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.


  1. Every single picture is BEAUTIFUL! What an amazing trip. I've always wanted to go!


  2. Just lovely - and how groovy is that bathroom? #PicturePerfectLinky

  3. That pink dress is so cute on you and what a wonderful place to visit - the sights are amazing and the food looks so good too!

    Hope you are having a lovely week :)

    Away From The Blue

  4. Glad to learn about that app, will have to download it for Costa Rica if we go to San Jose. An app we have like abroad that doesn't use date but work like google maps is and we used it in the Republic of Georgia. Beautiful in pink and I loved Rome when we went (13-14 years ago!)

  5. Wow, all that was on the first day? What a wonderful day! My sister is leaving for Rome in a few days! I will pass this post on to her. Thanks for sharing about that app. The sounds helpful!

  6. I have never been to Rome and it’s on my bucket list. The architecture looks amazing and it sounds like it’s rich with history. Your photos are beautiful and I love your pink outfit!

    Maureen |

  7. I got to go to Rome in college and it was amazing! It was so fun to see your photos! It looks like such an amazing trip. I'd love to go back one day!

  8. I will put the garden on my list to do while I'm there. Thanks for the suggestion.

  9. Rome is on my bucket list! Your photos are beautiful! I can't wait for the rest of your recaps!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  10. Beautiful view in pink ,sitting on the ledge , and the scenery is nice also