when in rome

by - October 27, 2017

Behold, the Pantheon

So, I seem to be two seasons behind with my blog posts... But once upon a time, I had the perfect getaway romancing in Rome and over-indulging in gelatos (5 in 3 days, oops). A plethora of architectural landmarks, Rome is home to one of the current seven wonders of the world and is currently probably my favourite European city.

My photo of Trevi which honestly does it no justice

The Trevi Fountain is the most mesmerising and romantic spot in Rome. Although constantly surrounded by flocks of tourists, it is surprisingly tranquil and just so serene. At least two visits are a must - once in the day and once at night. A nice spot to just sit and do nothing but enjoy the prettiness.

My next favourite place in Rome was the Pantheon. It is an amazing, monumental landmark and I was completely in awe - how did they build such a complex and detailed grandeur of a structure thousands of years ago, and it still remains intact?!

The Pantheon sits in a little square adorned with a pretty fountain and makes you feel like you stepped right out of a movie (aka Troy). We managed to dodge the crowds on a weekday and enjoy a quiet wander round, but expect insufferable crowds at the weekends. TV star Minh was also interviewed by Sky News right outside as he told the UK public his insightful opinion of the EU.

The Colosseum | Somewhere that looks like Gringotts | Vatican ceiling

The Colosseum was interesting, albeit eerie - it was a battleground for gruesome deaths after all. We bought a 72-hour transport pass that included entrance into one tourist attraction and used it here. (Watch out for the African men who loiter around here and try to con you into buying their souvenirs though)

Other notable mentions include Piazza Navona, the Roman Forum (although we only drove past this and then completely forgot to actually visit. THE REGRET) and the Vatican, which is a complete maze. We kept getting lost inside and ending up in the same spots, but the Sistine Chapel inside Vatican City has the most amazing, intricate ceiling of all ceilings.

Giolitti | More Giolitti | Fatamorgana

Apart from admiring all the spectacles Rome has to offer, we hunted for popular gelateries like Giolitti and Fatamorgana. Gelato shops are everywhere, but some are overpriced and don't taste that good. Really nothing beats Giolitti though - we went three times and the chocolate gelato was actually one of the highlights of my trip. Can they not franchise it out to the UK :(

Cantina & Cucina | (Overpriced) Pataclava | Bad photography of the best spaghetti alle vongole at Sora Margherita

 Most of our food endeavours were average at best despite rave Tripadvisor reviews. It wasn't until our final pre-airport lunch and stumbled upon Sora Margherita that we had the best, authentic meal. Kinda unfriendly waiters speaking minimal English with no English menus, but my random pick of the spaghetti alle vongole (vongole I later discovered = clams) made up for the previous lacklustre meals and restored my faith in Italian food. We didn't really meet the friendliest of Italians on the trip, but the service was friendliest in Catina & Cucina and tried our first Limoncello shots.

In my pledge to be more well-travelled, I typically wouldn't want to visit a European city more than once, but I'd like to visit Rome again one day (and hopefully find better food places).

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