Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our Trip to Italia: Roma, Italy

Date: August 8th, 2012
Itinerary: Fly from Regina to Toronto to Rome

Date: August 9th, 2012
Itinerary: Arrive in Roma, Italy
Hotel:  Hotel Lancelot

It's time to start writing about our trip to Italy before I forget everything!  In writing these blog posts, I already know that I'll need to google some additional information and do a bit of research to recall everything we saw, learned, and experienced.  I didn't feel like we were overwhelmed by the pace of our tours or activities but we definitely saw a lot and did a lot!  I am going to try writing a post for each day or two because we took tons of pictures and there is a lot to share.   Here we go!

We left Regina on August 8th and I managed to hold back the tears as we boarded the airplane.  I was thrilled and excited about our trip to Italy but a bit heartbroken about leaving my little ones for TWO WHOLE WEEKS!  I mean, that's a long time when I hadn't been away for more than a couple of days before.  Now, onto the actual flight...I recovered from my sadness quickly and Jeremy and I synced our in-seat screens so we could watch the Hunger Games together.  We both enjoyed the books and hadn't had a chance to see the movie yet...it wasn't exactly the big screen and popcorn would have been nice but it was sort of like a date!

The flights were excellent although neither of us slept much while we watched others lounge in empty seats across the aisle from us.  We looked at them enviously and I tuned into a few movies while Jeremy tried to sleep without much success.

When we finally arrived in Rome, we were rushed through the passport check without a passport check....no stamps in our passports..we were rather disappointed.  Italians just don't seem to have a filter on who they allow in their country.  We took a taxi to our hotel, Hotel Lancelot, and we were in total awe of the amazing structures we saw on the way!  It might be worth mentioning that neither of us had been to Europe before so we were very impressed by the ancient ruins we saw along the way.

Ancient Roman Ruins
The Colosseum or The Flavian Amphitheatre
Near the Colosseum - Arch of Constantine
Impressive Architecture
Vittorio Emanuele Monument aka The Wedding Cake
When we arrived at the hotel, it was late morning yet we were both exhausted.  We did what everyone says NOT to do and had a nap...we were almost two days without sleep and wouldn't have enjoyed wandering around Rome in hot temperatures with no sleep.  Besides, the hotel staff were excellent and allowed us to check in early so we were happy to have time to rest and to freshen up.  After a bit of sleep, we went for a walk past the Colosseum and to Trevi Fountain...we just wandered around and found ourselves in all sorts of famous places.  We were also amused to find vendors selling everything from mini-Colosseums to squeaky slime.  That's right!  Apparently squeaky slime is a big hit with tourists ...although those sellers weren't as aggressive as the man who gave me roses as a "gift" after shoving them in my hands and then asked Jeremy for money.  There are tons of non-Italians in Italy trying to make money off of the droves of tourists.  It was mostly amusing and only occasionally annoying.

At Trevi Fountain - A very impressive sight!
We must have walked several miles that day and eventually ended up at a lovely restaurant called That's Amore.  We both ordered pastas and it was excellent!  We also had dessert afterward and they were AMAZING...if you go to Rome, go to this restaurant for a meal and make sure to order dessert.  It was fantastic and ended up being the best dessert we had the whole time we were in Italy.  We also made a habit out of looking up each and every restaurant on Tripadvisor.com....reading other travelers' reviews is a great way to choose the best restaurants and avoid the poor ones.

That's amore Restaurant near the Trevi Fountain
After a lot of walking around (and gawking at everything), we headed back to our hotel for the evening as our next day would take us on a tour of the Vatican.  That post will be up next!

Vittorio Emanuele Monument - The Big White Wedding Cake
The Colosseum at Night

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