Back in February my boyfriend (Dan) and I went on our first holiday together. Both agreeing that beach holidays weren’t really ‘our thing’ and admitting that our budget for such a trip was only £300 each, a city break seemed like the way to go.
We definitely wanted somewhere with some history, (tick) good food, and wine (tick, tick), but as it was our first holiday was wanted a little romance so although we were on a budget the accommodation was of equal importance. After a few minutes on booking.com we found this amazing boutique hotel a stone’s throw from the Vatican and our trip to Rome was booked!
Vatican Style: I really can’t recommend this place enough, the staff were amazing and the location could not have been better.
Let us see the sights!
I have been lucky enough to visit Rome before, but that still didn’t deter us from seeing the classic tourist sights. The Vatican was stunning and I felt like I was seeing it for the first time. The Colosseum (which actually was a first for myself) was eerie under the cloudy day that we visited and the Roman Forum felt like a movie set. However I am certain we would not have enjoyed these sights as much, had we not had amazing tour guides to bring them to life (the sights). I feel arranged tours have gone out of style a little, perhaps they’re not spontaneous enough for us millennials? I find something really reassuring about a guided tour especially at a historical site. I find tour guides offer an insight to places that you just can’t get from the ‘explanation’ plaques on the walls. I especially love the brutal ‘horrible history’ type tales and any story that contains a brothel. Game of Thrones eat your heart out!
We used Dark Rome tours for the Vatican, Colosseum and Roman Forum. I hadn’t used this company before but they were very professional and all seemed to be small groups so we didn’t get herded around too much.
Rome on your own
The rest of city we discovered on foot and via the metro system. The Trevi fountain at night was a particular highlight, and eating dinner at 9pm alfresco was the epitome of ‘that holiday feeling’. One tour that we decided to do by ourselves (instead of paying for a guided version) was the Angels & Demons Tour, based on the best selling novel. Many companies provide a guided version but with 8 sites to find (some detective skills required) spaced out across Rome, we thought running around the city ‘challenge Anneka’ style would be a perfect end to our trip. Don’t get me wrong it took us all day. Had we been trying to find a vial of anti-matter in 1 hour as per the film…. we would have failed. Luckily we were not under the same pressures of Robert Langdon so 5 hours, 4 gelatos, 2 pizzas and one impromptu opera performance later. We made it. We got the list of sites for the Path of Illumination’ from http://regevelya.com/path-of-illumination/ . This is something I would highly recommend*
*map reading in a foreign city will push your relationship to the limit. you will return stronger and more united….. or not at all ha ha!