21st in Rome!

This weekend was my 21st birthday weekend and I spent it in Rome with my parents. It was such a brilliant weekend and I had such an amazing time there, it will be one of those birthdays that I will never forget. I really do love Rome a hell of a lot though and I really want to move there, I can see myself living there one day for sure. The people, the food, the weather, the way of life, just everything about it was so perfect for me.

So on Thursday, I had to be up at 4am (!) to be ready and in Manchester for our 10am flight, the flight was delayed massively and by the time we actually got to Brussels nearly 2 hours later than planned we had missed our connection to Rome as we only had a 40 minute waiting time so the flight had left ages ago. The airline sorted us out on a replacement as it was their fault that we were late but we had to wait 4 hours for the next plane to Rome. This was just the beginning of an epically bad journey, I mean travelling with my parents is stressful enough but we were tired, I still had a cold at this point and I nearly died on the first plane, we hit turbulence on the way up and the rickety old plane went everywhere, we were sat at the back too and I’ve watched Lost, I know that is not the best place to be sat so I spent the entire journey with my scarf over my face trying not to be sick. So four hours in Brussels airport later we boarded our flight to Rome but I had now got a full on fear of flying and every little noise or shake of the plane I jumped a mile, I don’t think I will be flying Brussels airlines again that is for sure. We got to Rome at 8pm their time and had to wait an hour for luggage, I was so annoyed at this point that I honestly nearly punched someone. We got to the apartment and it was lovely but so small and I ended up on the sofa bed with no personal space at all so I lost it a bit after such a long day of full on stress.

After about 2 hours sleep I got up and sat for a good hour working out the maps, subway system and some useful phrases for us while we were there. I was so prepared and it really did come in useful as I become chief map reader and just generally in charge all holiday as my dad got us lost the first morning because he had the map upside down. After a faulty start to the trip though it got a hell of a lot better, we found the subway and got a 3 day ticket for 11 euros to use any subway line so we could go anywhere in Rome, which is so good. I can’t believe how cheap the travel was compared to here and subway is so good, it’s ridiculously fast and efficient, it’s 2 minutes between trains and even on easter sunday it was still 5 minutes and we travelled like 8 stops every day and it only took us about 10 minutes which is brilliant.

The first day we went to the Trevi Fountain which is beautiful, I’ve seen it on tv lots of times but you really need to see it for yourself as it really is amazing and there is such detail in it. I made a wish in the fountain as well, here’s hoping it comes true. We then went and saw some more monuments like the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. We stopped for lunch at a nice bar and sat outside as it was lovely and sunny and quite hot. I had Gnocchi for the first time ever and it was so delicious and really filling too. After dinner, we walked on around Rome, we honestly walked so far this weekend, and I went to some of the vintage shops, some are really expensive but I went in one and found a beautiful bag and the lovely lady let me have a free scarf as well! We went back to the Piazza Navona and it is beautiful, we had some amazing ice cream there too, the best I’ve ever eaten, chocolate and mixed berry ice cream goes so well together. The owner of the shop, Angelo, was telling us about his ice cream for ages and as a typical English person I was sceptical but he was so right, I would love it if the ice cream here was as good as that, I need to live in Italy just for that. We also went to a nice little bar near our apartment that night where I had a few jack daniels which affected me more than it should have and while we were there they kept giving us free food, which never happens in England. Free olives, crisps, mini pizzas, biscuits, chocolate, amazing!

The second day was also my 21st birthday and I was up mega early because I’d not really slept again, I got a couple of presents from my parents and then while we were eating breakfast there was a massive thunderstorm, we thought the day was going to be really bad but luckily it wasn’t, there was another thunderstorm later in the day but we weren’t caught in that either. That day we went to the Colosseum, which is really nice, there are so many tourists and tour operators around there though it was mental. So we went for a walk round the buildings next to it which is an archaeological site and we walked all the way round the outside of it which is a long way but it took over an hour and was really nice. We ended up at some museums before going to a cafe for a sandwich. We went back to the apartment and bought a cake which was like a orange flan thing but it was really nice. For my birthday meal we went to a really nice restaurant near the Trevi Fountain, the service there was impeccable, the food was so delicious and just everything about it was so nice. We has Bruschetta for starter and I had the pesto linguine for main which was the nicest thing I have ever eaten. It really was a very brilliant birthday.

The last day was easter sunday and we went to the Spanish Steps. It was another really nice day and after we’d seen the steps and walked up them we went window shopping as we’d found all the designer boutiques, luckily most of them were shut because I would have been tempted to spend as there was some beautiful bags that I saw. I also got chased down the street by a man trying to sell me roses, he kept following me and it was actually quite scary but I ran off and luckily he didn’t follow me. We walked quite a way and then caught the train back to the Trevi Fountain to get some shopping done around there as it was a bit cheaper and we wanted to get some souvenirs. Later on we went out for food, we went at like half 5 but nothing opened until 7 and then not much opened, it was a freezing cold night and I decided to go out in a dress with no tights so I was shivering. I did get a nice pizza though before going back to the hotel to get a couple of hours sleep as we had to get up at 3am for a 6am flight from Rome to Brussels.

The flight back wasn’t too bad bar the lack of leg room, as I tweeted yesterday my flight was a bit like the Friendly Fires video for Hawaiian Air but there was no annoying child and unfortunately I didn’t end up in Hawaii but a rainy Brussels where we had 8 hours to kill in an airport. Honestly, airports get boring after 2 hours, I was so bored I just ate loads for something to do. Belgium your waffles are superb though I must admit, I could eat a lot of those. I did some duty free shopping before getting the plane home and finally getting in at about half 8 English time last night. I’m so tired right now but it has been an amazing and memorable trip, there have been some bad moments but all in all I’ve had a really good time and I would love to go back to Rome again soon.

Here are some pictures from my holiday:

Trevi Fountain.

Me at the Trevi Fountain, I honestly need to stop slouching. Also, how much do my collar bones stick out?! Disgusting.

Pantheon.

Piazza Navona.

This is where I want to live, in one of these apartments overlooking the Piazza Navona.

Me outside the Colosseum on my birthday!

Colosseum.

Trevi Fountain is so beautiful at night.

Not a brilliant picture but an orange ferrari in the centre of Rome, the closest I’m ever going to get to a ferrari.

Spanish Steps.

Prada, I got a bit snap happy with all the designer shops so I will spare you about a million photos of shop signs and just show you this one.

Lovely bags.

Gnocchi.

Best Ice Cream Ever!

Whiskey and Olives in a bar in Rome, perfection!

My birthday cake.

Pesto Linguine.

Sombero Pasta!

Sorry for the epically long winded post, I went on a bit I guess. I just had such a brilliant time, if you did read all of that though I feel like you deserve a medal or at least a cup of tea.

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