You know that goosebumpy feeling you get when you look at a REALLY attractive man from across the room and literally SWOON and feel all giddy inside? Have you ever felt that sensation with a location? I have!
Rome always manages to just DO it for me. I’m mystified why people claim Paris is the city of love. I beg to differ – for me it’s Rome. As an independent single woman, I feel like I don’t have to necessarily be in “amore” to appreciate the moon in the sky, looking like a big ol’ pizza pie! This is a city for EVERYONE wether you are coupled up, with friends, family or even flying solo. Unlike Paris, Rome doesn’t discriminate and isn’t exclusive to star crossed lovers.
Literally, I just found myself squeeing and gushing over the streets alone! Particularly the quaint distressed terracotta walls of the rows of buildings. They look so charming and picturesque with their loopy balcony gates and vibrant geraniums which overflow in abundance from hanging baskets. It’s a gorgeous city that I certainly don’t mind getting lost in, for almost every corner is a treat for my eyes.
I had four days to reconnect with the city I’m madly in love with so I visited the Colosseum and Roman Forum first – iconic landmarks of Imperial Rome.
The Colosseum can hold upto 80,000 spectators and it was used for gladiatorial contests and public spectacles such as mock battles, executions and plays.
It was later reused for such purposes as housing, workshops, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, and a Christian shrine. Climbing on top to admire these ruins was just a marvelous experience that took my breath away.
The next stop was La Bocca della Verità, It’s marble, man-like face, located near the church of Santa Maria.
Although it has a bit of pagan history, the most famous characteristic of The Mouth of Truth is its role as a lie detector. Legend has it that if one told a lie and inserted a hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off as famously depicted in the movie Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. It was quite a thrill for me to visit since I’m such a die hard Hepburn fan! Thankfully, my hand is still intact!
We also visited Vatican City, the smallest internationally recognized independent state in the world.
There is normally a MASSIVE disheartening looking queue outside that lasts hours but luckily, on a whim, we went with a tour guide company called italywithus. Not only did we manage to skip all the queues and head straight to the Vatican museums, it was also the most amazing tour i have EVER been on.
Our tour guide, Erik, was charismatic, informative and highly proficient. He explained about the various architecture, paintings and mythology in a way that was both captivating and educational.
Before entering the Sistine Chapel, Erik took us to one side to show us a digital screen which zoomed in on relevant segments painted on the ceiling of the chapel. He went through an overview of some of the symbolism and Michelangelo’s creative thought process and intentions behind the masterpiece. This gave us a newfound sense of awareness and appreciation which made the experience all the more enriching. This might sound geeky, but to be perfectly honest, the Sistine Chapel was SO overwhelmingly stunning that my eyes felt a bit glassy and welled up from being overloaded. It definitely left an artistic imprint on my mind, which I will always remember. I was feelin’ totesemosh.
During the evenings we took a few leisurely strolls around the Piazza Navona – I’d highly recommend visiting this area! It has some great little restaurants, live music and paintings and it’s a lovely place to soak up the vibe and energy of the city. We also took walks along the Fiume Tevere, trotted up the Spanish Steps and browsed through some cute old school dusty bookshops and jewellery stalls.
If you’ve seen my food reviews and Instagram account, I’m sure you’ve gathered that I’m ever so ssssslightly obsessed with food in general, so I had a great time gorging on pizza, pasta and gelato to my little cuore’s content! The ice cream was so phenomenal that I had at least two cones a day… it may not keep the doctor away (or the kgs for that matter) but … when in Rome…. Ammiright? So …yolo! My favorite was a deeply satisfying, carby plate of lobster spaghetti with a sprinkling of chilli flakes.
During my trip, I made sure to incorporate a bit of sketching and a few illustrations, so here’s how they turned out. I hope you enjoyed my instagram feed, videos and generally Rome-ing around with me!