A Day in Vatican City

There’s nothing quite like having breakfast al fresco – I think it’s my favourite.

Particularly at the hotel we’re staying at, which you might have seen if you read my last blog post or follow me on Instagram. Look at the adorable courtyard…

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The breakfast buffet itself was pretty awesome, and much better than those we’d had in Croatia. Think a full range of San Pellegrino juices, continental options, the freshest pastries and jam-filled croissants, and fresh fruit and yoghurts. We stocked up for the day!

But this is Italy, remember, and there’s always room for more, right? Good, because en route to Vatican City, we stopped off at Campo dei Fiori, the city’s famous food market. It was hard not to stock up with bags of goodies as we were treated to tasters of truffle, oils, sauces, and more. Restraining ourselves with a few bags of crazy coloured pasta and sauces to take home as gifts, we carried on until we came across Roscioli.

Famed for its carbonara, pizza, and wine, Roscioli has a number of different branches across the city, including a salumeria and a pizzeria and I can only compare it to Carluccio’s with its deli-style restaurant. We came across the pizzeria and couldn’t resist – just check out these incredible pizzas. So good we had to share a few. Well, when in Rome!

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We continued our trek to Vatican City (thank goodness we wore trainers!), passing some beautiful scenes on the way. As they say, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and you can see why with all the ornate architecture and detailing you pass wherever you go.

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We’d bought tickets for the Vatican Museum, and as you get allotted a time slot, we didn’t have much time to hang around. Out of respect, you’re meant to cover up shoulders and legs above the knee.

It was incredible to see St. Peter’s Basilica – you can only imagine how full this square is when the Pope appears on the balcony for Papal Mass.

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We started our tour of the museum. It’s a pretty long tour, but there are lots of cool things to see including plenty of art and sculptures – make sure you try out a face swap with your favourite!

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This room was our favourite – how beautiful is this ceiling? On the walls are historic maps of each area of Italy to represent its unity in today’s age.

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Even the tiling on the floors is exquisite.

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The main feature of the Vatican Museum is, of course, The Sistine Chapel. Don’t expect to see it straight away! The museum takes you on a winding tour of all the other art first, promising the glory of the chapel all the way to the very end. Here’s a sneak peek for you.

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The museum does get very busy, so do be prepared to go for a drink after! We opted for an Aperol Spritz in Piazza Navona.

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After a quick costume change, we set off to Trastevere once again in search of a restaurant we’d heard all about online (it was even recommended by Antony Bourdain). It’s called Roma Sparita, and is located in a secluded courtyard and buzzing with locals. I’m pretty sure we were the only tourists in the restaurant, which is always a good sign, right!? Our waiter was an adorable old Italian man who reminded me of my grand-dad. He was so happy to see two English girls there and wanted to feed us everything!

We gorged on stuffed, fried courgette flowers, mozzarella and tomatoes with breadsticks and fresh bread, and the restaurant’s famous dish, cacio e pepe. It’s a simple pasta dish made in a big wheel of cheese, mainly consisting of spaghetti, parmesan, and freshly ground black pepper. It was even served in a parmesan bowl, and it was SO good.

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We finished off with a pannacotta and sipped away an incredible bottle of white wine. Ah Italy, I love you.

If you think Rome by day looks cool, try Rome by night. It was amazing walking back through the city and seeing iconic buildings like the Pantheon in the darkness. We sat and thought about all the people that must have seen this magnificent building over the years, seeing as it was built between 118 and 125AD. I’m sure it has some stories to tell!

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Just around the corner was one of my favourite attractions – the Trevi Fountain.

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If you visit, you have to do the obligatory coin toss over your shoulder. (Don’t do what I did first and accidentally miss – I have no idea how I managed that either…) They say that it will ensure another trip to Rome for you in the future.

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We managed to meet some American friends at the fountain (trying to race us up one of the steep streets – we weren’t going to let them win!) and went to a nearby bar to sip limoncello in true Roman style.

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Another awesome day in Rome – bring on our last day in the capital tomorrow.

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