Rome

Oh Roma! Words really can’t describe how much I fell in love with Rome! Although my time was short there, it quickly climbed its way to the top in my heart alongside Prague as one of my favourite cities I’ve visited in Europe. My quick weekend taste (both literally and figuratively) of Italy has me looking forward to the next page of my Italy travels!

Although the short time restraint, I was able to jam pack all of the key “must-see sites” (AKA tourist magnets) of the city. Some of those places include the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Trevi fountain, as well as the Vatican (more on this later).

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A coin for the Trevi fountain!

I must admit, it was quite difficult to picture what the ruins would have looked like thousands of years ago. Trying to replace the image of tourists milling around with their selfie sticks with an image of Romans wearing togas at the Roman Forum was near impossible for me to do. Nonetheless, as I Rome-d (pardon the pun) around the city, I was continuously amazed by the architecture (both new and old), the views, and the ambiance. The juxtaposition of the modern and ancient was unlike anything I’ve experienced before. The fact that I was able to simply stroll along and then stumble upon some ancient ruins was absolutely incredible. That feeling of almost being transported back in time is a feeling that I definitely won’t forget.

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Taken at Palatine Hill

 

 

Now that I’ve given my general thoughts about Rome, here are some key highlights from my trip!

FOOD

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Cacio e pepe @ Osteria Da Fortunata

Enough said.

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Over 150 flavors of gelato/mousse/sorbet @ Della Palma!

But seriously! If you find yourself in Rome anytime soon, I HIGHLY recommend checking out Bonci Pizzarium which is near the Vatican museum!

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So many choices!

The pizza dough is nice and chewy with a light crisp crust and the variety of the different toppings are absolutely remarkable. They change their innovative pizza combinations every single day so you’re pretty much guaranteed something new if you go multiple times. (PS. Like many pizza places in Rome, it is al taglio meaning “by weight” so you let the staff know how large or small you want your pizza and they just cut it up for you!)

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Left to right: Tomato/arugula/mozzarella, oxtail/celery(I think), spinach/anchovy/burrata

As for the pasta, I do confess (and I apologize to any strong Roman-style pasta advocates) it wasn’t what I expected. I personally found the pasta noodles a bit too firm and chewy for my preference BUT, when in Rome… (right?)

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Carbonara @ Tonarello (recommended to me by a local Roman!)

Vatican City

Wow this was quite the day! I started off by leaving my hostel at 7:30 AM to get there at 8:00 AM for the Sunday Papal audience. When I arrived, there was a MASSIVE crowd near the entrance (little did I know, this day was the first day of the Holy Week for Easter). After awhile of waiting (and worrying that I wouldn’t be able to get in) I finally got through security and found a seat that would result in me being 10-15 feet away from Pope Francis. Unfortunately, I couldn’t understand his speech but after a little research, I discovered that his speech implored young people to not let the older generation silence or manipulate us in our idealism. Knowing this now, it undoubtedly made that experience so much more special.

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Pope Francis is the one sitting with a red cape and the hat!

Since the Vatican museum was free on this particular Sunday (tip: last Sundays of every month are free admission to the museum), I made my way there and there was miraculously no line to enter. After exploring the museum as well as seeing the Sistine Chapel (which was absolutely astonishing) I was able to go on a shortcut to the St Peter’s Basilica which meant not having to wait in line again. For some reason, everything aligned perfectly on this day and I know for sure that this will never happen to me again. It was truly a memorable time and was definitely my top highlight of my Rome trip.

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View of St Peter’s Basilica from the dome!

 

I don’t want to make this too long so I’ll cut it off here. If you managed to make it all the way to here, kudos to you! I feel like I really had A LOT to say about my trip to Rome (and there’s still so many more stories!). So if you want to know more, let me know! And I will be more than happy to share! All in all, I’m really extremely happy and grateful that I had the chance to travel to Rome. It’s for sure a city that I would love to go back to one day (I threw a coin into the Trevi fountain so hopefully it comes true!). That’s it for now! Stay tuned for my next travel adventure!

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Ending this post off with one of my favourite shots of St Peter’s at sunset

PS. What are your thoughts on this format? Is it too long? What would you want to hear more of? Let me know with comments or messages!

 

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