day 60 // mon march 12
We got to Rome about 11AM on Monday. We had the most time scheduled in Rome because it’s so big and there is so much to see, plus the Vatican is a city in itself. Wade was most excited about visiting Rome. It is always a cool experience to see something you've grown up seeing in movies, on tv and in textbooks.
We found and checked into our Airbnb. This was my favorite Airbnb so far. It was owned by a couple that were designers of some sort. It was simple and clean but the extra touches made it feel cozy. We had an espresso machine in the room, plus every morning around 9am they would put a basket of breakfast goodies outside your door—nothing too extravagant but muffins, toast and orange juice. It was a very nice gesture.
After getting settled in we decided to explore because the weather was so perfect! Our Airbnb ended up being a 10 minutes walk to the colosseum, a cool surprise! We walked around the perimeter, but didn’t want to go in just yet, that was for the next day. We eventually found the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, and this pastry shop called Regoli Pasticceria that was recommended by our Airbnb host. You know it’s going to be good when no one really speaks English. Regoli is an artisan bakery founded in 1916 and is still run by the Regoli Family. We decided on a traditional Roman pastry, a strawberry tart, and another puff pastry of sorts. The strawberry tart was SO good. Would recommend the little bakery hands down.
After scarfing down our pastries we took a nap and relaxed in our apartment. For dinner we went to a place nearby that had pretty good reviews for some pizza. I had a Diavlo with spicy salami. I enjoyed it. Then I ordered 2 desserts... whatever, when in Rome. I had tiramisu and catlana (which was essentially a cream brûlée).
day 61 // tue march 13
Our first full day in Rome began with a relaxed morning. We had read that it’s best to buy your tickets to the Roman Forum and Colosseum at Palatine Hill. Much less of a wait, plus an easier entrance. I would agree 100%. We walked passed the crowded and waited less than 15 minutes. We started at Palatine Hill, then strolled along, soaking up the sun and the sites. We walked through the Roman Forum (so much to see!). I couldn’t get over how great the weather was—sun shining, blue skies, and great temps! We took a lunch break and found a by-the-slice pizza joint. We each got a slice and took it back to the steps of a nice building we spotted along the way. We enjoyed our late lunch then decided it was time for the main show. We headed to the colosseum and there was no line at all. Since we had already bought a combine ticket that morning at Palatine Hill we just walked right in.
Later that night a group of students who were also in Rome had reached out about having dinner. This entire experience was a hoot. The place we originally wanted to go wouldn’t take a group as large as ours until 10pm. Our backup plan was a place across the street. We all sat down then ordered, and I don’t even know how to explain it... it was like the manager and the waiter were arguing? They also were almost convincing you on what to order. All that to say, my food was actually tasty, but the entire experience just felt awkward and anxiety laden for me.
After our full day of perfect weather we were pooped. We laid in bed and watched netflix (it was the first time we had a TV since being in Europe).
day 62 // wed march 14
The next day was dedicated to the Vatican. We took the subway to a stop nearby. Apparently we arrived there right after the Pope had been speaking (we didn’t even know that was happening, oh well). We had to wait a few minutes for the gates to open back up, but once they did the crowds flooded in. We waited probably 30 minutes to get into the church. Afterwards we bought our Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel ticket at a booth inside the Vatican. It was 4 euro more a person, but that allowed us to skip the line at the actual museum—definitely recommend. We spent a few hours in the museum and made it to the Sistine Chapel which is at the end of the journey. Wade and I were both blown away by the ceiling, although it wasn't what either of us were expecting.
Wade then met a friend from school at a video game museum. I walked around the neighborhood and eventually took a break at a cafe. I ordered a small sandwich and did some people watching. After reuniting we took a walk down the river to the neighborhood where we had dinner reservations. I had found this place via another blogger online. She had 1 picture of the place and I was sold. Not to mention it was pretty far off the beaten path. We got there a little early, but they were able to seat us immediately. The restaurant was called Meridionale. It was such a cute place! We started with an appetizer of squash pie with fontina cheese. I ordered carbonara and it was SO good! We then ordered tiramisu and it was served in a cute little coffee cup. Probably one of my top favorite meals so far this journey.
After dinner we wanted to see the Trevi fountain at night, so we walked through the streets to the last destination of the evening. We through a coin in and called it a night.
day 63 // thur march 15
The last thing to cross off our list while in Rome were the Spanish steps. We headed that direction, found them, got handed roses like a million times, then decided to move on. We found this neat park close by that we explored for awhile. It had the coolest busts scattered throughout the park. After 3.5 jammed packed days we left and headed south towards Naples. This was my pick because I wanted to see coastal Italy and Cinque Terre was too far out of our travel path. Not to mention I LOVE me some Neapolitan–style pizza. Let’s get real. (the pizza did not disappoint, the city itself, well)