Unlike the dreary weather we had yesterday, today was absolutely lovely. The sun was fully out, it was hot and I was finally feeling like I was in Italy. As usual, we started the day with the breakfast provided by the hotel before heading out around 10 a.m. The Vatican and the Castel di Sant’Angelo were on our agenda and both places were beautiful. We visited the castle first (only two euros for EU citizens – which we technically still are – between the ages of eighteen and twenty five!) and stood outside was a persistent and rather rude man selling information for the castle. After saying “No, thank you” and walking away towards the entrance of the attraction, he attempted to carry on talking to us by following us for a few steps then he backed off, looking quite irritated. Once we were inside the castle, it kind of reminded me of an emptier – and taller – version of the Tower of London; ancient armour and weapons were on display, such as old canons, crossbows and swords. Although we couldn’t translate the inscriptions which came with each obstacle, it was cool to imagine how these items were used many many years ago. The view from the top of the museum was stunning – you could see for miles and you could just about see the Colosseum; it was also a perfect opportunity for a selfie of course!
We made our way to the Vatican but on the way, the very same persistent man approached us again, clearly seeing us exit the castle. We waved him off again saying we weren’t interested like we have done not only for him but for the hundreds of other people who have approached us before. He followed us again, still harassing us, but then he said, “Is it just because I’m Irish?” (Yes, you’re definitely Irish with an Italian accent…) I fired back a sarcastic comment saying, “Yes, that’s definitely why we’re walking away from you.” Under his breath, he muttered, “Typical Brits” and we never saw him again. Like I’m sorry we told you we weren’t interested and you have a job to do but that doesn’t give you the right to insult us, surely! You’re not going to sell information with that attitude for God’s sake. Apart from that guy, everyone else has been pretty good with leaving us alone and not taking it personally. Part of me wants to come back but another part of me doesn’t because of all these people selling things, trying to talk to us (especially when we’re alone without another adult) and scamming us, like the two guys the day before.
Vatican city was, as expected, crowded. Towards the centre were even more people selling handbags, scarves, selfie sticks and more but once you filter through all that, the sight is wonderful. Although we didn’t go inside (and good job too, it was about a two hour wait) I still got a few decent shots.
Lunch was next, and we decided to go to a place Jarrod had been to before. It was situated opposite a church, where we heard the occasional ding dong of bells as the clock struck one. We were both craving lasagne on our journey so after ordering a regular Coca-Cola and a Coke Zero, and some meats and bread to start, we ordered the lasagne. The food was excellent, and when we decided we still had room, we decided to get tartufo each (I think it’s my new favourite dessert!)
When the clock chimed two, we made our way back towards the hotel, stopping off at a different street that usual, to check out all the shops. We discovered there was a Lego shop, and of course, being the kids we are, we bought each other something; Jarrod got me a Harry Potter Hogwarts Express and a Hermione and Harry Brick Headz, to add to my collection, and I bought Jarrod Bastion from Overwatch and The Simpsons Brick Headz. Buzzing with excitement, wanting to build our purchases, we went to Sephora to buy my sister a foundation before heading back to the hotel which, luckily, wasn’t too far away. We had decided to not fall asleep when we get back to the hotel, as it makes us feel awful when we wake up, so instead we built the Brick Headz we bought each other, whilst snacking on the Pringles the hotel provided for us.
For dinner, we didn’t venture far; only across the Popolo to a restaurant which I’m not going to lie, could have been better. Don’t get me wrong the food was excellent, but the service was a bit sloppy for a 19% service charge. We were the youngest people in there by far, and because of this, we felt very out of place and we thought we were being treated differently – it was like they were kind of looking down on us. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t have tipped as much as we had to but at the end of the day, if there’s a fixed charge, there was nothing we could do. I ordered a glass of prosecco and Jarrod had a glass of house red – which might as well have been served in a goldfish bowl, it was huge. For starters I had parma ham and mozzarella and Jarrod had a caprese salad. Main course was a spaghetti bolognese for me and a parmesan and saffron risotto for Jarrrod. We didn’t get dessert, instead we decided to walk to our nearest gelateria that was still open. Luckily, there was a Venchi – an Italian chocolatier and a place Jarrod had grown to absolutely love – a ten minute walk away, and considering as it was raining, we didn’t fancy travelling too far. I ordered a large gelato pot with caramel, vanilla and chocolate hazelnut flavours, whilst Jarrod ordered a ‘gelatoshake’ instead, with the vanilla and chocolate hazelnut flavours. It was damn good gelato and there was no doubt we would be certainly back again.