ROME: Everything Looks So Italian...Giorno 1

July 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Photos Taken / Written by JENNIFER MAHON  |  This post was read 1087 times

Piazza NavonaPiazza Navona


 

THE NEED TO ROAM...

So....it’s the end of June, and I haven’t been on a plane since November 2014 *GASP*

I’m getting antsy, I need to get on a plane. To somewhere. Anywhere. You know, to keep me sane and all. So thanks to my perks of being an employee in the travel industry, standby is calling to me, no - standby is YELLING at me to take advantage of this awesome perk.

Seems there’s seats to FCO (Rome), MRS (Marseille), BCN (Barcelona) and CDG (Paris) all leaving on the same night. Choosing is tough…..I’ve been to both Rome and Paris so many times that I know my way around both cities pretty darn good. Never been to Marseille, but don’t know if I’m in the mood for exploring someplace new. Barcelona I’ve been to once……for a day….on a Sunday….while everyone was siesta-ing it seems…..So I decide on Rome and decide to bring the kiddies along to show them one of my fave European cities. “Ok girls, fit everything you need in a backpack for 4 days.”

 

ARRIVING AT FCO

We arrive at Fuimicino airport (officially changed names to Leonardo Da Vinci airport years back, but not a soul observes the new name), and head to the train area to take the Leonardo Express to Termini - which btw is the easiest and quickest way into the city at a cost of 14 euro each way per person (kids 4-12 are free). Though a lot of people seem confused at the airport, you just follow the yellow sign with the picture of a train on it......so not really sure how people could get confused about that. Anyway, you buy your tickets at one of the stands or the electronic kiosk and off you go.

From Termini we’re able to walk to our hotel on Via Nazionale, Hotel Esposizione, which takes about 15 minutes. On the walk over we pass Piazza della Repubblica and the girls yell out “Hey, that’s from Lizzie McGuire!!! Omg, that’s where they drove around on the scooter!” (some of you will understand this).  Never mind that the square is surrounded by monumental buildings like the Santa Maria degli Angeli Church and in the centre of the square is the beautiful Fountain of the Naiads.....It’s the Lizzie McGuire movie that’s their reference for all things in Rome.

We drop off the bags, and we’re off to see the sites. Turns out this hotel is amazingly located – walk 15 minutes one way and you’re at the Colosseum, 15 minutes another way and you’re at Fontana di Trevi. If you’re really lazy, like my kids, the closest metro is a 6-minute walk away -  Repubblica (line A).

 

What we see when we walk out of our hotel - Palazzo delle Esposizioni on Via NazionaleWhat we see when we walk out of our hotel - Palazzo delle Esposizioni on Via Nazionale

What we see when we walk out of our hotel - Palazzo delle Esposizioni on Via Nazionale


Vicolo dei SerpentiVicolo dei Serpenti

Vicolo dei Serpenti


Loving the old doorsLoving the old doors

Loving the old doors


Looking down Via dei SerpentiLooking down Via dei Serpenti

Looking down Via dei Serpenti


YOU'VE GOTTA SEE....... 


COLOSSEUM 
Obviously! In all the times I’ve been, I’ve still never been inside……but honestly I don’t think I’m missing too much. The lines, the cost, just doesn’t seem worth it. The girls were quite content to see if from the outside and goof around getting me take the typically touristy Colosseum photo shots.

PIAZZA DI SPAGNA 
This is the point where one of the girls can’t stop saying “Everything looks so Italian. Like the buildings and everything…..it just looks soooo Italian.” This used to be my fave spot in Rome, however the dudes peddling fake Prada and the other ones harassing you to buy a selfie stick, or roses, or god knows what else – is beyond tiresome now. These people should be banned! All people want to do is sit on the Spanish Steps and enjoy some good old-fashioned people watching and these guys make it impossible to sit and relax.

FONTANA DI TREVI 
I’ve been lucky to see the Trevi Fountain in all it’s glory on one of my previous trips, and even though on other trips there’s been maintenance work with scaffolding you still got to see part of the fountain. This time – the entire thing is under some major rehab  – the water is drained, there’s scaffolding everywhere and a barrier so that you can’t even get close to it. Sucks that the girls didn’t get to see it as it should be.

PIAZZA DELLA ROTUNDA - THE PANTHEON
The lively piazza that the Pantheon dominates, is always filled with people, performers and lined with great restaurants (some are pricey, so check the menu's carefully). It's one of the busiest squares in the city, yet one of the most charming. Take the time to sit at one of the restaurants and enjoy an espresso or a glass of wine (and ignore the cost), and enjoy the atmosphere.

