Roman Holiday

I have dreamed of traveling to La Città Eterna – Rome, “the Eternal City” – ever since I watched the Lizzie McGuire Movie. I can quote that film like it’s nobody’s business, and thankfully I got to experience this city with someone who can as well.

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Diana was waiting for me at arrivals in the Fiumincio Airport when I landed in Rome. It’s been half a year since we’ve seen each other; she even made me a sign (even though I found her without it and before she could even pull it out.)

It was so hot/humid, and wearing our backpacks didn’t help as we jumped on the Leonardo Express to Termini Station. Then, we braved the Roman metro during rush hour – and it was the longest hour of my life.

We couldn’t get to our B&B quick enough, especially after having a delayed flight and dealing with the metro at 5pm. Who can blame us for plopping ourselves on our beds straight away?

However, by the time we did get there, it was already time for dinner. Our place was close to the Coliseum, so we followed our map and made it over to the world-recognized arena, stopping at a restaurant along the way.

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For dinner, I had pasta carbonara and Diana had a margherita pizza.

The next day we had an early start because we wanted to have coffee before we bought our 3-day Roma pass. It’s a good investment for those who will be in Rome for more than a day or two – I would recommend that one, and not the Omnia Pass. With the former and in my opinion, you get more value for your money.

Our first day with the Roma Pass, we toured the Coliseum. And boy, was that an experience.

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The air was heavy with humidity, and it looked like it could rain at any given moment. Let’s just say that after about an hour, it did.

It wasn’t raining, it was POURING. First there was lightning, then there was its complementing thunder that made me so nervous as we ran around the Coliseum in the rain with umbrellas.

But who else (besides the thousands of other tourists there) can say they walked around the Coliseum in the rain?

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We were practically soggy, wet dogs.

After drying up back at our room, we ventured back out into the city – to the Jewish Ghetto, Spanish Steps, and Piazza del Popolo.

Another one of my favourite films also takes place in Rome – and that is Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn.

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I had to eat a gelato on the Spanish Steps like she did. It was a must.

Seeing as the night was still young; Dee and I decided to walk over to another recommended sight – the Piazza del Popolo.

Serendipity at its finest! We heard live music, so out of curiosity we followed the singing to find a legit concert set-up.

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It turns out it was a broadcasted summer festival sponsored by Coca-Cola with a bunch of Italian music artists. Unfortunately, I have no Italian pop artist twin.. And Paolo and Isabella weren’t in the lineup :(

For myself, I love the atmosphere of a music festival. And even though the entire show was in Italian, I could still appreciate the music and simply being there. For some reason, I really enjoyed the Italian rappers’ performances – and I wouldn’t even say that I’m a big rap fan.

I kept telling Diana and our new friend from New Zealand, Richard, that this whole experience was amazing and so cool because it was! It’s really too bad we couldn’t get on Italian TV.

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The next day’s forecast was all sun and clear, blue skies – it would be a hot one!

We did cathedrals, museums and the Trevi Fountain.

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The Trevi was heart-breakingly emptied out of its water and being worked on, so I didn’t even throw a coin in. But that’s okay, I know for a fact that I will come back to La Bella Roma. I actually think doing a road trip around Italy would be fun. One day.

Our last two days (which also happened to be what felt like the hottest weekend) were spent seeing the last of the “must-see” sights, trying to keep cool with gelato and staying out of the sun as much as we could – we will be getting plenty of that in Greece.

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We even had the chance to get our hands bitten off by La Bocca Della Verita. The very drain cover that tried to eat Audrey Hepburn’s and Gregory Peck’s hands all those years ago.

It’s quite funny because Rome very much milks that movie, and within reason. Roman Holiday and the Pope. They’re literally everywhere: in the souvenir shops and around the city streets.

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I love the both of them, so I say that it’s 100% justified.

So, I wasn’t able to make my wish at the Trevi Fountain or ride a Vespa through the little streets, but I know that because it didn’t happen this time, it will the next time. I will come back with a vengeance.

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Rome, despite the heat you were still bellissima!

Arrivederci, Italia e grazie mille!

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