We got up and had our usual breakfast of fresh bread, ricotta and tomatoes which we took in turns buying each morning from the market and bakery just down the road. Although there was an option to add breakfast to our hotel package, we don’t have massive breakfasts and a couple of times we took our breakfast out on the go so this worked out cheaper and more efficient for us.
We went to the Roman Forum and saw all the ruins. It was the day of the Rome Marathon so a couple of the metro stations were closed which made travel even more complicated than it had already been. But it was a beautiful day so it was perfect for wandering around the classical sites and sitting in the gardens. We didn’t have a guide which I would recommend because for some times we had no idea what we were looking at because things weren’t well signed of described like they are at museums. Its difficult to know if you are doing the right thing with guides or not because apparently some of the ‘guides’ for the Vatican etc are just normal people reading off of Wikipedia and do not actually have the extensive knowledge that you are paying for.
We were a little sick and tired of bread and pizza so we decided to go on the hunt for some pasta for lunch time. This was the only unsuccessful meal for us this trip – there is always one no matter how picky you are. It was about 2pm and we were starving from the early start, no coffee, all the walking around and the heat. We came across a pasta place along from the Colosseum. We thought we had walked far enough from the tourist site to avoid tacky food but we didn’t and waited ages for small portions of boring and oily pasta. We then had to get a pizza panini from a takeaway place just so we wouldn’t pass out.
We then headed to the Colosseum and I am so glad we booked tickets before because there was a massive queue that we really were not in the mood to stand in. The Colosseum was exactly what I imagined and we walked around and around a couple of times, up and down, exploring all we could. Unfortunately there were some parts blocked off but I’m guessing that was because the stone was fragile or something. There were some appalling tourists there – we even saw one guy with an iced waterbottle smash the bottle against the Colosseum to try and break the ice up in his drink!! How disrespectful to something so rare and old.
We then had a wander through the courtyards and side streets and came across a really nice restaurant with a terrace where we sat out and had a coffee/hot chocolate (by the way… Roman hot chocolates are amazing – a little darker and more bitter than English ones). I asked for their business card and got our hotel to book the restaurant for dinner later that evening. We sat outside and watched the Roman madness from some steps and enjoyed as much of the sunshine as we could. This was the first sun we had seen all year (perks of England) so we were not in any rush to leave.
We then headed back to the hotel, got changed and headed out. First we went to a wine bar in the local area where we had some wine and crisps before heading to dinner. Dinner at Iari The Vino was amazing and I would recommend this place to everyone. We shared a flask of wine, had a focaccia to start and each had a pizza. I had a vegetarian one with olives, artichokes, you name it, and Alex had a seafood one with mussels, clams, the lot. It was a very romantic, relaxed setting and probably my favourite evening.
We walked back via the Colosseum and saw it all lit up. Be aware of the homeless on the Tiber River, we naively were helping this man with directions and it turned out he was a beggar and it put us in a very uncomfortable position.