Travel Throwback: One Day in Rome
With the excitement of the holidays behind us and the bitter cold settling in over Chicago, I thought this would be the perfect time to bring you to the warm, sunny lands of Italy, Greece, and Turkey! Travel Throwback is a series of blog posts based on a 10-day Mediterranean cruise that I took with Mike, my mom, and my brother aboard the Celebrity Equinox back in August of 2011. Back then I wasn’t blogging about my travel but luckily I kept a journal and took a LOT of pictures that I can’t wait to share!
August 18th and 19th, 2011
We arrived in Rome one day before our ship, the Celebrity Equinox, set sail for an amazing 10 days on the Mediterranean. With only 24 hours to explore this amazing city, we pushed the jet lag aside and headed out after getting settled at Hotel Quirinale, a beautiful hotel located in the heart of Rome.
From the hotel we walked about 1 mile to our first stop, the Colosseum, pausing for a few quick slices of pizza along the way! We were starving and popped into the first place we found and we definitely lucked out! This little shop had a ton of varieties and once we picked our pie we just headed on up to the counter, told them where to cut and that was our slice! I’m not sure if this is how other pizzerias in Rome do it, but we thought it was pretty fun! Our first bites in Italy were delicious-even in this random, tiny little pizza shop all the ingredients tasted so fresh-just look at those bright tomatoes on the Caprese (it was the group favorite)!
Upon arriving at the Colosseum, we were greeted by a long line to get in and people everywhere-we found sweltering heat and large crowds to be recurring themes on this trip. There were several different people offering the option to enter the Colosseum with their guided tour and skip the line and we ended up going with one that only cost €5 so we could make our way in. Our guide was somewhat difficult to hear and understand but we were able to get some interesting information and once the tour was over we were able to walk around, explore, and pose for photo-ops on our own.
From the Colosseum we walked another mile to the second stop on our Rome must-see list, Trevi Fountain. Walking in this heat wasn’t the most comfortable, we all were sweating profusely after being outside for just 5 minutes, but walking gave us a chance to explore a little more along the way.
Trevi Fountain was swarming with people but we managed to squeeze our way in to toss a couple coins into the fountain and pose for a few quick photos. I recommend getting as close to the fountain as possible to toss in your coins, an unsuspecting tourist may or may not have been hit by a couple of my failed tossing attempts from afar!
From the Piazza di Trevi we walked to the Piazza di Spagna where you can find the Spanish Steps. As you can see in the picture below, the steps are another popular attraction so getting a nicely framed photo without others around is no easy task.
At this point we were all pretty well spent so we found a nearby metro stop and headed back to our hotel to do a little recharging before heading out to dinner. We found a cute little restaurant with outdoor seating near our hotel where we relaxed and recounted our first day in Rome over a couple bottles of wine and a delicious meal of caprese salad, fresh pastas, gelati, and house-made limoncello!
The following day we had some time in the morning before we needed to head to Civitavecchia to catch our ship, so we made the most of these last few hours in Rome and crammed in a visit to Vatican City and St. Peter’s Basilica.
We arrived around opening time for St. Peter’s and were still greeted by a long line, but luckily it moved fairly quickly. Once we made it to the front of the line, however, I was told I wouldn’t be allowed in because my shorts were too short. Major. Bummer. Before heading out I had asked the staff at our hotel if shorts were acceptable attire for St. Peter’s and they said yes…they just failed to indicate that shorts had to be knee length or longer. Not wanting the morning to be a total loss, I sent Mike, my mom, and my brother on in while I checked out a few of the shops in the area (and shed a few tears of disappointment along the way).
Lucky for me I have a really awesome mom, and after leaving St. Peter’s she found a street vendor that sold large scarves and bought one for me to tie around my waist so I could get in. The scarf worked (we called the look Vatican Chic) so Mike took the trip back in with me and I was able to see the inside of St. Peter’s after all. Lesson learned…cover up for the Pope!
After Round 2 of St. Peter’s it was time to collect our bags from Hotel Quirinale and head to Civitavecchia harbor to catch our ship! Our 24 hours in Rome flew by and although we were happy that we were able to see as many highlights of the city as we did, this is definitely a city we hope to get back to in the future! Now…it’s time to cruise!