest of my life. We were wandering around Trastevere, headed over the River Tiber and found ourselves walking down some streets that we later found led us to the Colosseum, when we stumbled across Gelateria ai Cerchi which is on Via dei Cerchi. If you're in the area, you must try it out, it's approximately a 15 minute walk from the Colosseum.


I really can't recommend out hotel enough, it was basic but when you're on a city break, you really only need a cheap base to sleep and Hotel Continentale provided just that. Besides, if that doesn't win you over, The Yellow Bar across the street has the best breakfasts, for such a reasonable price, that we ate there every morning. Gimme the pancakes with chocolate chips now please.


Theatre of Pompey, the location of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44 BC.


Is it too soon to head back?

S xo
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