It’s obviously been a while since we packed our bags and left for Rome but it seems I have already forgotten SO much. I looked at these pictures and I was like, no way, it’s not possible that we did this all in one day but… We did! No wonder I could hardly walk by the time we got home.
Then, I know it’s going to sound so silly, but the other day I used the scent that I used exclusively on this trip and all the memories flooded back. I felt giddy with a sense of nostalgia and memories. Then I was absolutely desperate to hop back on a plane and go back. But I look at these pictures and I feel it, but not quite as desperately as when I smell it! Weird huh? Turns out that my nose is much more powerful in invoking memories than my eyes. It did lead me to thinking about scents and how it’s such a good idea to reserve special ones for special times that you want to remember. I think I’m going to do that for all holidays in future. (In case you’re wondering this one was Always Red and the mid notes of Jasmine were perfect for Rome because that’s exactly what the place smells like – Jasmine – it’s everywhere and it smells incredible).
We awoke to another beautiful morning in Roma. With aching feet and a delicious breakfast to kick us off. At this point, just looking at my shoes made my feet hurt. By this time Seth and I had matching blisters – mine on the left foot and Seth on the right but in exactly the same spot. It was on the opposite foot to my sore knee though, so combined it was just a whole bunch of fun.
It was our last day staying in the centre of Rome as we wanted to experience some of the outer suburbs too. Which meant saying goodbye to the Colosseum and doing a little trek to the suburb of Trastevere. We packed our bags to the brim and set off. As it turns out our walk was quite a distance but it coincided with a massive breast cancer run that was going in the same direction. So we joined in on the fun.
After leaving the march we crossed the bridge and into the little suburb of Trastevere. We chose this part of the city for the second part of our Rome adventure because it was supposed to be full of little cobblestone streets, families and hipsters. Sounds just right up our alley. And it did not disappoint because there were so many families – I think if we had to choose any suburb in Rome to live in with our family, it would be here.
The streets are all cobblestone (although they were in central Rome too) but if it’s even possible, it was even greener here. Apparently if you look carefully you’re supposed to see old grannies sitting and smoking on the side walks and things. We didn’t see any though 😉 Sounds silly hey? Like going on a safari but for old people. hahaha.
We found our AirBnB with ease.
The problem was that because we had no data were weren’t able to tell them that we were there earlier. And by this time (after walking for easily an hour or more), our backpacks were starting to get disturbingly heavy. We stopped at a little shop that offered us a chair without paying the seating fee – but we chose to stand at the bar anyway because hate ourselves. We got the wifi password and then tried to get in touch with the people while having an 0.80cent espresso! Guys, it was so much cheaper here than the 2+ Euro’s that we were paying in the centre of town.
We walked back to the AirBnB. Nothing. No one.
By this time we were arguing just a bit and so Seth insisted that I buy a hat because he was sick of trying to protect my face by making me wear his. So we stopped at OVS (which is kind of like our Mr Price) and got a hat. It made me feel like Michael Jackson, but whatevs, I learned to love it by the end of the trip. Our backpacks were starting to really get so freaking heavy. So we stopped in this little park area and just chilled for a while. It was here that we realised that all of the video footage that we’d taken HAD NO SOUND because we had the selfie stick plugged into the earphone jack! Ugh. SO annoying. But at least we found out early enough to try and remember to take it out for every video after that.
We eventually got tired of waiting and tried to see what we could see in the area and came across another beautiful church. They are EVERYWHERE.
Then we literally went back to the AirBnB and were committing to sitting there until the lady came to open up for us. And just as we got there – so did she! YAY! We dropped off our bags, shoved some snacks in our faces and decided that we were going to go and see the Vatican.
We had been joking that every single dome shaped building in Rome was the Vatican. But wow, the real thing is so much better than all the fake Vaticans all over the city. However because it was Sunday half of the museums and things were closed and considering that it was already like 2pm, the line was as long as flip. Which meant that we didn’t go in. Seth was pretty bummed about it but I wasn’t. I think in this case, ignorance is bliss because so many people have raved about it and its awesomeness. Oh well, I guess we’ll just have to go back! Oh and in case you aren’t aware, the Vatican City is a country on its own, which means that we were in two countries at the same time! Here we are – standing on the line between the two.
After that we decided to go and find the Jewish Ghetto. I’d read a lot of things about it on friends blogs and so I wanted to go and see what it was all about. Now that I link to it, I see why. It’s not in Rome, it’s in Venice. Ooops. There was still a Jewish Ghetto here though and it was very interesting but I don’t think we researched it enough to really know what we were looking at. And apparently the bakeries there have some of the best baked goods in the city, so we had a brownie. But it didn’t blow my mind. Again, this is probs just a lack of research.
