Complete this sentence: When in Rome…

Well, you know what they say…better late than never, here’s a post about my recent trip to Rome!

It was a small family affair consisting of my Mum, sister and myself over 4 days. I was very lucky that the entire trip was organised and booked by my amazing Dad! He suffers from MS and is sadly wheelchair bound, meaning trips like these are an impossible undertaking for him- so completely selflessly he organises himself to stay in a Hospice for a week so my Mum can enjoy a few days holiday with her daughters (pretty awesome huh?).

I am lucky enough to say this is my second trip to Rome in a year and it is as breathtaking the second time as the first. Both times I stayed in a gorgeous little hotel just a street in from the river Tevere- and as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It is in a perfect location situated right in the middle of the Vatican and Colosseum and has the most friendly and wonderful staff you will ever meet!

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Hotel Maison Giulia located on Via Giulia 189a

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On day one, the weather was not on our side, however in true British style we did not let this ruin our plans. My Dad had also purchased the Omnia pass for all three of us, a pass that allows you into all the main Rome attractions at a fraction of the price if you were to pay for each one individually. It also enables you to skip queues and use a hop-on-hop-off bus, perfect! After a spot of lunch in Campio De’Fiori we collected our passes, holding our umbrellas with pride! From here we made our way to Castle St Angelo for a bit of history and to shelter from the rain.

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Castle St Angelo from across the Tevere River

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Breathtaking views of St Peters Basilica from the top of Castle St Angelo

Later that evening I lead us all to a Piazza along the river where there is a great selection of restaurants serving delicious traditional Roman Italian food! In Italy is it common to have many courses during a meal. First you start off with the antipasto, then the primo (pasta), followed by the secondo (first main course), then the contorno (second main course), finishing with dolce (a sweet dish). Now I thought I had a big appetite, however this all proves too much for me! Nevertheless I gave it a good college try and had 3 out of 5.

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Antipasto: Fried artichoke

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Primo: Tomato gnocchi

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Secondo: Beef salad

On the second day the sun came out and we made our way to the Vatican and St Peter’s Basilica. Again the great thing about the Omnia pass is skipping queues and you should SEE the lines to get into these places!

First we went to the Vatican, which I have to admit being a bit overwhelming. The vast size of the place with room after room of ornate art, majestic sculptures and centuries of history means it is so easy for the magnificent to become the mundane. There is SO much awesome art that you stop seeing it. This is not to say it is not a breathtaking place to visit, but gee is it intense!

After a well deserved pasta stop, we headed to St Peter’s Basilica (and I was almost refused entry! Handy hit: don’t wear a bloody mini denim skirt to a Basilica!!)  Now I wouldn’t count myself as religious, but the sheer beauty of this place is astounding and the character the building holds is something else.

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Outside St Peter’s Basilica in my mini skirt

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Spiral stairs within the Vatican, something my Mum was desperate to see!

Later that day we took to walking the streets of Rome to find somewhere to eat. Besides seeing all the sights, this is my favourite thing to do in Italy. Every street is cobbled with postcard picture beauty- even a washing line full of dripping clothes seems to have a charm I can’t explain! Settling for a rustic restaurant in a small Piazza, we tucked into some delicious seafood.

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Day three was the Colosseum and Forum. When you think of Rome, you think of food and gladiators (or is that just me?) and you can’t get a more iconic destination that this. The sheer size of the build is impressive and a real people pleaser! After spending an hour or so there, we went onto the Forum which is full of ancient ruins and great views. Who would have thought a bit of broken rock could look so damn pretty?? The stunning weather we had that day too only made it more so.

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Inside the Colosseum

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Views of the Forum

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With our tourist duties done for the day, we decided a bottle of processo and some Italian gelato would go down a treat! We found this great gelateria and paticceria called Don Nino which was so pretty I had to take full advantage and put my camera to use. Plus they had damn good pistachio gelato!

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Pistachio and hazelnut gelato…Mmmmm

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Mirror selfie with my big sis

The last day in Rome was set aside for nothing but walking through the streets of the city and eating some more tasty Italian food before we return to the country of bangers and mash (not that I don’t like a good bangers and mash!). With the help of a map we explored mini walking tours of the Jewish Quarter and Trastevere and stopped at various landmarks, shops and cafes along the way. It was also this day I had the best meal of the trip! Bruschetta followed by King prawn and courgette pasta accompanied by a glass of prosecco and a gelato to finish. Bellissimo!

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Crossing back over the river Tevere to collect our luggage from the hotel and make our way to the airport, the sun began to set and gave us the most breathtaking sunset! (The pictures hardly do it justice.) Not only that, but there were thousands upon thousands of birds. The sky was filled with migrating starlings forming captivating patterns, their black bodies visible with the vibrant reds, pinks and oranges of the sunset behind them.

A perfect way to say goodbye to one of my favorite cities. If you haven’t been, put it on your list of places to visit. I promise you won’t be disappointed!!

Bx

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Me and my madre

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