Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Ti amo, roma

Oh Rome, where do I even begin to describe this city? Though it was nearly impossible to walk around in heels on their cobblestone pathways, I fell in love with this city. I've watched movies like Roman holiday, when in Rome, angels and demons and documentaries when the Pope is being selected at St Peter's square; and Rome always looked so spectacular in those films. Though every city is practically on my list of countries to visit but Rome was definitely amongst the top few; and now I can finally say that it is in my top three favourite cities of those I've visited! (Psst. The other two awesome cities to visit are Venice and London! ^^)

Okay, enough of my rambling and let's get on with day 1 of Rome. We went for the Rome free walking tour and for those who are not familiar with free walking tour, basically the tour guides will bring us around and tell us the history or details about the different attractions in the city; and at the end of the tour, we tip the guide any amount we wish to give. These tour guides do a marvelous job in allowing me to understand more about the culture and history of the city, making the trip more enjoyable as well. So if you would like to know more about the city you're visiting, (not just in Rome, there are free walking tours in Amsterdam, Berlin, Krakow, Glasgow etc), just search for free walking tours.

MSN <3
Oops. I ended up sidetracking again. haha. Anyway, we met up with the tour group at the Piazza di Spagna which was near the Spanish Steps. The Spanish steps were beautiful but due to my lack of photography skills, the picture below doesn't do it justice :/
Fun fact: This monumental stairway of 135 steps is also known for having the widest steps in Europe! Pretty cool.

Spanish Steps
Next up, we headed to the Pantheon. A temple where all the Gods of Ancient Rome resides.
After visiting the Pantheon, we went to Piazza Navona which is one of the most famous and beautiful squares in Rome. It has three magnificent fountains in the middle of the square and each fountain had different intricate figurines on it. #stunning

My fav travel buddies!
Gorgeous art works street vendors are selling
Oh yes, one thing I have noticed around Europe and UK is that there are A LOT of buskers and I really mean A LOT! They are practically everywhere at each iconic destination and some of them are fantastic at what they do. There are buskers singing, playing musical instruments, dancing, drawing, posing as statues, impersonating as a character so you can take a photo with him and the list goes on. It's interesting and sometimes you meet a busker that is original, talented, fun or otherwise one who enlivens up your day.

Pretty busker playing a lovely tune with her violin
Time for some snacks in-between our stops during the walking tour. Below is a picture of an Italian ice cream dessert with panna (Italian word for whipped cream) called Tartufo. Mmhhmm and it tastes so so delicious. It comprises of two flavoured ice cream with fruits placed in the middle and a special chocolate sauce is poured over the ice cream ball. Nomnomnom.

Look at that.

Vatican City
 Finally, our last stop of the day for the walking tour was at the Vatican City. Oh how I adore the architecture and the design of the Vatican City. Look at those columns of the colonnade! Also, if you stand at a specific spot on St Peter's square, you'll be able to see the columns as a single row instead of four columns as it is the foci for the elliptical square! How amazing is that! haha

The colonnade
The basilica
First up we went to explore the Vatican Museum and this place is probably one of the main reason why I love Rome. It was huge and sadly we didn't have time for everything even though we spent almost 3 hours there? The most popular part of the museum would be the Sistine Chapel whereby the process of a new pope being selected is held there. And not forgetting those masterpieces on the walls done by Michelangelo. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of his works as pictures weren't allowed :( but my were they amazing. My mind was seriously blown away by how talented this man could be, in terms of sculpting and painting. His painting were so real and the colours were vibrant. haha oops I'm ranting again. But if you do have the opportunity to visit Rome, please do visit the sistine chapel, it'll be worth it.

The obelisk
Next up was the Basilica which is the burial site for St Peter. It was an enormous church. Oh and though there is no cover charge to go into the Basilica, one has to dress appropriately, which means we have to wear clothes that cover our shoulder and wear bottoms that goes below our knees. They are pretty strict about the dress code and I saw people getting turned away at the door due to inappropriate attire, so remember to wear the correct attire before going in.

After a long day of sightseeing, it was time to grab a bite! We went to try white pizza that is also a famous delicacy in Italy but I kinda still prefer normal pizza. haha

White pizza
Oh look I found my very own restaurant in Rome

It was finally dinnertime and our stomaches were all growling as we skipped lunch for the Vatican City. It's really funny how every European restaurant thinks we're weird when we order only 3 main dishes for 5 people and they always insist that one main is only for 1 person but their portions are humongous and 3 mains are more than enough for all of us. Sometimes we can't even finish our food still haha that's how big the portions are.

The siblings

Alvin, Clari and me

Tomato, mozzarella, spicy salami, grana cheese and oil

I can't remember what are these called but they were delish

Ravioli with king prawns, clams and lemon sauce
Mozzeralla, 4 types of cheese and oil
Free round of champagne
Dinner was awesome and another plus point to Rome is that I love eating pizzas, pastas and gelatos! I have no idea what ingredients they used or how they make their gelatos taste so creamy and milky at just the right amount. Thus making them taste superb. Gosh, I wish they could start a franchise in Singapore. I would patronize them almost everyday ^^ Also, throughout the trip in Italy, I honestly ate almost 5 scoops of gelato everyday for 8 days straight. #insanelygood #probablyhowigained7kgs #guiltywithnoregrets 

Best passionfruit gelato shop near Trevi fountain 

Cute shop uncle
Me enjoying my gelato. It came with a little cone too which works as a spoon. How adorbz
Trevi fountain 

Yet another beautiful place in Rome, the Trevi fountain. It was such an amazing sight and of course we had to toss a coin into the fountain so that one day we may return to Rome. Below is a short clip of us throwing the coin in. haha


Oh and before I end this post, we bought the Roma pass costing € 34,00. It consists of 2 free entry to any museums/archeological sites and it includes free usage of the city's public transport system. Besides, you get to skip the long queue to enter the museums. How great is that. I hope this is useful to those who are heading to Rome.

Anyway, time for me to head back to the books. Finals are coming T.T Will continue to blog about my adventures in Rome soon. Till then



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