Monday, October 30, 2017

How To Spend 72 Hours in Rome

The Little Magpie How to Spend 72 hours in Rome
Hello friends! It's been a while since we've had a travel post, isn't it? I think Monday's a good day for one because you can sit with a cup of tea, or five, and read it and pretend it's not grey outside and that you don't have a full week of work ahead... right? I mean we all do that anyway but a travel post just gives that extra little bit of distraction.

So, we recently did something we've never done before... we turned up at the airport with absolutely no idea where we were going. That's right. It was all booked through a company called srprs.me and, just in case you haven't heard of them, I'll give you a little run through of what they do. So, you pick whether you'd like to go backbacking or on a city break, you pick your dates and how long you want to go for - 3, 4 or 5 days - and your departure airport and then leave them to do the rest. About a week before you leave you'll be able to see an online forecast for your destination, which is a godsend for knowing what to pack (my main worry when we signed up to do a surprise trip; 'how on EARTH am I supposed to know what to overpack for if I don't know the forecast'). You'll also receive a little envelope in the post with your boarding passes and your unique code - try not to open it, against all odds I actually managed this - and then, upon arriving at the airport, you head onto the srprs.me website, type in your code and... drrrrumroll... it'll reveal where you're off to. I wasn't nervous at all until we were standing there waiting for that page to load: excitement and stomach cramp levels were at an all time high. And then it loaded. Rome! I've never ever been to Italy before so I was over the moon. Mainly at the thought of all the carbs that awaited me. So here's what we got up to in our time there! It feels a bit arrogant titling it 'how to spend a mini break in Rome', really all I mean is 'here's how we spent our mini break in Rome, hopefully you can garner some inspiration as to how to spend your time there if you ever visit', but it's just not as catchy.

DAY 1
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That's correct. Everything you've just scrolled past is from Day 1. We walked roughly 27,000 steps in 38 degree heat and both myself and my feet died a little inside by the end of it. We actually arrived late the previous night so had that evening to make a wee plan over some pasta. Normally I like to look up guides and tripadvisor and all that jazz before I go, but the joy of a surprise trip is that there's no need to worry about any of that; you can literally just arrive and go with the flow. I, however, need a plan. So I asked for all of your recommendations and they came back in abundance - I think it took me over two hours to go through them all - so honestly thank you so, so much for that, the trip wouldn't have been what it was without them! We woke up bright and early, had some breakfast (two cakes, when in Rome. Oh, yes, I should warn that you that I used the phrase 'when in Rome' more than even your average Dad would and found it increasingly funny each time. I'm trying not to do it too much in this post) and headed up to Pincio Hill to take it the view. We were staying at the iRooms Spanish Steps hotel - which is really lovely by the way, it's well located and not too expensive - so we were only roughly a ten minute walk there. From there we had a little walk around the Borghese Gardens which were so beautiful, especially in the sun! Sadly we didn't have time to wander round the gallery because we were on a very anal person's schedule (mine) so headed from there down to Bar Trevi which, you guessed it, is just off Trevi Fountain for a gluten free pizza. I genuinely can't believe how easy it was to find gluten free pizza and pasta in Rome, I thought I'd be living off salad for the duration of my time there when instead I returned home about 80% dough. 

After lunch we had a little wander round to the famous Giolitti, which is one of Rome's oldest ice cream parlours, for some gelato. There were so, so many flavours to choose from that someone - cough me - got overwhelmed and went for... chocolate. No regrets. Suitably pumped on sugar, we headed along to The Pantheon which is absolutely incredible inside, I'd definitely recommend saving even a wee fifteen minutes or so of your time to pop in if you're in Rome! It was built all the way back in roughly 113-125AD which blows my mind. From there we nipped just two minutes along the road to the Minerve Hotel Rooftop as we'd heard it had beautiful views of The Pantheon from above (which you can see in one of the photos above). It had hit full blown 38 degrees at that point so I was fully geared up for an ice cold coke only to find that they were charging 10 euros for one. TEN EUROS. My thirst was not, and never will be, strong enough to pay ten euros for a coke so I took a wee quick snap - the staff were lovely and said to go ahead - and then went on my merry way to find the nearest corner shop stocked with 1e Cokes. From there - I know, I'm tired even recounting it - we went to Piazza Narona which is a beautiful little square filled with outdoor cafes and is home to the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi. It's a really lovely place to sit and people watch and soak up some sun!

P.S that tan line on my back is out of control isn't it? Sorry everyone

DAY 2
The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip
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Dy 2 was busy but not quite as busy. Why? Because I had sprouted the blisters that a maniac who walks 27k steps in one day deserves. We had another lovely breakfast and then went straight to Sant'Eustachio for a coffee as we'd been told it was the best in Rome. You do pay extra to sit outside so that's something to remember but it was lovely! Make sure and get a little pastry too. From there we crossed the Tiber and headed up to Trastevere which I was really really excited about. It's filled with colourful streets, trattorias, independent shops, craft beer pubs and cute cafes. We just wandered slowly through and then had ourselves a passion fruit martini in the sun - so decadent, I know - and watched the world go by. After that our bellies reminded us, 'thank you very much for that midday dose of tequila but what I'd really like is some food please', so we headed back across the river to La Proscuitteria which a good few of you recommended. This was another of my favourite stops, it felt incredibly authentic, was very small and filled to the brim with meat and cheese. We got a sharing platter, which you can see above - my stomach is rumbling now - and they even had some gluten free bread to go along with it. Definitely make a wee stop here if you're in Rome. From there we went back to the apartment to chill for a little while before, you guessed it, eating some more. Fatamorgana was another gelateria that had cropped up a few times and I am so, so glad we went. To me, this was hands down the best gelato we had. That's a big claim, I know, but I'm standing by it. All the flavours are marked with what allergens they contain - so we're winning already here - in the end I decided on Madagascan chocolate and pistachio. Holy moly. Amazing. I'm still thinking about it now.

