What can I even say about my trip?! It was exhausting, scary, amazing… EVERYTHING!
If you’d asked me where I would want to travel if I could go anywhere in the world, my answer for years was “Italy!” I want to travel everywhere and anywhere but Italy has always been my #1.
So here I was about a month away from my the big 3-0 and not really feeling up to a big party like originally planned so I decided to look around for vacation deals. And I found one! I asked some gals at work if I was a crazy person and they both said now is the time! No husband or kids keeping me here. Go while I can. So I did!
I left Phoenix at 7am on Sunday sand landed in Rome 7am Monday morning (my birthday.)
Guys, that first day was rough! I made all these plans and researched so much and yet it all went straight out the window when I got there! It took so much longer to get out of the airport and off the train into the city than I thought and then I was lost! I had a walking tour audio guide on my phone starting at the Campo de’ Fiori but I had no CLUE how to get there. I was starving, tired, lost and scared in country who’s native language I did not speak. Oh boy! I talked to an employee of the metro who spoke English but just barely and came to the conclusion that I would just not find the Campo de’ Fiori today. But I could easily get to the Colosseum which was the plan for day 2 so I just headed there and adjusted the plan.
I downloaded Rick Steve’s audio tour that walks you through the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Arch of Constantine and Palatine Hill.
After I tried to continue on with my plan but boy oh boy I was lost and confused. I got on the metro and saw a stop called “Piramide” and figured that had to be near the Pyramid of Caius Cestius that I wanted to see so I got off and sure enough, found my way to the pyramid (after getting some gelato!) Tours were closed but it was still cool to see.
Then I wanted to go the Aventine Hill and look through the keyhole so I walked, and walked, and walked and died. My feet were hurting, I was lost and still had to make my way back to the hotel with NO idea how I was going to get there. It was rough, But poor me, lost of the streets of Rome, right? I finally hailed a taxi and just said ‘take me here.’ That was the SCARIEST car ride of my life. Italians really are crazy drivers! I got all settled at my hotel and the next day asked for directions to Campo de’ Fiori and finally was able to find my way around the city!
Day 2 was my fav day! Piazza Navona, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps. Then the Capuchin Crypt which was so creepy-cool. The walls were decorated with thousands of skeletons from Catholic monks!
I think the Pantheon was one of my fav places!
I also LOVED walking through the Villa Borghese! I would have loved it even more if my feet weren’t so achy.. but it was green and gorgeous and an absolute beautiful day. There was even an accordion player outside playing stereotypical Italian music like you hear in movies and I just loved every second of it. Cheesy? Yeah but it was a dream!
And finally day 3 was the Vatican (Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica) followed by the Castel Sant’Angelo. By day 3 my feet were hurting! I wish I kept track of how far I walked! Farther than I should have since I kept getting lost haha.
It was beyond beautiful and I am so thankful the opportunity I had to go to Rome. Are you allowed to be proud of yourself for going on vacation? I went to Europe alone. It was kind of scary but I made it. I found my way (with the help of Google Maps and some very helpful English speaking Romans!) and I crossed another major thing off my bucket list!
EATS: I know what you are thinking, that this should have been quite the culinary adventure but I don’t like pasta! Plus it was so hot over there that I wasn’t very hungry, especially for anything heavy. I mostly ate gelato! I tried a bunch of flavors (favorites: crema and cantelope!) But lots of the flavors are chocolate based which I’m not a choc fan either! I kept eyeballing them and then just going with a fruit flavor.
I did try a bunch of different pizzas and I always like to be adventurous but you know what? The best pizza slice I ate over there was at the airport when I just needed to eat something before the flight* and ordered tried and true cheese! But I’ll tell you this, for both red sauced based pizzas I tried over there, the sauce was too sweet!
Also, I did not need to eat before the flight because for the 10 hours I was trapped on that trash can I swear I ate 7 times. They were constantly passing out lunch, then a snack, then dinner and the constant bev cart. I’ve never eaten so much in my life!
All in all it was a wonderful, once in a lifetime trip and I did throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain so I guess that means I get to go back someday. Which I would LOVE to know what I know what I’m doing and where I’m going!