Latest posts by Charlotte Aimee Hulme (see all)
- “When In Rome” – A Guide to the Best that the City Offers - June 29, 2017
- The Best Juice Bars Around the World - June 22, 2017
- Mickaël Blanchet Takes on Paris’ Club Rayé - June 16, 2017
Cameron and I have both travelled around Italy before, but we’d never visited Rome. Suffice to say, the Italian capital now has our hearts. After a quick pit stop at our hotel we headed into the city after sharing a taxi ride with a lively American couple who informed us of the “do’s” and “don’ts” in the city (a big don’t being my choice of footwear – small black heels!)
The streets of Rome are bustling with colour, bonjourno’s and graffiti. This is life. One of my favourite parts of Europe are the chic restaurants down narrow streets with chairs and tables outside. Cameron and I started the day off with two Aperol Spritz (a highly popular drink in Italy, we discovered), and we shared a bresaola and parmesan pizza whilst being serenaded by the hot sun and a sun-worn accordion player.
We wandered, refreshed, to the market and sat at a small café watching the world go by, taking photos for fellow tourists whilst fending off, and occasionally humouring, the “looky-looky” men, trying to tempt us with battery packs and selfie sticks!
I was desperate to see the famous Trevi Fountain and we stumbled across this beauty whilst strolling through the streets. The Trevi Fountain, designed by architect Nicola Salvi is just breath taking, with the sheer size of the white structure being complimented by the bright blue, sparkling waters. It was truly awe inspiring. Cameron and I fought our way through the crowds and reached the water. We sat in the best seat in the house and dipped our hands in the cool waters whilst having all sorts of photos taken, inclusive of polaroid’s whilst we shared a kiss. It’s a moment I’ll never forget.
The rest of the afternoon was spent dipping and diving into traditional, family-owned Italian restaurants – we’re both foodies and places like this are usually the best at giving you a true representation of Italian culture, instead of being tourist traps. We shared asparagus risotto, Jerusalem artichoke and deep fried squid whilst drinking red wine, of course.
As the afternoon wandered on, Cameron and I wandered merrily through Rome, the sun still beating down. We were having such a great time – next, our minds were blown by Caesar’s Palace. Seriously though, we have both never seen anything quite like it – especially when one stumbles across it by accident. The architecture in Rome and the scenery is just beautiful, I can’t describe it any other way. It’s magical. However, this palace was truly one of our highlights. We grabbed two beers and danced about to a small festival playing Italian music outside of the palace.
The sheer size of the palace is what is truly captivating and the pristineness too. It looks as if it were built yesterday… Finally, I saw the undeniable truth behind the saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. In the distance, but not too far from the palace, I spotted the most renowned attraction of Rome yet… the Colosseum. Wow.
The crowds were huge, and by this point we were feeling a little more than tipsy. We were so excited to see the Colosseum, it really lives up to expectations. After a lot of photos, and a whole lot of staring at the wonky structure, we wandered onto a restaurant for a pit stop of more wine and olives. I’d highly suggest spending the money to sit over-looking the Colosseum. It’s so worth it just to soak in Rome and people watch in the bustling city.
Because we’d jumped on an early flight, we’d managed to fit so much into our first Italian day – it was fantastic. The evening was spent exploring some more and sampling more delicious Italian dishes. I’d researched some roof-top terrace bars we could go to, to watch the sun go down on the city.
We went to the Grand Hotel de la Minerve and it was simply breath taking. The sky was pink and the sun was setting and we sipped espresso martinis over-looking the whole city. I will never forget it.
Finally, we popped into a restaurant to end our incredibly adventurous day. I had chilli garlic spaghetti, one of my faves. Cameron had a diavlo pizza, one of his faves! And with one final “cheers”, we slipped into a taxi and rode off into the night.
Today we got into the city early and fought off our hangovers with a trip into the Colosseum. We thought why not – “When in Rome” and all that! The queue is long, as expected, so I’d recommend getting there earlier rather than later. I’d also suggest paying a little extra for an audio guide around the Colosseum, it doesn’t cost much but it’s useful added extra.
Again, the sun was shining today, which made the Colosseum look even more captivating. After we’d walked through the winding, rustic paths that scream history, we sat and drank beer at a small café across the way, right next to the train station.
Next we went for an unforgettable lunch – oysters, champagne and pasta. It was truly beautiful. We found such a perfect lunch spot in a busy district of the city and sat on the street watching all sorts of things unfold before us, before doing a bit of shopping. Half way through lunch an accordion player came and performed the theme song from the Godfather to us…this seemed to keep happening whilst in Italy, and they only ever played that song to us, no other – I’m not sure if this theme means anything cryptic!
Cameron wanted a photo on the marble steps of Caesar’s, so we wandered back to tourist central and ended up going into the palace and walking way up to the top, which I’d highly suggest – especially seeing as it’s free entry! Cameron and I were amazed by this – one of the most amazing aspects of Rome was free to explore!
Next stop? The Vatican. We jumped in a taxi from the Colosseum area and it didn’t take long at all. We stopped and had gelato first, I had melon and my goodness did she fill my bowl to the brim! I wasn’t complaining! Cameron drank some grappa and I tried a bit for the first time… and for the last time too!
So, after fulfilling several Italian stereotypes, we wandered up to the Vatican. It is a fascinating area, and it’s interesting to imagine thousands of people gathered under the area where the Pope waves. However, the queue was too long and seeing as we only had two days in Rome, we decided that our ten minutes of being in the Vatican’s presence was enough for the time being.
Before getting changed for dinner, we did a pit stop for some final Aperol Spritz of the day, again sat outside an intricate café where we befriended the waiter and chatted for ages about Italian culture.
In the evening, I was incredibly lucky to have had Cameron book a Michelin Star restaurant, named Metamorfosi. I actually posted a photo of one of my courses here, and I’d highly suggest (especially if you’re a serious foodie) that you check them out on insta. Their @ is metamorfosiroma – they’ve only posted two photos but just type the hashtag into the search and you should find them! The presentation of their food is incredibly unique, as is the taste.
Metamorfosi is, quite literally, a hidden gem. Quite obscure from the front, it’s the type of place that would be arduous to just “stumble across”. The interior is wholly simplistic, with (I think) only 12 covers and then an upstairs private dining area.
We sat at a table at the back, which was intimate somewhat, but my only complaint would be that you feel quite pushed to one side, if you will. Negatives aside, we went for the 6 course taster menu – we had all sorts of things put before us, inclusive of wine pairing. I’ll let the photo’s do the talking…
That marks the end to our time in Rome, a short but sweet whirlwind of madness, culture, romance and PIZZA!!!!!