Sunday, 27 June 2010

5 days in Rome

One of my favourite trips to take is take a girls holiday with my closest friends. A few days in a new city, filled with sights, good food, great company and lots of laughs, it’s always a relaxing break from work. This year, the vote was for the ancient city of Rome.

Interestingly, when I told people that I was going to Rome, the reactions were completely mixed. Half the people were overwhelmingly positive “you’ll love it!”; “it’s the most amazing city”. The other half was less than complimentary “it’s dirty”, “a bit sleazy”, “overrated”. I don’t think I’ve ever been to place that has split opinions so much…

What was my verdict? Well, let’s start at the beginning…

I think June is an ideal time to head to Rome. The weather is warm but not yet overwhelming, making it ideal for wandering through the sights, enjoying some al fresco Italian food in atmospheric side streets and cocktails in the evenings.

After settling into our hotel (a gorgeous and well-priced 18th century building with only a few rooms but all still boasting original doors and features throughout, overlooking a park), we headed out to find one of the iconic images of the city – Trevi Fountain. It wasn’t difficult to locate – the crowd surrounding it spilt out in all directions, but even packed with people it didn’t disappoint. Bigger than I was expecting, it dominated the plaza, rushing water hitting the impressive statues and landing in the coin-filled pool below. Of course, we threw the obligatory euro to ensure our return to Rome, and stood enjoying the sight for the while.

Moving on, we climbed the Spanish Steps for a nice view across part of the city. Couples sat draped across each level, posing for photos, but although worth the hike for the view at the top, I couldn't find anything too memorable there.

After a wonderful dinner (I think I lived off of pizza, pasta and ice-cream the whole 5 days), we had a couple of over-priced cocktails, and tumbled into bed, ready to hit some of the sights the next day.

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