Our 10 day trip to Italy included: two days in Rome, an overnight in Orvieto, two days driving around the Val d’Orcia based in Montepulciano, two days in Chianti based outside of Greve in Chianti, 3 days and 2 nights in Cinque Terre, a stopover in Pisa and two days and nights in Venice. This blog post details our two days in Rome.
After a very restless 11 hour flight to Abu Dhabi, a three hour layover and then a 6 hour flight to Rome, I finally arrived in Italia!
The flight was delayed by about a half hour, so my wait for Deane and Marce (mom and step dad) was a bit shorter than expected. After my bag arrived (yay! I’ll have clothes this year!), I waited by the giant ‘burnt orange’ meeting place pole I read about online that ended up not being orange (tip 1 – make sure your information if up to date!). I waited for about 45 minutes wondering whether they would be able to find me without the orange pole! I had a hard timing looking for them because there was a gigantic group of eldery people waiting to go on a group tour. The group finally left and out popped Deane and Marce!
After catching the Leonardo Express train from the airport, we arrived at the Termini Station and our accommodation, the Beehive, two blocks away. Checking in and finding out our room would be ready at 2pm, we dropped off our bags and went out to explore.
Our first stops were the Pantheon, a made-to-order sandwich at Panino Ingegnoso in a nearby piazza and the first gelato of the trip.
We then walked over to Piazza Navona to see the many fountains and to check out all the various wares artists (and con artists) were selling to the hoards of people admiring one of my favourite piazzas in Italy.
Next we walked past the Victor Emmanuele Monument towards the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Since we’d gone through the Forum and the Colosseum the year before, we decided to do a ‘walk-by’ instead. By this time it was almost time to check in, so we headed back to the Beehive but got a wee bit lost along the way. So lost that we were on a street that wasn’t on the map!
Tired, hot and thirsty, we finally made it back to the hotel. Showers were not optional at this point and neither was a nap. After an hour or two of some much needed shut eye, we headed across the Tiber to Trastevere for dinner. After walking past many good looking options, we finally settled on a restaurant and sat at a table in the street / alleyway. The waiter was cute and the waitress a bit eclectic. The waiter pinched Marce’s chin when he ordered a drink. Too funny! After a dinner of lasagna, pizza and a carbonara pasta (carbonara originates in Roma), we headed back to cross the Tiber on Ponte Sisto. But before crossing the bridge we stopped to listen to a bunch of street performers playing 1970s classic rock tunes. It was so good we stopped and sat on the stairs with the other hundred or so people also enjoying the music. Although I thought it was good, no one there was enjoying it as much as a little one year old girl who was dancing like there was no tomorrow! Molto carina!
Once they finished, we crossed the bridge and over to Campo di Fiori. Deane wanted more vino but Marce and I had hit the proverbial wall. We reluctantly left and caught the bus back to Termini and then a short walk to the B&B. By the time my head hit the pillow I was out until the morning.
Today we had until 6pm to pack in as much Rome as possible. After a bit of a sleep in, we had breakfast at the hostel and caught the number 40 bus as close as we could to St Peter’s Square. I ran the last few hundred meters to try to get as far into the queue as possible. The line was way longer than it had been last year. It’s only a security line so it moves deceptively quickly. To pass the time, we listened to our Rick Steves’ St Peter’s Cathedral podcast to get some information on the square. Taking about an hour, we made it inside the church and continued to listen to the podcast. It helped to give some context to the hugemongous church we were seeing. This was my third time and it still amazes me how large it is.
After an hour or so inside the church, we headed back across the river and over to Campo di Fiori where we had lunch at the Magnolia restaurant. Deane had a beautiful salad and Marce and I had a pizza and some apple cake. Not an amazing restaurant, but we were able to sit outside, enjoy the people watching and the shade was a welcome relief in the heat.
Making our way towards Via del Corso, we made another stop at the Pantheon, this time going back inside to listen to the Rick Steves’ walking tour to learn a bit more about what we were seeing. I thought it was quite interesting that the bronze used on the original doors was partly removed to make the doors inside St Peter’s, which we had seen earlier in the day.
We continued towards the Trevi Fountain, which was mostly uncovered, but without any water. Still pretty amazing to see, even though we could only see it through plexiglass!
Marce was wanting to buy a watch so we turned around and walked up Via del Corso. First watch store and he found a watch! He shops almost as quickly as Jarrad! We continued along Via del Corso hoping to get more pictures on the lions we sat on last year. Arriving in Piazza del Popolo we saw the lions were covered up! So disappointing. Hot and sweaty (and dare I say smelly) we walked over to the Spagna metro stop and took a very crowed and very hot metro back to Termini. With an hour and a half to spare before our train we took the time to relax a bit at the B&B, then back over to Termini to get some Grom gelato and catch the train to Orvieto.
We visited Rome in mid-September 2015.