Italy: Rome

The inside of the Colosseum from a top level
Inside the Colosseum

We were in Rome at the very end of June, so this post is quite a while after this all happened. Of course, I still wanted to write about it.

Rome was not one of my favourite places in Italy but it was certainly very interesting. As it was towards the end of our trip, I found myself getting tired from the heat.

The day we arrived was a public holiday so we didn’t do much except get caught up on doing our washing, buying some groceries, and catching up on contacting our family. We went out for dinner to a cute little restaurant, it was nice but not as great as we’d expected. We had bruschetta because we were craving it!

Our Airbnb apartment was so cute. It was bigger than the pictures showed, and I had always thought it was cute, but I imagined it to be rather small and simple. I was pleasantly surprised to see all the little bits and bobs that made the apartment more like a home: there was a little sewing kit, a fruit bowl, a bowl of rock salt, and a tea infuser. I used the tea infuser because I wanted to try the teas I got from London and Paris. I was so glad it was there!

It was handy having a washing machine in the apartment, because we had packed lightly and only had so many clothes to wear. There wasn’t really a great place to dry them, though, and they couldn’t get much sun because we didn’t have a balcony.

The inside of the Colosseum
Another angle from inside the Colosseum
A stone arch visible from inside the Colosseum
Looking outside from inside the Colosseum!
The Roman Forum
The Roman Forum – main road in ancient Rome, back in the day

We went to the Colosseum and Roman Forum the next day. It was such a hot day! The lines around the Colosseum were huge. We didn’t have access to the centre of the Colosseum once we were inside, but it was still a captivating view. Thankfully there was a drinking fountain near the Roman Forum where we filled our bottle for a drink. I was so exhausted. It’s hard to believe how old these ruins are.

After walking around and exploring a market, we had a nice lunch at a restaurant a friend recommended. I can’t remember what I ate but I enjoyed it, and I’m pretty sure it was some kind of fettuccine with seafood.

A quiet lane just off the main walkway
A lovely quiet lane just off the main walkway
The lane with some plants growing down the buildings
The lane with some plants growing down the buildings

We went inside the Pantheon. The light comes in through a hole in the top, but there’s no glass. If it rains, it rains inside! I found that really interesting, and the building itself was beautiful. The Spanish Steps is a nearby attraction but it were fenced off for renovations. We did manage to see the Trevi Fountain, though, which looked lovely during the day. Unfortunately there was no room to sit as it was completely packed around the entire area!

Walls of the inside of the Pantheon
Inside the Pantheon
Me and Nick inside the Pantheon
Myself and Nick inside the Pantheon
Trevi Fountain during the afternoon, stone figures visible
Trevi Fountain. It was very busy with lots of people

The next day we did a tour of the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. I wasn’t too interested, to be honest, but I am glad we explored this as a tour. Otherwise I think we would have gone in and not paid much attention to the rooms inside.

We went to Castel Sant’Angelo, an incredible castle that was commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian. It was later used by the popes. This was such an adventure and I almost forgot about it since I didn’t take any photos except for one where there was a good view. Although there was nothing super eye-catching about the castle itself, walking through its many rooms and up its many stairs was fun. It was tiring, but definitely worth a visit.

The Vatican as seen from Castel Sant’Angelo
Vatican as seen from Castel Sant’Angelo

We walked around Villa Borghese and went to the Borghese Gallery. I was really only interested in seeing the Apollo and Daphne sculpture. It’s the famous one where Apollo is chasing Daphne and catches her just at the moment she begins to turn into a tree.

The sculpture of Apollo and Daphne
The sculpture of Apollo and Daphne

Perhaps my favourite part of Rome was Ostia Antica, a large area of ruins. There were many houses, a couple which were still intact, and an auditorium, amongst many run-down gravel walkways and grass growing through the ruins. It was like an adventure climbing over small walls and then realising you could only go back a certain way, and basically getting lost in a sea of stone. There were parts where you could figure out what might have been a bath or a cooking area, while others looked a little more confusing. Some floors were tiled in a mosaic fashion. Stairs had been added specifically for visitors where the stone steps would have otherwise been unstable. There were vantage points where you could see the ruins from above.

Ostia Antica near the start of the ruins
Ostia Antica near the start of the ruins
Some run-down walls in Ostia Antica
Some run-down walls in Ostia Antica
Nick walking up some stairs in a ruin in Ostia Antica
Nick walking up some stairs in a ruin in Ostia Antica
An old ampitheatre in Ostia Antica
An old ampitheatre!
Stone pillars by a broken-down building
Some kind of pavilion with stone pillars?
An area in Ostia Antica with more grass growth
A more vegetated area amongst the ruins

I found it all so intriguing and exciting for something that was only about thirty minutes out of town. Here’s a tip: bring your own food. The food in the little eatery tasted horrible (microwaved) and was very overpriced.

My next travel post will be about Milan and will be extremely short, because we were not in Milan for very long! I have a post planned about what I packed for Europe, but if you are keen on asking me any questions about our trip, feel free to do so in the comments. :D

A selfie of me and Nick
A selfie of me and Nick

Other posts about our trip to Europe

Comments on this post

How wonderful to be able to travel abroad. Rome looks like quite an interesting place. Old, but quite interesting. I love all the photos! You and Nick look happy, but at the same time excited. I’ve never traveled abroad, but if I did, this would be one of the places I’d love to visit. Thank you for sharing your beautiful trip. :)

This makes me miss Rome so much! Two years from now we are planning an around Italy trip. I say two years because I need to finish university first to afford it. The best part in my opinion about traveling, is getting to see pictures of people there and remembering where you stood relative to them. Ostia Antica kind of reminds me of Pompeii, minus the melted rock, but everything else actually looks quite similar.

