For the longest time I have wanted to visit the beautiful city of Rome Not only for the beautiful architecture but of course for the food, so you can only imagine how over the moon I was when my Fiancé told me that we was going for a long weekend to celebrate my 23rd birthday, excited was a understatement, not only was I getting to spend my birthday in another country but in one of the most profound romantic city’s that there is.
Our flight was on Sunday the 2nd of July at Stanstead airport at 8.45am, I am a big fan of early morning flights, I like to get it our the way and have the rest of the remaining day to explore, when we arrived at the boarding gates we noticed that we had been seated apart and it seemed that a lot of passengers were having the same problem, and while at the time I didn’t think it was going to be good for my anxiety I was actually okay, I ended up siting next to a teenage brother and sister so listening to them bickering throughout the flight was quite funny, I just kept my nose stuck in my book my best friend had got me for my birthday and time just seemed to fly by.
Once we had landed I was first out of the aircraft before my fiancé, and the heat felt so good for the first ten minutes until my light comfy jumper I was wearing was starting to become unbearable, so after about a 20 minute wait for my luggage I was straight in the airport bathrooms getting changed. After changing up some money and jumping into a taxi we was on our way to our hotel, my first impression of Rome was not what I expected If I’m going to be completely honest with you, there seemed to be graffiti all over walls and shutters throughout a lot of the drive nearly every shop wall had graffiti all over it, I just thought from what I had seen in movies and on TV it didn’t really look the same. We arrived at our hotel and it was really cute it was small but really welcoming and clean and I don’t think there is much more you can ask for from a city break, you are hardly ever going to be in your room anyway so that’s all that matters to me, we got upgraded to a room with a terrace and it was lovely and big with sun loungers, although the view looked on to some residential flats and down bellow local bars and restaurants, but it was still lovely waking up in the morning at 8am and stepping out on to the terrace when it was already 25 degrees.
After a bit of freshening up and unpacking a bit we got a taxi to the colosseum it was only about a ten minute drive from our hotel and when we pulled up right in front it took my breath away its so incredible its so much bigger than I pictured it to be it really is something you have to see with your own eyes, we didn’t actually get to explore inside of the colosseum while we was in Rome only because we did go at the busiest time of year and queues were no shorter than 2 hours long and in the 34 degree heat we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it, so we just wandered around for hours and hours, the trick with Rome is you just need to walk, walk and lose yourself and you stumble upon the most beautiful sights, we stopped for a early dinner and of course some gelato and then we found a taxi we was knackered and decided to call it a day.
Waking up in Rome was such an amazing feeling you feel like you have to get straight out there and start exploring, after we had got ready and made our way downstairs to order a taxi we was on our way to the Spanish steps, and about 20 minutes later in the taxi and we were there, as soon as we walked a few meters from the taxi rank it was right in front of us, of course crowded with tourists like ourselves, but it was so beautiful all the amazing architecture in all its glory, the first thing you want to do is climb the steps all the way to the top to get a look at the spectacular view, so after what feels like 400 steps later you are right at the top and can see for miles its absolutely beautiful defiantly a spot for a good Instagram picture or a cheeky selfie, the only unpleasant thing about it was that every two minutes you have someone trying to come up to you trying to sell you something from selfie sticks to roses and it can start to get quite irritating having to repeat NO every two minutes but ill touch up more on that later.
After we battled through the steps and all the selfie stick sellers it was time to find some breakfast and its defiantly not to hard to find somewhere to eat, there are restaurants on every corner and down every side road so after about Ten minutes of searching we found a remote little café down one of the little streets not too far from the Spanish steps, where i had the most amazing soya cappuccino i have ever tasted, coffee defiantly is done best in Italy, so after two cappuccinos and a sandwich and pastry each, it was onto the next location.
A few side roads and cobble streets later we ended up in the main shopping location, there certainly is quite a mixture of shops from Prada to H&M, after about an hour or so it was time for a pit stop Aperol spritz here I come! we found this lovely little restaurant on the corner of little remote square and had a drink and some nibbles and watched the world go by, it really is easy to get lost in the moment, it was certainty a lot more interesting people watching in Rome then it is sitting outside Hampstead heath Starbucks. After we recharged it was time for gelato I know it might sound like we stopped of for drink and gelato often but the heat was insane my pale English skin can not take 34 degree weather i need to be well sun creamed and well watered I’m just not used to it. We stumbled upon a small little Gelato shop on our walk to the Trevi fountain, my flavour of choice on this trip was Nutella and Pistachio, and I hope I’m not the only one that thinks this but I don’t think you have ever really tried real gelato until you have it in Italy, where the flavours actually taste exactly what they are supposed to taste like and are so thick and creamy its unreal, I don’t think ill ever want to eat regular ice cream in the UK ever again.
