Hello, Rome!

Buongiorno from Rome!

Jarrod and I touched ground in Rome Fiumicino after a breezy two hour flight from Gatwick on Sunday and despite the rather disappointing weather, we had a lovely time together.

Although driving through the city from the airport was like driving through a stream with hail the size of ping pong balls falling from the sky, the weather cleared up a little by the time we had checked in the hotel and decided to walk into the town to grab some lunch. Jarrod had his mind set on one place which do “the best spaghetti carbonara in the world” and he was, of course, right. The restaurant (or ristorante) was along the side of the Piazza Novona, with many neighbouring restaurants with outside seating. Now, me being the wimp I am, would have requested to sit inside because of the wasps, but actually, it was a very pleasant meal with a lovely view of the statues in the centre and buskers in the background. I also ordered a mojito (because I forget that I am actually allowed to legally drink)  which was the most refreshing beverage I’ve ever had. After our creamy carbonaras were eaten. we ordered something called tartufo which is essentially a chocolate hazelnut ice cream with a chocolate outside and topped with whipped cream. Delicious!

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As much as I wanted to walk around some more, we were completely knackered from the early start, the flight and the food we had just consumed, so we headed back to the hotel for an hour or so’s nap…. which really turned out to be a four hour’s nap and waking at ten p.m. As you can imagine, most restaurants were soon closing so where did we go for food at eleven p.m.? McDonald’s. That’s right, McDonald’s. Although we had things the UK don’t sell, such as this ‘My Selection’ burger which was essentially a beef burger with smoked cheese, coleslaw, lettuce and BBQ sauce. I never thought I’d say this about a McDonald’s burger, but it was actually one of the best one’s I’ve tasted.

We bought McFlurrys and ate them on our way home through the quiet, and rather eerie streets, of Rome. They count as gelato, right?

Monday was more productive. We were awake and ready by half eight for breakfast at the hotel. It was continental, with a range of cakes, pastries, meats, cheeses, cereals and breads. Quite the selection.

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When we had downed the last of our blood orange juice and ate the final scrap of bacon, we headed out for a wonderful, but long, walk. I couldn’t believe how many people on the streets tried to sell us things we simply did not need; like selfie sticks (does anyone even use these anymore?) or silks, or silly toys you can get at the pound shop. It’s hard to not fall into their trap sometimes, especially if you can’t get out of it. This happened to us earlier. We were walking up the steps to the park when these two guys dressed as Athenian men placed a crown on my head,  and charged us twenty euros just for a photo. We were much more careful throughout the day.

We walked for what felt like forever. Through the main city roads, down small side streets and past many quaint shops, taking photos as we went along. Visited the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, Campo de Fiori and a full loop back to the Piazza Novona. We stopped in a different restaurant this time for some lunch. We ordered a mojito (again) however it wasn’t as good as the other one I had – the sugar wasn’t mixed and there was way too much rum. However, the food was excellent. I had fettuccine with tomato sauce and meatballs, and Jarrod had fettuccine alfredo.

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Fifteen minutes later we had arrived at the hotel, and collapsed on the bed from exhaustion. My feet were aching from all the walking (I checked my phone and we did over seventeen thousand steps!) and I fell asleep whilst Jarrod played Skyrim on his switch.

At seven o’clock we headed out for dinner at a quaint little restaurant we had seen earlier on our walk. It was just down a little street from the Piazza Novona and it was super cosy. Fairy lights hung from the walls, electric and gas heaters were dotted around the outside among the red and white checked tables. We ordered a glass of wine each – a pinot grigio for me and a syrah bicchiere for Jarrod. For starters we ordered a cheese board with honey. An unusual combo, but delicious all the same. However, we also ordered bruschetta with parma ham so by the time my cannelloni and Jarrod’s spaghetti bolognese arrived, we were almost full. We didn’t have a dessert, just headed back to the hotel.

Our first proper day was great – exhausting but great- and I couldn’t wait for the next four days to come!

-Emily

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