After that we went back to the apartment to chill for an hour or so before heading out along the River Tiber to Cantina and Cucina for dinner. They did hands down the best Carbonara I had in Rome (and I had at least four) and were so amazing with gluten free; I was told from the get go that mine might take a little longer because they boil the GF pasta in a separate pot from the, um, normal people's pasta. After a really, really lovely evening there - seriously, that's one of my main recommendations, they even give you little glasses of prosecco as you wait in the queue to get in - we headed back and fell asleep before our heads even hit the pillow.
  
DAY 3The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me TripThe Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip  On day three we were up and out relatively early for a trip to The Colosseum. I wasn't really that bothered about it - I honestly don't know why, I think I was too preoccupied with my blisters - but I loved it so much! It's so incredibly interesting to walk around and take in it's history and just think about all the shit that went down there. One thing I would recommend is booking a timeslot and tickets online in advance so that you can beat the queue as it gets incredibly long and incredibly sweaty. After that we headed back towards the apartment, taking our time to go down as many little side streets as we could (is that code for 'we got lost'? I'll never tell). Later on in the afternoon we headed up towards Vatican City. 'Finally!', I hear you cry, 'finally she mentions the bloody Vatican City'. Well, my friends, I'm ashamed to say we didn't go in. We didn't see the Sistine Chapel- nor the seventeeth one actually - because we just ran out of time. But I figured the fact that I left such a massive thing unchecked means that I have to go back? You see, it's not so silly of me after all. We picked up some street food from Mama Eat because EVERYTHING THEY MAKE IS GLUTEN FREE. That's right, from the fried doughballs, to the calamari, to the calzone to the... I could go on. It's wonderful.

After we'd eaten that we just walked up and down the area for a while, saw St Stephen's basilica which is beautiful at night, and then found we'd wandered riiiight towards La Soffita Renovatio which we'd heard did amazing gluten free pizza and pasta (as well as amazing food in general). It would be rude not to at this point, wouldn't it? Holy moly it did not disappoint, and the staff were amazing too! If you're in the area, definitely give it a little look. If you're a little coeliac then you need to try the apple crumble, I don't even like apple crumble and it's one of the best desserts I've ever had. From there we'd planned to go to Jerry Thomas Project Speakeasy bar only to find they were closed for a month - I thought this was part of the ruse only to realise after half an hour of continuing to try to get in that, nope, they were actually just on holiday - so we went back along the river, following the sound of a live band. It took us right down to the river front where a live funk band was playing so we just sat and watched that for a little while and had a drink and it honestly turned out to be my favourite thing we did. The whole strip down by the River Tiber has lots of little stalls and pop up bars set up with lots of little fairy lights and such a good atmosphere!

DAY FOUR OH MY GOD MY FEET HURTThe Little Magpie Rome Travel Diary The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me TripThe Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip The Little Magpie Rome Travel Guide SRPRS me Trip
This is less 'day four' and more 'a quick early morning trip before the plane'. So, upon seeing the third photo down on the right, a lot of people on my Instagram were like 'now how on earth did you get to see the Trevi Fountain so quiet?' until it built up into some sort of conspiracy with someone suggesting I must have 'cleared everyone away' which made me laugh a lot. 'Yes, please, I know you're all enjoying the beautiful fountain but could you just get out of the way while I take an Instagram. Thank you'. The secret is simple my friends. Go early. And I don't even mean that early, this was at 8am. There were still around 30-40 people there, which had grown a lot more by 8:15, but it's quiet enough that you can get a photo like this pretending you own the joint. And then it was time to go back to get our cases, via the Spanish Steps which I haven't actually spoken about yet, have I? As well as being a beautiful area to look at - and watch the sunset from - there's a whole host of amazing shops, from Gucci to Prada to Red Valentino to everything in between. If you want to head to Rome to do some serious shopping then this is where it's at!

And there we have it, a very very large guide to Rome that has taken me over two days and fifteen cups of tea to put together. I did not see that coming. I really hope you like it and that it helps you a little if you end up going to Rome yourself. And thank you to srprs.me for such a wonderful experience - I honestly couldn't recommend it more! There's something incredibly exciting about having no idea where you're going to until the very last moment. Have a little read about what they do here if you want to know more! You'll be excited to hear that prices start from as low as £130 per person (I know).

Amy

11 comments:

The Gold Lipstick said...

Absolutely love it!

Mireia from TGL
https://thegoldlipstick.com/

Frock Me I'm Famous said...

Oh my goodness wifey this trip looks UNREAL (as do you!!), I've never been but would absolutely love to go! So glad you had the best time!

Hayley xo
www.frockmeimfamous.com

Courtney Hardy said...

It looks so stunning there! I love all the pictures you got.
http://sugarcoatedbears.blogspot.com/

Glory of the Snow said...

Great post and beautiful photos!

http://www.gloryofthesnow.com

7SEVENDAYS said...

I adooooore the pink dress

http://7-sevendays.blogspot.gr/

Kelly G said...

I'm going to Rome for my birthday in December, and I'm VERY excited!

thistattandtheother.com

VioletDaffodils said...

Beautiful photographs, this trip sounds absolutely amazing! It's my absolute DREAM to visit Rome one day!

VioletDaffodils

xx

Lucy Shaw said...

Great Pics!

www.weethriftynifty.blogspot.co.uk

The Style Rawr said...

That black and white dress! I looove the idea of going on a surprise trip. I haven't been to Rome for over 10 years (GASP) but these snaps are beautiful. I can still remember the ice cream and the pizza. Mmmm....

T x

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