Saturday, November 15, 2014

Our Roman Holiday - Day One

So, if you missed me recently, it was because Ad and I recently visited Rome for a few days. Being very much in need of a break, I embraced the opportunity to take some time off from blogging as well with a view to really recharging my batteries. 
So, we took an early(ish) flight from Gatwick over to Italy whereon we had to hop onto the Leonardo Express train to get into the centre of the city. It took about 30-35 minutes to get from the airport to Rome Terminus Station. I would like to say though, for an express train, it certainly went no faster than 50mph but given there were no stops I shouldn't complain.
You can tell I'm simply delighted with the speed at which we're travelling. We booked our travel for November as we'd hoped to miss the bad end of the tourist season and therefore the queues. Whilst we were able to get into most things fairly quickly, I would like to point out for any would be travellers that during November, a lot of the big attractions shut at 4:30 so we had a lot to cram in over the next few days.
We arrived at our B&B at around 2pm and this was the view from our room. Isn't in amazing? We stayed on the Piazza Santa Maria Maggiore (this is the Monti & Esquilino District if you're wondering) which is about a 5-7 minute walk from the train station and about the same to the Colosseum. Despite being in such a good location, it was pretty quiet in the evenings which made for a good nights sleep.
As we only had a couple of hours before things began to close, we decided to try and get around the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. The tickets were about 12 Euro each and are valid for two days, you get one entry to the Forum and also one entry included to the Colosseum as well. I'd strongly recommended getting your tickets from the Roman Forum ticket booth as there were no queues!
I believe that the arch you can see here was apparently the inspiration for the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and was one of many imposing archway style monuments which we saw during our time in Rome.
The area itself was pretty vast but we were pretty lucky in that we managed to scoot around most of the area before the heavens finally opened and we both got soaked. For those of you unfamiliar with Rome, the Roman Forum was essentially the centre of the ancient city and featured some of the most extravagant basilicas and marble temples back in the day so it's a must see during your time here.
If you're running tight on time like we were, I'd certainly recommend heading straight for Palatine Hill, the views from up here were beautiful and when it was clear, you had a spectacular view of the city.
As we headed out we spotted the Colosseum again, but by this point it was far too late to have a peek around. Instead, we headed for Zizzi Pizza in the Piazza San Martino Ai Monti which was just far enough away for an authentic pizza. The food here was amazing and all of this grub only set us back 18 Euro which was an absolute steal.
After our meal, we headed back to the Colosseum to take some photos of it all lit up. It was quite breathtaking to see as it's such an imposing building.
As you can see, it was a pretty packed day so we were glad for an early night before our action packed second day in the city.

Stay tuned for Day Two of Our Roman Holiday!


  1. I've so been looking forward to these posts! I've been telling Kyle that I've been awaiting your Rome recaps so we can learn more about the region. I'll have to show him this first taste of your trip tonight!

    Can I say that your photos are spectacular - just like I've seen in professional travel photos and in the movies. This convinces me that it must be just as beautiful as I've always heard! We love hiking and exploring ancient ruins and historic sites. It's so cool to walk the same land and halls as generations long before.

    I also love that you included a little snapshot of your delicious pizza dinner. It's about lunch time here, so that crusty bread is making me hungry!

    I know what you mean about things closing early. We're taking a weekend getaway, and most everything to do is outdoors. As such, things close at nightfall, which is now around 4:30 p.m. Lame! So I guess we'll be getting up super early to fit everything in during daylight hours. And we'll have long evenings at our cabin. I'm packing along board games, cards, legos, and jigsaw puzzles for while we're cooped up in the cabin. It should be fun, though!

    Looking forward to part two of your Roman adventures!

    <3 Liz

    1. Right, I've finally settled down to respond to your comments!

      All in all, I think as we've done Rome now, we wouldn't go back, whilst we had a great time, I do feel that in the four-ish days we were there, we were able to do all the important stuff. Next on my list is Northern Italy, everyone says that's incredible.

      Thank you for your lovely comments on the photos, I think these were a joint effort between Ad and I. I was tempted to stick in some of us but I thought that maybe I'd stick with the important stuff which is what we all go to Rome for, the food and the architecture. It's so amazing to look at these enormous structures and think about how they were built without cranes or modern technology, it really is fascinating.

      Whilst it was a little frustrating that things closed early (a lot of things also close for an hour over lunch in case you think of heading over) it means that you can take some time out back out the hotel to relax before heading out for an evening meal.

      My number one tip, take comfy shoes, we did a ton of walking! A lot of the travel guides recommended getting a travel card for the metro/tram but it was so much easier to walk everywhere. Things weren't as spread out as they look on the map.

      I love that you packed board games etc for your trip. We tend to take a travel Cluedo and keep our fingers crossed we can connect to Netflix. As there was no TV in our room, Ad mostly relied on Youtube for our evenings entertainment when we needed something to doze off to.

      Thanks for taking the time to read my post!

      Laura xx


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