July 3, 2015 Italy – Day 1 and 2 – Rome!
Hey friends! I’m writing this Wednesday night as we finish up our final day in Rome! Tomorrow morning we head out to Florence and I can’t wait to see what the next leg of our trip will bring! Rome has been an amazing start to what already is an incredible vacation. So much history, art, culture, and delicious food. On our first day, we got to our hotel and started off by taking a four hour nap. A big no-no normally, but we were both pretty sick from the plane ride so it was nice to sleep it off and start fresh. We had a few hours to explore and walked much of the center of Rome. We visited the Colosseum, walked the long way to Trastevere for a delicious meal, cookies at the #1 biscotti place in Rome, and gelato from one of the top gelaterias. I couldn’t decide what flavor to get, and he said I could get four (crazy!) so I went all out and tried everything I wanted to try. They didn’t necessarily go together, but man it was delicious! I got vanilla and cinnamon (holy amaze), dark chocolate (really good but a little too rich), pineapple (very light and refreshing), and raspberry (best ever!!!). We walked back through to the Colosseum and found a place to perch on one of the streets above until the sun set deep enough to get the night shots I had dreamed of there. It was just as beautiful as I had imagined, and absolutely worth the wait. Our hotel, Hotel Capo d’Africa was only 3 short blocks away from the Colosseum so it was the perfect place to end up for the night! We walked everywhere and it was a great start to what has turned out to be a very walkable trip!
The following day was spent mostly on tours. We went to the Vatican – where I mostly took photos outside, and then back to the Colosseum, this time to explore the inside! We ended our day with an incredible meal at La Fornace outside the Vatican which was a recommendation from my dear friend Dominic. Dominic has been a part of my family’s life for well over a decade at this point, and he’s from Italy, with family living in Rome. His recommendation wasn’t taken lightly, and I knew no matter what we needed to make time to find this place. We ended up taking a taxi to the restaurant because it was back near the Vatican – not very close to our hotel. It was 100% worth the journey. The meal was absolutely incredible, very affordable, and everyone around us was local. We managed to get a bottle of wine, a large bottle of water, two delicious meals, and a dessert for 30 euros. It was so good, and it was really awesome watching the beautiful Italian families sharing meals beside us. Before ending our day we had another gelato stop close to the hotel. The shop we wandered into (unfortunately I don’t remember the name!) had the nicest and funniest owner. He spoke very poor English, much like we spoke very poor Italian, but he was SO excited to practice his English!! He told us that he knew what we wanted and he made a delicious concoction for each of us. Steve’s had a mixture of hazelnut and chocolate flavors with chocolate syrup and some sort of candies inside. Mine was fresh with fruit sorbets – pineapple and grapefruit. He pegged us both perfectly!
So far the trip has been amazing and I can’t wait to get some of these photos printed and hung on our walls!