From Florence, we made our way to Rome. In my early twenties, I visited Rome for three days and it was my favorite part of a much longer European itinerary. It was a much different experience then, as there was no Tripadvisor or blogs telling you what’s what and where to go. We had to go into a creepy basement in our hostels and pay to get a phone call with calling cards to communicate with our family so far, far away. It was also a different time in my life, so a Rome bar crawl was appealing as well as many things I don’t have interest in now. However, I did go back and pay my respects to the landmarks I once witnessed, and Chris had never experienced Rome so we checked the boxes. Our weather wasn’t great, and admittedly one day we stayed in and watched Netflix when it was pouring outside. When in rainy Rome, Netflix.
We stayed in the Trastevere area which was ridiculously charming, full of ivy walls everywhere you look, cobblestone streets, and adorable doorways.
Near our Airbnb, we stumbled upon a sandwich shop called Donkey Punch which had one of the best sandwiches I’ve ever had. They also had a pretty great beer selection. Super casual, simple and near our Airbnb, so obviously we ate there more than once.
On one of the most beautiful days, we toured the Pantheon and had lunch at a touristy place outside, because location. I’d say the Pantheon is worth a visit for anyone who hasn’t been to Rome. The columns and interior dome are stunning – plus and it’s a classic Rome landmark.
We also made our way to the Colosseum, mostly because Chris hadn’t been. My first time visiting I wasn’t overly in awe, but most people are, so don’t take my word for it. Weather wasn’t on our side this day, so we did a quick tour and then off we went.
What’s a visit to Rome without a stop at the Trevi fountain? We were sure to get some gelato and linger for a bit and then made sure to toss our three coins into the fountain. There are legends/rituals that go along with the coin tossing, so make sure to follow them :) The first legend says to throw the coin from the right hand over the left shoulder so that you’ll make it back to Rome one day. Another legend states that you should toss three coins into the fountain. The first coin guarantees that you’ll return to Rome, the second is for a new romance, and the third will ensure a good marriage.
One of the last main things we did in Rome was visit the Vatican, and though it was different this time around I will never not be in awe by its magic. When I was 22, I remember making my way into the Sistine Chapel. You could hear a pin drop, the room felt sacred and untouched, and goosebumps were abundant. It was surreal in my mind, and my heart dropped just being in the midst of this wonder. The majesty of that moment burns in my mind until this day. Fast forward 12 years later, and it’s very different. People are taking selfies of themselves and the art, violating the no talking rule, and concentrating more on the photos and uploads than the beauty of the moment. It was hard for me to witness that, and I wanted to erase it from my memory and hold true to an older time when it felt so sacred. Regardless, it was still absolutely beautiful, and I hold on tight to my time in 2006.
As far as where we dined, Chris and I sort of winged this part. We did go to L'Arcangelo (the BEST gnocchi I’ve ever had - though I wouldn’t recommend the atmosphere and location) as well as another boutique restaurant that was very high in demand with lines out the door. I’m forgetting the name, but it ended up not being anything that great and we sat next to two tourists and quickly realized we’d been trapped. I wanted to make it to Roscioli, but we didn’t have time.
That’s mostly it for Rome! The next part of our trip is the part we were very excited for - the Amalfi coast.