November 7-8, 2019
The last stop of the Italian tour.
We said goodbye to Florence and hopped on a train to the one and only Roma. I had briefly been to Rome during my time in Italy but it literally was for only a couple hours so I was excited to get the full Roman experience with Chris this time around!
We first found our hotel to drop off our bags and were very excited to start hitting the streets – after the last two days straight of rain in Florence it was actually 70 degrees and sunny upon our arrival in Rome! We were so happy to not have to walk around in wet jackets and umbrellas for the day.
I had a laid out map of how we were going to tackle Rome in two days. Rome is a huge city – VERY unlike Venice and Florence and it is a very touristy city. It was important for us to see all of the important points but also avoid getting tourist trapped.
Since it was so nice outside we decided it’d be a good day to go to the Colosseum. We bought a 2-day pass to take all public transport in the city so we hopped on the city bus and made our way over to the famous landmark. The Colosseum really is a grand sight to see and it feels really cool to stand underneath such a famous and seriously old structure. We waited in line to go inside because even though it feels touristy, it is something that both of us wanted to do. When in Rome…
After the Colosseum, we started to wander around more of the town and came across a pizza shop where we decided to sit down and have some lunch. In Rome, the pizza style is very different than in Florence. They sell all different kinds of flavors, they’re cut into squares, and the price you pay for them is by the weight. They heat them up in their ovens and it was so crispy and delicious!
We roamed around some more (😏) and towards the late afternoon found ourselves at the Spanish Steps which is famous mostly because of Audrey Hepburn and a bunch of other celebrities and models found photographed here. We climbed up the steps to start making our way to Villa Borghese Park – it’s above the city of Rome and there is a great view of the sunset from up here! However, we still had some daylight to kill before the sun went down so while we were walking around the park we heard a huge party going on in the distance. We followed the noise and what we came upon next is something I never expected – a bunch of drunk Irish men and women tailgating for a soccer match about to happen at the stadium. The park where we were was the bus stop station where they all were getting on and we were mesmerized at how hilariously drunk these guys were. Almost as crazy as a Bills tailgate (may I say even crazier???) the Irish really know how to have fun. So, they entertained us for a little while and then we made our way back to the lookout point to watch the sun go down over the Vatican in the distance. Ironically enough, a man with a microphone was parked right in front of the crowd singing classics such as “That’s Amore” and “Por Ti Volare” to really set the mood. The sunset was really beautiful and I’m very glad we had a beautiful day in Rome that was followed up by such a fiery sunset.
We made our way back down to the city and walked our way over to the Trevi Fountain – it really is beautiful and a lot bigger than we thought. We threw some coins in the fountain then walked over to the Roman Pantheon which is the most preserved building from ancient Rome. Rome is the home of some amazing artifacts and structures that are SO old compared to the rest of the world!
At night, Chris found a restaurant in the Trastevere area of Rome, where back in the day, all the local Romans would head over to for dinner. Now, it is has a heavy hipster vibe but it is still known for their trattorias and bars. We definitely found where all the cool kids hung out and heard lots of American study abroad kids, shaking our heads at them cause they picked up smoking cigarettes while living here yet still were wearing Vineyard Vines…Chris held me back from smacking the cigarettes out of their hands and calling their moms. 😏 We ate at a restaurant called Grazia & Graziella – it was SO good! This area of restaurants had lines out the door of people waiting for seating and this restaurant was one of them. We really did not wait long at all before we sat down and the restaurant ended up being crowded all night (I don’t think we got there anytime before 9 pm!). We ordered, of course, a bottle of wine, more calamari, bruschetta and for our entres Chris got the Cacio e Pepe (a Roman favorite) and I got the Carbonara. *chefs kiss to it all*
The second day we woke up to more RAIN. But, we had things to do. We made our way to the Vatican to see if we could maybe, just maybe go inside. When we got there, the line was completely wrapped around the outside pillars – there was no way we were waiting to go in. Not to mention, we were there at such a non-touristy time, I can only imagine how insane it is there during the summer! It started to rain so hard and we didn’t have umbrellas from our hotel this time so we ended up buying Rome ponchos from the corner store because we were getting SOAKED. It definitely made for some funny pictures when we went to the Roman Forum next…
The Forum was very cool because everything in there is soooo old and it’s amazing to see it still standing. I always love being able to walk on historic grounds and this is probably one of the most historic grounds I could ever walk on (besides being in Jerusalem). Once we were done with our tourist checklist, we did some research on where to find the best Suppli in Rome (basically fried rice balls that are famous street food here). Chris led the way back to the Trastevere area for a walk-in, walk-out place called “Suppli” (lol) where a bunch of big Italian men were whipping out these amazing tasting Suppli balls. We got one with just Pomodoro mozzarella, one that was carbonara flavored and one that was chicken and spinach. We ate the first round and then went back for more because they were SO GOOD.
At this point in the day, we were EXHAUSTED. A week in Italy really is a lot to squeeze in and included so much walking. We decided that we absolutely needed a nap and to give our legs a rest and since it was raining so hard we headed to our hotel to relax for the afternoon. However, nothing will keep us away from some more pasta. Nine o’clock rolled around and we found ourselves heading out to another local area called Testaccio (this time we took the city bus) where we made reservations for a restaurant called Flavio al Velavevodetto. We read that they don’t really like tourists here so we KNEW this was out spot. We ordered yet another bottle of wine, bruschetta, and this time I got the Cacio e Pepe and Chris ordered some type of ravioli. Let me tell you this was the FRESHEST bowl of pasta I have ever had in my life. I can still taste the noodles. AGHHH. Now I will be dreaming of this dish until I can have it again one day.
The next morning we made our way to Roma Termini to catch a train to the airport and make our way back to Germany. It was sad to have to say goodbye to Italy once again – the people, the food and the actual country is one-of-a-kind and will forever hold a special place in my heart. Arrivederci Italia 🇮🇹