PIAZZA NAVONA
Walking through narrow alleys you suddenly enter the wide, oval space that is Piazza Navona. In the centre you'll find Bernini's gorgeous Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers). The piazza is teeming with vendors selling souvenirs, musicians, artists, restaurants, and of course, tons of tourists wandering about.

 

The ColosseumThe Colosseum

The Colosseum


This child, doing her "scorpian" in front of the ColosseumThis child, doing her "scorpian" in front of the Colosseum

This child, doing her "scorpian" in front of the Colosseum


Spanish Steps - the best place to people watchSpanish Steps - the best place to people watch

Spanish Steps - the best place to people watch


Nothing like sitting on the Spanish Steps and just watch.....like these two....I'm sure saying again that "Everything looks so Italian..."Nothing like sitting on the Spanish Steps and just watch.....like these two....I'm sure saying again that "Everything looks so Italian..."

Nothing like sitting on the Spanish Steps and just watch.....like these two....I'm sure saying again that "Everything looks so Italian..."


Selfie at the Spanish Steps - sans those selfie sticks that they're pushing to sell you everywhereSelfie at the Spanish Steps - sans those selfie sticks that they're pushing to sell you everywhere

Selfie at the Spanish Steps - sans those selfie sticks that they're pushing to sell you everywhere


Piazza di SpagnaPiazza di Spagna

Piazza di Spagna


Piazza di Spagna - Colonna dell'Immacolata (Column of the immaculate conception)Piazza di Spagna - Colonna dell'Immacolata (Column of the immaculate conception)

Piazza di Spagna - Colonna dell'Immacolata (Column of the immaculate conception)


Roasted chestnuts by the Spanish StepsRoasted chestnuts by the Spanish Steps

Roasted chestnuts by the Spanish Steps


Trattoria Sant'Andrea on Via di Sant'Andrea delle FratteTrattoria Sant'Andrea on Via di Sant'Andrea delle Fratte

Trattoria Sant'Andrea on Via di Sant'Andrea delle Fratte


Makes for a great pic, but not sure I'd take a seat hereMakes for a great pic, but not sure I'd take a seat here

Makes for a great pic, but not sure I'd take a seat here


However, this place I'd take a seat......and perhaps a 1/2 litre of wineHowever, this place I'd take a seat......and perhaps a 1/2 litre of wine

However, this place I'd take a seat......and perhaps a 1/2 litre of wine


Fontana di Trevi under major rehabFontana di Trevi under major rehab

Fontana di Trevi under major rehab


 Life in Rome - Piazza di Pietra Life in Rome - Piazza di Pietra

Life in Rome - Piazza di Pietra


Salotto 42 in Piazza di PietraSalotto 42 in Piazza di Pietra

Salotto 42 in Piazza di Pietra


Some headless dude in n Piazza di PietraSome headless dude in n Piazza di Pietra

Some headless dude in n Piazza di Pietra


I'd love to be here right now!I'd love to be here right now!

I'd love to be here right now!


The Pantheon - Piazza della RotundaThe Pantheon - Piazza della Rotunda

The Pantheon - Piazza della Rotunda


The PantheonThe Pantheon

The Pantheon


Love this dude that was singing Elvis songs everyday - Piazza della RotundaLove this dude that was singing Elvis songs everyday - Piazza della Rotunda

Love this dude that was singing Elvis songs everyday - Piazza della Rotunda


The children, snapping some shots inside The PantheonThe children, snapping some shots inside The Pantheon

The children, snapping some shots inside The Pantheon


Why can't the streets at home look this pretty?Why can't the streets at home look this pretty?

Why can't the streets at home look this pretty?


More beautiful old buildingsMore beautiful old buildings

More beautiful old buildings


Piazza NavonaPiazza Navona

Piazza Navona


In search of a place to eat.....decisions, decisions!In search of a place to eat.....decisions, decisions!

In search of a place to eat.....decisions, decisions!

 

 


YOU'VE GOTTA EAT AT......


CANTINA E CUCINA 
Everytime I'm in Rome, I somehow make way to this place for my first night's dinner. Just off of Piazza Navona, it's a cute restaurant, with a great atmosphere and great food - especially the pizza. The basic Margherita pizza (tomato, basil, cheese) is sooooooo good!

The bar at Cantina e CucincaThe bar at Cantina e Cucinca

The bar at Cantina e Cucinca


The girls, patiently waiting for their first taste of pizza in ItalyThe girls, patiently waiting for their first taste of pizza in Italy

The girls, patiently waiting for their first taste of pizza in Italy


There it is!There it is!

There it is!


This is making me hungry.....This is making me hungry.....

This is making me hungry.....


Future pro soccer playersFuture pro soccer players

Future pro soccer players


Good night Roma, see you again tomorrow!Good night Roma, see you again tomorrow!

Good night Roma, see you again tomorrow!


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