There are a lot of things I don’t like about Rome: the manic traffic situation (the backseat of an Uber over those cobblestones is absolute murder), the graffiti and cigarette butts everywhere, and the guys hustling selfie sticks and shoving roses in your face at every major tourist stop. (Ok, to be fair, that last one is an issue in nearly every major city.)
But for all it’s problems, you can’t discount the city’s moments of magic. I view Rome as a giant open-air museum, thousands of years of history, ready and waiting to be explored. So when one of my best friends, Melissa, came over to Italy to meet up with Jer and I, I was almost nervous. I wanted her to have the very best possible time, and to see the Rome that was in her imagination: vibrant, moving, and full of life.
We stayed in an adorable 60s flat near the Vatican, and both Melissa and I were in love with all the quirky details of this place.
Our very first day was spent in the Vatican Museums, which was the only thing we HAD to do. The rest of our time was reserved for strolling and stopping for gelato. (But like, how perfect is our Colosseum + Cones pic?)
(Side note: if you want to hear us describe our time in Rome, including the gifts Melissa brought me, our plethora of interesting Uber drivers, and our lunch at Romeow, a vegan cat bistro, check out the Podcast episode titled “Sunday Sitdown 4/26/16”.)
We wandered through the Forum and up to Capitoline Hill, one of my favorite places in the city.
We climbed to the top of Altar of The Fatherland to get a bird’s eye view of the city.
It was supposed to rain one day, so we made our way over to the Pantheon, hoping to see a downpour through the obelisk in the ceiling, but no go. The only time I’ve ever been disappointed to see sun rather than rain!
Probably my favorite moment of the whole weekend was showing Jeremy and Melissa my very favorite church in Rome, Basilica di Santa Maria in Ara Coeli. It’s at the top of a huge flight of stairs, but climb up there, it’s SO worth it.
The Basilica is from the 1200s and stuffed to the brim with chandeliers. Don’t leave Rome without seeing it.
We also spent some time around the Vatican, shopping for gifts for Melissa’s mother. I mainly stood around as moral support, and snapped photos of the Ponte Sant’Angelo.
Also, the Trevi Fountain construction is (finally) finished so we popped over at night to see her all lit up.
Our weekend in Rome was short, but sweet and I hope my dear friend got to see the Rome she’d dreamt of.