{ITALIA} ROMAN HOLIDAY

roma trevi fountain

{Fontana di Trevi}

One year ago today I was arriving in Rome!  In May 2014, my husband and I took a two week trip to Italy.  My grandmother left me a small bit of money.  I wanted to use it for something that would make her happy.  Neither of us had been to Europe so this trip was extraordinary for us!  It has obviously been months and months since our trip, but I wanted to be really thoughtful when writing about this experience.  It was life-changing in some ways, stressful at times, and truly unforgettable.  I will post every week for the next several weeks, since our trip consisted of 3 distinct parts-all with their own amazing sights and memories.

Roma:  The Eternal City {Day 1-5}

Rome is an amazingly busy city!  Scooters zip by, cars navigate streets the width of a jogging path, and people fill the streets day and night.  We loved the energy and felt comfortable as soon as we arrived.  Aaron and I quickly learned how we DID NOT want to travel.  Our first two days in Rome were jam packed and crazed with historical sites and museums. And miles and miles of walking.  By the end of the night two, after we left the Vatican, we finally broke down and took our first cab.  As I leaned back in the seat to rest my head I muttered out loud, “If we do that again tomorrow, I will hate Italy and I will hate you.”  A lesson quickly learned:  You don’t need to see it all.

roma street fun

Click through to read more about our trip and all of my tips for Rome….

roma street fun 2

Aaron’s goal was to drink wine at every meal, excluding breakfast.  Mission accomplished!  We had been told that the house wine at every restaurant would be delicious and very inexpensive.  Both were true! We drank our way through Italy and never once had a hangover.  How is that possible?  I became obsessed with gelato.  My favorite was one scoop of raspberry with one scoop of lemon.  It was not only a mid-day treat, but also a meal replacement and an appetizer on the way to dinner.  No apologies here.

roma piazza navona

roma colosseo

roma eternal city

roma st peters

roma vaticani

love for italy

1.  We stayed just steps from the Trevi Fountain.  I would sneak down the cobble stone street early in the morning before the crowds arrived.  Of all the sights, immense and grand, I think this spot was my absolute favorite.  Most likely because I could enjoy it quietly and for long stretches of time.

2.  Our third day in Rome was like a dream.  We slept late, spent time sitting at the Spanish Steps, explored the Villa Borghese {a large park}, ate gelato for lunch, visited the Borghese Gallery {awe-inspiring}, and treated ourselves to an elegant dinner out!  Europe done right.

3.  I loved always being a little lost.

4.  Aaron discovered pistachio gelato and never ordered another flavor.  He has tried it here in the states and has been sorely disappointed.

TIPS

1.  Travel like you would in the United States.  Even Italy can’t make you love endless hours of site seeing.

2.  Download and use Trip Advisor City Guides.  Use offline, no data needed!  It uses the GPS from your phone for maps!  It was the only resource we needed while out and about.  It has a great function of saving your favorites, so you can remember when you get home.

3.  Download Rick Steves Audio Europe.  Skip the lines for the cumbersome audio tours at all the big sights in Rome.  Aaron and I shared headphones and listened to Steve’s narration.  Highly recommend this app!  For Rome alone he has audio guides for The Colosseum, The Forum, Jewish Ghetto, The Pantheon, St. Peter’s Basilica, The Sistine Chapel, and several walking tours.  So AWESOME!  {oh, and free!}

 

Stay//

Hotel Accademia | Piazza Accademia di S.Luca,74

Perfect for us.  Nothing fancy, but clean and comfortable.  Location was centrally located, with the Trevi Fountain and the best gelato just steps away.  Breakfast was included each morning.

Do & See//

There is so much to see and do.  My top five were Galleria Borghese, St. Peter’s, Colliseum/Forum, Piazza Novano, and Villa Borghese.

Eat//

These were our favorite spots!

Osteria da Fortunata – Fresh pasta made in the window.  Delicious and friendly.

Gelateria Valentino – My favorite in all of Rome.

Tratoria da Luigi – Many locals here on a Friday.  Eat in the piazza.  Enchanting.

Osteria del Pavone – Our last meal in Italy with my cousins.

Cul de Sac– Go late afternoon/early evening for wine and bites.  Always a line.

Pierluigi – Our splurge.  Fanciest place we dined, but it was worth it!

{Do your research and plan where you think you will want to eat.  Most tourist locations have restaurants nearby with mediocre food.  Walk a bit to have a delicious meal.  Also many close between lunch and dinner so remember to eat during Italian meal times.  Be prepared to eat late!}

Oh, la dolce vita!  I couldn’t help but record my walk one day on Rome’s amazing streets!  {Press play}

 

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One Response to “{ITALIA} ROMAN HOLIDAY”

  1. Kelly says:

    Looks wonderful!

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