When in Rome, live as the Romans do; when elsewhere, live as they live elsewhere
Words to live by, Saint Ambrose! Sharing below some photos of my 3 days in Rome last week with my sister Laura. This was the first leg of our holiday in Italy, which was followed by 5 nights in Sorrento.
We stayed at the Aeneas B&B, close to the Termini train station and the Colosseum.
Day 1 at the Colosseum. We pretty much saw everything we wanted to in Rome by just paying an entrance fee at the sights we wanted to see and avoided group tours. Rome in summer is thronged with tourists and I'm allergic to the combination of heat and long queues. Usually you can just skip a queue if you book ahead online or skip the guided tour. Selfie-sticks were everywhere, and not in a good way. Lots of ducking and diving to avoid the stick-wielding tourists, and the folks trying to sell us one.
Not taken with a selfie-stick :)
A map-reading pitstop after the Colosseum with an orange juice and banana and honey lasse.
We then headed to see the Trevi Fountain but sadly it's being renovated so there was no water!
However, it was dinner time so we stopped at a lovely spot around the corner from the fountain called Baccano.
Shared starter of crostini with burrata and anchovies
Standard finish to Day 1 of a city break: at the Compeed stand of a farmacia. I'll have uno in every size please Senor.
Lessons learned. Starting Day 2 in sensible shoes (and bizarrely co-ordinated!)
We had booked tickets online the previous week to visit the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel on the Tuesday. It was the wrong day. It was an Italian National and Republic day. As we had our tickets, and we didn't sign up for a tour, we could go straight in and avoid the insanely long queues in baking heat. Crazy people!
The museum was overcrowded, and it felt like we were moving in a single push forward. It was hard to take in all the art while the selfie sticks hovered over our heads.
After 2 hours we felt like this guy...
Laura on the Papal hotline. "Ciao Papi, I'm the tourist beside the statue in the museum. Send food and water."
At the Spanish Steps. After Laura told me to "look more feminine" (my legs were crossed cowboy-style before)
A Wine for Wifi stop. We made many stops to refresh and refuel, and also so we could get wifi to refresh Google Maps, take screenshots of the route, and find our next stop.
Happy feet, Happy Jo
My favourite pic of the trip. Laura looking nonchalant while I slyly got our Roman man-crush into the photo
Lunch of prosciutto, parmesan and rocket
Pistachio and Strawberry Gelato
We found this place for dinner on our last night, Roma Sparita. It was included in a Guardian list of Best Restaurants in Rome so we walked across the river to the Trastevere area to find it. It's famous for it's Cacio e Pepe pasta, made with pecorino cheese and black pepper served on a shell of Parmigiano, and featured on Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations. We got there an hour before it opened and were lucky to get a table. We pushed the boat out on our last night and went proper Italian style - pasta for first course 'primi' and pizza for 'secondi'. We weren't able for a meat dish too.
Had to have the Cacio e Pepe. Melty, cheesy amazingness.
Laura had the Pasta with Porcini Mushrooms
Pizzas to follow
On Thursday we left Rome for Sorrento. Couldn't resist squeezing in some Napoli pizza when we got off the train at Naples. After another hour long train from Naples, we arrived in Sorrento. Italy fun part 2 coming up soon on the blog.