Napoli CaffeMay 30, 2017 in Italy
Coffee is life.
Popped into this cute venue before starting the day. Loved the atmosphere, and the coffee was pretty good too.
Must Try: The Americano
Food Quality: 4 Stars
Service Quality: 3 Stars
Coffee is life.
Popped into this cute venue before starting the day. Loved the atmosphere, and the coffee was pretty good too.
Must Try: The Americano
Food Quality: 4 Stars
Service Quality: 3 Stars
THINGS TO DO IN ROME – SOME DO’S, SOME DON’TS
You’re planning a trip to Rome and have no idea where to start? Forget all the top ten things to do in Rome lists. Here’s the ultimate list of things you need to do and some don’ts so you can enjoy your trip to Rome to the fullest AND you won’t look like a unprepared tourist!
The ultimate things to do in Rome (and some don’ts):
DO: Throw one, two or three coins into the Trevi Fountain. One is for returning to Rome, two are for falling in love with a Roman and three are either for getting married to this Roman or getting divorced, the sources weren’t that clear about it. Worth a try, right?
DON’T: Go to the Trevi Fountain by day, way too crowded. Better go there late during the night (so much more romantic too)
DO: Eat a Quattro Formaggi in “Berzitello”. In my opinion the best pizzeria in town. And the waiters have tattoos. Period.
DON’T: Eat a Quattro Formaggi in a pizzeria next to the Pantheon. Not worth the HIGH price. Nice view, but I recommend to have just a coffee there instead of lunch or dinner.
DO: Have a gelato in a REAL gelateria. My tip: Giolitti!
DON’T: Have a “fake” gelato. You can easily spot the fake one as the colour is verrrrry colourful. (Too colourful)
DO: Go on a foody Rome Tour with EatingItalyFoodTours, say hi to Kenny from me!
DON’T: Start a diet before your trip to Rome
DO: Go on a VIP Colosseum Tour with WalksofItaly, you not only get to the underground but also to the top, where no one else is allowed to go.
DON’T: Go to the Colosseum when everyone else wants to go, way too crowded and the waiting line is looong.
DO: Book an apartment. I prefer staying in an apartment, as it really makes you feel like living in the city you’re visiting. Are you using Airbnb? If not: sign up via this link and you’ll get a $20 voucher.
DON’T: Save money and book something OUTSIDE of Rome, as it’s such a lovely city to explore by foot if you’re staying somewhere central. Location is key.
Here are some hotel recommendations in Rome if you don’t want to book an apartment:
N°3 Town House Pantheon
Hotel 87 eighty-seven
Giuturna Boutique Hotel
Parlamento Boutique Hotel
AND (last but not least): The only time it’s ok to drink a Cappuccino is in the morning for breakfast with a Cornetto. Don’t ever order a Cappuccino after lunch – everyone will immediately know you’re a tourist (but if you really really like Cappuccino and want to order one – just do it, they might judge you but who cares, right?)Read more
We got into Rome early Sunday afternoon, set up there camp, and got ready to head out on our city driving tour, walking tour, and"walkabout dinner".
Matt, from Melbourne, Australia, had a perfect descriptor for Rome - Grand. I think it's absolutely spot on because it seems that everywhere you turn, there's a building or structure of some sort with awe inspiring scale and bravado!
Our driving tour took us all over Rome and helped with bearings. Some of the highlights were: the Circus Maximus (the site was used for chariot reaching in ancient Rome and the scale is enormous), some sort of key hole that you can look through (apparently it makes you feel like you're in three places at once: Malta, Vatican City, and Rome; I'll have to dig into that for next time), and the Tiber River. It's interesting that the roadway that follows the river is significantly higher than the river itself and that the city on the other side of the roadway often appears to be at the same level as the river. I'm not sure if this is to address flooding or what.
Our walking tour started at Piazza Venezia and focused on what is considered Old Rome. Some of the highlights were: the huge building at the Piazza Venezia (massive building with many columns and a statue of Marcus Aurelius (the Caesar from Gladiator with Russell Crowe), the Pantheon (got there just as it was closing, so couldn't get inside), and the Trevi Fountain (approximately €3000 are collected from it each day and donated to charity). We wrapped up at Piazza Navona and groups headed for dinner. The advice was to walk up the streets off of the Piazza because anywhere on the Piazza is quite expensive.
