Before I share my holiday from this year, here’s a little blog post of my European adventure from last year.
This is just a quick post about my trip to Rome, I just want to share some great places to eat and visit if you’re on a budget and only have a few days to explore.
I was fortunate enough to visit Rome at the start of September this year for a mini break. I flew from Heathrow London via British Airways, which was a lovely 2 hour and 30 minute flight with free on board food and drinks and arrived in sunny Rome safe and sound. I didn’t really do too much research beforehand as it was a last minute European break so I just went with the flow (quite brave for a Virgo to do!). At the airport I enquired about getting a coach or a train to my Hotel which was located in the city centre, the train was 14 euros one way per person and the coach was 5 euros single or 8 euros return per person, so naturally I went with the cheapest option as it was a budget holiday. I went with Terravison coaches, which was a great company with safe drivers and if you purchase the return ticket before your outbound journey, on the day of your departure you can que jump to get your boarding pass for the coach.
As I didn’t know much about Rome beforehand I opted to stay somewhere which was quite central in town so it would be easy to get around by foot to visit the main tourist attractions. I stayed at the Starhotels Metropole, which was located about 7 minutes walk from the coach station which is also located around the corner from Termini train station. It was a comfortable hotel to have a shower and rest my weary head after a jam packed day of exploring, I wouldn’t say it was a luxurious four star hotel but as I didn’t spend too much time in the room I didn’t have enough time to focus on the dated 80s decor! Breakfast was included in my package, which consisted of croissants, fruit, toast, juices and teas, which was a nice way to start the day rather than having to search for breakfast every morning.
As you can imagine there is so much to do in the beautiful city of Rome, I spent the first evening stuffing my face with pizza, pasta and gelato…well to be honest I did this for each of the three days that I was in Rome! So the first evening was spent getting my bearings and having a little explore around and I stumbled upon the Colosseum and it was just breathtaking, this huge building which was falling apart was so beautiful! The next few days were spent visiting the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps before I headed back to the UK.
I purchased the two day Roma pass at the airport for 36 euros, I was told I could use the metro with it and enter the attractions. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to enter the Vatican with the pass so I purchased a ticket for 18 euros and it was totally worth it! It’s such an inspiring building with so much history, art and beauty.
Next stop was the inside of the Colosseum, which again was an amazing experience, to be in such a significant building which has so much historical value to it, was a treat!
I was so excited to see the Trevi Fountain but unfortunately it was closed for restoration and the fountains were off but, at least I was still able to see it. My luck wasn’t completely bad as I found the most amazing restaurant just around the corner from the fountains, so good that I went back the next day and was greeted and treated like I was family! There are so many restaurants to choose from in that area but I knew I wanted to eat outdoors, where there was a nice atmosphere and people having fun and the Il Chianti was the perfect place. The food was amazing, the price was great (10 euros per pizza) and the atmosphere was chilled out and relaxed.
I visited the Spanish Steps in the evening, which was buzzing with tourists. The area was beautiful, clean and had all the designer shops you could think of, which is perfect for shopaholics!
Another little gem I found was Piadina e Crescione a cute little sandwich shop, run by a lovely couple. It was so clean that you could eat your dinner off the floor and the food, oh my gosh, it was amazing! Traditional Piadina are like panini sandwiches, filled with vegetables, meat and cheese on soft homemade bread. The couple were so nice, they spoke English which helped in ordering my food, they treated me with so much love in the 30 minutes I was there for lunch and even gave free dessert- which obviously consisted of Nutella, as the Italians seem to love it!
As you can imagine gelato was high on the list of sweet treats throughout my stay in Rome, I’m not ashamed to admit that I may have indulged in this sweet treat twice a day throughout my 72 hours in Rome! Here are a few places which were amazing, first favourite was Wonderful Ice Cream, second was Gelateria La Romana Roma Ventisettembre this place had it’s own factory in store where they make their ice cream and the third gelato venue was a quirky little shop called Gelateria Verde Pistacchio.
Rome was a wonderful place to visit but the things that I didn’t really like were the obvious rich and poor divide, as with all cities unfortunately there were people sleeping on the streets, which made the area quite smelly and graffiti on all the old beautiful buildings. Thank God I didn’t experience anything bad myself but I saw a local man get mugged on the metro which was a little bit scary but, don’t let that put you off visiting Rome, just be extra careful and don’t have your valuables on display. I really enjoyed my time in Rome and four days was the right amount of time for me to experience the food, people and culture for my first visit. I loved learning about the history of all the tourist attractions and buildings, I loved exploring the city and if you hadn’t guessed already I really enjoyed all the amazing home cooked food!