Trip to Rome
The first of our Bruntsfield flat trips was to Rome!
Jan 2, Wednesday
Got the 8:11am train from Edinburgh to Manchester and filled our travel time with playing guessing games and being a public nuisance. We then walked to V-Rev diner and had one of the best vegan junk food meals I've ever had - they were voted to have the best vegan fried chicken in the UK ! With overly-full bellies, we took an Uber to Damon's aunt's house where we were kindly allowed to stay overnight to catch our 6:40am flight to Rome
Had such a fun afternoon playing games, specifically Tension (where you have to name examples to a given topic under timed conditions) and watching films till about 1 in the morning. I think the original plan was not to sleep but we caved and took a 3 hour snooze!
Jan 3, Thursday
Arrived in Rome at 10:30 and then got the airport-city bus to our Air Bnb. Our flat was really nice and cosy with a small kitchen. We were starving by the time we got settled in and decided to go for lunch and so lunch was a task of looking for somewhere close by and cheap and not necessarily somewhere with yummy options. We eventually settled for a very local Italian restaurant, where we were the only non-Italians in and got our first taste of Italy's customer service or rather, non-customer service. Vegan options were very limited and I settled for a spaghetti aglio olio and Kristiina requested for 3 small dishes - steam spinach, steamed brocolli and potatoes. Turns out, those 3 dishes cost her £17 and she ended up paying the most out of all of us!! The lady did not seem to be the type to accommodate upset customers and so we didn't make a big fuss and left.
After lunch, we began our first exploration of the city! First stop - the Colosseum. We didn't pay to go inside but it was amazing enough view from the outside. The arches surrounding the Colosseum were so grand and majestic but it was a shame that most of it was under renovation. The details on the marble were exquisite and it's crazy to think all of it was built with pure manual labour. After the Colosseum, we walked around Palentine hill and made our way to The Vittoria Emanuele II Monument. We caught the lift up to the 'roof' at the perfect time to watch the amazing sun set over this 'musuem city'!
For dinner that night, we got groceries and snacks from the nearby supermarket and cooked Spaghetti !
Jan 4, Friday
We started our day at the Spanish Steps and embarked on our free walking tour! I love free walking tours because you understand the city so much better and therefore appreciate it so much more. It's also so great that there are free tours in many cities in the world!
We did some research prior to Rome in the form of watching Angels and Demons and it was so much fun recognizing the scenes during the walking tour. I would say the highlights of the walking tour was the Piazza Navona and going inside the Pantheon! It was really hard to take a picture that captured the grandness of this building - which I guess goes to show just how massive and grand it was.
We ended the walking tour at the Castel San't Angelo, where you could see the Vatican at the end of the road. After the tour, we had pizza for lunch (and for most meals after). The pizza man at this restaurant was particularly skilled because he could hold about 7 pizzas in just one hand! Following lunch, we popped into Sant' Andrea della valle. This church was so incredible and it's ceilings were filled with huge paintings lined with gold frames. You could spend hours here just trying to absorb every little detail on the walls. We then headed to the Trevi fountain!
The fountain was packed full of people, which ruined it slightly because it was just so noisy and crowded and didn't make you feel like staying for long. So we didn't end up staying for long, walked to get some coffee and surprisingly, vegan pastries and headed home to rest. We came out again for dinner at a pizza place the tour guide recommended earlier and went to a bar in Trastevere!
Jan 5, Saturday
Had a late start to our day and headed first to the Spanish steps. Found this nice spot for pics and everyone wanted one!
We then walked to Vila Borghese and explored this huge garden all afternoon.
After the gardens, we walked to a market place near the Pantheon and had lunch at Buddy Italian Restaurant and Café, where they had a great selection of vegan options! Post lunch, we treated ourselves to our first gelato! Can't believe we only had gelato on the third day of our trip. We got gelato at Giolitti, which was an experience in itself because the place was huge and packed and there was a system where you had to pay first to get your ticket and then queue to pick your flavors. I got a chocolate one and it was real good. We sat near the Trevi fountain and had our ice creams and went to Trinity College Bar for a drink after before headed back to the flat.