Italy Photo Diary: Rome

Two months ago today I was on my way to Rome with my boyfriend on our first ever holiday together on our 3 year anniversary. And shamefully it has taken me this long to cobble together some posts of the photos I took over there. However I did throw together a holiday outfit diary of sorts (click here for that).
I took hundreds of photos so it’s been hard selecting the best ones. I’m going to split this into two posts and dedicate one to Rome and one to Florence as I simply have too many photos! So I hope you enjoy scrolling through these and I’ll leave a passage at the end with information of what we did/where we stayed etc. I definitely don’t know enough to collate any kind of ‘Guide to’ Rome or Florence but I can share my experience if anyone is interested. So without further ado…
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Rome was a delight. Every corner you take, everywhere you look there is history and beautiful architecture. As with all great cities, you could live there your whole life and never see and appreciate everything it has to offer, so the four nights we spent there were jam packed.
We stayed in a B&B called 111 B&B, which we found via booking.com. It was located in the Prati district so very near the Vatican; this location was brilliant as we could walk to everything. The only time we used public transport was when we used the metro to get to the Colosseum and Roman Forum. The metro was a doddle as it’s very small compared to London, so if you know your way around the underground Rome’s metro will be no problem. The self service ticket machines have an option to translate to English so buying a ticket was easy. Two single tickets (one for each way) was the best option for us and was so cheap! The B&B was lovely, I loved the room. The only real problem was actually getting into the place on our arrival to Rome. It’s basically on the second floor of an apartment block and the buzzer didn’t seem to work so we were stuck outside for ages with no clue what to do. The owner suddenly seemed to appear from no where and knew exactly who we were. It was all rather bizarre and his English was not fantastic but we muddled through.
During our time we managed to see most of the famous landmarks. The Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountation (which unfortunately was undergoing maintenance), Vatican Museums & St Peter’s Basilica, a bit of Villa Borghese, Castel Sant’Angelo, Colosseum and the Roman Forum were all ticked off our list. Aside from these more famous places, we stumbled across a church near the Pantheon – Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola – which was a real hidden gem, absolutely beautiful and lavish inside.
I didn’t find Rome as expensive as I’d dreaded actually. Obviously the main expense is food, but as we had our breakfast provided every day, lunch and dinner were our only concerns. Lunch was usually a pizza slice or sandwich from one of the abundance of cafe style establishments. Eating and food culture is rather different (I found) to what I’m used to here in the UK, so its worth reading up on or watching some YouTube videos on Italian culture, where to eat, what signage to look for, key words etc, as I did this and found it helpful. For evening meals there is so much choice its overwhelming; I did find it amusing how the majority of menus were made up of pasta and pizza as the stereotype suggests, and by day 3 I was craving some meat and veg with minimal carbs!

Make sure to stock up on bottled water when you can and buy in bulk for your hotel room and take some with you for every trip. They are sold individually all over the place of course but if you only did this every time you would spend an absolute fortune on the stuff. Supermarket type places where we could stock up were few and far between near our hotel unfortunately, but we did eventually find one not too far away called Pam Local.
One thing I was not prepared for was all the ‘salesman’, or should I say Tourist Hunters, on the streets EVERYWHERE around the tourist spots. Men dressed as gladiators who impose themselves upon you and encourage pictures with them then demand payment for this imposition, men selling roses, men selling selfie sticks… At first it was kind of funny, then it was intimidating and annoying, then it was just damn right irritating. If you are not interested then my suggestion is do not smile or look friendly, just a simple and firm ‘no’ and keep walking, do not show any hesitation or weakness because boy are they persistent. They obviously prey on tourists who feel too polite to walk away or end up giving them money just to leave them alone. Act like a local and just ignore them and be firm.

The day came where we would be leaving Rome to move onto Florence. We caught a high speed train from Rome’s Termini Station, buying the tickets there. Again, Rome’s prices surprised me on the taxi front; a taxi from our hotel to the train station was very reasonable, as was the train ticket compared with the prices we pay in the UK for abysmal service and at a massively slower speed! The TreinItalia experience was a good one.

 

My Florence post will go up on Friday!
Best wishes,
Nicole
xxxx

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