Back in November it was my partners 30th Bithday! A few months before that I had booked us to go to Rome for it as his present, I wanted it to be a special gift and Rome was somewhere we had always wanted to visit.
I decided to keep it as a surprise up until we got to the airport, I would have kept it a secret until we had landed in Rome if that would have been possible haha. I found it quite hard both keeping it as a surprise while planning the holiday and also with business being so busy.
As I have mentioned before in past blog posts we tend to plan every single detail of a holiday but for this one I just researched how to get to and from the airport and some of the things we could do while their meaning once we had arrived we could work out together each day where we wanted to go.
There was a bit of nervousness also because this is the first time ever that I had booked a package holiday we normally just do it DIY and pick the flights, hotel, car etc all separate. For easiness I just went with a deal that I found on lastminute.com but once I had booked it all I started reading all these bad reviews for both that website and the hotel I chose with the package!
In the end I had to tell Daniel some details about the plan the week before we left (only that we were going somewhere for the week and that he would need to be up at 3am) this was because we bought a house! I was worried about needing to do things while we were away to do with buying the house so I had to mention those things to him. Luckily we got everything in order before we left and could enjoy the holiday fully. I actually think in the end the holiday came at the perfect time. We had a good time to relax after all the stress with both our work and the house purchasing and knowing that we would have a whole house to start decorating when we got the keys after we returned.
We were their for 6 days, arrived on Saturday 10th and came home on Friday 16th. I would say if you are thinking of Rome as a holiday, November is a great time to see it! There were still many tourists but the weather was lovely and warm but not too hot that you cant get around and see things. I cant compare to summer time as I have never been but if I were to go again I would happily go at the same time of year.
When we arrived we ran into a mcdonalds at the train station as we needed wifi to use google maps to find our hotel. We walked around in circles for over half an hour trying to find our hotel when it was right in front of us the whole time! We finally found it and headed up to our room, we were on the 4th floor. Our room was a corner room which was great, we had a nice view out onto this park which had a ceremony going on with live music and speakers. The room was very spacious and the bathroom was too. The hotel was a lot better than I was thinking after reading the reviews. Yeah there were a few things that could make it better, a few little things such as latches broken on the inside of the window, dirty mirror etc but nothing that bothered us. The hotel is very centrally located, 5 minutes from the train station which took us near to the airport, close to all the tourist areas which we could walk to and close to lots of restaurants. I would go back again and stay. It did annoy us a little that every time we would go out we had to give our key to the front desk meaning when we came back in we had to wait to get it back. I understand its probably for safety reasons but if I forgot to grab something and needed to nip back up I had to wait to get our key back again…
We managed to walk everywhere, and only needed to get one train during our stay which to see Vatican city (and the 2 getting to and from the airport).
We arrived, went to mcdonalds really just to use their wifi to find our hotel. But got a big mac and chips which I got with cheese! We found our hotel about lunch time. We nipped out and grabbed some food from a local supermarket which over the coming days we realised it was far better value for money than some of the other places so continued to go back their over the holiday for water, juice, snacks etc. Then we went a little wander out for dinner to this pizza place next to st mary maggiore which was just down from our hotel. I got a pizza and daniel got a pasta. It was nice sitting outside and all the christmas decorations were up on the buildings and it was nice and warm etc but the food was terrible I wouldnt reccommend their.
Our first full day. We went a walk stopping by the collosseum, we didn’t go in at this point as it was so busy we didnt want to wait in the huge que. We then headed to get lunch and came back at night once it was dark to take some photos! For lunch we went to Cotteni Pasticceria and shared a mushroom pizza and chips. It was lovely. Dinner we went to Trattoria Cecio which ended up our favourite place for dinner so went their another night too. This pasta was amazing. Im not the biggest pasta fan but really enjoyed this.
Daniels 30th Birthday! It was a busy day as we took a long walk and visited: The Trevi fountain, Pantheon, Torre Argentina, Alter of the fatherland and the Spanish steps. Lunch we had pizza and chips I cant remember where it was but it wasnt great. It was just ok. For dinner Daniel chose a chinese at haha all the restaurants weren’t far from our hotel which was great. The chinese was lovely! I cant remember what the chinese resturaunt was called but il update here if I remember!
I mean is it really an Abbie Wilson Photography holiday without ending up amongst a protest haha.
Vatican city! We arent religious at all but wanted to come here and see the architecture. We arrived early or so we thought but once we were in there were massies of people gathered and we had no idea why. It soon became clear that we turned up on the day the pope comes out to see the people which was really unexpected. It was quite cool saying we came to Rome and randomly for us saw the Pope. I wouldnt have gone out of my way to see him as I said im not religous and actually wanted to go up the building where you get a good view out over the place but because there were so many people and Im not sure its open when hes on the stage we gave that a miss and continued on. We walked a route back to our hotel after getting the train to Vatican City. We stopped at Castel Sant’Angelo which was actually one of the most expensive places to visit. We decided to just do it though and im so glad we did. The art inside is lovely and at the top there is a great view of Rome! We walked quite a bit that day and also saw Piazza Navona. I realised when we got back to the hotel we didnt go to the sistine chapel which is annoying! For food we started off with the best pizza ever! It was from Pizzeria Mediterranea we would highly reccommend here. We then grabbed a baguette and paninni from a place just down from St. Peter’s Basilica. It was fine, not amazing. For dinner we went to an American style resturaunt and I got a burger. It was nice.
The day we decided to get up early and go into the Colleseum. There werent much ques at all which was great considering the other day we had seen it packed. The workers were pretty rude which I actually found quite common when we were in Rome. When getting our ticket they took lots of people before us and as soon as it came to our turn she just went away leaving us standing their and the other operator just kept serving his que not telling us to go to him or anything. Also someone went up to the counter and tried to ask a question, you could see the women had heard her but just ignored her. She asked about four times before getting a reply. One tip: try just ignore all the people trying to sell your tours and tickets outside, I think they are scammers and are pretty relentless. The police move them on every now and again. Daniel got caught out with a couple of them and I couldnt stop laughing as he was trying to get away. Honestly im glad I went into the Colleseum but its not as amazing to see as its made out to be. Its nice to see knowing the history and stuff I appreciate that but I wouldnt be in a hurry to go back. The roman forum is interesting, we climbed up these steps to get a good view looking down to the colloseum and the fatherland on the other end. We took some photos at night at St Mary Maggiore which was just around the corner from our hotel room. For dinner we went back to Trattoria Cecio this time Daniel got a different pasta and I got steak and chips. Again both were lovely. We finished off with tiramisu to share.
Home time. We just packed up and got the train and then shuttle bus to the airport. Their trains are really lovely and new looking (double decker too) and the conductor told us what stop to get off at which was nice of him. We found the travelling no problem at all.
Overall we loved our trip to Rome. Its not somewhere we feel we need to visit again though. We didnt fall in love with it the same as we did with Iceland. Im glad we have been and ticked it off the list as it was a main area we wanted to go for so long. Its pretty expensive to eat out and things. And there are many scammers which gets annoying. It worked out perfect timing getting away for a break just as we bought the house before the madness for moving started on our return home.