Eight of us picked a street and started out, virtually every restaurant has someone out front trying to entice you to come in with basically the same rap: "my friends, fresh, homemade pizza, pasta; free wifi". The of the place we decided on reminded me of Uncle Gavin, except with a very long ponytail. The food was great and they treated us very well! On the way back to meet everyone, we made a gelato stop - the pistachio is prenominal!
The group met up, took the coach back to the campsite, and (some actually) packed it in early to be as ready as possible for the big day ahead!
The next morning, we got going early and took the metro train to the Vatican for our guided tour. We arrived before 9am (opens at 10am) and the line was still hundreds of people long. Our guide provided an earpiece and headset, since there were over 40 of us and it wouldn't be possible to hear anything she was saying as the group moved through the mobs of people. That said, even with the headset, it was difficult to hear what she was saying - combination of a thick Italian accent and the technology not being the best. Oh well, it was fantastic to be there and see it for myself! The Sistine Chapel was amazing (no photos allowed), but pretty much everything else is also beautifully done with mosaics, paintings, or sculptures. St Peter's Basilica is enormous and the stained glass is gorgeous, while the Square in front is fantastic!
When the tour wrapped up, a few of us headed off to the Colosseum for the guides tour that we'd booked. Our Contiki Tour Manager thought it would take about 40 minutes to get there on the metro train, which meant we'd be very tight for time. The extra hiccup was that when we were leaving the Vatican, we excited through an unfamiliar area and weren't sure how to get to the metro. We asked one of the many police officers stationed everywhere and he suggested we take the 40 bus, which would take us to a piazza close to the Colosseum in about 10 minutes... That was an easy decision, especially since Contiki gave us metro passes for the day that were valid for trains and buses!
We arrived at the Colosseum meeting place with plenty of time to spare, so we had a bite to eat and I filled up my water bottle at the free water station on the street (still or sparkling, and it also had USB charging points). Cobey and Tom ventured to the pay toilettes (common throughout Europe), but they were apparently quite unfortunate.
Georgio, our guide, met us out front and took us through security. As with Rome in general, the Colosseum is simply grand! It was very interesting to see the scale of things and marvel at how people built such a structure 2000 years ago! It's hard to fathom, but the estimate is that more than 500,000 people were killed during gladiator-type events over the few hundred years that it was in use. It was interesting to learn that the foundation for the Colosseum was a massive lake that Nero had built for himself, but he was such a hated man that when he died, they destroyed any legacy he had built for himself. The Colosseum floor was made of wood and covered with sand, while the area beneath was a maze of rooms and access points that offered entry and exit points for people, animals, and even vegetation (trees were put out for use during hunting exhibitions).
After the Colosseum, we decided to walk to the group meeting point, which was quite a distance away, but we had a couple of hours and it would give us a chance to see more of the city. Our route took us past the Trevi Fountain again... The Trevi Fountain has been going through a restoration for quite some time, which was just completed about six months ago, so I was able to see it in all its glory - amazing! It's said that tossing coin(s) over your shoulder: 1 coin and you'll return to Rome, 2 coins and you'll find love, 3 coins and you'll get married. I tossed in 3, so we'll see!
We met the group at the Spanish Steps (closed for restoration). Renae recommended a place for inexpensive pasta, so a few of us decided to have a pre-dinner snack. Then we made a gelato stop on the way to the train - excellent!Read more
This morning we strolled through the Borghese Gardens, and this evening we walked the Heart of Rome, for a total of roughly 24,000 steps. We were pretty tired, and so easily agreed on a no-fuss dinner around the corner at The Cotto, where we dined last week. Tonight was Spaghetti Carbonara, Lasagna Classico, Caesar Salad to cleanse the palate, all rounded out by a local brew of Belgian Golden Ale.
We left at 7:30 and walked to the colosseum. Found our guide and were set up with head sets. We were the youngest by a significant amount. Probably because most people had to take out a second mortgage just to take the tour.
We set off with our guide and entered, but once inside we stood around for maybe 30 minutes which was annoying - we were waiting for the official colosseum guide but it was all very disorganized. While we awkwardly waited our main guide did her best to fill the awkward silence.
