Day One of our trip to Rome saw us getting up at the crack of dawn (4:30am) to head over to Gatwick South Terminal and catch our flight. I was ridiculously tired all the way up until we reached our hotel in Rome and then I got my second wind and was ready to head out and explore. We’d already decided that we were going to do the Colosseum area on Sunday and the Vatican on Monday so we had places like the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Mausoleum of Augustus and Trevi Fountain on our list for Saturday afternoon.
We stopped off in a cute Trattoria about halfway to our first destination for a quick lunch, carbonara for me and lasagne for Sean, before reaching the Spanish Steps at around 2pm. Our first impression was that it was insanely busy and not just with tourists, there were street performers and sellers all over the place and wow they are not backwards in coming forwards. We got caught up in at least three different sales pitches before we decided to move on and escape the madness. Something that Sean soon regretted when I dragged him down the main street filled with all the Italian designer shops. I also found my dream handbag and almost punched Sean when he said it looked like a car seat.
Since I clearly had no chance of persuading him to buy me my beautiful handbag as a little love token, we moved out of the hustle and bustle a little bit to pay a visit to the Mausoleum of Augustus which I had put on our list of places to visit because Augustus is my favourite Roman Emperor. What, you don’t have a favourite?
Sean patiently listened to my fun facts about the Mausoleum and the Res Gestae carved on the wall opposite, but eventually he got bored of my attempts to translate the Latin and dragged me away for some gelati. We popped into Il Gelato di San Crispino and came away with little pots of heaven. Sean went for hazelnut and pistachio whilst I went for coffee and stracciatella. I’m no gelati expert, but I would highly recommend you pay a visit to this place if you’re ever in Rome.
Next on our list was the Pantheon which we briefly wandered inside to take a look at the amazing domed ceiling. I was possibly the only tourist in there not taking photos of all the wall decorations but they’re all from the later Christian period which just isn’t my bag, baby.
By this point we’d been awake for over 12 hours and it was only late afternoon so we made a quick pit-stop for an espresso to make sure that we wouldn’t fall asleep in the middle of a Piazza somewhere. The final landmark on our list for the day was the Trevi Fountain which we threw a couple of coins in to ensure we would one day return to Rome. There were a few other places that we spotted on our wander back to the hotel which included the President’s Palace – the guards there have swords. I also filmed a short vlog of the whole trip which is up on my YouTube channel if you want to watch it!