Rome: Old World Charm

by - June 03, 2017

Last month I decided to do a two week trip across Europe along with two friends. We traveled to 8 destinations! YES 8 cities/countries in 16 days! In spite of many days of poor weather we were still able to enjoy the little charms that each destination had to offer. Personally, I was most surprised  by how much I liked Rome and so decided to do a quick blog to share some of the pleasant things about this old world beauty. 

 During my first bus ride to Piazza Venezia I remember thinking "what is this place." Maybe its the island girl in me but, it was an unexpected delight to see palm trees. What was even more intriguing was seeing them in the midst ruins and stately buildings with grand statues and fountains and quaint dwellings. My first stop was the Vittoriano Monument to King Victor Emmanuel II where you get the best view of Piazza Venezia from atop the building. My favourite thing was seeing the ancient buildings that look something like illustrations in a kids biblical book. That and the African safari looking trees that hovered nearby that made for a form of majestic kingdom glory that could only be of Roman origin. 

The best discovery for me however were the narrow alleys where the true gems of Rome hid. Its easy to get lost in these little lanes (they all look alike) but the good thing is almost all of them lead you to a main road and with the help of Google maps you'll be okay. I encourage you though, do make it a priority to just wander around. A part from the fact that their aesthetics make for great photo ops (think bomb ass doors, random cute bikes or tiny cars waiting to be props at every corner) you will find the coolest boutiques, bakeries, restaurants and more which are usually authentic Italian finds and very likely family owned. My friends and I ended up on Via di San Simone where we found a strip of leather stores with genuine goods for incredibly affordable prices. On that same road we also got our gelato fix at Gelateria del Teatro which was SO GOOD! 

On the subject of treats! Please, don't miss the sunset at Piazza Venezia. You've never seen cotton candy skies quite like these. For me it was particularly striking because of the contrast in the landscape. Also, since you will very likely go to Piazza di Spagna where you will find the Spanish Steps, time it for sunset so you can see the sky "catch a fire" but you have to climb to the top of the steps to get the best view. (This Piazza is also shopping haven!)

Of course no trip to Rome is complete without a visit to the Vatican. I went to two Catholic high schools and even though I am not Catholic myself I was curious to see the Catholic Capital. It was as grand as I imagined, sometimes uncomfortably so but I was happy to have seen it in person. If I ever do go back it would be to see the Sistine Chapel. We had gone after lunch and after queueing for what felt like forever in the heat to see St. Peter's Basilica, we missed the cut off time to see the chapel so I advise you GET THERE EARLY! We might have missed the chapel but I was so happy to have found this little public water fountain outside the walls of the Vatican premises. Usually I would have NEVER drank from these things but I convinced myself it was holy water. LOL. I was thirsty. *facepalm* Anyhow, another "cool" thing about Vatican City for me was that the Papal guards, who I later learned are Swiss soldiers, wore costumes that could easily be used in Alice in Wonderland. They are as stoic as the English Buckingham Palace guards which was so ironic to me since they wear what I kind of imagine a king's jester would.


Lastly, when you go to Trevi Fountain, please go to Don Nino for some gelato. It was one of the best gelato I've had in Italy. The flavours were incredibly (and surprisingly) RICH. I have a coffee intolerance but I can't resist coffee ice-cream and typically the effects of having it in ice-cream form isn't as bad as having the coffee itself. Their coffee flavour however was so rich that I was scared that I would have gotten sick from having it. THATS HOW GOOD IT WAS! I also tried the hazel nut, biscotti, ricotta cheese & cannoli and the mint chocolate chip flavours. Every one was a hit! The prices are also very reasonable so don't miss out!


until next time,

Do Good, Dress Well

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