Last Adventure in Italy: The Dolomites
Personal note: *I’ve been holding off on all planned Italy…
~ TBH, the Spanish Steps were the only real “let down”! BUT, I loved this secret old set of steps that we found!
^ I was enchanted by the Tiber Island…this little island that is in the middle of the river! SO cute! ~Italians don’t really love the Vittorio Emmanuel II, but…I DO! Also, below are photos from the rooftop (truly the best view from inside the city)! ~ Outfit Details: Blue Bow Dress (I wear a slip under it!)~
~ ROME! Where do I even begin? I had big expectations for Rome. Well…dreams really. When I was in Middle School, I was pretty obsessed with Mary-Kate and Ashley’s When in Rome. That same year, my Grammy Lil got me my first Audrey Hepburn movie, Roman Holiday. She also showed me old film roles from when she was younger and travelled there. Growing up in a small suburb in PA, it seemed like a far away dreamland. I had never been to Europe. All I wanted to do was wear a giant skirt, grab a moped, and head to the Spanish Steps to eat gelato with Paolo or Joe Bradley. I tried to manage my expectations on the train ride there…“It’s not the 60’s…you don’t live in an Olsen Twin movie…” But, I’m so happy to report that I was enchanted, just as I had hoped.
I attribute 50% of the magic in this trip to my awesome travel buddies, Verena and MC! I think we laughed the whole entire time! V is from Germany, but fluent in Italian from her time in Sicily, which helped us a lot throughout the trip (*and as always, her fluency made us lots of fun friends). MC is from Peru and so much fun! I think that it’s not always easy to find people that you travel so well with (I’ve been pretty lucky this whole year!), but honestly, I’d go anywhere with these 2! We had such a blast, met so many great characters, and made so many memories!
It was spur of the moment! The week of the trip, we realized that we had a span of 5 days off between final presentations and class beginning for the next workshop. I’ve been having this crazy URGENCY for traveling with graduation approaching. I’m so INCREDIBLY glad that we did it. There are SO MANY detailed travel posts on Rome and different guides you can read, so I’m just going to keep this fun and tell you MY favorite parts.
Highs of Rome…
~ THE FOOD. ALL. THE. FOOD.
~ The area of the city that we stayed in, Monti, which is apparently the “up and coming” place to live (we had no idea!). The Italian President lives there! It’s also 5 minutes from the Trevi Fountain and there’s the cutest square where everyone gets drinks and hangs out at night.
~ The chef of one restaurant we wanted to eat at let me bring my own box of GF pasta (so we could get this amazing prefix special dinner!)
~ The Colosseum
~ The Rose Garden
~ Our TWO free walking tours. A friend introduced me to this concept in Torino and ever since, we’ve done 3! We did Rome’s Ultimate and Veni Vidi Visit. I think from those two tours, we covered most of the city!
~ I met this sweet older woman on our first walking tour from San Francisco with her husband. We walked and talked for a good part of the tour. We talked about our life paths and how she was faced with a similar decision to stay abroad or go back to the states after she graduated from a masters program in Asia. She said she regretted coming back to the states to work so soon and wished she experienced more. It felt like I was meant to meet her and I still think of her words of advice to me daily.
~ THE AMERICAN BAR. I can’t remember the name but there were American flags everywhere and they even played TAYLOR SWIFT. They also had these awesome Pink Mojitos!
~ The view from the Orange Garden
~ The Vatican!
~ Seeing sweet Papa Francesco’s face on everything
~ Finding out that we were having dinner on top of Italy’s entire supply of gold (really…a man showed us video footage)
~ Two new friends taking us to see the “original” Roman ruins at night. It was so magical. It’s crazy to think HOW advanced and ahead of their time the Romans were!
~ I know I already said food…but the gluten free pizza on our last day was a definite HIGH! Maybe my best in Italy?!
~ The water fountains all over the city! I wish we had those here in Milan! There was always a spot to fill up our water bottles.
~ Getting to the highest vantage points in the city. I always do this when I travel! But I am so glad that MC and Verena were up for this as well. I think we climbed to all of the highest points in the city!
~ Taking the elevator up to the top of the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II. WORTH IT! Amazing view!
~ Learning more Italian from Verena! A LA NOSTRA!
~ SOMEHOW not falling on the stones…even the one night that I wore wedges. LITERALLY, no idea how I pulled that off.
~ This lunch we had one day. It was such a tiny little place…but we had the best frizzante vino bianco and the owner brought out the MOST AMAZING burrata. All 3 of us agreed that burrata was a high of the trip!
Overall…I would go back! We saw so much over the course of 5 days, but I still want to go back and take it slow. One day we walked for 10 hours! I’d like to do it again (with the same crew!), but add some more time for relaxing (and vino drinking)!
Thanks for re-living Rome with me! Have you been to Rome? What was your favorite part?