I found a black cat but he didn't want pats. He took a nip hehehe
Wait wait wait.
Some dill on our tour bought a pram.
Mainly Aussies with us.
Our proper guide was great. She never stopped talking and told us some really cool stuff. We first went into the ground floor which was the stage. They have lost the stage over time.
The area would have been covered in sand in Latin the sand was called harena - see the connection 😏) it helped absorb the blood.
We entered through the gate that the losers left from. I didn't realise people got out of the arena alive. But it was also where the bodies went..
She showed up one of the reconstructed trapdoors in the floor.
When in use, entry to the colosseum was free.
Nero, after the big fire built himself a little palace type thing and after he killed himself the lake was drained and the colosseum built where the residence stood. All propaganda crap to say hey we are giving back to the people. Another reason why tickets were free.
It could fit 70,000 but be filled with in 15 minutes because of the 80 gates and organizational system.
It's now just the skeleton. So many things have been destoryed or stolen/lost.
It's full of holes because iron clamps were there inside making it earthquake proof but when abandoned they too were taken.
We then went to the underground section which was what I was most excited for and really why we paid so much but it was pretty dodge.
It essentially was just looking out at the middle from a different section, seeing how the trapdoor contraption worked from underneath and one corridor the gladiators used to enter the arena from. The tunnel leads the back the way to the gladiator barracks nearby which we saw later from a higher level.
We then went back up. Definitely disappointed with that part of the tour even though our guide was great.. there just wasn't much to see and nowhere to go.
Went back up to the second level and walked around the dome.
It is bloody spectacular.
110% gross and barbaric and yet it fascinates me so so much.
I do like that they could fight for freedom even though the chance was like a sturdy 1%
The animals fighting is also sad but I can just imaging the awe of the people who had never left Rome when they brought in an Elephant. It cost 2 million there money to import a singular animal.
Games were actually not that common because they were so expensive. They were used to gain popularity and and on other special occasions.
Politics really is as old as time.
Slaves were also very expensive so they actually all had a semi chance. They had 6 months training before being put in the arena. Their "owners" didn't want to lose money so they didn't just buy then chuck them in.
The corridor the gladiators walked down underneath was the most spine chilling. It was still In tact and the stone was the correct color - white. The outside has been dirtied from pollution.
We had a look at the arch of Constantine which is the newest arch in Rome and a symbol of victory over some bloke.
We left the colosseum and rejoined with our other guide.
We walked into the Roman forum. It was incredible and I recognized a balcony I stood on from school.
So essentially a crap tonne of ruins. It would have been truly marvelous.
We walked past where Julius Caesar was cremated /where his altar is. It's a giant rock. Possibly a comet. Research more aye.
There was plaque in Italian.
Moving on to the temple of the vestal virgins.
They had to remain pure for 30 years but were the only woman in Rome with rights. They actually had designated seating at the colosseum too.
They were not property which was a different concept back then.
If they had sex, they were buried alive. They have record of 20 woman who were.
There temple was nice. A few statues stop around. Our guide had a cool book such had now and before photos to show what it would have looked like.
We went up to a beautiful view point which really showed how much was there to see.
Rome and Egypt are definitely my favourite historic eras.
We then went up to Palatine hill.
Rome has 7 hills.
On Palantine hill in the palace of Domitican.
It was the official residence of royal emperors.
It's all ruins but in a few spots you can see the original coloring.
Our guide poured water occasionally to show us the real colour of the stone underneath. It didn't look overly dirty but the difference was incredible.
On the other side of the palace was the circus Maximus which is an old chariot racing stadium.
I have very clear memories of stopping to see this in school but had no clue what it was or significance.
I was actually thinking in my head I guess that oval wasn't important if it's not in this tour, Nek minute BAM. Haha
We wandered around the ruins and then said our goodbye to our guide.
I was bloody tired.
While it was a great tour the price tag didn't match the quality.
We went home and I had a mammoth sleep.
We went out to diner next door and they gave us free champagne which I'll always accept even though I don't like it lol.
We have packed and are ready for tomorrow.
Forgot to mentions:
Will got more bedbug bites at last hostel on his hand on the last day.
