August 27, 2012 by erikacsc31
Happy Monday y’all! Okay, so on my last blog post I mentioned I’d post three different blog posts for each city we visited in Italy in the order we visited. So here goes the first…
As a lover of history, Rome has always been on my DREAM list of cities to visit. Aside from its rich history, I didn’t really no much about Rome’s current culture. Other than pizza, gelato and Vespas, I wondered: what more did this city have to offer?
We probably could have stayed in some lux hotel, after all, we were honeymooning! But aside from not being rich, I wanted to get a real feel for the city. Besides, we had decided that as long as we experienced one city in a luxurious four-star hotel, that would be good enough for us. I’d much rather spend money on eating and shopping than on a room.
We decided on a B & B right in the heart of the city: Four Rivers Suites. The area was very hip & location prime: Piazza Novana. Right in the center of the city, within walking distance to all of the major attractions. The building, like most in Rome, was very old. As we made our way into the B & B, we were surprised by it’s charm & modern decor. As we waited to check in, a fellow visitor was consulting with the concierge, all the while praising him. Letting us know that this was the place to be because of the exceptional service. The concierge: Domenico. He is the reason our stay in the city was so awesome. Since it was a new B & B, it was a one-man show: he was the go-to for EVERYTHING. When I asked for an iron, he brought me his from home the next morning. Above all service, he had the BEST advice on where to visit. Very proud of his city, he recommended hip piazza’s, great restaurants frequented by locals, and gave us the best tips for traveling within Rome.
Our first evening there, we took a walk at dusk to explore our surroundings. Captivated by the architecture and romance of the city, I couldn’t help but to pinch myself in disbelief that we were so lucky to be there! We walked along the alleys and took pictures of everything within sight, then stopped at a cafe for a bite to eat-our first cafe experience in Rome!
The next few days we visited all of the tourist attractions, because of course, why else would we be there?! We explored Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon, Castel Sant’ Angelo, The Colossuem & all of the surrounding ruins, among others. WOW! We were blown away by all of the art, architecture and ruins we got to see. Rome is a MUST-DO for all in my opinion.
One thing that I’d recommend is to take the guided tours. Unless you’re a historian, or serious history buff, you might not appreciate what it is you’re looking at. They’re super insightful and really give you a greater appreciation of the cultural surroundings. Also, buying a book that includes a map of the city you are visiting is a great way to both gain some insight and help you get around.
If you’re not one to be amongst the crowds, avoid visiting during the summer time. We were there late May early June, so we caught good weather (High 70’s, low 80’s) throughout the trip, and managed to miss the peak tourist season by a few weeks. We revisited some of the attractions at night. Although still filled with lots of tourist, the crowds were far fewer, and there was definitely more of a romantic feel.
During the day, we’d eat on the go, snack on gelato, and drink lots of water. In the evening, we’d make our way to different Piazzas and navigate our way through the alleys, searching for the perfect cafe filled with locals to indulge in. Great food, wine, and dessert, the city is filled with rich culture and GREAT shopping. I noticed there was a huge art scene in Rome, lots of artists and art shops. And did I mention the shoe stores?! Ah! Heaven. The atmosphere is casual, easy, artistic & sophisticated. Even though the city is old, it felt new & hip-very cosmopolitan.
Rome definitely set the tone for our trip. It was just enough city with just enough romance. We couldn’t wait to share our experience with family & friends. Rome: I think I love you.