I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – one of the absolute best parts about living in London is that Europe is literally on our doorstep.
With tons of deals online there’s always somewhere to escape to and it’s easy to decide on Saturday morning that you’d really love to go away…and to find then find yourself in Rome less than 24 hours later for a long weekend getaway. It’s brilliant!
G and I were in the mood for some really (really) good pizza and a bit of history and culture so Rome was the perfect choice. We booked our flights and hotel, packed our bags and were off before we knew it, arriving in the sun drenched city we both love.
After dropping our bags we set out to wander with only a vague plan of where we were headed and nothing but free time ahead of us.
Of course, it wasn’t long before our first stop…
Gelato is the fuel of all travellers and we generally (always) take the opportunity to indulge.
We made our way along the city’s ancient streets to one of its most iconic landmarks – the Colosseum and Roman Forum.
As we’ve been to Rome before we skipped going inside this time around, content to enjoy the views and find a spot in the shade to people watch.
From the Colosseum we continued on towards the Pantheon…and pizza!
You’ll find the BEST pizza in Rome just around the corner from Piazza Navona, at 114 Via del Governo Vecchio – Pizzeria da Baffetto. They’re only open for dinner and service isn’t amazing but the pizza is superb. Just make sure you get there early – the line gets rather long!
After dinner we wandered towards the Vatican as the clouds rolled in and the sun called it a night.
Our legs were tired, our stomachs were full but day one had been amazing!
The next day we were up early (as we always are on vacation – you really feel like you have the whole city to yourselves) and made our way back along the river towards Villa Borghese.
Villa Borghese is the third largest public park in Rome and houses a landscaped garden, historic buildings, churches and museums. It has great views over the city and is a lovely green space to explore.
From Villa Borghese we hopped in a cab to take us to the Trevi Fountain…
…which was entirely ensconced in scaffolding! Luckily we’ve both seen it and had the opportunity to throw coins in the fountain before (a must-do when in Rome!). We had to laugh though as it seems every time we go anywhere there’s at least one major, iconic sight covered for repair or cleaning.
(There’s no denying the fact that the Houses of Parliament in London have continuously had scaffolding on the roof since the moment we moved here….sorry, visitors and fellow Londoners!)
Since the Trevi was a bit of a bust (get it? HA!) we continued on our way.
Since the last time we’d been to Rome together they’d added a new site to the city’s many offerings – a viewing deck on top of the Alla della Patria (aka the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, for longer).
With views over the Roman Forum and Colosseum on one side and across to the Vatican on the other it’s an amazing spot to take in Rome in all its glory.
After (yet more) pizza we found ourselves back at the Vatican as it was handily close to our hotel (Hotel Indigo – one of my favourite hotel chains) and the perfect spot to watch the sun set.
Our last morning dawned bright and clear and we started at the very quiet Piazza Navona.
As the clouds rolled in we decided it would probably be a good idea to seek shelter. Having been to the Vatican previously we skipped it this time around and instead elected to explore Castel Sant’Angelo.
Though we took our time exploring, the rain was still falling heavily when it came time to leave.
We had absolutely no rain protection so made a mad dash past Rome’s historic sites back to the hotel to change out of our sopping, wet before heading to the airport.
It was a quick trip but we managed to find new, unexplored corners of the Eternal City and fit quite a lot into three days. The perfect weekend escape!
I’m already planning a trip back and think it well worth doing the Vatican tour again. My experience has been that booking with a private tour group is the best option as the groups will be smaller and you’re often given special access to areas closed off from members of the general public. As with any travel planning though, make sure you do your research and finding the tour that sounds right for you and comes highly recommended by fellow travellers.