Our visit to Rome was wedged between our week in Croatia and a week down the coast of Southern Italy. We only really had 3 days to explore this ancient city and wanted to get the most of our short visit but we also didn’t want to exhaust ourselves, after all, this is a vacation. Rome is a very interesting place and one that I had dreamed of visiting my entire life. Naturally, my expectations of Rome were quite high. In my head I imagined Rome to be a very enchanting place. A place filled with romance and mystery. Don't get me wrong, Rome is both of those things but in a different way than how I pictured it. When we arrived, I'm not going to lie, I was a little taken aback by the reality of the city. One of my friends who lived in Rome described it perfectly, it is a city of paradox.
We must have arrived on garbage day because the city was a bit of a mess, trash littered the beautiful cobblestone streets as the mound of tourists made their way from one beautiful ancient ruin to the next. We arrived mid-day and made our way to the hotel, we stayed at Hotel Viminale. It was in a great location, close to Roma Termini and only a 15-20 minute walk to most of the ruins. The first evening we went for a walk and witnessed a beautiful sunset over *Chiesa di Santa Susanna alle Terme di Diocleziano*. Instantly it became the city of romance. We continued our walk and grabbed a cappuccino at a local cafe where a man was playing the piano. After about 15 minutes, a woman got up from her table and joined the piano player, she started singing Opera. We had goosebumps, she was absolutely amazing. She was incredible and we were so happy to be in the right place at the right time, you could tell, this was completely impromptu and unplanned performance. We then grabbed a bite to eat at a place called Caffe Washington where I ate a 12 Euro Panzo bigger than my face, it was pretty delicious.
We spent most of the day walking to and from the ancient ruins. We ventured to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill. Unlike most people who visit Rome, neither of us cared to see the Vatican and it was quite far from where we were so we decided not to do that this time around. The only part of Vatican City I am interested in seeing is the Sistine Chapel... which I will gladly do next time I am in Rome. It's truly amazing to see these buildings in person and to imagine them how they once were. Standing in the midst of what was arguably the most powerful empire in the ancient world was an indescribable feeling. If I had to pick my favourite of all the ruins, I think I would choose The Colosseum. It’s extremely picturesque and the history tied to it is incredible. It is truly amazing to see something of this magnitude in person.
Our last day in Rome. We slept in and wanted to take it easy, not rushing to do anything in particular. The only monuments on our list that we hadn't seen yet were The Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. So, after a day of window shopping and walking to and from cafe's and gelateria's we picked up a bottle of champagne and made our way over to Trevi Fountain. I have to say, I think this was one of my favourite moments of our Rome trip. We arrived at the fountain around 11:30pm, it wasn't super busy, which was nice. We sat and enjoyed the fountain, each other’s company and our bottle of bubbly. We made a wish into the fountain together, both holding the same coin as we threw it over our backs. It was really romantic and a great end to our time in Rome.