A few ice cream licks later we arrived at the famous Trevi fountain and my god its breath taking, although it was the most crowded attraction we visited it was still out of this world I made sure to squeeze my self right to the bottom so I could get close enough to throw a coin over my shoulder ( legend has it that if you throw a coin in the fountain over your shoulder you will be sure to return to Rome) The Trevi fountain is something you need to see to believe pictures cant do it justice I’ve never seen something in real life that still didn’t look real, ( hope I’m making sense with that one.) Now the time of day I looked forward to the most was of course dinner time, I couldn’t wait to eat more fresh Italian food so off we went scanning all the 100’s of restaurants there was too offer, we finally came across a lively restaurant about a 20 minute walk from Trevi fountain, and all the food looked incredible from the outside, and oh my it was even better than it looked, the food was out of this world I have never had Italian food like it in my life, the flavours and the spices were amazing I enjoyed every mouthful. After dinner it was time to find the taxi rank I was officially pooped.
I have always wanted to wake up on my birthday and be in another country, and its such an amazing feeling, even though I know the older you get the less exciting birthdays become, but I was in Rome with my incredible Fiancé and i felt like such a lucky little human. After having breakfast in the same café as the day before we went for a long walk and decided to get lost in Rome again, the original plan was to go to the Vatican but judging from what we had heard about the lines to enter at this time of year we decided against it, but I’m sure we will get the opportunity one day when we return, on our adventure we stopped for gelato ( of course!) at this amazing shop called Vinchi I’m sure if you have visited Rome you would of seen it there are a few of them scattered around, well they had me from the moment I set eyes on there chocolate tap ( YES that’s right they dip the cone in a chocolate tap! and then dip it in nuts or chocolate!) Thank god I was only in Rome for 3 days god knows what would of happened if I stayed any longer! but we done so much walking I didn’t feel as bad about all the eating. So after a lot of walking and a few aperol spritz and gelato’s later it was coming up to dinner time already, and after what felt like hours of walking trying to find somewhere that wasn’t to packed to eat I was losing the will to go on, Hungry hot birthday girl was not a good combo, also because I decided to wear a H&M dress I bought the day before and I was suffering from major chub rub, so we ended up back at the same restaurant as the previous night, and although I didn’t want to eat and the same places, we were so hungry and exhausted that we didn’t care, we knew the food was good and the service was good that it didn’t seem too bad, and I’m so glad we did because it was the most amazing birthday meal I have ever had. the bottle of red wine was the best ever and the food was even better then the night before, and as a special birthday treat to myself I even finished my meal of with a cheese board, this somehow makes me feel very grown up. We paid the bill and made our way down to the pantheon, at night the square is beautiful, surrounded by restaurants and street performers just sitting there taking it all in, is just so romantic, so while we was taking it all in we decided to do so with another gelato! when in Rome right? After about an hour it was time to head back to our hotel, our last evening in Rome was defiantly a special one.
The day you fly home isn’t the nicest, its that constant reminder in your head all day long no matter what you do, but you do have to make the most of it.
After packing up and checking out we decided to head back down to the colosseum for breakfast, it was also a shame we didn’t get to go inside the colosseum either but even the fast track lines were a 3 hour wait and we just couldn’t do it. After breakfast we decided to go on another long walk, back to some shops, (More gelato) and then for a light lunch before going back to the hotel to collect our luggage, we shared a pizza and a salad and then made our way back to the hotel, to start the dreading journey back to reality.
Tips for traveling to Rome.
• Its expensive, People had told me before how pricey it was and now I believe them, we didn’t once get a bill under 26 Euros and that was just for 2 alcoholic drinks, so be prepared to spend.
• There are a lot of people trying to sell things to tourist on the streets, Portable chargers, selfie sticks, roses, jewellery even water! you name it they want to sell it to you and they don’t just ask, they try to put it in your hand because once you take it from them, they wont take it back and they will want you to pay up! So as long as you just say no and just walk right past them then you are absolutely fine.
• Please bring comfy shoes! I cant stress this enough, I brought sandals and flip flops and I regretted it, mostly all the streets are coble streets and walking around all day on uneven surfaces takes its toll on your feet! You’ve been warned
• Get lost in Rome and all its beauty! Rome really is the most beautiful city I have visited, from the sites to the food its breath taking, but walk around and really see what the city has to offer sometimes you will stumble upon something you never even knew was there or didn’t see on the map, you will find little restaurant’s and gelato parlours and that’s normally where you will find that its the best.
So that was my magical birthday in Rome, my feet might of been sore and my jeans a little tighter but it was worth every step and every mouthful.
Until next time..