Monday, April 29, 2019

Easter in Rome, Italy

WOW. This was one of my favorite trips from abroad. Not only did I spend Easter Sunday with Pope Francis, but we also did so much sightseeing and eating that we never had a dull moment. Rome is for sure one of those cities that you will always be on the go and you can never see it all in one trip! Because I had been there before, it was really cool to see most things for a second time. See my first trip to Rome here.
The Colosseum
Underground Colosseum Tour 
One of the many tours we took was The Coliseum. Funny enough we purchased tickets for the basic 25 tour and was upgraded to the underground tour, which is by far the best! While I did not have to pay for it, I would argue it is worth the money to get the full experience.
The Vatican
The Vatican is a must-do tour while in Rome. Again, we did the basic tour and it is perfect for someone who wants to know the basics and is okay with being in a very large group. If you want a more in-depth or personalized tour I highly recommend hiring a private tour. I did a private tour with my family on my last trip to Rome and highly preferred it over the large group!
Roman Ruins
The ruins are right next to The Coliseum and our upgraded underground tour came with an additional tour of the ruins. It is really interesting to see and if you are interested I would recommend it. To be honest, if I did not get it for free I would probably prefer spending my money on a bowl of pasta and glass of wine, but I am just not a huge history kind of girl (lol).
Spanish Steps
Trevi Fountain 
The Pantheon, Spanish Steps, and Trevi Fountain are all a fifteen minute or less walk from each other, so I recommend walking to each of them at once, so you can check them off your list! I would say all three are worth seeing and you cannot leave Rome without making a wish at the Trevi! 

Pope Francis in the Popemobile
Easter Mass at the Vatican
The once-in-a-lifetime experience I had on this trip was attending Easter Mass at The Vatican. To attend one of my friends wrote The Vatican requesting tickets and then received a letter back the Thursday before. After that, we had to accept the tickets at The Vatican on that Friday before Easter. We got to the actual mass several hours early and accidentally got the best seats! The seating is unassigned and so if you want to see the Pope up close and personal make sure you sit along the very center aisle that is blocked off. It should be fairly obvious and you can use the photos for reference. HIGHLY recommend going to this!!!

Pizzeria L'Archetto 
Safe to say we ate our way through Rome and I do regret one second of it!!! My older sister (shoutout Miranda) studied abroad in Rome and lived right around the corner from this pizza place. Not only is it delicious and authentic, but it is also SO inexpensive. This whole jug of wine cost us 8 ! I highly recommend you go for dinner before a night out and sit outside if you can. 
Dolce Maniera
This bakery is one of the best places to get a cannoli in Rome. It has steps leading down to it so it might be a little hard to find, but do not overlook it! They also have these adorable Pope cookies. 
Another great pizza place is Pizzarium where you order everything to-go and you can stand outside. This was our first stop after arriving in Rome and it really hit the spot. They also had spaghetti balls, which I could not pass up.
La Zanzara
This restaurant was another recommendation from my sister and for sure felt like a place that was mostly locals. It had this adorable patio, but also an indoor restaurant. It was delicious!
Pasta Imperiale 
We went to this casual restaurant on Easter after Mass. It was recommended to one of my friends as an inexpensive, casual meal. Even though it was casual it was delicious and we saw plenty of American students here. I think it is well-known for a cheap and quick pasta fix and it did the job. 
Piazza Navona
I strongly recommend staying away from restaurants in big Piazzas if you want a truly authentic, Italian meal! However, I loved sitting in Piazza Navona and people watching so I opted for an Aperol Spritz because you can't really mess that up (lol)! Getting a drink and resting your feet is an essential part of a touristy trip, so doing so in a popular Piazza is my favorite way to relax.
Lemongrass Gelato
Of course, you must get gelato while in Italy! Don't be fooled...I had way more than just this one and I tried a bunch of different places as well. Lemongrass was my personal favorite and I do not know if it is "the place" to go, but it for sure hit the spot!

Four of us staying in an Airbnb on Via Tommaso Campanella, which was right around the corner from the Vatican. The location was great and really out of the touristy area, which I liked. I would also recommend staying in Via Germanico, which is where my sister lived. 

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