Sunday, 12 June 2016

When in Rome...

Last week I travelled to a city that's been on my 'to go to' list since longer than I can remember. I'd been yearning to submerge myself into this particular ancient world, where history and beauty combined together, ooze from every corner you turn. The moment I caught a glimpse out side that little airplane window and spied on the sights below, I knew I was in for a treat of a visit to the capital city of Italy, Rome. Pure excitement flowed through me when my toes touched Italian soil and I felt the warmth of the summer sun on my skin. I had my map at the ready and nothing was going to stop me from making the most memorable trip here!! 

If like me, you enjoy seeing the sights of a city and one that is so steeped in history and culture then Rome is most certainly a dream destination for you. Words can't describe the sheer beauty that every square inch of this city has to offer and no picture can give justice to the magical sights you'll see. Trust me! For the most part of my trip, my lips were always slightly parted in awe and my eyes wide open in astonishment at what stood before me. A place that will truly take your breath away and leave you wanting more. 

Of course, top of the long list is to visit the world famous Colosseum, one of the newly elected wonders of the world. Admission to this breath taking attraction is only €12 and €7.50 if you are under 25 and from the EU. (Must have proof) This ticket will not only allow you to roam around the ancient ruins where Julius Caesar once spent his leisurely time but also give you access in to wander around the ancient ruins of the Roman forum. Once the glittering heart of the Roman Empire, this enchanting location will send shivers through your spine at just how magnificent it is. A perfect Holy matrimony between natural green foliage and ancient man made ruins. This is a place I insist you you add to your bucket list. 

Apart from the obvious attractions like The Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon and The Vatican City, we went off the beaten track to explore as much as we could. That included a wander around Borghese park, a visit to the ancient ruins where Julius Caesar was assassinated (now a cat sanctuary), strolls along the river Tiber and a look in on a brilliant Banksy exhibition running until September in the capital's Palazzo Cipolla. All of the above are high recommendations that I think are worthy of paying a visit to at least once if not  a second time. 

Weekend vibes!! Get yourself down to the well renowned area Trastevere, where all the cool kids gather to let down their hair. A place like no other, this part of Rome offers plenty of bars you couldn't fit an old fashioned Irish family in to so everybody mingles in the twisted streets instead. Ivy hangs from beautiful old buildings where ever you turn your head, with little fairy lights  strategically entwined within it. You'll have to agree it sounds pretty magical and definitely sets the scene for this super cool area that you'll enjoy a tipple or two in. Another great spot for wining and dining is Campo de' Fiori so make it your business to fit both in. 

Oh the food!! I could most certainly get used to a diet that consists solely of pizza, pasta, gelato and wine. Not sure that my waist line could but I'm sure it would be worth it. A question I will never know the answer to, How are Italians not all overweight? Baffling right?! Whether it was eating a freshly stone baked pizza Al fresco at lunch whilst admiring the view of the Colosseum or indulging in some fine dining in one of Europe's top ten roof top terrace restaurants, I was most definitely in my element at all times!! I don't think I've ever been in a place that had such a staggering number of beautiful restaurants to choose from. 

I could keep babbling on about how incredible Rome is but I'll leave it at that for now and encourage you to go and experience the wonder of it all for yourself. There's not a chance anyone could come back from this spectacular spot with out wanting to book the first flight over again. A truly charming place with extraordinary history and dazzling beauty at every hands turn. I can't wait until my next trip to the captivating city that stole my heart within seconds. 

Now get yourself straight onto sky scanner and thank me later!! 

Ashley X 

*Little Do's*

•Get lost intentionally. You'll be amazed at what you'll stumble across.

•Bring walking runners. You will walk the socks off you feet around this place. 

•Try out the local cuisine. Give your tastebuds a tasty travel treat! 

•Set early alarms to make the most of the precious time you've got there. 

•Be careful in taxis. They are known to swindle a naive tourist or two.


*Little Don'ts*

•Bring stilettos. We're talking cobbles worse than temple bar here.

•Get offended when someone throws your change at you, apparently normal!!

•Forget to pre book tickets for things like the Vatican museum unless you want to give up a day solely queueing.

•Go to the zoo. Unfortunately a major let down! 

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