La Citta Eterna - Rome

June 16, 2016

I won't even bother apologising for how infrequently I've been posting - all I can say is that I've been pretty busy with exams (amongst other things!), which I appreciate is a lame excuse. Oh well. 

More importantly, a few weeks ago I finally made it to the city I had been dying to visit since I landed here: ROME. 

And OH MY GOD was it worth the wait. I think I nearly died a few times wandering around it I was so in love. It's the only city I've visited that might (I said MIGHT) beat Bologna. 

It was Harry's birthday so Harry, Anna, Na'ama and I had booked a little Airbnb in a great area, just around the corner from Campo de' Fiori. (A great little spot, would recommend.)
It was pretty budget, so we weren't expecting much - we DEFINITELY weren't expecting it to be, literally, right opposite the Pantheon. This was our view from the bedroom window. Not even kidding. 

The day we arrived was Harry's actual birthday so after walking halfway across Rome with our suitcases (Rome's metro is NOT. GOOD.) we took it easy for the rest of the day. We did manage to see a few sights though...

Before kicking the evening off with a few drinks in our little flat.
 Finding tasty little food spots in Rome which aren't too expensive is pretty tricky - would really recommend doing some research before venturing out. I asked an Italian friend for some suggestions, and we headed to  Al Sostegno, near the Pantheon, which was awesome - great food, cheap wine, terrible service (obviously, we're English and it's Rome). EAT PASTA AMATRICIANA. I ate it for every meal for the entire time I was there and I have no regrets. Bacon-y, spicy, tomatoey deliciousness.

We then took one of the greatest walks of my life to date. If you haven't been to Rome before, drink half a bottle of wine then when it gets dark, wander past the Forum and the Colosseum. Its all lit up and just magical. Anna and I nearly cried.

The next day we decided to tackle the Colosseum. It was hot. We walked a lot.
 Would highly recommend queueing at the Forum for a joint ticket for the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill - much shorter queues.

Seeing that much history in one place is pretty awe-inspiring.
 That night, feeling a little worse for wear after the extravagances of Harry's birthday the night before, we had a night in with wine, pasta and Uno, before tackling the Vatican the next day.

Which was easily my least favourite part of the trip and if you're not a fan of statues or being herded alongside masses of tour groups - GIVE IT A MISS. The queues are obscene - please book before if you want to go - and its suuuuper busy. The Sistine Chapel is grand, obviously, but I've seen churches that are just as impressive in other places. Not worth the queue. (Unpopular opinion, soz.)
 These trees are my fave things ever.
 St Peters Basilica, however, is well worth a visit. I'm not sure what's happened to me since living in Italy, but I am obsessed with churches now. Perhaps its because they're so unbelievably intricate and beautiful here, but I'll just sit in them for hours. So this was a bit of a treat for me.
 That night, we were joined by Sophie, and met up with some other friends to celebrate another birthday. We had a beautiful dinner near Camp de' Fiori before having a few drinks back at theres - they too had an Airbnb with a pretty sweet view...
 After that, we got in a cab to Trastevere - 'the strip' of Rome. Of course, I hadn't lost anything for a while, so I chose that moment to leave my cards, driving license and money in a taxi - not a great start to the night. But both I and my banks are used to phone calls cancelling my cards, and 15 minutes later I was ready to get drunk on other people's money and forget how much of an absolute idiot I am. We were in Coyote bar at which we had a fabulous night - but looking back at the photos of the clientele, wouldn't necessary recommend again....
When we got back it was light, and we settled down for a few hours sleep before eating more pasta, packing our things and getting on a (5 hour) bus back to Bolo. We all left with the feeling that we'd had a very cultural, busy but FABULOUS weekend - and I am certain I'll be going back!

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