Well by the title I’m sure you can guess what this post is about (plus if you’ve seen my Instagram then it’s pretty obvious as to where I visited)
So, on the 20th of February (I know I’m a little late on this), Becca and I headed to the Ancient City of Rome! Now I only have a few words to describe the trip and those are ‘A dream come true’, because ever since I was little I’ve always wanted to visit the city and I’m not going to lie but watching the Lizzie McGuire movie at least 100 times when I was a child had a big impact on that (and I still act like a child). Although, another reason as to why I always wanted to visit Rome is because at one point in my life I wanted to be some sort of world renowned Archaeologist, exploring ancient cities all over the world. But now I’m studying Multimedia Sports Journalism and touring the world with my favourite people to watch football. (Oh how things change, but at least I got the travelling thing right.)
Anyway, let’s get back on track. So, yeah, we actually went to Rome to watch Lazio, the ancient ruins weren’t the main reason for this trip- technically it was just an added bonus.
For those of you that don’t know Becca, she is absolutely obsessed with Lazio, Immobile and Sweden, actually pretty much all of Scandinavia, erm round faces, Sweden, Lindelöf and did I mention Sweden? So what better way to celebrate her 21st birthday to go and watch her Italian love of her life? (I’m a good friend I know, I know)
(Becca and I)
We spent 3 nights in Rome, arriving on Tuesday, Feb 20th and coming back home on Friday, Feb 23rd.
Here a few things we got up to…
We arrived on Tuesday night, meaning we were restricted as to what we could do because the majority of places were shut. Bearing this in mind, we knew there really wasn’t any rush getting to our B&B. So, like every person who visits a new country for the first time – we decided to travel from the airport to the B&B via public transport, where we knew nothing was written in English. (Oh how fun) I can honestly say that we just went with it and kinda expected to get lost somewhere, BUT WE DIDN’T! A journey which could’ve taken us 30 mins, took us a whole hour and a half but it was a pretty eventful adventure!
(Can we just appreciate this picture I took and how pretty Rome looks at night from above!)
I didn’t mention earlier that Becca is obsessed with McDonalds. This is pretty important information to know because we probably went to McDonalds every day in Rome just for her and it is safe to say that he street signs locating the nearest McDonalds influenced her decision to go so much more. Anyway, after we settled down in our room, we decided to locate a McDonalds and go there to eat because Becca already had withdrawal symptoms. We then headed back to the B&B, where we relaxed and planned what we were going to do on the days to come. (Later that night we pretty much slept like babies, because we were absolutely shattered)
Wednesday was our busiest day and I’m glad it worked out like that because the weather was lovely! (Especially compared to the other days)
The first thing on the agenda was going for a walk to find Palatine Hill. For those of you that don’t know, ‘The Palatine is the most famous of Rome’s seven hills. In Ancient Rome it was considered one of the most desirable neighbourhoods in the city, and was the home of aristocrats and emperors.’ (Roma Experience) Palatine Hill is right next to the Roman Forum and the Colosseum- you can purchase a ticket at the ticket office for all three sites! (Plus if you’re a student- just show them your passport and your student card to receive a discount) The Palatine is considered to be an underrated spot and I completely agree. It definitely doesn’t get enough credit, especially considering the rich history behind it!
Moving on, after we walked around the Palatine we had the view of the Arch of Constantine right in front of us! Another history lesson for you; ‘The Arch of Constantine I, erected in c. 315 CE, stands in Rome and commemorates Roman Emperor Constantine’s victory over the Roman tyrant Maxentius on 28th October 312 CE at the battle of Milvian Bridge in Rome.’ (Ancient History Encyclopaedia) Whilst in Rome, I learnt that the Arch of Constantine is actually the largest surviving Triumphal Arch. #FunFact
Right after passing the Arch, we then visited one of the 7 wonders of the world and undoubtedly Rome’s if not, Italy’s most enduring sites…
I don’t think it is normal for a teenager to fangirl so much over the Colosseum but I did. I couldn’t believe I was fortunate enough to visit such an incredible archaeological site. I don’t even know where to start, but I’m hoping you guys know all about the Colosseum. It’s such a photogenic monument and I kid you not, I have over 20/30 photos just of that. Whilst visiting the Colosseum I only just realised how much of an Ancient History Nerd I truly am- but I’m kinda proud of that.
