We are continuing on with a bit of a theme here by including another Italy post. Did I mention how much we love Italy? No, well we think Italy is one of the most beautiful countries we have been to so far. The food, the sights and the people are all wonderful, that is what keeps us going back to explore more of this amazing country.
So, in this post we are going to discuss our trip to Rome. We had both been before with family but we loved the city that much the first time, we decided to go back together. Read below to see what we got up to on the trip!
How we got there:
We flew from Dublin via Ryanair to Ciampino Airport which is just 30 minutes by bus to the City. The bus stops at Termini and then we got a taxi to the hotel as we arrived at night time.
We stayed in the wonderful Relais Trevi 95 boutique hotel. This is one of our favourite hotels we have ever stayed in and here is why:
- The hotel is the cleanest hotel we have ever been to, not that the other hotels were not clean, this one was just noticeably spotless with not a speck of dust anywhere to be found.
- The rooftop terrace for alfresco dining was just the cherry on top at this hotel. It was wonderful to have breakfast on the terrace each morning in the sunshine looking out at the burnt orange rooftops of Rome.
- The staff were so friendly, especially the breakfast staff, always very pleasant and eager to help. Even when we were checking out I had left my jacket in the room and one of the staff ran down after me to give me the jacket.
- The rooms are a decent size and we really liked the décor, our room was a silver/ lilac colour which was bright and airy.
- The hotel is literally a 30 second walk to the Trevi Fountain and a ten-minute walk from the Pantheon and the Colosseum so it’s in a great location.
Ancient Rome and Gladiators: The Colosseum and Roman Forum
On our first day, after breakfast on the wonderful terrace at the hotel, we decided to head to the Colosseum as the Trevi Fountain was under renovations (Boo). Bryan had never been inside the Colosseum before so we decided to pay the extra and do a guided tour. We love guided tours as they give you in depth information on the history of the site and the area and they also let you skip a two-hour queue so that is an added bonus! We joined our tour group and headed inside and even though I was there before, I was still amazed by the architecture of the ancient building. The arches are so high and the view inside is breath taking, when you look down you can see the outlines of chambers where they kept lions and other wild animals to fight gladiators. After the guided tour you have time to go around the structure yourself to different levels and explore.
The second part of the tour included a guided tour of the Roman Forum. We had both never been inside so were quite excited about this. Again, the ancient ruins were a sight to see and it was hard to believe that we were standing inside ancient shops and markets where people would buy food and clothes, it was so interesting.
After the tour, we decided to get some food. We ate in a restaurant near the Colosseum (We had delicious pizza of course) and then headed to the Pantheon. Another place we didn’t see on our previous trips, we only spent a couple of minutes here before heading to Piazza Navona for some ice cream. Italy has the best ice cream we have ever tasted so far, we recommend you try some, we promise you will love it!
Piazza Navona was by far our favourite Piazza in Rome and even in Italy. The Piazza is full of fountains, beautiful buildings and also street artists who add an array of colour with all of their paintings. It really was a perfect way to the end the first day of adventures.
The Vatican and Castle Saint Angelo
On day two we decided to take a tour of the Vatican and visit Castle Saint Angelo. This really does take a full day so if you are deciding to visit the Vatican while here, make sure you put a full day aside to see it properly.
The tour included a visit to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica where you can also visit the underground tombs. The museum is huge and can get very crowded in some places but it was absolutely beautiful and it was interesting to hear about and see all of the artefacts housed in the Vatican. The Basilica is a beautiful piece of art itself and really is a must see in my opinion.
After the Vatican, we decided to go to Castle Saint Angelo- which was Bryan’s favourite part of the trip. The castle was great fun as you explore it yourself and find passageways and hidden rooms, we had a great time exploring. After the castle, we headed back towards the hotel for some food and found the best restaurant during our trip here called La Locanda del Tempio, who do the best Penne Arabiata in my opinion.
The Best Views of the City
On our last day we decided to go down to the Spanish Steps. This was one of my favourite places in Rome. When you eventually get to the top (it was a bit of a struggle) the view of the city is amazing. The area at the top is nice for a walk and to pick up some paintings.
We then headed to the Vittorio Emanuele Monument which is known to some as the “wedding cake building”. This monument is a tall white marble structure that glistens in the sunshine. Climb the steps to the top and you are rewarded with excellent views of the city!
Unfortunately, it was then time to head back to the hotel to collect our bags and then head to the airport. Rome is a wonderful city and we highly recommend visiting it at least once. It is a city full of history, amazing sights and great food.
Bring walking shoes, Rome is known as the seven hills for a reason!! There is a lot of walking and some parts of the city are very steep.
Fiumicino or Ciampino Airport? I have been to both and both have pros and cons, for example, Fiumicino is larger and has a lot more in it then Ciampino but is actually further away. If you are travelling by bus from Ciampino you are dropped at Termini which can be quite daunting at night time so keep you whits about you if you are here at night fall. Both airports are convenient but if you love shopping around duty free, then Fiumicino is better.
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