So I've just spent the most amazing long weekend in Rome with my gorgeous hubbie Andy. My parents in law kept the rather tearful kids, who simply can't understand why we wanted to get away without them. Thankfully they did of course survive and Jamie said to me this morning that he now feels such a baby for crying!
Anyway I don't really know where to start in describing the vibrant, bustling, ancient, roasting hot, stylish city that is Rome. Firstly I was amazed that it was about 30 degrees every day - coming from Northern Ireland where the temperature rarely gets above 21 degrees, even at the height of summer this explains why the centurians got away with wearing very little!
Of course we all know that Rome is as famous for it's ancient ruins as it is for the Vatican, so we decided thats what we must see.
After an open topped bus tour on Thursday to give us an idea of the city we wandered amongst the Piazzas and fountains along cobbled streets and negotiating the traffic. Make no mistake, driving in Rome is seriously the worst I have ever seen! Drivers reversing down one way streets at speed, the hundreds of Vespa scooters that shoot through pedrestrian crossings when you're half way across. After a couple of days there though I got much more confident at striding across and hoping they stopped!
We did a guided tour of the Vatican with Marcello, an Italian American and it was worth every penny.
The day we went round the Colosseum and the ancient ruins of the Palatine it was free entry as it was European Culture Day. I think both of us were gob smacked at the sheer size of the Colusseum and the temples and arches. It took a while to get my head around the fact we were wandering around remains of buildings that date from the 4th century BC. Can't see much of Northern Ireland 2000 still standing in 2500 years!
I've got to say I knew that it would be expensive with the pound so poor against the Euro but I was still a bit shocked the an iced tea and a latte cost 16 euro at the foot of the spanish steps. That's basically £16 or $25!! Anyway we had some brilliant meals and spent quite a bit of time drinking coffee, Pinot Grigio and eating ice cream while watching the world go by.
So if you fancy a few days in glorious sunshine among 21st century style combined with ancient history, definitely save up your pennies and enjoy all the delights that Rome has to offer.