OK! This is a lengthy post! I am literally cramming in a weeks worth of Rome, Italy into one post! So grab a bevy and a snack, and enjoy! 🙂
Following a three week adventure through India with my dear friend Marina, we made a decision to add a week stop somewhere in the world before heading to Canada. We were debating between Portugal and Italy, and after a quick google image search on the food in Italy 😉 we decided to make the fabulous city of ROME our final destination before returning home.
For a part of my childhood, I attended elementary school in a predominately Italian neighbourhood – and there became my fascination and obsession with anything Italian. Food, art, culture, and of course the boys… 😉 So I was incredibly excited to be FINALLY visiting Italy for the very first time in my life. How I wish it was a longer stay, because I literally fell in LOVE with Rome. There was so much to see in one weeks time – I KNOW I will return again in the future! 🙂
We arranged accommodation through Airbnb and stayed in a super cute, newly renovated apartment. Only a 10 minute walk from the Vatican museums & St. Peter’s square. Malgosia’s Tweety Vatican House was perfect in every way! The 2 bedroom , 1 bathroom apartment was super clean, with tons of bonus pleasantries. Plenty of helpful maps and guidebooks, fresh sweet treats, milk and coffee, bottled water and bread already available for us! There was a cute balcony where you could sit in the warm spring morning sun with your coffee and enjoy the faint chatter of the Italian streets below. I loved watching the elder Italian women in their windows in the morning also taking in the morning sights and sounds with me. The appartment was within walking distance to many restaurants, shops and markets.
I would totally stay here again when visiting the city!
I thoroughly enjoyed random strolls throughout the city. People watching, marvelling at the fashion runway that are the streets of Rome 😉 Meeting some interesting and sweet shop owners, random characters on the streets, including the most hilarious elder gentleman who stopped us in the street to offer us sweet compliments, and entertain us with his charming and comical personality. We stopped of course to take breaks and enjoy mouth watering gelato, pizza, pasta, coffee, WINE…all the delicious Italian eats and drinks we could imagine at various restaurants and cafés.
Of course, the shopping in Rome is fantastic! TONS of stores to visit! But my favourites were the sweet ass vintage stores we explored. I am totally a babe of the decades, and wish I could travel back to many different years to explore the fashion and music back in time. So, bring me to any vintage store, and I could get lost foreverrrrrr discovering treasured items, making up stories in my mind about who owned what, and wore what, and to which events. Why they gave up their beloved items and who would enjoy them next?
We literally explored a handful of vintage shops, but I have two favourites that stood out to me in special ways!
Omero and Cecilia are two of the most interesting and alluring people, who take great pride in their quaint shop. I was drawn to this store entrance, framed with buttery soft leather satchels and purses. This store is filled with fantastic finds! Divine coats and jackets of yummy velvet and tweed. Super rad military shirts, church shoes, classic heals and cowboy boots. I picked up a fabulous bag that is one of my absolute all time favourites I have ever owned!
I think hands down, my favourite was our visit to Cinzia Vestiti Usati. I could have stayed in that store for hours. SO much to see! Owned by a former costume designer, I let my hands, eyes and mind wander amongst the screen printed T’s, classic jeans, posters, records, designer sunglasses, retro skirts, shirts and more!
Shall we talk about the amazing sights Rome has to offer? I think YES! 🙂
Vatican City is a tiny (110 acres) independent state located within the city of Rome. With a population of 1,000 and ruled by the bishop of Rome – The Pope, you will find here Italy’s MUST SEE attractions! Some of the most significant cultural and religious sights like the famed Sistine Chapel, Vatican museums & St. Peter’s Basilica which house some of the worlds most famous and treasured paintings and sculptures.
Upon entering the Sistine Chapel – I was utterly speechless. And not just because you literally are not allowed to talk – (The Sistine Chapel is a sacred space, and it is expected that when you visit, you are to remain absolutely silent when inside) Aside from the many ‘Wow’s’, ‘Oh My Goodness’, and ‘Incredible’s’ I kept whispering to myself, I was actually blown away by the incredibly stunning works.
