Rome: City of Carbs… Oh, and History

Rome, full of pasta, pizza, and gelato. How are all the Romans so physically fit? Beats me! Not exactly the home of health food, but it sure was amazing!

View of Rome from the cupola of St. Peter's Basilica

Bustling with mopeds, cars, locals, and tourists – Roma is an active city to say the least. Instantly overwhelmed by the noise and crowded central station, I was relieved to see my girlfriends Sammy and Marianna waiting to greet me.

From left: Me, Sammy, and Marianna in Rome

The historic Roman monuments admist the newly erected city seemed oddly casual. The density of architecture was breathtaking and the bus we were on moved too quickly to soak it all in.

Over the next few days we wandered, explored, and marvelled.

Trevi Fountain

Pantheon

Inside the Pantheon

Downtown Rome

Sunday Flea Market - HUGE!

The Victor Emmanuel monument, commonly known as ‘the wedding cake’, was one of the most incredible constructions I have ever seen. Made almost purely of white marble, this building towers over downtown Rome, making it impossible to ignore.

Victor Emmanuel's 'Wedding Cake'

My other favorite Roman wonders were the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Not being a very religious person, I was unsure of what I would think about these classic Roman landmarks. I was absolutely blown away by the sheer size and details these two structures presented. It suddenly became very easy to picture the once mighty Roman empire and associated drama that occured all around the exact spot where I stood. The Basilica’s statues, detailed ceilings, floors, monuments, and walls instantly showed me why it is the cent of Christianity.

St. Peter's Basilica

Inside St. Peter's Basilica

Ceiling in St. Peter's Basilica

 

The Vatican itself felt more like a tourist’s museum the way camera-bearing people scurried around like ants. Regardless, that too was absolutely massive and stunning. One particular corridor was my favorite; the old map hallway. There was something extremely special about this hall. It was at that moment everything hit me. I felt truly in awe by all that man had created here in Rome. The amount of mind-blowing architecture, art, and detail that exists in this city is inspiring.

 

This map hall held paintings of all the old provinces of Italy. According to a nearby tour guide, in ages past the Pope would walk visitors down the corridor, sharing the knowledge these maps held, which, of course, at the time was not easily accessible on Google. I couldn’t help but to imagine what a remarkable stroll that must have been. Combined with the beautiful art and gold detailing on the ceiling, this room was stunning.

 

Ceiling of Map Room

Courtyard at the Vatican

Now onto the food… we had some amazing, some all right, and some horrible experiences with Roman cuisine. The amount of carbs the Roman diet contained was a change of pace from my normal lifestyle, but I managed to adapt just fine! We ate countless pasta dishes; carbonara, frutti di mare, puttanesca, bolognese – too many to name… and every type of pizza! Bruschetta has been an all time favorite of mine and I made sure to take full advantage of the Roman’s expertise in this delicious appetizer.

Homemade Spaghetti Bolognese

Pizza Marinara

Best Gelato in Rome - at Giolitti's

Best Gelato in Rome - Giolitti's

Pizza Pizza Pizza

First Salad of the Trip

Bruschetta

Black Olive Tapenade Bruschetta

Homemade Spaghetti Frutti di Mare

Homemade Spaghetti Carbonara

 

Hazelnut Chocolate Pastry with a Cappuccino

In Rome you have to pay for EVERYTHING. This was definitely hard to adjust to. If you want to drink water at a restaurant, it will cost you. If you want to sit when you order a cappuccino, it will cost you. If you want to partake in the bread basket on your dinner table, it will cost you. This all becomes very tiresome, and expensive!

 

Aside from the high cost of dining in Rome, my time there was amazing. In this high-paced city, we saw a lot (nowhere near everything Rome has to offer), we ate a lot, we walked a lot, and most of all – we had a lot of fun! Next stop… the Amalfi coast.

Arrivederci Rome! 

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