Rome Travel Diary Day 2
Day 2 was our first full day in Rome and, after a great night’s sleep in the Hotel Miami, we were keen to take our sightseeing up a notch.
We stopped for a quick breakfast on the way but it was pretty gross. We passed quite a lot of nice looking cafes with fresh pastries, etc, but as we’re both so indecisive we nipped into a cafe where we had a cold cappuccino, a vile ham and cheese toastie and orange juice that was sour and so thick we could barely swallow it, all for the bargain price of 30 euros (ooops!). We quickly put our breakfast disaster to one side and got back on with the good stuff.
First on the agenda: the Roman Forum and Palatine. The tickets that we bought on Day 1 for the Colosseum can also be used to enter the Roman Forum and Palatine. The tickets are valid for two days, but for one entrance to each site only which is great as we didn’t have time to see everything in one day.
Again, the ruins here are breathtaking and vary between pieces of marble that have been discovered to full on buildings that are still standing, almost in tact. We saw part of Julius Caeser’s palace, the shells of shops, plus the gladiator’s quarters where they lived and trained. It was here that we fell in love with the panorama shot on our iPhones which look amazing and give you a real feel for the place. They’re great for Facebook cover pictures but not that great for Instagram!
We spent over two hours looking round everything and could have probably stayed there even longer but (thanks to our not-so delicious breakfast) our tummies were rumbling so we went off in search of pizza and pasta.
We stopped at La Base which was a bit like an Italian version of the Hard Rock Cafe with memorabilia adorning the walls. It was dark and cool inside and we ordered pizza and the Sorrento stuffed pasta which again we shared (love having a not-fussy boyfriend!). The pasta dishes are always under “prima plates” on Italian menus which confused us a little bit…are they supposed to be eaten as a starter?! The waiters didn’t look at us gone out when we ordered them for a main, and the portions were definitely big enough, so hopefully we got it right!
After our refuelling, we headed towards the Trevi Fountain. Along the way we saw lots of buildings which we took pictures of but had no idea what they were and buildings which we think were government buildings – they had flags flying outside and guards at the entrances.
We also headed to the Pantheon on our way. This building was super impressive and (just like the Colosseum) it seemed to come out of nowhere when you rounded a corner into the square around it. Inside the basilica roof is open and there is plenty to see. I couldn’t stop looking up, it was just incredible.
We stopped in a little gelati (Italian ice cream) shop on the way as it had warmed up slightly and we didn’t want to have a trip to Rome without trying it. The shop was pretty much the most beautiful little shop I’d ever seen inside – all white with white tiles and Italian signs everywhere – and they had lots of flavours to choose from. I went for a scoop of Nutella and a scoop of mint chocolate chip in a tub and my boy chose a lemon sorbet. It was amazing!
After that, we stumbled across the Trevi Fountain which was probably the busiest place we had been so far in Rome. It was really impressive and amazing to see it, after seeing it in so many films and photographs. We threw a coin into the fountain which is supposed to mean you’ll come back to Rome and I hope we will visit again one day…although apparently you’re meant to turn your back to the fountain and throw it over your shoulder whereas I just went for the “lob it straight in” approach – ooops!
Then it was on to the Spanish Steps where I took a seat on them to get photographed before we walked to the top and had a look in the church up there. We then sat in a rooftop bar, over looking the steps where I had a glass of prosecco. It was a little pricey (10 euros a drink) and it wasn’t the best prosecco I’d had in Italy but the setting was amazing, you could see over all the rooftops of Rome, and there were outdoor heaters so it felt almost like spring.
We then wandered up the Via del Corso which is a street full of designer shops including Moschino and Chanel, to another square, the Piazza del Popolo and by that time it was late afternoon/evening and time to get changed for dinner.
We had booked La Carbonara for dinner which was one of the top rated restaurants on Trip Advisor and which we had tried to get into the night before but it was full (usually a good sign!). I loved it inside as the menu was completely in Italian and it was really small and rustic. There were bottles of wine adorning every wall plus graffiti from guests which we spent a little time reading while we were waiting for our table.
The staff were great and we asked our waiter to recommend a starter to go with our prosecco. He recommended deep fried vegetables which must have been a house special as all the tables around us seemed to have this dish too. Oddly, it came with a large artichoke on top which we weren’t all that sure about but the rest of the veg – peppers, courgettes and aubergines – were delicious.
My boyfriend also ordered a local beer which looked like a miniature bottle of prosecco when it arrived and had a cork! For mains we had both ordered steak which came a little overdone (I had ordered mine rare) but which was beautifully seasoned. This came with mini fried potatoes. Once again, after dinner we were exhausted and so headed straight back to our hotel room for some much needed shut eye.