I feel like I have just only now began to process my trip to Rome. We had a fantastic time but it just went by too fast! Here are some of my thoughts and impressions.
- the monuments: they are huge. I mean, I don’t think anyone would expect, say, the Colosseum to be small but it’s just so much bigger than I imagined it to be! And not just the Colosseum, but all of it. The sights are really breath-taking in person. Sometimes I would just stand there and stare because that was all I could do. I was awestruck. The Pantheon in particular is just stunning.
- Trastevere is just gorgeous. We spent a good part of the Sunday afternoon walking through the streets there and it’s just so picturesque!
- the only thing I was a bit iffy about is the public transport — but I did expect that. And I admit to being spoiled by London and Geneva in this matter. 😛
- the queues; oh my goodness, the queues. If you ever do go there, book or buy your tickets online so you can skip the queues. I mean, the queue for the Vatican Museums was the most insane thing I’ve ever seen. I think that some of the people we passed on our way there might still be waiting there. Book or buy your tickets online, always.
- the Sistine Chapel is a wonder to behold and worth the claustrophobic tour. As is going up the 551 steps up the Basilica di San Pietro. You can take the lift up there, too, but it’ll save you barely a half of the way up. It’s a good exercise and the view from the top is breathtaking.
- we visited Ostia Antica one day as well and it was gorgeous. I’m such a city girl but I really enjoyed walking out there all day long. It just smelled like summer there and I loved it. It’s really interesting there and well worth a trip.
- I loved the food. I’m a pasta person so I knew I would but damn. I’d never get tired of it. I actually have some recommendations regarding the restaurants, cafes and gelaterias that we tried. So here’s a small list of places you should definitely not miss if you’re ever in Rome:
- We stayed in a place called Atlantis Inn and I can’t recommend it enough. It was super clean, the owner was very helpful and efficient and it was about a 5-minute walk from Castel Sant’Angelo. Perfect location, perfect services. That part of the city was really beautiful, there were also many restaurants and cafes and the nearest metro stop was within a 10 minute walking distance from the hotel.
- Splendor: this is where we had breakfast every day and it’s such a neat, retro place. Great cappuccino!
- Pizzeria La Boccaccia: we ate there the day we wandered through Trastevere. It’s a tiny pizza place where you can choose from many delicious pizzas. They sell them by weight so you can actually taste as many of them as you like, you just tell them how big a piece of each pizza you’d like. Delicious.
- Il Sorpasso: We ate there after our visit to the Vatican. The waitress who served us was amazing. The menu was in English but the daily specials were not and she just went through all of it with us, making sure that we chose something we really liked. Same with the puddings — I hadn’t heard of some of them before and she was just beyond helpful. And the food was fantastic.
- Cantina E Cucina: Deceivingly close to Piazza Navona but definitely not a tourist trap. It’s bigger than it looks from the outside, it’s very stylish and the staff are so friendly! Try the asparagus risotto while you’re there, you won’t regret it.
- Pompi: This came recommended as the best tiramisu in Rome. I concur. We had one (HUGE) strawberry tiramisu each and despite our primary apprehension about it being too much to eat for just one person, we were so happy we didn’t have to share. 😛
- Gelaterie del Teatro: Our favourite gelateria. We actually went there instead of dinner one day because we just couldn’t stay away. They have so many fantastic and unusual flavours — chocolate+wine, cheese+fig, lemon+rosemary… the list goes on. It took us forever to decide just on two or three flavours each time and quite frankly, I do regret not having enough time there to try them all.
There will be pictures, of course! Here’s a little taste from my instagram. 🙂