Ever since I was little, I have always wanted to visit Italy. Studying art and learning more about the Renaissance, architecture and design only heightened my interest and obsession with this city of creativity and culture.
Little did I know that I would grow up to meet someone who shared this passion, nor that for my twenty-fifth birthday he would surprise me with a trip to Rome. The capital city of my childhood dreams.
We left very early on Friday morning and arrived in Rome just before midday. We took a bus to Termini – the main train station of Rome that links to all of the major Italian hubs, and where the metro and buses depart for the city. After a short journey to Cipro, just outside the centre and next to the Vatican museums, we arrived at the apartment that we would call home for the next few days.
The view from the apartment balcony was breathtaking. As we were on the forth floor, we could see directly across to St. Peters Basilica and landscape views of the surrounding neighbourhood.
We relaxed a little, changed and then decided to head back into the centre for a stroll. On route we popped into the famous Pizzarium Bonci for our first taste of Italian cuisine – which didn’t disappoint! After our brief but filling lunch, we hopped on the Metro and started on our first adventure. Not only did we see the Pantheon, but also stumbled upon the Trevi Fountain and walked through the Piazza Navona also. After a few hours we decided to head back to the apartment and call it a day!
On Saturday morning we got up early, as we had a day of sight seeing ahead of us. We found a small café nearby called Fabrica. They specialise in teas and have a whole menu of different varieties – definitely a hidden gem. Here we had a breakfast to share (it was huge!) before setting off on our travels.
Before we left for Rome we booked our entry to St.Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums, which saved us about two hours of queuing. What we didn’t allow for was the time spent looking for a top for me to wear, as woman are not allowed into the vatican with their shoulders or legs exposed!
We wandered around St. Peter’s Basilica for a while taking in the amazing architecture before heading to the Vatican Museums to make our pre-booked entry time. Here we made our way through miles of galleries before we reached the famous Sistine chapel, the ceiling of which was painted by Michelangelo over the course of just four years.
That evening we went on a walking tour of Rome, where we stopped at the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona, while learning about the history of Rome along the way. I think we both fell in love with the Colosseum – the history of which is truly amazing. Unfortunately we did not get to go inside – but – I guess that gives us an excuse to go back!
Day three was much more relaxed. We head to Il Vittoriano, where we climbed to the top for panoramic views of the city and strolled around the city at a much calmer pace. We stopped for wine and a charcuterie board in a lovely restaurant called Etabli where we chatted for hours before heading back to the apartment for a chilled evening filled with plenty of wine and chats.
Although it was our last day, we embraced the Italian culture by taking part in a private Italian cooking class with Ristomama. Here we met a local lady named Paola, who taught us how to prepare two varieties of pasta from scratch – Tortellini and Tortelli – in her own kitchen. This was one of my favourite parts of our trip. Not only was the end result a delicious meal for us to share with our host, we had so much fun learning the various techniques that we hope to use again at home.
The rest of the day we spent wandering the old and new streets near the Pantheon, before packing up and heading to the airport for our flight home.
Rome was probably one of the nicest cities I have been too, and although we did see a lot, I think we just skimmed the surface. There is so much history and so many hidden treasures that I already can’t wait to go back to explore.