‘Italy has changed. But Rome is Rome’ ~ Robert De Niro
They say that all roads lead to Rome and after spending a week in the city I can honestly say that I will be finding my way back there in the future. There was so much to see that I don’t think a week was long enough and the whole holiday was amazing but I want to share with you some of my favourite points that we visited (and ate!).
I want to start by saying that the flights, hotel and transfers were through Jet2 and we did a package deal as we haven’t ever been abroad together and I personally haven’t been abroad for roughly 4 years. We were unsure about what to expect but I an honestly say that the whole experience was really good, there were a couple of hiccups with the transfers but overall I would definitely recommend them for ease and price. We flew out on the Monday and arrived at the hotel at around 3 o’clock. The first thing was a change of clothes because the heat was just stifling in jeans so I would definitely recommend flying in something looser as we struggled once we hand landed in Italy. We didn’t do much on the first day because we had been up since 4am UK time and were just drained but we did venture out to find food. I’m not going to discuss food much in this post because I want to a whole post dedicated to being gluten-free in Rome.
The Tuesday was the first full day we had on the ground and we decided that as this was the coolest day (at 29 degrees) we would travel a bit further away from the hotel and see the Vatican City and Sistine Chapel. We hadn’t booked tickets for the tour and it something that I regret not doing because the wait was up to four hours when we arrived. We managed to book some last minute tickets online which allowed us to skip the line and get in through a shorter queue and if you are planning to go anytime soon I would recommend booking prior to the trip as it does work out cheaper. The inside is beyond beautiful and I actually became quite choked up when I witnessed the passion and work that had gone into creating such beautiful works of art and design. Although the main tour is within the Vatican’s walls there is also plenty to see that does not involve paying to get in, including St Peter’s Square and the Vatican City. For those of you that follow me on Instagram (if not, my handle is @gemmasspace ) you will have seen the spinning photo of me in my River Island dress that I was oh so proud of and this was actually taken in the middle of St Peters Square. There are some adorable little shops to pop in and out of and whilst we were on this side of the river we decided to pick up the Pandora bead to represent the trip, a tiny little colosseum charm.
Wednesday was the busiest day for us, we spent a lot of time on our feet and travelling all over the city seeing some the different sites that were across the river. The first was a stop off at the Colosseum which had been on my list to see for a while and it did not disappoint, I found it fascinating to read about the history and how the building has had different uses over the previous centuries, we were able to walk all the way round but there was some building work going on in the middle to reserve the centre. I also found that the tickets you purchase at the Colosseum will also get you into the Roman Forum and the Palatine, we decided not to visit the inside of these because it had just become too hot to be outside, so it’s on the list to do when we return.
Following on, we headed towards the Spanish Steps, I had seen so many beautiful photos taken there with the flowers in bloom up the middle of the steps, but sadly this must only be during the Spring months as when we got there they had been removed. Despite this being a bit disappointing it was still magnificent to see the steps and walk up them and we did manage to get some photos but it was so busy due to heat and it being the middle of the day. We started walking back towards the hotel but had to make sure we stopped by to see the Pantheon, I highly recommend going inside as it is free and there are lots of monuments and statues that will take your breath away when you are inside, its still used a place of worship so you must ensure that you are quiet when inside. It’s also interesting to know that if you go to the city during storm season, this is where a lot of people gather if a downpour occurs as this building will withstand more-or-less anything.
Thursday was one of my favourite days because, whilst looking on Google Maps, we actually found that Rome has a Rose Garden! Of course I just had to visit and we hopped on the Metro quite early to make sure we got there before the crowds, this is another sight that is actually free to experience but they do ask you to leave a donation f you enjoyed which, of course, we did. I was not disappointed when I got there, the gardens were beyond beautiful and they smelled utterly divine, the garden is spilt across both sides of a road and I highly recommend that you take a walk around both sides as there are so many varieties of rose to enjoy, I was unaware that there were so many different types and colours of rose. For those of you like me, that enjoy a pretty place to take photos then I suggest you make sure to visit the section of gardens on the left hand side as that is where they have grown the heart made of pink roses, I took so gorgeous photos for you guys which you can now see on my Instagram grid.
We followed this by heading towards the Trevi Fountain which I have admit was my favourite part of visiting Rome for some final photos and I finally got my ice cream pot from Gelato in Trevi which had been on my list fo things to do whilst experiencing the country. For those of you that missed my Instagram post, I had White Chocolate Chip and Raspberry and it was so delicious, I swear that you cannot beat the ice cream in Italy as it is homemade. We took a slow walk back to the hotel past the presidents palace and picked up the little presents for friends and family back home (crossing my fingers and hoping that they love them).
Friday was the day to head home and after a slow break fast in the hotel, we packed up the suitcases and had to wait around for the transfer to collect us from the hotel to head to the airport. A small word to the wise, the Italians do not drive like us and if you do not travel well then I would suggest not taking a taxi as I sat in fear for my life quite a few times.
This holiday was pure heaven for me, I was able to experience the culture and sights that you just cant find in the UK. I will definitely be retuning to Italy and I would love to explore the other cities such as; Venice and Lake Garda. I know this post has been a long one so if you made it to the end then please let me know what you thought in the comments below and also let me know if you have been anywhere recently and if you think that there is somewhere I should add to the list of destinations!