Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that’s the excuse I’m sticking to for why it’s taken me 9 months to get around to writing about it.
Why’d it take so long? I guess I just know mere words (at least, the limited number of words that fit into a blog post) can never do the justice to the Eternal City.
2,500 years of history.
How do you even begin to process the layers upon layers of architecture and battles and emperors and religious upheavals?
How do you condense the birthplace of Western civilization into say, 1,000 words?
I learned quickly that you can’t cram 2,500 years of knowledge into two nights or even just a blog post or two, but that’s all I had during my latest visit to Roma as a guest of HouseTrip.com.
So what’s a gal with limited time to do while on Roman Holiday?
DO AS THE ROMANS DO. REALLY FAST.
After I settled in at the magnificent (really, truly) HouseTrip apartment, I joined a group of travel bloggers (Aviators & A Camera, The Planet D, Monkeys & Mountains, Destination Europe & Travellers Playground) for a whirlwind adventure around the city on the most quintessentially Roman method of transportation you could imagine aside from the chariot – a vintage Vespa!
I confess I was super nervous about this particular adventure. Audrey Hepburn made it look easy and glamorous, but she made everything look easy and glamorous, didn’t she? I wasn’t quite convinced I’d be able to pull it off.
(And I don’t usually do well on bike-type apparatuses.)
Much to my relief, I didn’t have to navigate! Cue the hero of this story: my handsome Italian Vespa driver, who I learned was once stationed in the Navy in my hometown. Isn’t it a small world?
In his capable hands, I was safe and exhilarated as we zoomed past the Colosseum, the Forum, the Baths and the Vatican, stopping occasionally for photos and a history lesson.
The following day, still buzzing from our surreal Vespa adventure around the city, I continued in my quest to live like a local… by eating everything in sight. May God have mercy on my waistline!
It was this very trip to Italy that opened my eyes to the benefits – both in taste and quality – of eating locally, and frankly I’ve become a bit of a food snob ever since!
On the Rome Market Tour, Eleonora showed us how to choose the best artichokes, tomatoes, zucchini, cheeses & meats, and while I probably couldn’t reproduce any of the gorgeous dishes she whipped up for us afterward, I’ll never forget that sweet meal we had after visiting the market. Eating the freshest, hand-picked foods and drinking wine with new friends in our apartment overlooking the Colosseum had me pinching myself.
Was this real life? Or some alternate (but considerably less whiny) Eat, Pray, Love universe?
The Italian food experience, as I’d soon learn, went on and on and on. I scarcely had time to get hungry before someone was plopping another smorgasbord of culinary delights in my face. And I loved it. And I had to buy new pants. And that’s all I have to say about that right now.
(When you go to Rome, check out these two YUMMY restaurants we visited: Armando al Pantheon & Pier Luigi. You’ll thank me later!)
I’ve intentionally saved my rapturous raving about the actual HouseTrip apartment for the end because I didn’t want to distract you from the rest of the post…
…but here’s the view from MY BED.
So while I was swept away by an Italian man on a vintage Vespa, and wined & dined by Context Travel on more than one occasion, it was the pimped out apartment in possibly the world’s best location that sealed the deal.
I was speechless when I saw where I’d be sleeping. I am quite convinced I’ve never in my life stayed somewhere with a better view of an iconic destination than I did those nights. AND, the best part is that this magnificent apartment in Rome is affordable (about $450 USD per night), especially if you’re traveling with family or a few friends.
The verdict? Rome is everything you’d want it to be.
Divine food & wine, priceless historic sites – the undeniable feeling of being the star of your own glamorous movie.
If the Trevi Fountain has anything to say about it, I will be back again.
Unabashed and long overdue thanks to HouseTrip for the eye-opening, exhilarating stay. All enraptured opinions on Rome, its Vespa-driving men and its ohsofattening cuisine are my own.