2 weeks ago Erica & I thought we’d try our luck with a package holiday deal she’d found through Travelzoo of 2 nights in Rome and 2 nights in Venice, staying at 4* hotels in both, with flights from/to London and a transfer train between the 2 cities also included.
First up was Rome.
We arrived at Rome Ciampino airport on a 2 hour flight from London Stansted which flew over the beautiful French Alps. We then hopped on a bus into the centre of Rome. One thing we both noticed on this journey was how run down Rome was, and it didn’t look that much better once we got to Termini at around 2 o’clock. Also, all the buildings were a shade of terracotta. As it was still quite early in the day and we knew our hotel was at least a 30 minute train ride away, we figured we’d do some exploring and get our bearings.
Our first stop was the Colosseum. Neither of us really knew that much about Rome, but we had both definitely heard about and been told to visit this ruin. We were on a budget, saving our money for the sights we really wanted to see, so we didn’t go inside. From the outside it is huge, but after a while the novelty wore off and we soon went in search of food.
The best things in Italy begin with the letter P; pizza, pasta, Prosecco, Peroni and pgelato (with a silent P…). Pizza, pasta and gelato (I’m dropping the P so you don’t get confused) we managed to eat every day in both Rome and Venice, and why not when it tastes as good as it does in the country famed for these foods! Having stuffed our faces with our first pizza and pasta of the trip, we went off on a search for our hotel for the next 2 nights. We were staying at Ars Hotel in North Rome, about half an hour train ride from the city centre. It was dark by the time we arrived so apart from a quick venture round the corner to Domus Ice for gelato, we stayed in and had an early night.
We woke up to glorious sunshine outside. After breakfast we went out to explore. It was only in the light that we realised how beautiful and quaint the local area was. We found this much nicer than anything we’d seen in the central parts of Rome. We also didn’t realise how brightly coloured these steps that we had to drag our cases up the night before in the dark were!
We had a big day ahead for our 1 full day in Rome as we went to visit the Vatican City!
This was the most beautiful place we’d seen since arriving in Rome the morning before. The God’s must have been watching over us as we were blessed with brilliant blue skies. We also took a wander around the Vatican museums just round the corner, which led down to the Sistine Chapel, well eventually anyway! The museum was absolutely breathtaking inside with every inch of the walls and ceilings covered in amazingly detailed paintings. The floors featured gorgeous tiles in an array of patterns and colours, with each room different to the next. Having mazed our way through all the beautifully enormous rooms of the museum, stopping in the café to refuel, we finally made it to the Sistine Chapel. One giant room filled with yet more humongous paintings. A security guard’s voice could be heard telling us to shush and that photos were prohibited. Erica was a wee bit braver than me and managed to sneak a quick pic! I took soooo many photos in here that I’m going to have a separate post for the rest, so keep your eyes peeled!
We eventually made it out with our tummies a-rumbling, so off we went in search of food.
The sun was shining gloriously in the skies above, so we thought we’d make the most of it and sit outside by the Neptune fountain and enjoy our pizza (and prosecco!). The sun didn’t last long as the rain started to shower down just as we grabbed some gelatos, so we ducked inside the Pantheon to mainly shelter from the rain, but to also take in some more culture, innit. We were actually trying to find our way to the Trevi Fountain, but had seemingly gotten lost and ended up back at the Colosseum in time for sunset. The Vatican had certainly worn us out, so Trevi would have to wait until tomorrow morning. Back to our hotel we headed to rest our weary feet.
We spent our final night in Rome at Modo Mio, a cute beach themed restaurant which was close to our hotel. Here, we had our favourite dish whilst in Rome; quite possibly THE best carbonara either of us had ever tasted. To be truly honest, it was the only thing either of us really understood from the menu, and our sweet waitress’ English wasn’t the greatest. Sometimes it is best to stick to what you know! We washed it down with a bottle of Prosecco (yes, more!) and a good old singalong to some Sinead O’Connor. It was straight off to bed after this as we had a fountain to find and a train to Venice to catch in the morning!
Oh it was so worth leaving the Trevi Fountain until last. It is truly magnificent and a lot bigger than I was ever expecting! So big, it was very difficult to get it all into one shot, plus the large crowd didn’t make it any easier. We had just about enough time to snap some photos before running back to the station for part 2 of our little adventure; VENICE!