Writing this post has made me want a time-machine to take me back to all my favourite holidays in the past few years and re-live the moments over and over. Someone please CrowdFund it and lets make it happen… 🙏🏽
Anyway, last weekend, I headed off to The Eternal City of Rome, for my final trip of 2015, with my favourite person ever. I’d only booked in September and I can confirm it is much cheaper to travel off-peak. For us both, I think it came to under £300 (So £150 each!) which included flights, hotel and extra luggage of course for two nights. I highly recommend booking with Travel Republic as you only need to pay for your flights in full, leave a £1 deposit on your hotel and pay off two weeks before you go.
Although, I have learnt that I really need to stop booking 6am flights, they really mess me up. You have to be up at 2am, the cab to the airport is more than the flight, and to be honest, I hate being tired especially when on holiday. I probably sound about a thousand years old, but being tired is slowly becoming one of my pet peeves!
After an ambitious weighing of our suitcase with the Ryanair scales, we realised our bags were overweight (oops) and had to pay the dreaded £10 per kilo. My goal for 2016 is to travel with hand luggage only, I really don’t know why I take so much? If someone could link me to a handy how to pack with only hand luggage guide that actually works it’d be much appreciated.
After going through security at Stansted airport (which takes forever), we grabbed some breakfast at Halo Fizz Bar accompanied by my favourite drink on their menu, the Kir Royale. I’d previously come here before flying to Vegas, so I knew the breakfast was good. I do love a good Wetherspoons brekkie, but I am lately finding it a little too greasy for the healthy lifestyle I am seriously *trying* to keep up with… 💪🏽🌟🍾
I can only describe Ryanair as organised chaos, after checking the signs for the gate, one blink and it said ‘Final Call’. Why invoke panic in you passengers when they’re travelling? Having never flown with Ryanair before, I wasn’t expecting much in all honesty, and for the price of the flight, the blue and yellow interior of the plane really didn’t bother me much. What riled me most was screaming babies, even after putting my headphones in, I could hear the cries. Yes, I am anti-kids at this point in my life.
The flight went really quickly, we were though security and out of the tiny Ciampino airport by 10am. We bought coach tickets for €3.90 each which took us straight to Rome’s answer to King’s Cross, Termini Station. The journey took around 30 minutes and after stepping off the coach came the arduous task of finding the hotel. I am ever so thankful for Citymapper as it is so easy to navigate and follow.
Read more Musings: Some More Travel Tips
Our hotel was a 3-minute walk through Termini station, so all in all a fantastic base for exploring Rome. The Venetia Palace is a 4* hotel with a rooftop hot tub and spa facilities (potentially my reason for booking), but the check-in was smooth and we had no problem with our room at all. If anything, from reading the Trip Advisor reviews, the room was bigger than expected with everything we needed for our very short stay. The bed was a little harder than I’m used to but I sleep like a log so it really didn’t bother me (see later on in this post).
After a quick change and make-up refresh, we headed out to explore beautiful city of Rome. The hotel receptionist gave us an old-school map which detailed where all the monuments were, so this provided very useful. I didn’t want to waste my iPhone battery on Citymapper, instead to take photos of the gorgeous city.
What I noticed most after heading out was Rome’s take on Christmas. In contrast, as soon as you step out of Oxford Circus station in London, all your senses are overloaded with Christmas. I mean I think we’re all too aware it happens every single year… Rome on the other hand embraces Christmas in a beautiful way, with small accents of fairy lights and nativity scenes all over the city. Perhaps London should take a hint?
We decided to see Rome by bus instead of spending forever trying to figure out the Metro system, maybe next time! The ‘hop on/hop off’ bus ticket was €31 each for 3 days, which is actually pretty good considering it ran every 10 minutes and took you everywhere. That’d barely be your Oystercard fare in London.
We first got off at the legendary Colosseum and I cannot believe how huge it was, after some research we learnt that it held 50,000 people. It is absolutely divine and much of it is still in pristine condition. It really is easy to see why Rome is called the Eternal City. We took some selfies obviously and jumped back on the bus to soak in all the sights of Rome. It was pretty windy on top of the open-top bus so I do regret bringing my scarf however seeing the beautiful architecture of Rome warmed my heart (CHEESY).
We got off and explored a bit more and afterwards headed back to Termini station in search of food as we’d realised we had last eaten 10 hours ago. Emma stumbled across a placed near Termini called Pizzaristortante and one could only guess what they specialised in… I ordered the salami pizza and I possibly say this is the best pizza I have had in my entire life!🍕
After our way overdue dinner, we headed back to the hotel and stumbled across the hotel bar, polished off way too much prosecco and took another glass up to bed. I pretty much passed out as I was so tired from my 2am wake-up call.