When in Rome…

I normally hate cliches but in this case, it just cannot be avoided.

We found ourselves hating the weather here in the UK, which, by the way, in September is truly not that bad. I would even argue it was quite nice. But the English do love to complain, so sometimes I will chime in as well. What’s the best way to cheer yourself up as summer comes to a close? Obviously go to Italy!

It was my first time, and I didn’t really know what to expect. Obviously some amazing Roman history and kick ass architecture, but seeing it right before my eyes was something else. Another cliche, but a photo just cannot do this city justice. It is beyond grand, and even a little overwhelming in terms of how gorgeous and perfect the city looks. Being a massive tourist destination, it was very clean. Yet I didn’t find it to be overly busy, this stood out mostly in the evenings. The streets were quiet, after the sun set people seemed to disappear to their corners. That is unfortunately when the rats come out, and I was unlucky enough to have dozens of sightings. Ick.

Moving past my disgust with the rats… we were lucky enough to have an amazing flat to share with a couple of friends just outside the walls of Vatican City. Despite being so close to a major destination for people from all over the world, our little area was lacking obvious tourists, except ourselves of course. We managed to stumble upon some amazing restaurants that travellers probably rarely get to see, so we indulged a little. The pasta was out of this world, and one particular restaurant owner gave us some sort of shot which we drank happily.

The Vatican

The Vatican

When we weren’t lazing beneath palm trees, stuffing our faces with gelato and pizza, or drinking 2 euro bottles of wine (which taste WAY better than the bottles I pay 10 pounds for in England), we were exploring the city and taking tours.

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Wandering

Blue skies featuring Jamie

Blue skies featuring Jamie

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Courthouse

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Laying beneath the palm trees

The colosseum is the first obvious destination. And I was originally thinking of just looking at it and moving on, but we couldn’t resist having a tour inside. I am mostly fascinated by the bloody history and learning more about gladiators and all that jazz. Once inside I was truly amazed by how massive it really is. Seeing it and being there made me feel so small and insignificant, just a blip in time really.

Inside the Colosseum

Inside the Colosseum

Just being tourists

Just being tourists

After our tour of the Colosseum, we went to the Roman Forum, some amazing ruins that reminded me of my time in Greece. It is really baffling to think about how these structures were built. They are massive and were built with pure man power. It makes today’s architecture seem so boring and mundane.

Tourists in the Roman Forum

Tourists in the Roman Forum

Arch of Titus

Arch of Titus

Rome has everything you could ever want! Amazing food, friendly people, and gelato at every corner. So yes, we indulged. I think I gained five pounds but it was totally worth it.

I also did that thing again where I make my way to a cemetery, because the ones in Europe are so damn awesome. Also, it was the Protestant cemetery that is home to John Keats’ grave, however, it does not bear his name. It was really eerie, but definitely worth the trip.

I was missing the sunshine immediately as I boarded the plane back to London…but I have photos to remind me of the warmth…

Somewhere in Rome, about to eat gelato again probably

Somewhere in Rome, about to eat gelato again probably

In the Church of St. Ignatius

In the Church of St. Ignatius

The Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps

 

-M

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