In 2007 I was living 20-years-old, single, living in London and having the absolute time of my life. I had an amazing job, fantastic friends and I was living the high life: shopping every day, eating delicious pastries for breakfast lunch and dinner and traveling every weekend. In November of that year, my travels brought me to Rome. I had never had any interest in going to Rome and really didn't care to go but the opportunity came up and I wasn't doing anything that weekend so I went.
I loved it. I had a great time with good friends and I just loved it. On my last night in Rome, I went to the Trevi Fountain (for the 2nd time that trip) and threw a 2 euro coin into the fountain and made a wish: to one day, come back to Rome. Oh and of course to find love because well, who doesn't wish for that?
|That's me with the white hat|
When I was planning my summer travels and realized that I couldn't fly direct from Belgrade to Sri Lanka (or India for that matter), I started looking into lay overs. Paris sounded nice but I had been there before. Frankfurt sounded nice but there's not much to do there. I didn't want to go back to Amsterdam because I was already spending time there and London was too far. Budapest seemed perfect. I've always wanted to go to Budapest but when I started looking into what I could do on my layover, I realized 1 day in Budapest just wouldn't be enough. Then, Rome fell into my lap. Hmm...I could go back to Rome. I've been there, I've seen everything and the flights out are cheap. SOLD!
I left Belgrade and took the short flight to Rome and landed about 8pm. By the time I got on a train and into the city to my hotel, it was 10:00. I was tired and hungy but I wasn't concerned...if there's one place in the world I'm happy to be hungry, it's Rome.
From there, I immediately headed back to the Trevi Fountain. I don't know what it is but I absolutely adore the Trevi Fountain. With a nearly full passport, I feel very comfortable saying that the Trevi Fountain is my favorite place in the world. I don't care how many tourists swarm the little ally it's in, I absolutely love it there.
So I went to the Fountain, had some Nutella gelato and went bed. The next morning, after a delightful breakfast in bed (this hotel had continental ROOM SERVICE...how awesome is that!?) of Italian coffee and pastries, I went...back to the Trevi Fountain. I had to see it in the daylight of course!
|I love you so much.|
|I saw the Spanish Steps at night last time, so it was nice to see them during the day!|
|St. Peter's Basilica|
The Pilot had asked me to go to the Vatican and say a prayer for him while I was in Rome, so I went to St. Peter's and did just that. My God, I love St. Peter's Basilica. Being Catholic, it's amazing to be in the birthplace of your faith and just marvel at how absolutely beautiful Vatican City is.
|The main altar in St. Peter's. This guy decided to pose for my picture.|
I got someone to take a picture of me!
After lunch, I made my way toward the Roman Forum to see the Colisseum and all of the old sites of Rome and walk around through them just enjoying the history.
|The Italian Parliament building...it was under construction last time!|
After walking the steps of Ceasar, it was getting close to the time I needed to leave for the hotel but there was one more thng I needed to do before I said "Arrivederci" to Rome.
|The best way to enjoy the Trevi Fountain on a hot summer day...with Nutella gelato!|
I couldn't leave without saying goodbye to my favorite place in the world! I savored every last drop of that gelato knowing that I would never find Nutella gelato in the US and if I did, it wouldn't be as good and I stood up, took a coin and tossed it into the fountain making a wish to come back to Rome. Then I made my way back to the hotel to pick up my bags and headed to the airport.
It was the perfect day in Rome and a wonderful conclusion to my trip in Europe. Although being in Rome made me so ashamed of the fact that the United States has not embraced the Nutella culture the way that Europe has. I mean seriously...they put Nutella on everything! I know people in America who have never even heard of the deliciousness that is Nutella.
So that's Rome. If you ever find yourself with the opportunity to have a long layover like this, I highly recommend going somewhere you've been before. It takes the pressure off and makes for such a relaxing day. And you know what? I crossed another thing off my list...#19: Go on a trip by myself. My trip to Rome marked the start of my journey to India and traveling by myself was absolutely wonderful. Although, I think next time I'll get that Pilot of mine to fly us somewhere together...