There are so many amazing things to talk about when describing Rome - the people, the culture, the history, the art, the architecture, the foo- THE FOOD... It's actually tough to know where to really start.
With my girlfriend, Gemma being Italian, and me a dedicated fan of anything culture and carb related, Rome felt like the number 1 choice for our first holiday together. Being ‘city workers’, locked to our desks and iMac's, we’d made the decision early on to get out and storm Rome by foot as much as we possibly could. Sticking to our promise allowed us to see Rome at it's best.
My most memorable moment was having that feeling that someone is stood behind you, looking at you intensely, only to turn around and be completely overwhelmed by the famous Pantheon. ‘Pantheon’ meaning 'honour all gods’, commissioned around 27 BC – 14 AD, is a giant, ominous temple, now church/tomb, with 40ft tall doors and pillars that loom over the buskers and diners like the scariest bouncer at the club. It's incredible, and inside even more so.
The Colosseum was another highlight of the trip, but weirdly lacked any interesting facts about the epic structure once you were inside. I'd honestly learnt more from Google’s 'Did you know’ notifications during my 15 min wait in line than I did once I'd explored every nook and cranny the Colosseum had to offer. The Vatican and Sistine Chapel the other hand, located a short 5 min walk from our hotel, found in the perfect all-round location, had both more information than you’d ever need and one of the most intense tourist experiences you’ll ever have. Getting through the gauntlet of ticket salesmen and the busy airport like entrance to the Vatican is totally worth it just to witness the unbelievable paintings inside the Sistine Chapel. The only downside was Gemma and I deciding to be grown-ups and respect the dress code of the Vatican, despite melting in the 35c heat, only to find that everyone else wore tank tops and the shortest of shorts.
Let's talk food. Though really enjoyable, pizza is pizza, gelato is gelato (except when it costs €20 for two...it was good though). Pasta on the other hand is a different story. Rome completely changed my understanding of what Italian food really is, after having the best meal of my life in the form of a simple carbonara (pictured below). Since, I have dedicated myself to recreating that meal and think i'm getting closer...maybe that's another journal post?