If you read my blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel you may already know that Laurence and I have been planning a trip to Rome! We wanted to go somewhere with some culture and great late summer sun whilst being able to tick a new country off our list. So Rome was the place for us as the Vatican City is technically another country to Italy – so we were able to cross a new country off whilst exploring a country I am in love with.
I’ve recently done a post on some tips for traveling to Rome, so if you’re thinking of going check that out as there are some great little tips: https://hellobiglittleworld.wordpress.com/2014/10/15/tips-for-traveling-in-rome/
We were staying at the hotel Suite Sistina which was around 200 meters from the Spanish steps, which was a great location (however if you have a heavy suitcase you may want to find a different way to the hotel from the Metro as getting it up those steps is a bit of a workout!). It was a lovely little hotel with a great boutique feel to it, perfect for couples as it is pretty ‘sexy’ with things like eye masks and cuffs for sale in the reception… I probably wouldn’t recommend it as a family destination. I loved that they decorated the bed with chillis (real ones too!) – it was a really cool spin on the typical rose petals. Laurence and I always have a habit of telling hotels we stay at that it’s our honeymoon as sometimes you get something extra from the hotel – cheeky I know but it’s fun to do. In this case the hotel had written ‘Happy Honeymoon’ on our shower door – quite sweet. The hotel was pretty unique in that everything in the mini bar was complimentary – I really liked that. They also deliver breakfast to your room at what ever time you want which was great as one of the things I hate when going away is having to get up in order to make the breakfast that finishes at 10am – seriously? I’m on holiday I want to lie in.
We stopped off at a cute little restaurant for some lunch (I can’t remember the name of it but to be honest you would have to try VERY hard to find anywhere that wasn’t good in this city!). We had some cold meats and cheeses and bruschetta al fresco.
Whenever we go to a new city, we like to do a segway tour – it is the ultimate lazy tourism and such a good idea to do if you’re only around for the weekend as you get to see so much in so little time. I’m constantly going on about vespas to Laurence, I am in love with them and have wanted one for so long, so him being the great boyfriend he is, he found a vespa tour for us! Being Rome, they’re not that fussy about you having lots of experience riding before you get on, you could have never touched a bike and they will still let you ride one (although they do advise against it!). I thought it would be so scary, however I was actually quite shocked about how respectful other drivers were. It always feels like in other European countries the drivers are crazy and dangerous, but that’s really not the case, other drivers let you through and people are actually very safe drivers. Our tour guide took us to a number of different sights including the colosseum and the tour lasted around 3 hours. I think it cost about 60 euros each which wasn’t too bad I thought for what we got out of it. Defiantly look into doing it if you’re going, the company was called ‘My Vespa Tour’ and they were all very lovely and it was a highlight of the trip!
Just look at all these places we got to saw in 3 hours! You would never be able to do that on foot!
Laurence had found a great little place for us to have dinner, however when we got to our hotel they had told us they were fully booked and booked us into another restaurant called Fortunato Pantheon. I have to admit, we were looking to go somewhere that wasn’t as fancy… not because we didn’t want to spend the money but because we wanted to experience some proper Italian food in a small bistro. Having said that, this place was still amazing. I am addicted to gnocci at the moment so I had that to start which was so simple, I think all it had on it was pesto, bacon and parmesan. For mains I had lamb which was cooked to perfection – a really lovely restaurant and I would reccomend it if you wanted to go for a slightly more fancy restaurant. Warning to you ladies though, if you’re sat outside, be careful of all the streetsellers around, they’re constantly coming up to you trying to get you to buy roses and pay for their ‘musical contributions’ to your evening. Keep an eye on your bag.
On the Saturday we took the metro over to the Protestant cemetery where John Keats the poet (yeah I hadn’t heard of him either) was buried. I was so surprised with the beauty of the cemetery (given it was a beautiful day) there were so many graves with some amazing sculptures of angels on, it was pretty amazing. Around the corner from the cemetery was a little cat sanctuary where if you go there between 2pm and 4pm the people who look after the cats are there and you can go in and see the little cats, as big cat lovers L and I really liked doing that.
We then went back to the colosseum as on out vespa tour you don’t get to go inside, we also got an audio guide which was really interesting, you end up learning lots of things you wouldn’t have before.
A quick pit stop for some gelato.
The archutecture in Rome is so jaw dropping. It’s one of those places that you will end up bumping into people as you’re not looking where you’re going from staring at the amazing buildings!
After wondering around visiting a number of different buildings and churches, we went to the Hotel De Russie to have a drink at the Stavinskij Bar which was so beautiful and peaceful. It was quite odd to be in this quite courtyard when you knew outside the roads were full of cars, scooters and people. A great little escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Now if you go ANYWHERE in Rome, you NEED to come to Dino and Tony’s! It’s an AMAZING retaunt that’s a short walk from the metro station Ottaviano. You need to book a table otherwise you will be waiting for a long time, this place is super popular. You arrive, get quickly directed to your table (Tony just pointed at a table for us to sit at) and you’re then asked “Rosso o bianco” (referring to if you would like red or white wine…). There’s no menu, they will just start bringing you food until you say stop! The dishes were so simple, mostly pasta dishes with simple oil and bacon sauces and they are the best things I’ve eaten in ages. We had about 6 courses and 2 jugs of red wine and the bill was only 60 euros.
We ended up meeting some lovely people on the table next to us from Germany and had a bunch of drinks with them (Tony brought us over a bottle of sweet wine and just left it with us to drink as we wanted). Before we left Tony brought me over this little wooden cut out of the restaurant’s logo as a gift – I’m sure it’s going to make a great cheese board.
The whole reason we came to Rome! To see the Vatican city! We were also pretty lucky that the pop was doing an appearance and giving a speech the day we were there.
If you can try and take a walk down Via Dei Coronari – it’s a beautiful little street full of stunning buildings covered in vines and lovely restaurants and shops.
We stopped at this lovely little bakery called Made and had the best cupcake I think I’ve ever had. It was pistachio and was seriously good, the perfect amount of sweetness – I’m defiantly going to try and create this when I next bake!
We had an amazing time, Rome is so beautiful and full of great places to go. I think we will go to venice soon as I’m falling in love with Italy a little so if you have any tips for Venice or and advice on where to go then hit me up in the comments box or even better if you have done a blog post on Venice send me a link as I would love to see it.
Thanks for reading and congrats if you got this far – I always tend to go on a bit with my travel posts.
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