Rome, Italy

I didn’t think I could top Athens, Prague or Paris for cities I’ve fallen in love with on this trip, but then we arrived in Rome. Wow. From the food to the ancient architecture, there’s nothing I don’t love about Rome.

I’m currently blogging from Caffè Sant’Eustachio, a coffee shop right near the Pantheon (a huge Roman temple built in 126 AD), sipping on a cappuccino and feeling very envious of Megan’s yummy looking pastry.

We’ve been here 3 days now, and I’m so glad that we booked to stay here for a week; I’d hate to have to leave already! I could happily stay here several more weeks but I think we’d run out of money.

For most of our trip to Europe we’ve tried to budget quite carefully on food, eating from supermarkets and making our own meals so we don’t eat out too much, but that’s impossible in Rome! Every meal we’ve had so far has been amazing; the pizzas are thin and crispy and taste unlike anything you’d get in the US, and you get huge bowlfuls of spaghetti with amazing sauces. I’m sure we’re going to leave Rome a few pounds heavier than when we arrived!

We spent our first day exploring the huge Roman Forum, the ancient center of the city that is now made up of ruins. You can still how the old public buildings and temples would have looked from their remains; it’s mind-blowing to imagine anything so old.

Right next door to the Forum is the Colosseum, the iconic Roman amphitheatre. We joined a guided tour of the Colosseum and heard fascinating stories about the gladiator contests that used to take place there and the evolution of the building’s history.

Yesterday we switched from Roman architecture to art. Palazzo Altemps is a beautiful old palace that has been converted into a museum of classical sculptures. We spent quite a while wandering its halls looking at all the statues of gods and goddesses, before moving on to some more recent artwork at the Maxxi National Museum of Art, which featured contemporary art in a building that looked as cool as the work inside.

There’s still a huge amount to do and see here, so expect another update from Rome before the week is out!

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