February 26, 2017

Holidays in Rome

 
  

Sweet and crispy croissants with a freshly brewed cappuccino (or espresso if you like) for breakfast. 

Dark hot chocolate gelato together with blueberry ice cream - in which you can actually find pieces of berries and chocolate. 

A piece of crispy pizza topped with buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil for lunch on the go.

A glass of Pinot grigio with a bowl of yummy olives - all that produced locally just a few miles from Rome. 

Pasta carbonara covered in parmesan cheese for dinner. 

And a mouth-watering tiramisu as a dessert followed by a glass of Merlot for a change. 


 

Food could be the only reason for visiting Rome. What this Italian city has to offer honestly amazed me and I fell in love with it. I did not expect such a great mixture of architecture (on literally every corner), green parks and palm trees, historical sites and sunny days. Unique Italian lifestyle and attitude to life were just the icing on the cake!

I suppose Rome is crowded by tourists all year round and February was no exception. I enjoyed my trip a lot and mainly thanks to following my rules for visiting a busy city (mentioned here).


Sometimes I feel like I have seen everything and nothing can surprise me. Travelling always proves me wrong and that is why I love it in the first place. That is why I will never stop exploring - the world and myself at the same time.

We decided to visit Rome for a few days during February. My boyfriend did all the research, bought tickets to Colosseum and Vatican Museums (which was a great idea and we didn't have to queue for hours!). I found a nice accommodation in a villa of a walking distance from the centre. Yet it was in the area where you could rarely run into a bunch of tourists. Which we both loved.

Before flying to Rome we had to spend a night at Manchester Airport which was quite challenging. Our flight was in the early morning hours and sleeping at the airport was the best idea that occurred to us. We have some experience with sleeping at airports and so I was excited and a bit scared at the same time. Excited about our adventure and meeting other people waiting for their flights, wondering or learning what their story is. I was scared about getting no sleep at all and of getting cold. It was February after all. The Manchester Airport is very small with little shops and restaurants in the waiting hall. And so we found some comfy benches to sleep on (at terminal 1), got some sleep, bought ourselves a large cup of coffee and took off to Rome in the morning.

Rome already looked stunning from the plane as we were about to land. It was very hot and sunny on that day and so we put our glasses on and hid our jackets. After that, we got into the centre of the city, explored it a little and got accommodated. And how did our days look like? A few meters from the villa where we lived was a wonderful park where we liked to go in the morning to enjoy some sunshine, palm and tangerine trees. Before the walk in the park, we usually popped into a random café for a croissant and cappuccino. That is how our days started. Then we explored Rome, its sights and hidden gems. Today I am going to share with you some of the places in which I felt the spirit of Rome and which are worth a visit.


Vatican Area

Visiting the Vatican City and feeling its atmosphere made us very excited. Especially after reading Dan Brown's Angels and Demons not that long ago. So much of the world's history is accumulated in this one place and we felt very grateful for being able to enter it. In the morning we visited the Vatican Museum which is one of the largest in the world and its collections have been built up by Popes throughout the years. The famous Sistine Chapel is a part of the museum. I felt amazing walking around all the masterpieces created throughout the centuries.

 
 

After a couple of hours spent at the Vatican Museum, we decided to grab some pizza for lunch and explore the nearby St. Peter's Square. It is probably the largest square I have ever been to - 400 000 people can fit there!. The square lies directly to the beautiful Renaissance church - St Peter's Basilica which is papal enclave withing the city of Rome and probably the most important church in the Christian world.

And so we sat on the stairs of the colonnade eating our pizzas, looking at tall Egyptian obelisk just in the middle of the square and were enjoying the sunshine. We also saw a huge queue of people waiting to enter the St. Peter's Basilica. We did not join them but went back in the evening when the queue got smaller and our experience was amazing! I felt very fascinated and honoured at the same time.


From there we walked to Castle Sant'Angelo which can be translated as a Castle of the holy Angel. It is a mausoleum and according to a legend, the Archangel Michael appeared on the top and sheathed his sword as a sign of the end of the plague.  


Trastevere

The last place I am going to mention today is Trastevere. It is a part of Rome which was inhabited by Etruscans, the first inhabitants of Rome and still kept its authentic vibe. I loved it as I entered it.


The little cafés, artsy shops and narrow streets waiting for you to get lost in them. It felt like a hidden corner of Rome without the usual crowd of people. We felt the medieval spirit of this charming place and just wandered around. We did not really know where we are going, we popped into little shops and bakeries and took a tonne of pictures. This place is so photogenic! As we were starting to feel hungry we found this little authentic restaurant, ordered some local Pinot Grigio, pasta and gnocchi with mussels. It was so fresh and tasty! After experiencing Rome I can say that food is amazing everywhere. Italians know what they are doing and use fresh and local ingredients every time. If you plan on going to Rome definitely add Trastevere on your bucket list.

 

 

Travelling made me so much more grateful and thankful for what I actually have. Having to spend time with my family, eating what I want to (and having the actual food!), having my own bed, travelling where I want to and doing what I want to. It allowed me to compare my home country and my lifestyle to many other environments and attitudes to life. My travels changed and formed me as a person. I became very independent and aware of that I am the only person that I can rely on no matter what. And the only person that creates the life I live.

I wouldn't be the person I am today if I didn't follow my passion for travelling and didn't accept all the challenges and faced the fears that come with it. I am grateful for it every single day and that is why I stay positive. I do not complain about my life even if it gets difficult. I always see the bad stuff as a challenge and a great opportunity to learn, grow and become stronger. Try it out. Try to appreciate and understand what you actually have in your life. You will become much happier and fulfilled afterwards. Travelling and living abroad did this to me. Try to find your own way.

Ciao! M.