Our Trip to Rome: Day One

"Arriving in Rome"

I had been to Italy before but this was Cliff’s first trip.  As soon as we got to our apartment we unpacked and set off to explore Rome.  In my experience traveling to Europe, once you get to your hotel all you want to do is sleep.  But don’t do it!  We usually only have 4 or 5 days, so we try to make the most of it.

"St. Peter's Basilica"

The first place we headed to was St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City.  Unfortunately, I made a wrong turn and we got a little lost.  Whoops!  But we figured it out and continued on our way.  Before going into the basilica we stopped for a quick lunch.  We stopped at a little pizza place and ordered a slice of margherita pizza to share.

"Margherita Pizza from Rome"

Finally, we made it to the Basilica.  If you are ever in Rome I highly recommend going to the top of the dome.  It is quite the experience.  Unless you are claustrophobic; then skip it.  The stairway to the top is very tight and it only gets tighter as you go further up.  We chose to pay a few extra Euros and take the elevator half way up.  And we still had to walk up over 300 stairs.  I’ll admit it, I was struggling at the end.  But the views from the top are worth every step.  A great first impression of Vatican City and Rome!  By the time we made our way to the Basilica my legs felt like jello.  They were shaking like crazy.  Maybe I need to hit the stair-master, I don’t know.  But the inside of the Basilica does not disappoint.  Words could not do it justice.  Luckily, my wonderful husband is a photographer so I can show you instead!

"Top of St. Peter's Basilica"

"View of Rome from above"

After leaving the basilica we stopped for another snack.  You guessed it, more pizza.  This place had some different pizza.  In fact we could not actually identify many of the offerings.  We ordered what we thought was a cauliflower pizza.  It turned out to be potato.  Good thing we like potatoes.  It was different, but I actually enjoyed it very much.  By now we were pretty tired, our legs and feet were exhausted so we headed back to the apartment for a nap.

"Pizza with Potato from Rome"

After a quick nap we took the Metro a few stops to Spagna.  There we visited the Spanish steps and did some window shopping.

"Piazza di Spagna"

"Spanish Steps in Rome Piazza di Spagna"

"Jimmy Choo in Rome Italy"

We had some trouble finding a restaurant in this area.  So we ended up walking towards the Pantheon, where we found many restaurants.  That night we had one of our best meals of the trip.   We started off with bruschetta.  We ordered a garlic and oil one and an artichoke cream one.  They were both excellent, and we were hooked on bruschetta after that.  Cliff had a cheese ravioli dish and I had  lobster risotto.  I rarely eat risotto at home, so this was a real treat.  Cliff ordered a birra and I had hot chocolate.  The best way to describe the hot chocolate in Rome is hot chocolate pudding.  Even Cliff loved the hot chocolate!  This is something we plan to recreate at home.

"Bruschetta with Artichoke Cream"

"Birra and Hot Chocolate in Rome Italy"


"Lobster Risotto"

After dinner we decided to find the Trevi Fountain.  After a few wrong turns we realized it was basically across the street from the restaurant we had just dined at.  Oh well!  I was pretty surprised how many people were visiting the fountain.  By now it was nearly midnight and it was pretty full.  We sat down for a little while and just enjoyed being in Rome together.

"Trevi Fountain in Rome Italy"

"Trevi Fountain in Rome Italy"

Now, some of you might be surprised that I had spent more than 12 hours in Rome and had not yet gotten any gelato.  What was I thinking?  The whole reason I wanted to go to Italy was for the gelato!  What was I waiting for?  Well, I had done some research before we left for our trip.  There were 3 gelato places I wanted to go to.  I didn’t want to waste Euros or calories on inferior gelato.  Gelato eating is serious business for me!

After enjoying our time at the Trevi Fountain we headed to San Crispino for gelato.  Those of you that have read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilberts might recognize this as her #1 pick for gelato in Rome.  You could pick up to 3 flavors so we tried: lemon, concorde grape and hazelnut.  It was sooooo good.  But was it the best?  I needed to find out.