My first stop in Italy on Euro-trip 2017 was Rome!! For some reason, my crazy ass decided it would be a good idea to spend only one night in Rome and fit in both the Colosseum and the Vatican. lol. It all worked out. It was great. On the other hand, I would not recommend that crazy schedule to anyone. This is coming from present-traveler Sara who has lived and learned from this experience. Past-traveler Sara was ambitious but now understands the stress of having only one night in a city.
However! Apart from the craziness that was Rome, I was absolutely enthralled by it. After finding my apartment, I headed over to the Colosseum! Pro-tip: You need to have your tickets printed if you buy them online (and trust me, you want to buy them online, or you will regret everything while standing in line in the blistering heat for 2 hours). Anyways, printing: I did not print my tickets. I went to the Colosseum on a Sunday. Guess what’s not open on a Sunday? Effing printing services. BUT. There is a really nice touring agency near the Colosseum that will print your tickets for you for a pretty cheap price so yay! Learn from my mistakes – print your tickets, and do not call your mom crying, because you had a bad traveling day, and you want to make your Colosseum time frame, but you can’t find a place to print anything on a Sunday. Lesson learned!
After the Colosseum, I met up with my mom, grandma, and aunts who happened to be in Rome while I was! I met my mom at the Spanish Steps, and then she took me over to the Barcaccia Fountain to fill my water bottle! Then, we ate arancini and pasta, and I drank lots of wine!
The next day, I headed over to the Vatican (got totally lost on the way but made it nonetheless!). Again: buy tickets in advance!! The Vatican was amazing and definitely something pictures can’t do justice.
After the Vatican, I took a short train ride over to Florence for a few days. I got to see all the amazing leather shops, buy some fun jewelry, and eat lots of pizza! I also accidentally ordered a giant gelato cone (why don’t the gelato shops tell you when they serve giant gelatos??). Plus, David taught me that the thing they say about men with big hands is NOT true*! Thx David!
*I had a friend tell me that David was thought to be “strong of hand” which is why his hands are disproportionate to the rest of his body. Another friend told me that when David was built, it was common to make mens, ahem, groinal-areas smaller, because only women were to be portrayed as sexual – anyone have any thoughts on this??
Thanks to my mom for letting me use some of her iPhone pics for this post!
Some things I loved about Rome:
- Colosseum – buy tix in advance!
- The Vatican – again, buy tix in advance. And don’t forget to leave a large amount of time to see it! Also, and this is very important, even if you’re really hungry, don’t go to restaurants around the Vatican! They are the worst, most expensive tourist traps ever. I spent 18 euro on the worst salad of my life. It was sad.
- Spanish Steps – fun to walk around, and the view from the top is amazing!
- Barcaccia Fountain – it’s right next to the Spanish Steps, and you can walk out and fill up your water bottle! I guess it’s not necessarily that exciting, but it’s definitely something fun to check out!
- Arancini – I only had 2 meals in Rome, and like I said above, one of them was the most disappointing salad ever. But definitely find a restaurant with arancini!
- Aperol Spritz – find a cute cafe to drink Aperol Spritzes. If you’re there in the summer, it will be hot, and this is the only cure!
Things I loved in Florence:
- Ponte Vecchio – a little touristy but definitely fun! There are lots of cool leather stores and jewelry shops to check out. Plus, there’s a cool place to take photos of the river!
- Stay in the heart of Florence – I was in a historical apartment five minutes from the main train station, and I could walk EVERYWHERE! There were tons of great restaurants, gelato shops, and shopping nearby!
- Accademia Gallery – go say hi to David, and check out the super cool musical instruments exhibit!
- Ristorante Accademia – my mom, grandma, and aunts raved about this restaurant for 2 years before I visited it on this trip. I went with the family, and the owners and waiters instantly recognized everyone. We had plenty of limoncello shots + their veal picatta!
xo Sara Lynn
*Song of the Day: Chateau – Angus & Julia Stone