Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Best Vacation Yet (Part 4- Rome)

Finally! It may be months after the fact, but I am now going to write about the last leg of our adventure. This part of our block leave was in the overwhelmingly beautiful city of Rome; and while the city is amazing, our wonderful bed and breakfast pushed the last days of our trip over the edge, rounding off one spectacular vacation!

We arrived in Citavecchia from the cruise, and after a couple bus rides, a subway line, a wander around knowing that we were SO close to our B&B, we finally found Casa de Silvia! It was in a lovely area with pretty streets and tucked away in a gated courtyard of apartments. We were a bit early, but our lovely hostess with the most-est welcomed in and recommended what we could do while our room was cleaned. We loved her right off the bat, along with her free cakes, tea, and coffee offered all day! We had the next two days to explore the more famous attractions, so we decided to walk around the area we were staying in. While walking, we found delicious gelato, a nice park to sit in, and a slice of pizza to tide Cody over until dinner. That first evening we followed our hostesses recommendation to a small local eatery, Trattoria Simonetta, where I had the absolute most delicious, top of the line, comforting Italian food I have ever eaten! For the most reasonable prices I had ever seen! After that meal, we knew we could trust our B&B owner for the best advice on the rest of our trip :)

Our second day, and first full day, in Rome was definitely a busy one! We woke up early to a huge breakfast (brought straight to our room) so we could power through our walk into the city center. After stopping to see San Giovani (the closest church to us), the walk to the Colosseum was only about twenty-five minutes, and the confusing streets were all worth it when Cody saw the back of the ancient building for the first time. It wasn't time for our tour yet, so we bypassed the area and continued to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, looked out across the Roman Forum, and then went back to meet up with our tour. While waiting, we were accosted by a man selling jewelry, which is when I re-learned the "don't make eye contact" lesson; and maybe more importantly the "do not smile at people selling things" lesson! After we gave in and bought a bracelet, he left us alone and we were able to get into our groups for the guided tour. This tour was incredible! We were able to skip the lines, and then enter the ground floor of the Colosseum, where the gladiators used to actually fight- it was amazing to be there in a small group and look up at what used to be stands and all the other tourists. We then went to the very top floor of the Colosseum, where again, there was just the small group of us, to see views of all the other landmarks in the area. Finally, we went into the underground where the animals and gladiators used to wait to enter the arena; one of the few areas you can still see the original white-face of the stones. Our tour-guide followed this up with a quick look through the Roman Forums. After a billion thanks to our guide, we ended up strolling along Alessandria Street and making our way to Trevi Fountain! It was just as beautiful, and crowded, as I remember! We ended our touring at the Pantheon and then worked our way out to dinner at another recommended restaurant. This time it was delicious, but not AS great, and not priced as well. We were still happy, full, and sleepy so it was time for bed.

The last day we spent in Rome began with a tour of the Vatican. This was with the same tour group again, and while it wasn't nearly as spectacular as our tour the day before, it was definitely worth doing.  I got super hangry by the end of it all, and we ended up spending way too much money on some food that was barely edible inside the Vatican walls. We vowed to head back to the Trattoria for our last meal to make up for it. Before we could walk back, we checked out the castle, but it was too late to enter. After two full days of tours and walking we were worn out and had seen everything we came to see- now it was time to eat everything we came to eat! We showed back up to the Trattoria and feasted on lasagna, pizza, ravioli, and tiramisu. I felt like I was going to explode, but I wouldn't give back a single bite! We were sad to say goodbye to our new friend at the B&B, who was sweet enough to leave all of our breakfast items in our room for our early departure and order a taxi to pick us up at the gate for a special price.

When we flew home, it was sad to see such a fun vacation coming to an end, but we were also super content knowing that we wouldn't have changed a thing….