Roma! My first international trip of the year was spent in Rome, Italy, home of pizza, pasta, gelato and the most fabulous wines. Oh, right, and ancient ruins, of course.
I only spent a few days in Rome, but I walked and ate my way around the city. See, the Italians, they know how to live! Everyone is skinny, and beautiful and all about being in fashion. They also enjoy time at the dinner table, where nothing is rushed. So let’s get started with this week’s wrap up. Disclaimer, it’s my full-time job that actually sent me to Rome for a conference. Those days were long and busy, but I evened it out with a little bit of my own free time, and obviously food.
Upon arrival in Rome, I took the train from Rome Fiumicino Airport to the Termini Station, which was only a couple blocks from my hotel. Despite the fact that I try really hard to travel light, I ended up with a rolling carryon bag and a medium suitcase. I just can’t help it!
I didn’t waste any time that first day. After checking in and freshening up (I’m pretty sure I took a minimum of 3 showers a day), I headed straight to Trevi Fountain, where I dug out a quarter and did what everyone does – made a wish. They say, if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder, with your back to the fountain, that it will ensure your return to Rome.
Not far from Trevi, are the Spanish Steps. While they hold much historic significance, I admit I was more captivated by Piazza Spagna where the designer shops line each of the streets leading to the steps. The view from the top of the steps though, is breathtaking.
I’m pretty sure I walked most of the inner part of Rome by dark. With pending dinner plans, I didn’t want to spoil my appetite too much. Just a little, three-scoop, gelato from Come il Latte. Not only is their gelato absolutely delicious, the interior of the gelato shop was super cute. They have milk bottles up on shelves lining the interior walls. My three scoops of choice: hazelnut, raspberry and pistachio.
After walking up and down what seemed like endless hills, I finally had dinner at San Marco with a few of my coworkers. We started off with house wine all around, and decided we were all ordering pizzas. But before digging in, we also got bruschetta.
You may not know this, but classic bruschetta is actually just garlic roasted bread with olive oil. We learned that lesson real quick. Namely when we all waited around for tomatoes to arrive, only to be told we ordered “classico,” DUH!
I opted for a white pizza. Pizza here in the U.S. has nothing on Italy’s Pizzas.
To end the night, we were treated to lemoncello shots, to be sipped and enjoyed as dessert, as opposed to chugged. Lemoncello was everywhere in Rome. And while I so badly wanted to enjoy it, the alcohol content was just too strong for my weak little taste buds.
The best part of the hotel, the breakfast view. And breakfast of course. I started each of my days off staring at Rome’s skyline with my cappuccino, eggs, some cheese and focaccia bread.
A trip to Rome is not complete without a trip to the Colosseum. It’s absolutely astounding to think about how they build these massive structures in ancient times without the help of our modern technologies.
Rome’s charming streets and narrow alleys were always filled with pedestrians, cars and mopeds. The mopeds are so popular, you could easily find them parked lining an entire street. I seriously considered renting one. But considering Roman drivers, I decided to pass.
Aside from the Colosseum, I also made my way to the Roman Theater (not photographed) and the Pantheon. I’m telling you, Roman history is fascinating.
What’s even more fascinating? The shops along each of the small roads around Rome filled with goodies waiting to be bought.
I found this delectable place filled with breads and cheeses and wines and meats. I settled for a caprese sandwich on focaccia bread, and sat across the street on the steps facing the Pantheon.
Because I don’t already have a problem with shopping, I find these shops filled with pasta, olive oil, spices and, naturally, lemoncello.
Did you know that most Italian coffee shops offer you coffee at a bar? That it’s widely accepted to drink your coffee standing while talking to the barista? Now you know. Here I am sipping a cappuccino while some businessmen are doing the same and chatting just a few feet away.
I’m wrapping up two of my dinners into one. Basically I ate tons and tons of pasta in Rome. Mind you, I generally don’t order pasta dishes here at home. When in Rome!
Can we talk about how my cheese and pepper pasta was served in a parmesan bowl?!
Incase you were wondering, yes, Barilla is the pasta of choice in Italy. How do I know this? I just had to visit the local grocery store.
One of my nights in Rome, I was treated to a visit to a local, chic bar, Salotto 42 . The vibe was very chill, everyone was dressed to the T, and the wine was off the hook! (Do people still say that?). They even offer free appetizers. There’s something in Italy called Aperitivo. It’s kind of like happy hour, but better.
I just had to share this photo of a tiny car with Roman cobble stone roads. Yes, someone owns and drives that car, and they fit four people inside. I saw it with my own two eyes.
Rome was a blast. I loved every moment, even the really hectic and busy moments doing real work for my day job. I did not leave Italy empty handed. I left with tons of pasta, spices and olive oil, because I’m a food blogger of course.
Until next week …. follow along on Instagram