Leaving Croatia was really sad, but catching a flight to Rome this morning was SO exciting. This is my first time in Italy, and after years of dreaming about experiencing the country and its incredible food, it was finally happening!
We caught the train from the airport, and walked a short distance to our hotel – Hotel Quirinale. We picked this one after falling in love with the pictures of its grandeur and amazing decor, as well as a handy location and a great deal on Expedia. Just look at this lobby!
And here’s our room…
We went for a walk to check out the nearest sites, as we had a pretty packed itinerary for our few days in the capital.
We found the beautiful Altare della Patria, also known as the ‘Wedding Cake Building’ (you can see why, with all those tiers, right?), a monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.
One thing I must mention was the HEAT of the city. We arrived in early August, and oh my goodness was it hot! You’re talking around the mid-30s with no sea or pools like we were used to, so just be prepared with as little clothing as possible and regular pitstops for drink!
We stopped for delicious platters of buffalo mozzarella and heritage tomatoes in our first experience of Italian food, which didn’t disappoint. I warn you now, though – a can of fizzy drink cost over five euros, which is pretty darn expensive!
We soon forgot about it when we reached the building we’d been looking for. Hello, Colosseum!
It was so bizarre finally getting to see a building you’ve seen in so many pictures, heard so much about, and recognise as the largest ampitheatre in the world.
We’ll be back to take a look around inside later on in our trip.
Another crazy thing about Rome is how you’ll have modern buildings just casually interspersed with some of the oldest ruins in the world. So bizarre, and like nowhere else!
As the day was already cracking on, we freshened up at the hotel before setting off in the direction of Trastevere for dinner. We passed a hugely crowded Trevi Fountain (more on this later!), and the famous Piazza Navona, which was lovely.
Everywhere you turn in Rome, you’ll see some kind of sculpture or art, steeped in hundreds of years of history and it’s pretty awesome.
Just check out this guy…
We reached Trastevere for sunset, and it was beautiful.
Just how I’d imagined Rome!
For dinner, we’d heard about a place called Mama Angela’s Trattoria.
It was a struggle to choose from the fantastic menu, but I opted for a classic lasagne after we shared bruschetta with some of the tastiest tomatoes I’d ever tried. They also do a vegetarian version with pesto and pistachios which looked awesome, so I’ll have to go back one day and give it a try.
It didn’t disappoint – so simple, but so delicious. All washed down with a glass of prosecco, of course.
As I’d expected, the tiramisu was also the best I’d ever had.
When you pay, the staff make you do a shot of limoncello too!
Rome is already making a very strong impression on me.