PS I know the website may be different and I may be called spam for it, but we are trying to get into making some Youtube videos and the one in the link is from our trip. So sorry if I come off as spam, its just me :P

Ostia Antica was amazing, and some people have said it is like Pompeii! Not many people have heard of it.

I loved your video! Especially the snorkelling… ahhhhh the water was so clear! We went snorkelling when we went to Hamilton Island and I really liked it but the water was a bit murky. 😞

We actually made a video of our trip as well (Nick did most of the work haha), if you have time I’d love for you to check it out too. 💖

It all sounds very interesting but being outside for so long exploring in the heat must’ve made it so difficult especially considering there wasn’t much available for you to eat and drink after/during

Italy seems like a great place but after reading most your blog posts and my initial opinion of it combined, I’m now sure it’s not a place I’d jump to visit haha . I mean, I’d love to one day perhaps but not on the top of my list. Do you think you’ll ever go back for another visit? Also I’m curious to know what you and Nick loved most about Italy. The food, the people, the streets the weather 😜…? (just listing examples)

I don’t think we would be jumping back to visit it soon… we did want to do more of the coast, and southern Italy, but our priorities are elsewhere. It will be at least a few years before we head back because we want to explore other countries in Europe, like Austria, Germany, Amsterdam, and the whole other side that we missed. I think we’d sooner be heading to Paris, though. ;)

My favourite thing was probably the food, definitely not the weather. It was too hot. The food was really nice even though I was totally sick of carbs and starchy food by the end of the trip. Nick said the scenery and the cities were pretty and the food was good. :D

AHHH. Rome is one of the places I’ve always wanted to go, because it’s got all those structures…really, anywhere in Europe because of the churches. They’re all so beautiful to me. 😍

Rome looks so beautiful! I’d definitely be interested in seeing the colosseum – that must be such an amazing experience! I can imagine it gets so busy with tourists!

Shame about the prices food. I always find that in popular places, which is such a shame. Especially when it’s not even nice! When I went to London Comic Con all the food was overpriced and sandwiches/toasties/wraps were pretty much the only thing they did. I was so tired of eating bread by the end of the week!

Looking forward to your packing post. It must have been so difficult to pack for such a long trip!

Rome looks really fascinating and I really hope that I get to go at some point. It looks like you had a great time and I’m glad the apartment you stayed in exceeded your expectations.

Wow its kind amazing that places like that are still around. And that fountain! So beautiful!

Glad to hear that you enjoyed your apartment in Rome! The Colosseum looks amazing!!! I love how all of these stone archetecture are still standing after all of these years. I also appreciate the fact that they’re trying to keep history around without tearing it down for modern landscaping.

It’s cute to see the Mini Cooper in the alleyway XD.

All of these statues look amazing~~~ Meanwhile, we have hipster sculptures over here…

Thanks for sharing your experience in Rome :D.

I’ve had people tell me that they didn’t really like Rome outside of its attractions, but I’d love to visit one day to see the Colosseum and Pantheon in person. They seem like amazing structures. I also think it’s really interesting to see ruins and old buildings. That’s awesome that you visited a large area of ruins near the town. It looks like a great place to explore! I liked looking at all of your photos!

I think I’ve said this about everywhere in Italy but I love Rome.

I would love to spend long enough in Rome to have a trip inside Colosseum and the Forum. Last time we were there we walked all the way around the outside of the Forum and ended up finding the Circus Maximum and some cute back streets away from all the touristy areas. It was a side to Rome I’ve never seen before and it was really nice.

I went inside the Vatican with a tour guide but I really wasn’t that interested. I much prefer looking at the outside of buildings than the insides.
They’re always doing renovation works in Italy!! Last year we missed out on seeing the Trevi Foundation, the buildings at the top of the Spanish Steps and the Baptistery Florence. I understand why but it can be frustrating when you turn up and the famous sights are covered in scaffolding.

Rome! I’m so jealous! I’ve never traveled abroad, but I’ve always wanted to see Rome (and Italy in general) so looking at your pictures was amazing <3 Part of me is dreading actually visiting in the future though because of all the tourists!! I know I would be one of them anyway ;) but can you imagine how much more breath taking those views would be if there was no one else around???? o.O

Ahh what beautiful photos! The little apartment sounds cute, do you have a photo? I didn’t know the Pantheon had an open ceiling – that’s pretty interesting! I was a fan of Lizzie McGuire when I was a kid and there was a whole movie filmed in Rome so a lot of these locations are familiar :P but I didn’t know about the Roman Forum! I also really like the ruins – I haven’t seen them in person of course, but the idea of getting a glimpse into a former life seems so astounding!

Beautiful photos! Rome is certainly interesting. Did I ever tell you that I’m actually Italian too? And that I probably have family, extended family in Italy right now? Yeah, it is a long story, but I hope to reconnect one day to them and actually visit Italy in general.

It’s wonderful to be to travel and while I don’t, I enjoy the stories and pictures of people abroad for vacation or for any other reason. Love this entry Georgie! Hope you and Nick are well!

Ah, Europe remains to be in our travel bucket list. We just have to do it one of these days (or years)! I get chills whenever I read travel posts such as this. :)

Rome looks like an interesting place, full of history and one of the places I most want to visit. I’d have to go at a cooler time of the year though, I don’t do well in heat and burn very easily. My finds laugh that I actually burn badly in the UK’s occasional Summer and need factor 50 sun cream!

Gosh, it looked crazy hot and since most of the touring was outdoor, it must have been hard. From the photos, it didn’t look like there were much shade at all. Nick even wore long jeans? wasn’t he baking?!

I think I might have to do a multi-city tour of Italy for my next EU trip.