By now we were basically starving because we hadn’t eaten properly since breakfast. So we did what became a theme across our trip.
One of us would see a decent looking restaurant but the other would say no. Why they said no, we don’t know. But you couldn’t just go to the first restaurant that you saw. there may be something better around the next corner. So we’d walk on, seeing absolutely nothing worth going to and cursing the person who had veto’d the first restaurant. We’d eventually find something “decent” and settle. It was never great. But we got food and that’s what counts.
Because hangry travellers are not nice to be around. I’m at my absolute worst when I’m hungry. We wanted to do a traditional meal that evening so we just had the appreitivo option to tide us over – it really wasn’t that bad. We also stopped at a couple of churches after this on our way back to our room to change for the evening.
Having only packed backpacks for this trip I didn’t have a razor and by now my legs were looking rather fuzzy. So we stopped at at little bubby shop to by razors and also some drinks. Because you can totally do that at basically every little cafe across town.
We showered, cleaned up and then headed for a night out on the suburb. This time we had looked up the best place to watch the sunset in Trastevere on Tripadvisor. They told us about these steps that everyone goes to sit on with a beer and their supper. So we took our drinks and listened to Italian men playing little bits of Led Zepplin in the dark. It was quite awesome actually.
After that it was time to get serious about supper.
Now after all the terrible meal experiences that we had had (even though we knew better), we wanted somewhere great to try out all the local dishes. Again we turned to Tripadvisor and it showed us this restaurant that was absolutely PACKED. The line was over an hour long. Which is fine if you are Italian and don’t mind waiting an hour, but I was starving. So repeat the process above and we went looking for something else.
Luckily we found it and it really wasn’t bad at all. For starters we had this interesting dish. It’s an artichoke flower that has mozzarella and anchovies stuffed into it before being deep fried. Usually I would not have even thought about trying it, but it was SO good! Then we shared a plate of Carbonarra. In Italy they have no such thing as bacon – so it’s made with pork cheek and woah, it was so yummy. Then I had a steak and Seth had ossobucco which I can’t remember exactly what it is but it has something to do with marrow bones. He said it was great.
Oh and they serve wine in half bottles which I thought was so clever!
Then we went back to the room to pass out from a food comma!
In the morning we were heading to Florence for the next leg of our trip!
FOR MORE ON OUR ITALIAN TRIP DON’T MISS:
- What We Packed In Our Backpacks for 9 Days in Italy
- Leaving Cape Town
- Day 1 – Rome
- Day 1 – A Day In Rome – Photodiary
- Day 2- A Morning in Naples Climbing Mount Vesuvius
- Day 2 – An Afternoon In Pompeii
- Day 2 – A Night In Rome In Search Of the Best Gelato and Caffe
Day 3: Rome – Trastevere and Vatican City Today we moved sections of the city so we said goodbye to Colosseum and crossed the river into Trastevere. Highlights: 1. Trastevere is a fantastic place. I think this is where the families stay. Loads of kids but also a more chilled atmosphere. It’s that typical tiny cobblestone streets kind of place. 2. We walked about 40 minutes to get here with our backpacks on and then we just laughed and laughed at the fact that we though we could lug them with us everywhere. 6.5kg doesn’t feel like a lot when you first put it on but it gets real very quickly. 3. Even if we could happily keep our bags on our backs forever, most places won’t allow you in with them on. So you should find a place to drop them. 4. We took it much slower today with a lot more rest breaks. We even found a Caffè for only .80 where we’d been paying around €2 on the other side of town. 5. Slow still means we walked about 25km 🙈 6. The knee is not great but it’s the worst after we stop for a break and then get up again. Same for the feet and well, every other part of our bodies. 7. We got “dressed up” and went put for our first meal where we didn’t feel like tourists covered in dust and looking like we’d just walked a hundred miles. 8. We had our first real Roman Italian dishes – carbonara, osobucco and a starter of deep fried zucchini flowers with mozzarella and anchovies. I would usually not eat any of those things because gross, but, when in Rome right? It was a party in my mouth and I’m so glad I tried it. 9. We went to the Vatican but because it was a Sunday we couldn’t do half the things because they were closed. I’m not that bummed about it but Seth is. I’m happy with just seeing it from the outside. 10. Public drinking is a thing. You can buy a beer and just wonder around with it. 11. Seth got tired of worrying about me burning my face and making me wear his hat. So he insisted that we buy one. I hate hats. I feel like I look like Michael Jackson and so obvs I had to be a fool in front of a beautiful door. Because YOLO and all that. We had a wonderful nights sleep and now that we’ve just woken up (9am) we’re ready for our next leg – Florence!