Accommodation | Navona Queen B&B
Must Do | Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Campo de Fiori nightlife
Worthy to Note | Have your accommodation address noted down, along with some simple Italian phrases – our cabbie didn’t speak a word of English and as the tourist it’s our responsibility to try to communicate.
I heard a mixed bag about Rome… some loved it, some hated it. After our short stay, we both fell into the former category and were crushing on Rome big time. The simple magnitude of everything is what blew my mind away. Sure, Australia has history, but nothing to the scale of what Rome has. The monuments are, well, monumental! They are as huge in size as they are steeped in history.
But, I am getting ahead of myself. Firstly, after getting our luggage we took a bus from the airport to Roma Termini, and then caught a cab with our non-existent Italian to our accommodation (see notes above). We checked in, showered (the best part of getting off a long flight) and walked to Campo de Fiori. We ate at Mercato’s, sharing bruschetta, a margherita pizza, and four-cheese gnocchi with local wine and live music in the square.
Since we were only staying in Rome for 3 nights, we decided a 2-Day Hop On Hop Off pass would be ideal. We did a lap of the city first to get our bearings, and then joined a walking tour of the Colosseum, skipping the queues and learning so much we didn’t know. The Colosseum was much larger than I anticipated and interesting even for a non-history buff such as myself. I was deeply moved though when I thought of how Christians must have felt being lead into the arena as the crowd cheered for their death. It certainly gave me a stronger sense of gratitude for the freedom we now have at home.
We continued up Palatine Hill to explore the ruins and see views over the Roman Forum, before finishing with pistachio gelato and jumping back on the bus – note: the best seats are up the top with unobstructed views, so it pays to be first in line. Being a massive rom-com fan, I was excited that Trevi Fountain was our next stop. I was mesmerised by that beautiful fountain with clear water and flecks of gold thanks to the countless tourists throwing a coin over their shoulder to ensure their return to Rome. We went back later that night and even witnessed a proposal – so sweet!
The next day brought 90% chance of rain, but thankfully it only had one downpour. Our first stop was the Pantheon – enormous outside and elaborate inside – with a group of architecture students sitting sketching on the steps. Imagine having that type of learning environment in your backyard!
With limited knowledge of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel, we again opted to join a tour. The patterned and painted ceilings throughout the Vatican were by far my favourite, and 4 hours later we headed for the Spanish Steps for more gelato. Goodbye diet!
Overall, I was a little in awe of Rome. It was a fantastic place to start our trip, and we honestly could have spent a lot longer there. But the best was yet to come as we set off for the rest of our European adventure.