Dec. 8, 2012
Before I write this post, I want to give Anthony credit for taking all of the photos on our trip. I also want to thank him for documenting our trip so well and posting all of the photos on Facebook! I’m using his Rome & Florence album to recollect memories of the trip and thankfully he put the pictures in order of when he took them. Good job, love!
I remember walking through the Vatican and getting annoyed because he would stop every 2 seconds to take a picture of something and I’d have to wait for him. Now I regret him not stopping every ONE second to take photos! Today, I will admit I can eat my own words :P.
On today’s itinerary is The Roman Shuffle (Colosseum – Roman Forum – Palatine Hill) & shopping! Our day started early with breakfast at 7:00am downstairs and then we set out at around 8:00am. First stop was the colosseum. When we arrived there was already a line outside. Luckily I did my research and took advice from tripadvisor users by buying our tickets in advance. We skipped straight through the line and were on our way! Prior to the trip, I had downloaded the Rick Steves Audio Tour app on our phone (same one as we used for the Pantheon) so that saved us $. Ant was most excited to be here as this was HIS most anticipated tourist attraction. The colosseo on the outside is beautiful & grand. The inside was not so exciting. An entire floor was missing and there were gaps everywhere. With a good imagination, you may be able to fill in the missing areas! Without the audio guide, I don’t think we could have imagined what the inside looked like during its heyday….
As soon as you exit, you are headed in the direction of the Arch of Constantine.
Following the trail down you are led to the entrance of Palatine Hill. Here you can explore the living quarters of Augustus and his wife Livia as well as other prominent figures like Cicero. You also get to see circus maximus!
After a few hours at the Colosseum we were exhausted. While trekking up the hill to Palatine, we took a snack break and shared one of the prosciutto & mozzarella paninis we had leftover from the previous day. Still delicious! Once you reach the top of the hill, there is a viewing area where you can see all of Rome.
Further along we finally reached Augustus’s home!
Amazing how they were able to still preserve parts of his house. Directly located next to Palatine is the Roman Forum. The Roman Forum was where I had the hardest time imagining what it use to look like. There are still a few columns up but most of it is just piles of rubble.
If I were to do this day all over again, I would break up the Roman Shuffle. I’d combine the colosseum & roman forum on one day and save Palatine Hill for the next (if possible). We took one to two days worth of information in just half a day so it was exhausting.
Hungry and tired we headed back toward the hotel walking along the big intersection near Piazza Venezia where the Victor Emmanuel Monument is located. The entire trip I was searching for good italian street food. Popular in photos and on the forums, I read about suppli which are balls of rice filled with cheese / meat then breaded and fried. We finally found some at a deli/pizzeria! We eyed the pizza and decided to share a slice & some suppli for a light lunch. OH.MY.GOD. It was SO delicious! The pizza had fresh arugula, baby tomatoes, grated parmesan & prosciutto. Folded and easy to eat we carried it around with us and took turns taking bites. The suppli was equally delicious and at 1.5 euros each it was a steal!
Satisfied & full of smiles after lunch, we headed toward Via Del Corso to do some shopping!
My favorite store in Rome was Zara (pictured above). Cute, trendy clothes at affordable prices. I bought a couple of items from there including a sweater dress and Ant bought shoes. He spent the most at the Ferrari Store which we went to in Florence as well. He’s a little obsessed but you didn’t hear that from me! 😉
For dinner we went to a restaurant called Da Francesco near Piazza Navona. I had bookmarked it as a “must try” place and accidentally found it the night before when we went to a little cafe near Navona for coffee & wifi. Unfortunately the line was long the night before so we weren’t able to get a table. Leaving early and setting out right when the restaurant opened today we were able to get a seat right away. I can see why people were waiting in line for this place! The food was divine and the service top-notch. We had veal w/ potatoes, fettuccine with peas & pancetta. For dessert we had panna cotta. Panna cotta is an italian dessert made with heavy cream, sugar and gelatin then usually topped with fruit syrup, fresh fruit or chocolate sauce. It is a hybrid between flan (but without the egg) and a custard. I had been wanting to try panna cotta in Rome for days now but we always opted for gelato. Just for the record PANNA COTTA IN ITALY IS AMAZING! I always talk about it and unfortunately have not been able to find a good one here in Seattle yet. After my dessert at Da Francesco, I had panna cotta after every lunch & dinner until we left Rome to go home.
With our food coma, we headed out to the hotel ready to call it a night. On the way back we stopped by a small grocery store to pick up some snacks (yes, we were constantly eating during our entire vacation!) and decided to order some prosciutto to have later. I told Anthony to order at the counter and to only order a few pieces but the man came back with .5 kg’s=1lb of prosciutto for the two of us! Greedy and thinking we could finish it all we took the prosciutto back to the hotel and put it in the fridge. We ended up throwing out what we couldn’t finish the night before leaving Rome :(.
Tomorrow we explore Castel Sant’Angelo, Trastevere, Theater Marcellus & Jewish Ghetto.
***Travel Tips to Remember***
❤ Don’t let Anthony purchase charcuterie
❤ Plan to only see 1-2 major tourist attractions per day
❤ Purchase entrance tickets in advance when possible