We stayed in Rome for 5 days - making this the longest leg of the trip. Rome is chock-full of history and culture. You can come see the ruins of the Roman Forum, the trevi fountain (RIP till 2015), the sistine chapel, and of course, the Colosseum.
When we exited the train station in Rome, I was half-expecting to walk out into a scene from the movie Gladiator. I thought I would see people walking around in togas and jesus-sandals. But instead when we walked out, there was just a row of chinese restaurants, a mcdonalds covered in graffiti, and a bunch of people just smoking cigarettes and chopping it up. I was a little disappointed to say the least.
I guess coming from Prague set the model of what I thought european cities all looked like, but as we got to roam through rome, I definitely began to appreciate it more and more.
Berlin and Prague both had a lot of restaurants that served pasta and other types of italian fare. We avoided italian food like the plague before coming to italy. We didn’t want to taint our tastebuds before coming to THE land of pizza and pasta.
So basically all we did was stuff our faces with loads of carbs and bottles of house wine.
First meal in Rome - Mamma Angela’s Lasagna
Pizza and Carbonara at Da Francesco - most reviewed restaurant on yelp.
House wine is like 7 euro’s a bottle. So naturally we got like 2 with every meal. So goood and the hangovers are sooo gnarly.
Pizzarium - Highest rated pizza place on tripadvisor. We made a trek to get here, and then we found out that it was the one day of the week where they have vegetarian-only options. I was about to punch through that sneezeguard. But we ordered a little bit of everything and it was honestly one of the best pizza places I ever ate at. A similar thing happened to be when I first found out that cheeseboard in Berkeley only had vegetarian pizza. But both times, the pizza blew me out of the water.
Gelato at Frigidarium. Holi Cannoli.
Things to see:
Rome was where we shelled out a bit of cash for tours. The wait for the sistine chapel gets to be anywhere from 3-4 hours. I’m not about that waiting life, so jono and I bought a package that included a tour and a skip-the-line ticket. It came out to be a a little more than $50 a person. Definitely worth it.
One of my favorite movies is Good Will Hunting, so now I can say - Yes, I can tell you what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. I’ve actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling; seen that. I even took an illegal selfie. #RIPRobinWilliams.
In the sistine chapel, there are around 7 guards who are constantly monitoring for people taking pictures. They don’t know about the gopro doe.
Insider tip: Entry for the colosseum, the roman forum, and palatine hill are combined into 1 ticket. Meaning that it’s the exact same ticket whether you wait 3 hours in the colosseum ticket line or 12 minutes in the roman forum line. And the actual line to get into all 3 of these places are really short. So save yourself 2 hours and 48 minutes of agony and bring me back a souvenir for sharing this tip.
Trevi Fountain is undergoing a restoration funded by Fendi till later next year. I was so sad.
The Rome subway system is whatevs. It’s essentially a giant X with 2 main lines running through the city, but alot of places are only accessible by foot. So naturally we just walked everywhere, drank house wine everywhere, and met some cool people along the way.
There are a bunch of random water spigots littered around Rome. The water is cold, refreshing, and super clean (at least from what we were told…). If I die of mysterious poisoning, it’s probably from the water or something in that house wine.
Hostel - Hotel Alessandro
Scratchy linens and the bottom bunk is a box so it feels likes you’re sleeping in a coffin, but the staff is super nice and the place itself is clean. I would rate 7.3/10