Rome. Oh Roma.
Rome continued our streak of delicious food, jam-packed touring, hot summer days and nights, and drinking vino with every meal.
Rome was a tough one on our feet. My poor little feet. They just didn’t know what was ahead of them.
We decided to stay near Termini station at the lovely Al Viminale Hill Inn & Hotel. This was a great location – easy to get to from the station (perfect for lugging the increasingly heavy suitcase, the ever expanding number of carry bags and my consequent impressively enlarging bicep muscles), located along a strip of restaurants and easy to get to anywhere in Rome.
But.. really, when I say “easy to get to anywhere”, I mean “get those walking shoes on because you’ve got a long trek ahead of you”. No one really warned us, but the public transport in Rome is pretty much non-existent and exceptionally confusing (the one time we took a bus we ended up in the entirely wrong area), so it’s usually easier to walk. But when we looked at a map in Rome, we didn’t quite grasp just how far away things were. It seemed like we could walk to just about anywhere. But what may have seemed like a short walk from the hotel to a tourist site sometimes ended up taking us almost an hour.
What this meant was that once we left the hotel in the morning, we were gone for the day. It would take too long to come home in between our day adventures and dinner, so we would end up getting dinner wherever we were out and about and then continuing on into the night. My poor little feet.
Despite the pain inflicted upon my feet, I think that walking really is the best way to get to know a city. Getting to know the streets, stumbling upon awesome sights/restaurants/shops, and seeing all the different areas is one of my favourite parts of a holiday. Especially when you stay in a place for long enough to feel like you have “your street” or “your coffee shop” etc. This was something that really resonated with me in Florence.
Despite the walking, Rome is such an incredible city. You can be walking through the middle of the city and suddenly stumble upon some ancient ruins. Or some giant building that looks like a wedding cake. Or a Colosseum! The city just oozes with history and culture that I don’t think is replicated anywhere else in the world. It is also jam packed full of tourist attractions, one of the world’s great museums (Vatican Museum), great food, shopping streets, cafes / gelaterias and talented entertainers (like an awesome group of musicians who play on Piazza Navona).
In Rome, we filled our 6 days with the following (and then some):
- The Colosseum + Palatine Hill (go on a tour of the Colosseum and make sure you also see the outside at night!)
- Vatican + St Peter’s Basilica (I was amazeddd by St Peter’s Basilica)
- Seeing the wedding cake building (National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II) (we actually stumbled upon this building and didn’t realise until later that it was the infamous “wedding cake building”)
- Trevi Fountain (although for us, this was really just a monument of scaffolding)
- Capuchin crypt (only if you can deal with a bit of gore.. it’s a bit creepy to say the least)
- Piazza Navona (I loved sitting in Piazza Navona at just about any time of day people watching, admiring the fountains, and watching the performers)
- The Pantheon (visit at night too)
- Walk along Fiume Tevere
- Check out the viewpoint at Gianicolo park
- Mouth of Truth
- Spanish Steps (a great place to chill, rest your legs and people watch)
- Porta Portese flea markets
- Visit the Roman ghetto
- Walk along Via Guilia (a street full of palaces)
- Pincian Hill / Piazza Bucarest / Piazza del Popolo
- Eat great food
- Drink vino with every meal
- Splurge on every dessert imaginable (food allergy dependent)
- Shop your heart out
We ate plenty of delicious Italian food in Roma, with my allergies/dietary requirements being pretty easy to deal with. We ate at a few places that had been recommended to us, and some that we stumbled upon during our journeys, but overall had some great meals. I didn’t have any nut run-ins, but I do have a few stories to share, as well as some great restaurant recommendations, so stay tuned for my next post about beautiful Rome!