Blog Archive

Friday, August 23, 2013

When in Rome - bask in the beauty and history

Picturesque Rome
I couldn't believe it when the plane actually landed at Fiumicino Airport.  I was in Rome!  It had been a dream of mine for so long that it didn't seem real.  I couldn't wait to check-in with my lovely Airbnb host to say ciao, drop my bags, and head out to explore despite my fierce jet lag.

One of the beds in my spacious room
I decided to check out the Colosseum at night before heading there in the morning.  It was the first "attraction" I wanted to see in Rome.  I dined at La Biga, which I wouldn't recommend for the food.  Naturally, restaurants near a major attraction aren't always the best option; however, this one was perfect for a direct view of the Colosseum and decent wine.

View from La Biga's patio

Even more awestruck during the day
Standing inside the Colosseum the next day was so surreal.  What a remarkable site and feeling!  The price of your admission ticket includes the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill.  Come equipped with good walking shoes, but the amount of walking and standing you do will be worth it.  Astounding beauty everywhere.

A pop of purple at Palatine Hill

Ruins at the Forum

They had us all fooled - how do they do it?
I'm guessing you will be as parched as I was after spending all day walking, so head over to Colosseum Bar - Bar Tavola Calda for some refreshments.  This is a great lounge for cocktails with very friendly and charming bartenders.


One of many, many favorite varietals
Wandering around Rome the next few days was the perfect way to capture it and feel like a local.  Discovering art in the street, sidewalk flower shops, espresso bars and a whole lot more.

Inhale the scents
Cycles and graffiti
Where I got my photo booth fun on

Here are my favorite quirky things about Rome:

  • You can park your car anywhere, and I mean anywhere (sidewalk included).
  • There are running water faucets all over the city, so bring your recyclable container and never go thirsty!
  • You get out of your car at an automatic car wash and wait for it.
  • Random photo booths!
  • Stray cats and dogs everywhere.
  • You can drink alcohol on the streets and I took full advantage of that.  

While there are lovely fountains sprinkled around the city, my favorite was the stunning Trevi Fountain!  Beware - there's always a very large crowd, so it will be difficult to capture a photo that doesn't include a family or two:)  

See what I mean?
Wish I could have a windowsill like this
A trip to Rome wouldn't be complete without a visit to Vatican City.  This was another surreal experience.  I arrived towards the end of the day and had a very short wait time to get inside.  The interior of St. Peter's Basilica is absolutely breathtaking; however, I was taken aback when seeing the embalmed body of Pope John XXIII.  Missed the memo on that one.

Staring in wonderment

Beauty inside St. Peter's Basilica

I rarely dine at Italian restaurants in the U.S.; however, Italian food in Italy is like no other.  From bread to pasta to pizza to gelato, it was all divine, and don't even get me started on the wine!  I give high nods to the following establishments:
  • il tajut - the interior of this place is reason enough to pay a visit (see photos).  They have a fantastic wine selection and small bite offerings.
  •  Leon Pizzeria Vineria -  a slick interior with very friendly staff.  Really decent pizza and wine with great specials.  Also, one of very few places with wifi:)
  • Isidor - I really liked the almost cave-like brick interior of this restaurant.  I had delicious pasta and they offer a wonderful selection of tasty wines.
  • La Calamita - This place actually sells wine and beer.  The owner is extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and I walked out of there with some incredible beers.  This is also where I learned you could drink on the streets of Rome:)
  • Pizzeria Luzzi - Where I had my first pizza pie!  Felt like a local, inexpensive and great pizza.  I even saw a man hauling in wood for the wood fired oven as I ate.  
The hard worker at Pizzeria Luzzi

A very cool sitting area at il tajut
Adore this cork sink at il tajut

Divine profiteroles at Isidor

The shear excitement of being in Rome caused severe lameness in terms of keeping track of all the places I went to, because I know I'm missing a few:/  If I recall any of them, I will add to the list.

The only other thing you need to know is that Rome should be on your bucket list for its history, beauty, food, architecture and people.  Ciao!

James Bond was here

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