Now back to my childhood obsession with The Lizzie McGuire movie, I finally got to go to the place I’ve wanted to visit since I was like 6 and that is the Trevi Fountain. The fountain was truly remarkable, I was lost for words. I was surprised as to where it was but nonetheless it was just a beautiful site to see. Like any tourist, I threw coins into the fountain. Legend says that if you throw a coin into the Trevi – with your back to the fountain, throwing the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder – that will ensure a return to Rome. However, a newer story also routinely makes the rounds that says throwing one coin means a return to Rome, a second coin leads to a new romance, and a third coin leads to marriage. Just a heads up for you guys going to visit- you may want to have some loose change on you.
Soooo, on the Thursday we were faced with the worst weather! It was pouring down with rain and we had planned to go all the way to The Vatican. We still went- just very unprepared… no umbrella, no waterproof coat and only a scarf to cover our hair. (luckily the scarf was more like a blanket so it could keep us warm too) We managed to get to the Vatican after a long ride on the bumpiest bus ever! Other than the weather problems, we had a whale of a time. We queued up to go inside St Peter’s Basilica- it was a relatively shorter queue than usual because we were expecting to wait a good few hours, but we were only waiting for under one hour. In Summer, you’re expected to wait to visit the Basilica, for over 2-3 hours! Crazy right?! However, it’s a very pretty place- and it was worth the wait. We went in together, but a lot of people go in with a tour guide so that they’re able to learn more about The Vatican. Admission to St Peter’s Basilica was free, but if you’re looking to go to the Sistine Chapel too, entrance is through the Vatican Museums so you’ll have to pay admission for that.
We picked up a bit of an appetite after our trip to The Basilica, so guess where we went to eat? That’s right, we went to McDonalds again. I think this was our second or third time we went during our time in Rome, but we were hungry so nothing else really mattered.
Later that day, it was time to go to the place we were in Rome for in the first place. We went to see Becca’s Italian love of her life- Immobile and her Italian team, Lazio. We headed to the Stadio Olimpico to watch some Europa League football; Lazio v Steaua Bucharest in the second leg of that fixture. It was a very cool experience, watching Italian Football had always been on my bucket list. However, out of the main teams in Rome, Lazio and Roma, I do have a soft spot for Roma because of the Turkish ‘Wünderkid’ – Cengiz Ünder. (Sorry Becca) Although, I can’t complain at all, going watching some Italian Football with one of your best friends is incredible and I feel very fortunate that I had the opportunity to go. Also, the fixture we went to was filled with goals, Immobile got a hat-trick and I’ve never seen Becca fangirl so much, to the extent to her almost crying because she was so proud, bless her. The final score was actually 5-1 and the atmosphere was amazing!! I don’t think there was any point in the game where there was no singing going on. I definitely recommend going to watch Lazio if you’re thinking about it!
On our final day we were faced with awful weather again. (lucky us) Our flight was in the early afternoon, so we headed to the airport as soon as we were up and ready to leave. We could’ve headed to the airport within 30 mins with a taxi, but we decided to travel the low budget student way again- via public transport and 3 different buses. It was very fun indeed, especially in great weather *Insert Sarcastic Smile Emoji* but seriously, we saved so much money going by public transport on our entire trip. We got a pass that let us use all modes of public transport for 72 hours and it covered us until we got to Rome Ciampino Airport to leave! Plus, as students, its super important that we’re saving money.
Okay, this next little bit may be the most important thing I’ve said on this entire blog post…
The croissants at a little bakery in the airport are amazing. I’d give them a 100/10. I really wish I remembered the name of the stall but I can’t (I’m very, very sorry). But, if I remember correctly, you could smell the fresh pastries from a while away. I had a croissant which was filled with Nutella and talking about it right now is making me very hungry. All I’m going to say is, you HAVE to go there if you’re travelling from Rome Ciampino Airport. That was a nice little end to our trip and when we got back home, we were welcomed with better weather- which is actually very rare.
Overall, the trip was amazing. I 100% recommend going to Rome. Whether you’re a Football Addict or a History Nerd. There really is something for everyone.
That’s all from me! Love S xoxo