Will dropped the toothpaste in the toilet
Jess gets her puppy today and I am so excited.
There are so many damn scooters
Will says the peroni beers here are different and not as good.Read more
No one can open their locker. Nobody.
So much noise throughout the night.
Checked out and went to the station. We were early so we waited in McDonald's.
Hopped on train.
I slept the whole way so the 2 hours went so quick! Couldn't believe we were already there.
Walked to hostel - checked in - dumped stuff.
We are so freaking cold we have had enough so we decided to get our winter shopping done.
I had a look at where decathlon was and it was easy enough to get there if we got the metro.
It was a 100 minute free travel ticket.
6 stops later and we were in the store.
I had so much fun shopping - everything is so cheap!! 🤗
I bought snow gloves, a beanie (one that actually covers my ears), thermal pants, a thermal shirt, a jacket that will let me be in weather of -15 and a new pair of boots.
Oh and socks.
Will got boots, snow pants, a snow jacket, an everyday jacket, thermal pants and thermal shirt.
So basically we bought the whole shop.
The whole thing only came in at 500€ 🎉
Considering how much we bought and the quality that's terrific.
It really annoyed I had to buy new shoes but I cannot for the life of me fine the hole in the bottom and when I walk on snow that will be a big issue so they had to go :(
I'm quite attached to my shoes lol.
Caught the metro home (had to buy a new ticket because we took so long shopping) then went next door for dinner.
We went and sat at the bar in the hostel and a sort of failed attempt at a karaoke night was happening.
The host was very good at covering the awkwardness just people weren't drunk enough.
They do offer the insensitive of a free shot if you sing though.
Will was setting up for a game of beer pong with people when I left.
Keen to explore Rome again!Read more
So Will got home after 5am.
So our sleep In was grand.
I woke him at 12:30 because I felt awkward sitting there with the cleaning dude busying himself in the room.
We left and headed to the colosseum. We stopped in for breakfast. Will was basically on his death bed. He was incredibly hungover and falling asleep at the table.
While annoyed at this that was nothing compared to my grief towards finding out his Caesar salad he didn't eat was €14.
To be fair it was the worst salad I have ever seen (who puts tomato and corn in a Caesar?) but still.
He needed to go back to bed so I was a loving girlfriend and allowed him to.
Back home we walked.
Once there he was out within a minute.
I am to be compensated by being allowed to buy another souvenir.
I had a nap too because I was bored.
He was starving when he woke me up at 6 so we went out to dinner at an Indian place.
We have now booked tickets to the Vatican tomorrow and SUPER EXPENSIVE tickets to the colosseum because we both agreed from the beginning it's something that interests us both. We are getting a live guide, skip the queue and access to the the underground section too.
99€ each -- EEEEEKKKKKK.
I had a pre arranged skype date with Jacinta at 12am so I took the laptop downstairs.
Unfortunately people were in the "social room" (there is a sign that has designated as such) but I ignored them in the hope they would leave. They didn't.
Jacinta did so much talking I probably sounded crazy buy muttering very few words at spread out intervals. It wouldn't have been that obvious I was on Skype with someone haaha
Good to chat with her.Read more
A late check out had us on a midday train to Roma! It was a quick and relatively painless train journey and we were soon at our apartment in Rome. We got some groceries then went for a stroll towards the Castel St Angelo before having dinner just near our apartment. Dinner was great - saltimbocca for B, chicken with capsicum and tomatoes for C and roast chicken for me. It was honestly the best roast chicken I've had - crispy skin and herbs just made it mouth watering. The creme caramel for dessert was also good. Tiramisu for B and a ricotta and pear tart for C. Early night tonight.Read more
Rome was by far the hottest place we've been! Which meant we had to limit our sight seeing to mornings and evenings. Despite this we saw a lot of Rome! We visited lots of landmarks including the Roman ruins, Colloseum and Vatican City - all of which were amazing! We also treated ourselves to a beautiful meal out in a live music restaurant where we had pizza and aperol spritz! All in all we loved our three nights in Rome, we just wish it hadn't been so hot and we hope to return one day perhaps in Autumn.Read more
First night here and spent most of the time lost. Very frustrating
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