Rome (Solo Trip #2)

This trip brought to you by my friend (and fabulous Latin teacher) Susan. And actually one of my work colleagues. And one of my students. And a lot of people really. When people find out you’re going to Rome they have LOADS of recommendations to share. And when you’re travelling by yourself you have tons of time to explore all of them (OK most of them. I didn’t get to Ostia Antica and I wish I had).

Sunday morning. Aircoach. Almost missed it this time. By the time I landed in Rome (or at the airport Ryanair has decided is “close enough” to Rome), caught the bus *into* Rome and walked the five minutes to my hotel it wasn’t even noon (but my hotel room was ready–actually I think the manager switched me around so I got a room that was ready but that always feels so good!).

Step 1: PASTA. Specifically, ravioli. I found a well-loved place by my hotel (and probably could have eaten every meal there and been just fine) and ordered some ravioli and a glass of wine. Oh wait no. I ordered a half a bottle of wine. Oops?

After pasta, I wandered down the road a little further, perused a hipster/vintage/craft market. . . and then basically ran into the Colleseum.

I should mention that I had tickets to the ballet for Sunday night. So I hadn’t booked or planned anything for Sunday-day in case of flight delays / fatigue / etc. So since I was there I hopped into the Roman Forum and got lost in all the history. I left feeling really small. And young. And insignificant.

Also. . . they really do close at the time they say they close. So at 3.30pm they start kicking you out for the 4pm winter closing time. So I wandered some more. Up to the Capitoline musuem (but not in even though Susan told me it was the BEST). Over to the Pantheon. And most importantly to the CRAZINESS that is Gelateria Giolotti.

Evening called for the ballet at Teatro dell’Opera.

And a little pizza.

Pretty great for day one.

MONDAY

Booked my tickets to the Vatican museum online for 9am since I heard it wouldn’t be crowded. Got there early (because I am me / Matt wasn’t with me) and had some time to wander around. Jumped back over to the line for the museum and the line for groups was quite long but at 8.50am they would happily let a pre-ticketed individual such as myself in. I took my time in the museum because it was seriously awesome. There’s a route to skip all the art and artifacts to “beat the crowds” to the Sistine Chapel. If I could do it again I *would* do that and then double back to enjoy the art everyone is skipping.

*And* my other secret tip that I learned after was to sidle up to a tour group leaving the Sistine Chapel because they take you directly into St Paul’s. Whereas when you leave on your own you kind of have to go out and around. No big. But I’m here to share 🙂 I *DO* recommend going to the top of St. Paul’s.

After all the vatican-ing, I stopped by the Castel Sant’Angelo for the views, grabbed a slice of pizza (which they billed by the weight?) and headed to the Capuchin monk museum. This has been recommended to me by a couple people. No one told me not to go (a) at nighttime and (b) by myself. WOW. Just wow. (no photos here though. go get your nightmare fuel on your own time). Also gelato.

After this long day (with not nearly enough food) I took myself out for dinner. The restaurant I chose was a little busy so they said to come back in 30 minutes. So I found a little square {Fontana dei Catecumeni}, with a takeaway bar beside it and hung out and people-watched the locals. When I returned to the restaurant it was dying down. I enjoyed fried artichoke (seriosuly. blew my mind. I got another one the next day) and a baked gnocchi dish.

I really need to take pics of my food for the blog. No I don’t. I’m not that person.

TUESDAY

A day to sleep in. A day to wander. A day to eat street pizza. A day to find cheese to bring back to Matt. (A day to shop). A day to get ANOTHER fried artichoke (this time *in* the Jewish quarter). And another gelato. I tried to squeeze in one more meal of pasta before I left but I just didn’t have it in me. I guess. . . I’ll have to go back to Rome.

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