July 27, 2011

When in Rome...

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.

Piazza Barberini
Since I would only be there one night, I splurged a little on a hotel in the center of town that was right near the Piazza Barberini. After checking in, I headed out and stopped at a restaraunt near the Piazza for the most fantastic Pasta Pomodoro I have ever had in my life. I have yet to eat pasta since I've been back in America...I need to find a way to make my  own Italian pasta sauce so that I can scorn the likes of Classico and Rinaldi from now on.

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.
From the fountain, I made my way through the city. The best part about having a long layover in a city you've already been to is that you're not rushing to see everything, you can just move at your own pace. I went to the Spanish Steps and read for a a little while until I got too hot and then I made my way down to the Tiber to walk along the river.
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!
I left the Vatican on an empty stomach and headed to the Piazza Navona for some more pasta and just sat in the Piazza reading. When I was last in Rome, I went in November and it was cold so the Piazza Navona was pretty dead. Thist time around, it was full of artists and merchants which, I normally wouldn't like if it weren't for the creepy Italians yelling "Bella!" and trying to sell me floss thread bracelets for 10 euros. Umm no thanks. Next time, I'll skip Navona.

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!
One thing I really would like to do if and when I ever go back to Rome is take a tour of the Colisseum. I've heard mixed reviews about them and I guess it really kind of depends on your tour guide but if I had had more time, I definitely would have done that this time around.

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...


  1. I have always wanted to go to Rome, but your post just makes me want to go even more!!! And Nutella Gelato?! Oh goodness...I'm there.

  2. You did a lot even if you weren't trying to. I have been to Rome so I could go back for a short stay. Never thought of it that way but you make a good point. My favorite city in Italy that I went to was Florence.

  3. Your trip to Rome sounded terrific! I am so glad that you had an enjoyable time--and, there really is nothing like Nutella! :)

  4. What a way to spend your visit in Rome -- Delightful!


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