Travel Diary- Rome, Where My Thoughts Escape Me.

The first time I ever went to Rome was exactly 10 years ago. It was my first holiday on my own, without my family and with a boy. Like a real grown up. I don't know what exactly had attracted us to Rome aside from the glaringly obvious Roman ruins and tourists attractions. At the age of eighteen I was stuck in the typical teenage girl phase of being obsessed with Paris, New York and Tokyo (and rightly so)... Rome was somewhere I vaguely wanted to visit but it certainly wouldn't have been high on my agenda. I remember arriving via the train at the Spagna station and walking out to be meet by the Spanish Steps. I was awe struck. From that moment onwards I fell more and more in love with Rome. You see Rome really is the Eternal City. Nothing is contrived or pretentious. Everything about it is homegrown, authentic and full of character, TRUE character. It's not just the beautiful buildings; from the windy path ways lined with small businesses and restaurants to the epic Roman creations of the Colesseum and the Trevi Fountain which make this city so incredibly beautiful. No way, it's the people, the vibrancy, the life and the soul of it. I kind of figured when I was younger that I was just blindsided by the feeling of going somewhere new and exciting all by myself but as I've grown older and I've visited so many different cities, I've come to realise I certainly have favourites but for me, none ever touch my heart the way in which Rome has, does, always will...

This trip was my third time in the Eternal City and as pre usual it didn't disappoint. It felt good to be back and this time I was accompanied by Joe. My favourite city and my favourite person, can you think of a better set up? I think I've spoken about this before but the real trouble Joe and myself face when deciding on a holiday is that because Joe travels so so SOOO much, it's hard to find somewhere which would excite us both equally. The truly amazing thing about Rome was not only is it my number one favourite place in the world but Joe had never ever been before. It was so lovely to walk around the areas which I'd fallen so hard for and have someone with me seeing it through fresh eyes. It also meant I could go around all the typical tourist attractions once more with the same enthusiasm I had on my very first trip. Needless to say Joe loves it now just as much as me. 

I don't want to bore/patronise you with the in's and out's of our trip i.e. "We visited St Peter's Sq" and "The Trevi Fountain is amazing" instead as per usual I'm just going to ply you with a shed load of photos and give you a brief summary on my highlights and of course... What the hell I wore! Prego!...

Where We Went and What We Did
As mentioned we did a lot of tourist attractions and it's doable over a s few days as Rome is pretty small in the grand scheme of things. You can generally walk to the length of the central city from The Colosseum to the Castel St Angelo in around 40-50 mins. That said please don't try and see everything in one or two days, queues are huge and the majority of attractions a little vast for a fleeting visit, I'd say 4 days is ample. If walking isn't you're vibe I would definitely recommend investing in a ticket for one of the bus tours which you can hop on and hop off as you wish. I know that sounds a little obvious but inner city transport isn't that amazing and the bus tours really are an easy way to get about! Plus you get to see some of the biggest land marks in one fell swoop and a rough idea of the city in which to explore further should you wish by foot! Personally and at the risk of sounding a bit pompous I like to walk around and get a bit lost. There's so many pretty, little windy streets and you'll discover the remains of Roman ruins and/or beautiful architecture tucked away amongst them frequently. It seems a shame to miss out on all Rome's hidden treasures by only sticking to the main roads... Just saying.

We stayed in a little boutique hotel called Terrace Pantheon Relais and I feel like we picked so well. To be perfectly honest, hotels aren't a high priority for me in Rome. You're really not in them that long to care and there's so much to see and do, you'll want to make the most of your days. There's also so many lovely restaurants/bars which are so ridiculously cheap, you'll want to eat out every night. I promise you'll spend time in your hotel to sleep, shower and that's about it, as long as it's clean and cool you'll be happy. The hotel however was in a great location, situated on a quiet side street about a 5 minute walk from the Pantheon. I personally find around the Pantheon is a really great area to stay, it's pretty central being smack bang in the middle of Piazza Navona and Trevi Fountain. Maybe don't take this advise too literally however and stay right next to the Pantheon where it's tourist central but look a little further out, finding a more small/quiet location.

My favourite area to eat and one which never let me down was tucked away East of Piazza Navona in an area called Piazza Di Pasquino. It's effectively a little street lined with great restaurant, after great restaurant and it saves you the gamble of sticking to more popular locations were food can be a bit risky (believe me, it IS possible to have a bad pizza in Italy... I learned the hard way). The best meal we had was in a little Pizzeria called Da Buffetto. It's about as authentic as an Italian restaurant could come and the decor doesn't look like its been touched since the early seventies. There's not much room for airs and graces here, the service is quick and snappy and there's no messing around with a showy dining experience. If you want something a little more romantic, than this isn't the place for you BUT, if you want excellent pizza than go right ahead. Word of warning; there's always a bit of queue but good pizza is worth waiting for. Aside from actual meals, the second (if not equally) most important thing to discuss is ice cream... which I ate twice a day without even considering this might be a touch greedy. The best gelato I had- hands down- came from Giolitti, the decor in this Gelateria is amazing! It looks like the chocolate shops in Charlie And The Chocolate Factory... And the ice cream is to die for as well. Full of flavour, uber creamy and made in house! Bellissimo!!

What I Wore
Dressing for Rome is pretty easy work! The more relaxed and care free your outfit is, the better. A pretty summer dress or a floral tea dress were effectively made to be worn walking down one of Rome's rustic side streets or sat outside a Roman cafe. I packed mainly dresses and when I fancied an outfit with a little more something to it I wore white jeans and a floral style cami top. I never had my Saltwater Sandals off my feet because why break a habit of a life time? Or if not a sandal I opted for cream espadrilles or my raffia sole Superga's. My day time bag was a vintage straw tote bag which fit everything in it nicely fro my camera, to emergency suncream but in the night I chose my round mustard side bag from Cos... I never really realised it until this holiday but mustard goes with a lot more then you think. In total I wore seven outfits which seems a little crazy but it was so hot at around 38 degrees every day, a evening change was more than needed. Pull outfit run through below...

Outfit 1- Vintage Floral Print A-line Top from Plum and Pigeon. White Cropped Wide Leg Jeans From Topshop. Sandals from Saltwater and Vintage bag from Etsy.

Outfit 2- Off The Shoulder, Smock Detailed Dress from And Other Stories... Now in the sale at £28!!

Outfit 3- Floral and Striped Summer Sun Dress from Joanie Clothing. Sunglasses Ray-Ban at Selfridges. Canvas, Raffia Sole Plimsoles from Superga.

Outfit 4- Floral Wrap Maxi Dress from Mango (now sold out). Round Faux Suede Messenger Bag from Cos. Strappy, Block Heel Sandals from Mango.

Outfit 5- Mustard, Bow Detail Sun Dress from H&M. Sandals from Saltwater.

Outfit 6- Frill Strap, Button Down Cami From Mango at ASOS, Vintage Tropical Floral Midi Skirt from Cow Vintage, Espadrilles from Diegos.

Outfit 7- Floral Cami from Mango, Kick Flare White Denim Jeans from NA-KD.

Writing this post whilst I look out at the grey and rainy Manchester weather has given me serious blues but I have no doubt in my mind I will be back to the beautiful Eternal City very, very soon because no matter where I go in the world, there really is no place like Rome...

Sophia x

Shop My Look Below.

1 comment:

  1. Photos are just awesome. You know I also travel lover and Rome is one of my favorite place for traveling. But your writing is cool. I just went there when I read your Rome travel diary. Really good to read your article. Thanks a bunch for sharing.