December 14, 2015

Memoirs: When in Rome – Part One

Writing this post has made me want a time-machine to take me back to all my favourite holidays in the past few years and re-live the moments over and over. Someone please CrowdFund it and lets make it happen… 🙏🏽

Anyway, last weekend, I headed off to The Eternal City of Rome, for my final trip of 2015, with my favourite person ever. I’d only booked in September and I can confirm it is much cheaper to travel off-peak. For us both, I think it came to under £300 (So £150 each!) which included flights, hotel and extra luggage of course for two nights. I highly recommend booking with Travel Republic as you only need to pay for your flights in full, leave a £1 deposit on your hotel and pay off two weeks before you go.

Although, I have learnt that I really need to stop booking 6am flights, they really mess me up. You have to be up at 2am, the cab to the airport is more than the flight, and to be honest, I hate being tired especially when on holiday. I probably sound about a thousand years old, but being tired is slowly becoming one of my pet peeves!

After an ambitious weighing of our suitcase with the Ryanair scales, we realised our bags were overweight (oops) and had to pay the dreaded £10 per kilo. My goal for 2016 is to travel with hand luggage only, I really don’t know why I take so much? If someone could link me to a handy how to pack with only hand luggage guide that actually works it’d be much appreciated.

After going through security at Stansted airport (which takes forever), we grabbed some breakfast at Halo Fizz Bar accompanied by my favourite drink on their menu, the Kir Royale. I’d previously come here before flying to Vegas, so I knew the breakfast was good. I do love a good Wetherspoons brekkie, but I am lately finding it a little too greasy for the healthy lifestyle I am seriously *trying* to keep up with… 💪🏽🌟🍾

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I can only describe Ryanair as organised chaos, after checking the signs for the gate, one blink and it said ‘Final Call’. Why invoke panic in you passengers when they’re travelling?  Having never flown with Ryanair before, I wasn’t expecting much in all honesty, and for the price of the flight, the blue and yellow interior of the plane really didn’t bother me much. What riled me most was screaming babies, even after putting my headphones in, I could hear the cries. Yes, I am anti-kids at this point in my life.

The flight went really quickly, we were though security and out of the tiny Ciampino airport by 10am. We bought coach tickets for €3.90 each which took us straight to Rome’s answer to King’s Cross, Termini Station. The journey took around 30 minutes and after stepping off the coach came the arduous task of finding the hotel. I am ever so thankful for Citymapper as it is so easy to navigate and follow.

Read more Musings: Some More Travel Tips

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Our hotel was a 3-minute walk through Termini station, so all in all a fantastic base for exploring Rome. The Venetia Palace is a 4* hotel with a rooftop hot tub and spa facilities (potentially my reason for booking), but the check-in was smooth and we had no problem with our room at all. If anything, from reading the Trip Advisor reviews, the room was bigger than expected with everything we needed for our very short stay. The bed was a little harder than I’m used to but I sleep like a log so it really didn’t bother me (see later on in this post).

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After a quick change and make-up refresh, we headed out to explore beautiful city of Rome. The hotel receptionist gave us an old-school map which detailed where all the monuments were, so this provided very useful. I didn’t want to waste my iPhone battery on Citymapper, instead to take photos of the gorgeous city.

What I noticed most after heading out was Rome’s take on Christmas. In contrast, as soon as you step out of Oxford Circus station in London, all your senses are overloaded with Christmas. I mean I think we’re all too aware it happens every single year… Rome on the other hand embraces Christmas in a beautiful way, with small accents of fairy lights and nativity scenes all over the city. Perhaps London should take a hint? 

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We decided to see Rome by bus instead of spending forever trying to figure out the Metro system, maybe next time! The ‘hop on/hop off’ bus ticket was €31 each for 3 days, which is actually pretty good considering it ran every 10 minutes and took you everywhere. That’d barely be your Oystercard fare in London.

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We first got off at the legendary Colosseum and I cannot believe how huge it was, after some research we learnt that it held 50,000 people. It is absolutely divine and much of it is still in pristine condition. It really is easy to see why Rome is called the Eternal City. We took some selfies obviously and jumped back on the bus to soak in all the sights of Rome. It was pretty windy on top of the open-top bus so I do regret bringing my scarf however seeing the beautiful architecture of Rome warmed my heart (CHEESY).

