I loved Rome when I was here the summer of 2003. It was my last city on my five-week backpacking adventure before returning to England for five weeks of class in Cambridge. Almost fifteen years later, I still love Rome, but this was a different experience. Instead of staying in a campground outside the city, Lauren found us a lovely bed and breakfast. Our host gave us great recommendations around the city. (Gelato!) We liked it there so much, we decided to stay even though it lost hot water on Saturday.
One can never do everything in a place like Rome, but we explored a fair amount. The standbys of Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Panthenon, and many of the plazas were easy to check off. Lauren and I are neither very comfortable in crowds so we didn’t hang out in the tourist-ridden places that long.
The Vatican on Saturday wasn’t too crowded, and we paid the 8€ (something I wouldn’t do in 2003) to climb to the top of St Peter’s Basilica. That was intense. The stairs in the dome are almost tunnels. At one point it was so steep there was a rope hanging to help guide you upward. We saw quite a few people who physically weren’t up to the task gasping and sweating. This made me nervous.
One disappointment of the trip was Sunday afternoon. We walked from the Borghese Gallery to the Colosseum and Forum. Sadly, when we got to the Colosseum, it was closed. This time of year it shuts down at 3:30! It was still beautiful to walk down there and see the ruins again (no cats this time..), but I hope I can go inside someday.
Our hotel was close to Piazza del Popolo, and we walked through it and the nearby Borghese Gardens several times. It was especially nice in the mornings. On Sunday we came across rollerblading lessons, and Lauren about lost her mind admiring all the dogs in Rome.
Sightseeing with Lauren was a dream. When the Leonardo Express took us into the center of Rome from the airport, we were three miles from our hotel. Since we both pack light and just had small backpacks, we walked it.
Conveniently, near the grocery we shopped at by the hotel, we found an airport bus stop. It was only 6€ and so much easier than finding my way back to Termini this morning for the 14€ train. Thank you, Sit Bus Shuttle.