On April 20 I hit the friendly skies and flew Alitalia to Rome with fellow Single Gals correspondent Queen B. I have to say even though Alitalia planes are old it was a pretty pleasurable travel experience. Maybe the free vino that they gave you on the plane helped with that. Free vino! I knew I was gonna love Italy!
Our itinerary was as follows :
Rome Day 1 – Quick tour of city that lasted 5 hours included hitting all the landmarks, having a late lunch, resting for an hour before hitting the town to enjoy the Roman night life.
Rome Day 2 – Went inside the Colosseum, ate gelato, walked across the River Tiber and ate at Da Meo Patacca.
Rome Day 3 – Took a day trip to Pompeii walked around the ruins of Pompeii for 5 hours without a map, therefore having no idea what we were looking at or what sites we should be seeing. My recommendation would be to take a tour so you get the history and get to see everything that you should see, if not a tour make sure to pick up a guide map.
Rome Day 4 – Shopping, walked to St. Peter’s Square, ate gelato, stumbled upon some really cool Gothic churches and ate Japanese food for dinner just to mix things up a bit.
Rome Day 5 – Attended the Papal Audience (Blog in the works), did a tour of the Sistine Chapel, had dinner that night down by the Roman seaside.
Florence Day 6 – Climbed the Duomo, walked around the markets, bought my leather jacket and got drunk that night with a couple of nice Aussie blokes. We have decided that Aussies and Canadians are a lot alike.
Florence Day 7 – Mildly Hung-over I attended the ‘Wanna be Itliano cooking class’ in Florence (blog in the works) and Queen B spend her day travelling to the Prada outlet.
Rome Day 8 – Our last night in Rome we were treated to a home cooked meal and I got to try on a leopard skin jacket…Before you judge remember I didn’t buy or kill it. This jacket was one of 16 ever made and worth over 20K. There will never be another chance in my lifetime where I will be presented with the opportunity to try on a jacket worth 20K. My future car purchase is not even going to be that much.
Rome Day 9 – Early flight home and this time we had vino at the back of the plane with the all male flight crew..Viva Italia!
A couple of my favourite places to eat were:
The Royal Art Cafe – We had our dinner on rooftop garden with an exceptional view on the Colosseum (see picture above) I had the veal piccata (veal cooked in a white wine and lemon sauce) it was to die for. It is not on the menu, so if you like veal just ask they do make it there.
Da Meo Patacca across the Tiber River – Not only was this the place where I saw some of the most fantastic looking men that I have ever laid eyes on but the food is spectacular. We ordered a few different dishes and every one of them was a delight to the taste buds. You have to try the Bruschetta al pomodoro (Roman Garlic Bread with tomato) this was the best brushetta that I have ever eaten.
The Dinner Ritual
7:30 Meet up for an apéritif this is a pre-dinner drink that is supposed to help stimulate the appetite, this drink is usually Champagne, Vermouth, Sherry or a light white wine. Our apéritif of choice was Prosecco. It was the start of our evening and the end of our evening.
8:30 – 10:30 is spent having dinner, after dinner you have a digestif (an alcoholic beverage to aid in digestion) . Digestif’s are whiskey, brandy, grappa, or sweet liquors like Limoncello (our choice).
Where we stayed:
We spent 6 nights in Rome and stayed all six nights at Bocca Di Leone located around the corner from the Spanish Steps. It was a great little B&B that we had found online that turned out to be very nice. Breakfast was brought to our room every morning at the time we requested and the staff was great.
In Florence we stayed at the Hotel Orto de’Medici the beds are comfy, rooms clean and quite. Located minutes from the Duomo. We got upgraded to a room with a terrace so that was a very pleasant surprise. Also you get a continental breakfast included in your stay, which offered a good variety of food options.
Wear comfy shoes, the cobble stone roads are killer on your feet. When in Italy you will be doing a lot of walking, my feet were so sore that near the end of my trip I almost broke down and bought Croc’s but thankfully Queen B was still in a sane mindset and talk me out of that ridiculousness. I hate Croc’s they have to be the ugliest footwear ever created. Sorry Croc’s people (you know who you are) those things are hideous!
Be wary of super helpful strangers at the trains stations etc., they may be looking for money.
Your cab fare doubles if you have luggage, even if you have knapsacks they will double your fare… such is life in Italy.
How to read the train ticket (we thought it was just general seating, but there are specific train cars that you are seated in):
Have you been to Italy? What recommendations would you make?