Exams just finished and summer was upon us – May 2018 marked Euan and I’s 6 month anniversary and our first ever holiday together – our first stop, ROME! I ran a poll over on my instagram a couple of weeks ago asking if yous would like to hear about my trip to Rome last year and a whopping 100% of you that voted were keen for it. Since I’m at uni and can’t do much travelling right now I thought it’d be a great idea to reflect on better times and share the experience.
SATURDAY. We flew off from Edinburgh Airport on the Saturday evening to Rome and landed in Ciampino Airport at about half 9. A taxi journey to the train station, getting on the wrong train and then the right one, then another taxi, we finally arrived at our apartment at about half 11 and we were exhausted. We were staying in a little place just a 10 minute walk North of Vatican City – the room was alright for the price but it was a basement room just under the sidewalk so it wasn’t the quietest of places but we didn’t mind it at all since we were just sleeping there really.
SUNDAY. An early start for the hottest day of the trip at about 28 degrees (you can bet I’m missing hot weather and sunshine right now as it’s raining here lol). I booked the Colosseum beforehand so we didn’t have to queue in the mad lines on the day. (definitely recommend booking online in advance and printing out the tickets – you can do this for the Colosseum and for the Vatican Museum/St Peter’s Basilica too!) We walked from our apartment to the Colosseum which took us over an hour but it was so worth it. We walked everywhere on this holiday and discovered little places we wouldn’t have otherwise, including a cool street wear/basketball shop called Space23 where Euan bought me the coolest Michael Jordan hoodie ever! (still my favourite hoodie ever, it’s fresh AF)
On our walk to the Colosseum we came across lots of fancy buildings, walked past Vatican City, Castel Sant’Angelo, the Palantine, the most stunningly white building ever and even stumbled into what seemed to be the Italian Race for Life?
The Colosseum itself was an unreal experience – being inside one of the most famous landmarks in the world and a remarkable piece of history was insane and the photos were even better. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves for most of this Rome trip (seeing as I took over 1000 photos and a photo speaks a thousand words and all that eh). Unfortunately we weren’t able to go down onto the stage part of the Colosseum where the gladiators/animals would actually fight – you have to pay and go on a whole tour to access that part (boo I know!)
After visiting the Colosseum we just wandered around nearby – around but not in the Palantine and then towards the great white building!! (We didn’t know what it was called at the time but it was piercingly white – it’s actually called the Alter of the Fatherland and it’s pictured above right under the Race for Life ft. Colosseum pic) The trees all across Rome are my absolute favourite, I still have no idea what they’re actually called but I called them broccoli trees (and I think that’s a good name for them) because of the long trunks and leaf’s just on the top.
Inside the great white building there’s a museum you can pay to go into but we discovered that you can actually go on top of this building which seemed a lot more fun to us – it’s in the centre of Rome and the highest building around, you can see all over Rome and it’s truly incredible. Here’s a few of my favourite pics I took because words can’t even describe the beauty of this place. (also v lowkey chuffed about my photos I took, I seriously need to invest in a proper camera instead of just relying on my phone though)
Perhaps Rome is the most photogenic place ever?! Oh but wait, it doesn’t stop there. Like I said, we walked everywhere and discovered places others wouldn’t have if they gotten the bus or tram or whatever. Just across from this insanely busy part of Rome we found the quietest, most serene square ever – I felt like I had been teleported to Game of Thrones and was in Dorne, it was seriously like a whole other world and such a contrast to the hustle and bustle outside of this square. After a little bit of research I found that this little place is a Community Garden called Giardino di Palazzo Venezia and it has a little Museum there too. I could honestly have sat here all day – it was beautiful and so peaceful.
Around the corner we found a little convenience store for groceries (much like a little Italian Tesco’s), where we picked up some more snacks and even more water (I don’t even know how much water we drank on this holiday, it was so hot we were constantly sweating lmao) and breads with cold meats and cheese to make for our breakfast for the following morning. We then headed back to our apartment which was another long hours walk back in the (still) blazing heat. A day full of wandering about and exploring left us exhausted and super sweaty. After a rest and quick showers we headed out for tea at around 8pm then strolled about the local areas we were staying before heading back to bed for another action packed day in the sun.
MONDAY. Another early morning and a walk past Vatican City we headed to Castel Sant’Angelo, which is also Hadrian’s Mausoleum. This cylindrical castle holds lots of history and is even connected to Vatican City by a high wall/path. If the Vatican should ever be under attack this is the escape route the Pope would take, leading him into the safety of the castle. Although inside was quite dark and not the most photogenic place ever, I learned a lot from this visit and it was incredibly interesting to see! Also provided some excellent views of the surrounding area and River Tiber.
Although, as you can see, the weather wasn’t so sunny as the previous day (and it even rained a little) it was still toasty toasty and a lot more enjoyable than the Scottish weather! We left the castle around half 12 and were starving. Ready for our lunch we set off to find somewhere to eat and we found a sweet restaurant just across the River Tiber where we had a bite to eat before setting off to visit the Palantine!
As there is so much I want to share about this trip I’m splitting this into two parts (I’m not one for super lengthy posts). With Sunday and half of Monday out of the way, we still have half of our trip left and many more photos still to share! Stay tuned for a Rome part 2 where I show you inside the Palantine, Vatican City by night, the Vatican museum and I talk what I would do if I got to go there again!
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