The walls and ceilings showcase amazing frescoes by many Florentine Resnaissance masters depicting the life of Christ, Moses, various Popes, and the Gospel and Acts of the Apostles. The most important artworks are the frescoes by Michaelangelo known as the Sistine Ceiling – depicts the incidents from the Old Testament. Inside the Sistine Chapel, photography is not permitted. I was unable to capture any of the sights, ( I could not believe the amount of disrespect some visitors had – talking and sneakily taking photos) I will forever remember the feeling that overcame my soul when taking in this increible sight.
The Ponte Sant’Angelo is a Roman bridge that was completed in 134 AD by Roman Emperor Hadrian. Faced with travertine marble and stunning structures of Angels.
Without intention, our random strolls one day, brought us to the breathtaking Trevi Fountain. It was here, that I caught red handed – a young woman trying to pickpocket me! I am a fairly “aware” individual, but these sneaky buggers can get you! Yes, in broad daylight! Watch your pockets, bags and purses for pickpocketing! These stunning sights are packed full of tourists, with so much to see, trying to manoeuvre through the crowds, it is easy for thieves to quickly swipe your goods!
Marina literally captured the moments following where I am double checking my bag to make sure that the young thief wasn’t actually successful! 😉
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world, and the largest Baroque fountain in the city. Designed by Nicola Salui and completed by Guiseppe Pannini in 1762. This stunning massive fountain stands 85 feet high, and 160 feet wide. It features statues of abundance and health and has been featured in many books and films in particular, “La Dolce Vita” in 1960, and “Three Coins in the Fountain” in 1954. This is where the belief that if you threw a coin from your right hand, over your left shoulder you would return to Rome in the future.
Throughout 2016 an estimated $1.5 million was collected and sent to local Catholic nonprofit organizations that support disaster relief, poverty and migration.
It was also here, that Marina discovered I had spilled the most delicious chocolate gelato on myself…whoops! 😉
I’ll share with you more street strolling pics below, our visits to many other gorgeous local fountains, and attractions, as well as our visit to the Colosseum!
During our time in Rome, there was a local protest that was happening. Protesters took part in an anti-EU demonstration as European Union leaders met on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. (March 25, 2017)
Security was tight at this time and because of the protest, the Colosseum and other local attractions were closed. Because of this, I was able to get nice and close for photos, and fairly tourist free! It was so special to be standing in front of such a magnificent structure.
The largest amphitheatre EVER built! Completed in 80AD, the Colosseum could hold an estimated 50-80,000 spectators and was used for re-enactments of famous battles & dramas, gladiatorial contests, executions and animal hunts.
Now, if you have made this far, I am going to end the post with more FOOD!
I HAVE to mention a few of my favourite restaurants – which I will feature each one in separate posts (keep your eyes open) because the food, service and ambiance was top notch!
Fiorentina 1942 was minutes from our AirBnB and was a fabulous restaurant we frequented throughout the week. Amazing pizza, pasta, coffee and sweets!
Bella Napoli was fantastic! We enjoyed a litre carafe of fantastic wine, delicious pasta and tantilizing appetizers.
And finally, Ristorante Bibi e Romeo
Marina and I stumbled across this restaurant one night, randomly strolling the streets in search of a fabulous place to enjoy our final meal in Italy before our flight the next morning.
I am so happy we came across Bibi e Romeo! Because hands down, this became one of my highlights of the trip!
We had the restaurant basically to ourselves late that evening. We enjoyed a fantastic time with the owners and staff! We had a perfect meal, yummy pasta and appetizers, and fresh sweets for desert. SO much wine and limoncello. They spoke very little English, but we were all still able to enjoy tons of laughs, play a liftle guitar, sang and had impromptu Italian lessons!
Italy will forever have a piece of my heart. The people, sights, sounds, eats and drinks. EVERYTHING was INCREDIBLE!
Until I see you again, Buona notte a Roma!
The Wandering Lioness
FACTS REFERENCED VIA WIKIPEDIA AND BRITANNICA