Monday 25 July 2022

Italy Trip: Rome Part 1

Vatican City 

Oh, Rome might be my favorite city, previously the title was held by London.  It's truly a toss up between the two, but really why choose when you are lucky to have had the opportunity to explore both.  

I've decided to break up my Italy trip recaps into three posts,  two Rome posts because Rome wasn't built in a day and frankly you need a lot more than a day to explore it, Lake Como and Milan.  


When we arrived in Rome, late afternoon on June 28th, we had pre-arranged with our Airbnb host to have a cab meet us there.  BEST decision ever.  Here is the thing, after you've been flying for 18+ hours, you are tired, in a new country and haling a taxi when you aren't sure how things work just yet is just a headache you don't need.  Our host was amazing and the taxi knew exactly where to drop us off, which was right in the heart of Rome.  We were met by out wonderful host who I just can't say enough amazing things about!!!!  The place was a little one bedroom apartment. It was cozy, nicely decorated, clean, and had the cutest tiled bathroom.  We were literally steps away from the Pantheon and a number of great places to eat, grab coffee, gelato or little necessities to have in the cupboards for snacking or breakfast in the morning.  The host provided us with a number or suggestions for dining and gelato, and they were all fantastic.  Check out place out here, and the pictures below are curtest of the Airbnb site.

That first evening we just went strolling through the neighborhood and found our way around using the app HERE WeGo.  This app doesn't require data if you download the map ahead of time.  It worked really well for us and we would highly recommend it.  We ventured around and found a set of really steep steps which we thought were the Spanish Steps, but we realized the next day they were not.  It was still a climb up to the top and we enjoyed exploring and finding our way around.  We also enjoyed strolling through Piazza Navona, sitting down to eat homemade pasta at Osteria Da Fortunata. It was to die for and neither of us are die-hard pasta fans.

Not the Spanish steps.

Day 1 Vatican City, Spanish Steps & Borgehous Garden
This was our busiest day and we packed a TON into it.  Due to jet leg we were up early and headed to Vatican City on foot, which was about 25 minute walk.  

We arrived at 8:30 a.m.  in front of St. Peters Basilica and beat the rush.  We basically we walked right in. I had read that climbing the dome was incredible, so we opted to head there first and explore the inside later.  THIS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT of our whole trip.  We paid to take the elevator up with first 250 steps and then climbed the second half to the very top.  INCREDIBLE, not to be missed opportunity.  WARNING, if you struggle to walk or have issues with confined spaces, don't do this.  As you get higher up the dome, the steps are extremely narrow and tilt because you are climbing in the dome.   BUT the view of from the top of the dome was breathtaking and will be engraved in my memory for a lifetime.  

The inside of the church is impressive and pictures could just never do it justice.  I am so glad that were able to go even though we didn't book tickets in advance.  My advice is book tickets because it's a MUST SEE!

Next up the Vatican Museum.  Get a guided tour!!!!!  It will be so much less overwhelming and you will gain much more history, story and knowledge about what you are seeing. Even if you are not Catholic, we are not, we have an appreciation for history (the good and the bad), the amount of work that has gone into developing and maintaining this place of worship. It's a huge place and you would struggle to see all of it, but with a tour they make it manageable.  We took our tour through City Wonders and would give it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐.  

Did you know the pine cones found throughout the gardens of the Vatican, are a symbol of "fertility".  We no longer are adding to our family, but still an omen of good luck I think.

Sistine Chapel is breathtaking.  It is hard not to marvel at the beauty and detail that went into the painting by Michelangelo, and the documentation of the creation of Adam.

Restaurant Alert
After we had walked for several hours, close to 6 hours, we sat down at the nearby restaurant Taveran Lino recommended by our guide and it was delicious!  We ordered a pizza and a salmon salad to share, and some refreshing drinks.  It's steps away from the Vatican and absolutely affordable.  ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 

We found the real Spanish Steps early in the evening while strolling the streets of Rome.  As the heat began to wain around 7pm we decided to continue our exploration.  The streets leading up to the Spanish steps were vibrant with street entertainment, cafes, high end shopping and lots of tourists.  We returned to the steps later in the evening and enjoyed as the sun was setting above them.  A must see in the evening.

This garden was on my must see list and we kind of ended up stumbling upon the garden that first evening when we came upon the Spanish Steps.  Once we climbed to the top we kept walking through the streets and came upon it.  It's a huge park that you can walk for hours and we spent a good chunk of time there that evening.  You can spot people walking, jogging, puppies roaming, and a theater in the park that you can watch performances at.  We wondered until the sun was setting and then we were able to look down on Rome from above and it was a beautiful sight to see.

Needlessly to say we collapsed into bed and went to sleep happy after our first full day in Rome.

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Ageless Style: White Tops, Linen Shorts and a Little Trip to the Colosseum

Hello everyone!  It's been just over a month since my last post and a lot has happened.  End of school year, celebrated my 40th birthday, my husband and I went to Italy, lost our luggage, came back, continued without luggage, reunited with our children, packed up for the lake, moved out to the lake, hosted 6 tween/teens, boated, soaked up the sunshine, and now we are here.  I am  glad to be back and promise to be back on my Monday blogging schedule and of course with the ladies of Ageless Style every third Thursday of the month.  Please follow along and link up at the end of this post.  

This months theme is summer white!  Today I am showing you an outfit I purchased in Rome at a store called OVS, reminds me a bit of H & M or Mark & Spencer when I was in London.  My luggage was lost and by the 2nd day I knew I better find a top and bottom, and frankly some panties, because it didn't look like I was going to be getting it anytime soon.  If you followed along, I didn't get it until a week after we returned home.  Anyway, I love this light weight knit white top and the linen paper bag waist shorts.  They were the perfect fit together and they are perfect for creating the Coastal Grandma Style everyone is talking about.  Rome is HOT and we walked everywhere, so this little ensemble was the perfect way to stay stylish and cool, plus it's super breathable so it didn't stink up, making it possible for me to wear it from a long day of sight seeing and exploring the Colosseum to an evening out exploring the neighborhood of Trastevere and garbing some ice cream,  all I had to do is switch out my cute Lulu Lemon belt bag for my Kate Spade crossbody purse.  Day to night look without fuss.

Okay, I have a great appreciation for architects and engineers of our day BUT seriously the Colosseum is AMAZING and it's 1, 952 years old!!!!!!  Let that sink in.  I mean this structure was commissioned to be built by Emperor Vespasian  between 70 -80 AD.  It's the biggest amphitheater to date to be built.  Historically it was used for gladiator combats and wild animal fighting and could house up to 50, 000 spectators.  Although over the years much of this has had to be restored and upkept it is an incredible structure that makes you feel very tiny in it's presence.  There is so many int3ercate layers, details from the gladiator area, to the cages for the wild animals, to the actual floor where the fighting was to occur and seating arrangements that would allow everyone to see.  We choose to purchase an audio tour that we listened to before entering the Colosseum and it made us appreciate it's structure so much more, although it made me sick to think of all the prisoners and predominantly Jewish slaves that worked to build it over a decade and how difficult of a task that would have been.  So many historical sights that we admire have a dark history.

More from Italy coming your way in upcoming posts.  Until then please visit the other ladies of Ageless Style and link up below.  Join us on Aug. 18th for Fashion on  a Budget and Sept. 15th for Back to School Outfits.

Shop This Post:

Knit Top

High-waist Bermuda Shorts (black, pattern, blue in color)

Lulu Lemon Everywhere Belt Bag


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style
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