DO AS THE ROMANS DO

Our campsite for Rome was on the very outskirts of the city. It was a long tram journey in the midday heat but worth it to know the van was safe. The perfect way to start our time in Rome was a free walking tour. I wanted to remind myself of all the amazing places I had seen when I was 20. We started at the Spanish steps and wove our way around the beautiful streets until we ended up at the colosseum as dusk began to take hold. One stop missed was the Pantheon and it is one of my favourite buildings in Rome so I dragged Josh there as soon as we had finished before we stuffed our faces at dinner. As we ate clouds rolled in and after we walked the rain spotted streets, within minutes it was a torrential downpour! Taking shelter in a nearby coffee shop we sipped our coffees and laughed at how this could only happen to us. There was no sign of it stopping and it was way past my bedtime so we thought f*ck it and ran as fast as we could all the way to the station. As we pulled closer to the campsite I hopped off only to be chased by Joshua shouting at me. It was only the wrong bloody stop! It meant we had to run even further in the rain but it was so warm it didn’t matter. The rain continued to hammer down all night but we didn’t care holed up in cosy van and it was quite refreshing!

 

 

The next day I set our alarm at stupid o’clock. We joined the early risers on the tram and headed to the main sights hoping to beat the tourists. For once we actually did! It was about 8am and there was hardly a soul around. I took the opportunity of course to take some instagram snaps as well as being able to see the architecture fully without a million heads bobbing in front of us. Its incredible seeing the fountain in front of the Spanish steps or the whole facade of the Trevi fountain and its an experience I will never forget. Our last stop was the Colosseum where it was absolute carnage, booking our tickets prior was a god send because that queue rivalled those of Florence however the system was so unclear it was getting a lot of people wound up. We sneaked in to the front of our queue and before we knew it we were inside. Choosing not to pay extra for a guided tour we happily walked along the edges of the arena looking down into the remains of the secret maze below. It was a breathtaking view and the shows which would have been put on there must have been spectacular (not that I am pro any of it just FYI). It didn’t take up a whole day and was more a few hours in cooler temperatures of the morning. As we started to walk back we realised we’d only gone and left our Vatican tickets in the van so had to run to a print shop.

 

 

As we walked up to the Vatican City it was as busy and bustling as I remember. The hoards of men outside selling the cheap cover ups for those not repaired didn’t hassle us as we were appropriately dressed and we followed the signs over to the entrance point. It wasn’t long before we were ushered into the museum. It was slightly stuffy with the lack of air con and as we weren’t part of a tour we were free to explore at our own pace. It was soooooo much bigger than I remember. We walked by masses of portraiture, statues and artefacts all owned by the church. My only pet peeve was that most of the English labels with descriptions on were rubbed out and considering the price we’d paid for the ticket you’d think it would be up to scratch. We spent near enough the whole the day exploring the many rooms in the galleries before we entered the sistine chapel, obviously the real reason we went! We loved seeing all the details in reality after reading up the secrets online, like the critic who’s being bitten on his nether regions because he had criticised Michelangelo himself. We had worked up a right appetite after all those kilometres walking round so we stopped by the Old Bear pub just off the Piazza Novana where we sat on the cutest little meal table on the side streets surrounded by ivy and foliage whilst people strolled by in the evening. Joshua had the most amazing mushroom lasagne which is a must try when in Rome! By this point our minds were so preoccupied as we knew that in less than 24 hours we would be meeting our parents for a mini holiday within our adventure!

 

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