WHAT I DID ON MY TRIP TO ITALY
Ciao ragazzi! Can you tell that I have just gotten back from a short getaway to Italy, Rome? Well, I did and it was fabulous.
My sister and I decided to do a little five-day trip to Europe and we picked Rome to be the destination for our adventures. We decided to do Rome because neither of us have ever been there, and because Rome is a must-see place according to so many of our friends.
Having had only five days to spare, we planned well, wanting to see as much as we can during our time there. Check out a quick overview of everything that we’ve done, loved and hated while in Rome. We actually didn’t hate anything, well aside from an unfortunately incident of blow dryer not working in our room, having been forced to blow dry hair in the staff kitchen downstairs. Don’t ask. What happens in Rome. Stays in Rome.
And so here are all the things that we loved every day.
DAY 1 – Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain
So, on our first day of our arrival, we landed in Italy at about 11AM, dropped our bags off at our hotel, quickly changed and hit the streets. Luckily our hotel – LHP Siena was located in such a great and convenient spot – HIGHLY highly recommend this hotel as it was close to everything that we wanted to see on this trip. It was right next to Spanish Steps, which is where we went first.
It wasn’t actually our plan on the first
day to do any sightseeing, but without any particular agenda we left the hotel
and stumbled onto Spanish Steps. Wow. So many people. We did not expect that at
all. So many tourists on this little square – if I could call it that –
surrounded by a cluster of designer stores from Hermes, to Dior, to Valentino, and
This is how Spanish Steps look without any
Shortly after we left Spanish Steps, we continued walking, just admiring the beautiful streets or Rome, occasionally stopping to sit down and have a cappuccino.
A little side note, apparently there is no such thing as coffee to go. It’s almost frowned upon – you absolutely have to sit down or stand by the bar, take your time, enjoy and then go do your thing.
So we did that. We had authentic Italian coffee. Once done with that, we somehow wondered over to Trevi Fountain.
This was, definitely, a highlight of the day.
I mean, we’ve seen so many photos of this place but in reality it’s simply breathtaking.
And have no idea how do people take great unobstructed photos of the fountain, because there must have been hundreds of people in the way. And even though we tried to get a few great shots, it was a real struggle. But, definitely, worth it. We ended up going back to the fountain a few more times, hoping to get lucky and take a few more shots of this stunning exhibit. Turns out, day or night, this place is a sea of people.
DAY 2 – Colosseum
On our second day, the plan was to wake up and head to Colosseum early in the morning. Early morning didn’t happen. However, earlie-SH we managed to leave the hotel after having a quick continental breakfast and we decided to walk.
Uber in Rome takes longer than if you were to walk from Rome to Milan.
And so we walked. And I have to say that when you are in such a beautiful city as Rome, you do want to walk and not take any shortcuts. There is so much to see on the way, so take the scenic route when you can.
As expected Colosseum was packed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a longer lineup. Perhaps, only when Apple released its first iPhone.
Lucky for us, as soon as we got there, we were approached by a girl who offered us the Skip the line option. And that’s what we did. At 35 euros, you get a small group of people, audio equipment and a guide to accompany you to Colosseum, fast tracking and going around the main lineup.
Colosseum was massive, full of history, and the aftermath. Our guide was awesome, courteous and with a sense of humour, which made listening to a two-hour story about Colosseum was actually quite interesting.
After we left Colosseum, we were on a mission. When planning our trip to Rome, my sister and I really wanted to visit this one particular street with designer vintage stores. In our minds, we saw vintage shopping as rampaging through isles of beautiful, authentic designer finds. We were so excited to get there, but once we actually got there – it was a little disappointing and a lot smelly.
Turns out designer vintage stores were full of old and antique-looking things with a distinct smell. Old, moldy smell.
After browsing through a bunch of old things…and when I say old, I mean old, we stopped caring that it was a Gucci bag of 1920 because it smells like 1920. So we left empty-handed.
The one tour we have actually pre-planned and pre-booked was our Vatican tour, which we were very excited to visit.
We purchased this trip from GET YOUR GUIDE tour company – which I highly recommend. We booked an Early Entry to Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s chapel. Yes, an early rise, but as part of the tour you actually get breakfast – freshly baked goodies and coffee.
Our tour guide, Julian, was awesome – very knowledgeable, experienced and interesting. And best part, we got to visit Vatican one hour before it opened to public. I recommend doing that because you have no idea what happens the minute the doors are open to public.
In the early hour prior to opening, you actually get to see places, look at art without rushing, hear what your guide has to say and walk around without bumping into people. This 3.5 hour tour cost about CAD $150 and was worth every penny.
To me, Vatican was the most magnificent place that I have visited in Rome – even though technically Vatican is not part of Rome because it’s an independent state with their own citizens – about 600 or a little more – have their own passports. Mind-blowing.
Inside the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica – prepare to be amazing. I mean the ceiling with Michelangelo’s art work left us speechless.
DAY 4 – Roaming the streets of Rome
Our last day we decided to take it easy, and by easy I mean shopping. And it wasn’t easy. Italy and Rome in particular is amazing for shopping. Aside from the mainstream stores, which we chose not to go into, we visited tons of local designer stores. I loved seeing little boutiques full of character, Italian trends, and European charm. Needless to say, I didn’t have any fun trying to close my suitcase. But it was all worth it.
DAY 5 – Saying goodbyes
Our flight was in the morning, so on our last day we headed to the airport around 9AM, taking a few last photos of beautiful Rome from the cab and hoping we’d come back soon.