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We got off and explored a bit more and afterwards headed back to Termini station in search of food as we’d realised we had last eaten 10 hours ago. Emma stumbled across a placed near Termini called Pizzaristortante and one could only guess what they specialised in… I ordered the salami pizza and I possibly say this is the best pizza I have had in my entire life!🍕

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After our way overdue dinner, we headed back to the hotel and stumbled across the hotel bar, polished off way too much prosecco and took another glass up to bed. I pretty much passed out as I was so tired from my 2am wake-up call.

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Anyway, I will leave this blog here for the moment and will get working on Part Two!

Char xo

24 responses to “Memoirs: When in Rome – Part One”

  1. […] involved my last little getawat Rome with my BFF Emma and getting ready to end the year in style! Even though I didn’t have much […]

  2. Karen says:

    Loved this🙌🏾😘

  3. I’m going to Rome on my honeymoon with my husband in March this year, I’m so excited for it!
    With love, Alisha Valerie. x

    My Blog: http://alishavalerie.blogspot.com
    My Twitter: http://twitter.com/saidbyalisha

  4. […] really need to start writing my travel posts within the week I get back as I find myself backtracking through my iPhone camera roll to […]

  5. […] the fashion capital of the world, Milan has been on my travel wish-list ever since I came back from Rome last December. Italy is so effortlessly beautiful; from the architecture to the chic men and women, […]

  6. […] 15 minutes, I was at the Duomo (Italian for church) and as I exited the station I couldn’t believe how stunning the building was. If […]

  7. […] ‘research purposes’. If you’re familiar with my blogs, you’d know I visited Rome last December and inhaled the best pizza I’ve ever had in my entire *cough cough* 26 years on this planet. I […]

  8. Musings: To Pack | Memoirs & Musings says:

    […] probably the worst packer known to man BUT I’d like to think this list I made is a handy guide when for packing for a summer vacation or city break. Obviously luggage limits exist for a reason […]

  9. […] sugar… it used to be two but I have cut down because I’m ‘trying’ to make healthier decisions. What was your favourite book as a child? The only one that springs to mind is the Goosebumps book […]

  10. […] have a freakishly weird routine where I wake up pretty much everyday between 5.37am and 6.30am. The only time this is disrupted is […]

  11. […] in early December I headed off to Cape Verde (the island of Sal) with my BFF Emma, as we both had annual leave to use and needed some Winter sun. I love going away at off-peak times […]

  12. […] similar to Paris, is a beautiful city enriched with history, amazing food and lots to learn. You can read about my adventures here. What I loved most about this city is how […]

  13. […] 5) Reflecting on my day always helps me fall asleep. You know thinking of things I’ve done well, I could improve on and the things I’ve done wrong. […]

  14. […] city of Venice, it really does take your breath away. It’s distinctly Italian, but not like Rome or Verona. In fact, it’s like nothing else in the world, and you can barely wait to get on […]

  15. […] metre long pizza which tasted just as good as it sounds. I’ve been to Italy twice (Milan and Rome), and this pizza was just as good, if not better. It was fresh, tasty and if you closed your eyes […]

  16. […] must, it is a real work of art and must be experienced up-close. My Rome posts can be found here and […]

  17. […] sightseeing tours on those ‘hop on hop off’ buses. Having done these in New York and Rome, these are a great way to see a city if you’re short on time. It was €22 for a 24 hour […]

  18. […] arrived at Stansted airport around 4am, giving me a couple of hours to grab breakfast, catch up on emails (part-time […]

  19. […] Mistake: Paying £40 for overweight luggage at the airport which was probably more than the flight… pack smart, pack light (if you can) and check all luggage requirements on the airline’s website. My blunder was on the way to Rome in 2015…  […]

  20. […] city of Venice, it really does take your breath away. It’s distinctly Italian, but not like Rome or Verona. In fact, it’s like nothing else in the world, and you can barely wait to get on […]

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