Roma

After having written a few travel entries I have come to realise that expressing the events of a fully packed weekend abroad is about as easy as fitting my weekend shopping into a Ryanair approved hand luggage. However, I will give it a shot and try not to be too detailed about my latest Ryanair experience. I wouldn’t want you to give up your reading half way through. 

Exiting the airplane at Ciampino Airport on the 28th of January I felt a gentle breeze caress my cheeks. Being starved of sun and temperatures above +10 degrees Celsius my weekend in Rome could not have begun in a better way. I knew instantly that this would be a good trip!

Arriving in the city we managed to find our hotel without any greater difficulty, despite the fact that the hotel name on the front of the building was not the same as the name of the hotel which I had booked online at hotels.com a few weeks earlier. Apparently the hotel that I had booked, Terni Hotel, shared location with Dina Hotel, which was the name on the outside. Slightly confusing. Before arriving in Rome I had wondered what the hotel room would be like, paying 100 Euros for three nights in the centre of Rome I dared not expect too much of the accommodation but I soon realised I had made a great deal! The room seemed newly renovated and was very clean and well kept! It could not have been much better!

The good thing about being a tourist in Rome planning on making it around by foot is that the sights are located rather evenly across the city so you never really notice how much walking you do! My friend and I started off taking a stroll around the Coliseum, continued over to the “Magnificent building” (also known as Il Vittoriano) passing by some Roman remains on our way (the Roman Forum). Before long we had also covered Piazza Navona, Panthéon, Fontana di Trevi, the Spanish stairs and Saint Peter’s Basilica. My favorite sight was without a doubt Fontana di Trevi, I’m not exactly sure what it was about this particular place that caught my interest but there was something about the area that made it fascinating despite the fact that it was crowded by tourists all day (and night?).

Before going to Rome I had high hopes as for the food, wine, desserts and coffee that I was to indulge in while there but I must say that none of this managed to fully live up to my expectations. Except for the ice cream that was to die for the pastries I tried did not exactly leave me wanting more. I love chocolate, but I don’t get why they have to put liquor into everything!  As for the food I ate I can’t deny that the pasta Carbonara was good and proved to be a safe card at most restaurants, but frankly, how hard is that to cook!? Walking around on random we ran across two places that I would recommend to visit, the first one was a rather tiny café called Er Baretto, situated at Via del Boschetto 132, specialising in coffee. The owners were very friendly and keen on making their visitors feel special and taken care of and the Cappuccino was well worth a photo or two before one ruined the decoration made in the foam. The second café to recommend was situated a little outside of the touristic area and we came across it by chance when trying to kill time waiting for the transfer bus to the airport. The café called Casina al Parco is situated at the entry of the park next to the crossing of Via Tiburtina and Via dei Peligni, it is a small café that feels more like a place attracting the locals than the visitors from abroad. They had the best pastry of the weekend as far as I was concerned, a croissant filled with vanilla cream – simply delicious! It didn’t exactly make things worse that we paid 6,50 Euros for two coffees and two pastries at this little café compared to paying 7 Euros for one piece of Tiramisù at Piazza Navona, which was not even that good.

On this particular trip the problem of fitting my shopping into the bag did not really occur as we did not manage to find the shopping street on our walks around the city, but I guess that is a reason as good as any to return to Rome again soon. That, and the ice cream.

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