Alright. Let’s do this thing. I bring to you my attempt at recounting a massive, beautiful, stressful, interesting, delicious and wonderful trip to Rome and Venice. We succeeded in our main goal, to see amazing things, and also in our second goal, to eat a whooooole lot of food (specifically gelato and canolli, of which Italy is plentiful!). My recap will probably be 4 parts because there were that many photos taken and there is that much to talk about. Keeping things concise is not my forte so how on earth am I going to condense eight days gallivanting through Italy?! Nevertheless, I’ll try.
Landing in Rome was a pretty exciting moment. I’ve spent years learning various combinations of Spanish, French and Italian. Yet, I hadn’t actually been to a country (other than a brief stint in Disneyland, Paris, which probably doesn’t count..) where using those languages was a necessity. Being a massive language nerd who is a little too interested in etymology and grammatical tenses I was beyond keen to get to use my, admittedly fairly limited, Italian skills on a day to day basis. They were challenged immediately upon setting foot in Italy when we quickly realised that it was actually pretty important to have someone in the group who could speak/understand some Italian in Italy without seeming like massive tourists. Which of course we were. I’m happy to say my Italian actually helped us through a few dubious situations throughout the trip (except for the time in the hospital where I didn’t know how to say ‘I have something stuck in my eye’ and so they assumed I had conjunctivitis, prescribed me with a cream and tried to send me on my way… Turns out miming is the way to go in those situations!).
The weather was stunning from the moment we set foot in Rome. A breeze, dimly lit, pink sky, palm trees (?), too good for words. We were greeted by a driver who was lovely but also clearly had a death-wish and I spent the entire drive hanging onto the door handles and hyperventilating because it turns out guys, that in Italy people drive like maniacs. Nonetheless, we made it in one piece, settled in and were quickly hungry enough to wander around Aurelia for dinner. I should preface this series of posts with a mention of the vast number of photos you’re about to see of the tops of buildings juxtaposed against the sky. I couldn’t get over the warm pinks, oranges and yellows of all the buildings – and I mean all of them – and how incredible it looked against what happened to be amazing weather and a crisp blue sky… the whole time. You just don’t get colours like that in London.
We chose a little pizza place just down the road, Ristorante Pizzeria dal Sardo, a tiny and very basic kitchen-style restaurant which was exactly what we needed after a day of travelling. I was prepared for eating a lot of fabulous pizza and pasta in Italy but this place just completely exploded my expectations. The four of us table shared bruschetta, Blake and I shared a pizza with anchovies and cheese and a basic gnocchi and it all seemed too good to be true. Perfect pizza bases, cheese, fresh everything, all very simple and perfectly cooked. Italy, one million points to you.
Also worth noting is that around the Vatican you will be harrassed every 5 metres by a guy trying to sell you something. Hats, weird jelly ball things that splat all over the ground and make noises, wooden baskets (?), anything and everything. Don’t buy into it people. Unless your beloved H&M hat breaks due to being stuffed into suitcases and your resilience to the sun has been eroded from a year living in the UK so you need to buy a hat. Then it’s fine.
The museums themselves are incredible. You can do it in as little as 30 minutes but we opted to take our time and take in as much as possible, so spent around 2 hours exploring the many rooms and admiring piece upon piece of history.
After such a mammoth day we were all pretty tired so caught up with ourselves back at the apartment for a moment, before Blake, Courtney and I ventured out to Ristorante Le Vele for dinner… which ended up being a little pricey, but truly amazing. We sat in the seafood side of the restaurant (there is a pizzeria on one side and a slightly fancier seafood restaurant on the other). I wish I had taken photos of our meals but alas, we were ravenous and ate them really quickly but they were AMAZING. If we go back to Rome I’d like to eat there again.
Day one in Rome, you rocked.