Italy Vacation – Day 1: Rome – 9.9.13
September 27, 2013 | Travel Photography
My wife Kristen and I decided our next big vacation after London was going to be Italy. We wanted to at least visit Rome, Venice and Florence and we managed to see everything we wanted to see in 2 weeks (for the most part). You can’t fit everything in the trip but gives you an excuse to go back. We never took 2 weeks for a vacation before so it was interesting to say the least. But it was a fantastic time with excellent weather, food and lots of walking.
The way our trip was going to be was 3 days in Rome, take a train up to Venice for 3 days or so. Then take a train from Venice to Florence for 5 days and then train it back to Rome for one final day. The flight over was okay in that we didn’t crash but man, I needed to get some sleep and barely got any. Kristen and I were the very last row, stuck by the flight attendants who didn’t shut up the entire flight. So trying to sleep next to that and some big guy in the middle section reading a crumbling newspaper, eating everything he had in his bag and just making noise made for a unpleasant flight in that aspect. But hey, watched a movie and we were heading to Italy so everything wasn’t so bad…just would have liked to have gotten some sleep.
The customs at Italy was so relax they didn’t even stamp our passports or even bother to look at them haha. Got a car service from Romeshuttlelimousine.com, which was fine and cheaper than other car services. You can take a train in but I just didn’t want to deal with that crap and taxis are more money to go into Central Rome. Our hotel was Navona Luxury Suites, literally right around the corner Piazza Navona. Like most cases when we arrive early and are extremely jet-lagged, our room wasn’t ready until 2pm so we had several hours to kill time.
We walked around the Piazza and just started to get accustomed with the area. We headed to the Pantheon, which was awesome to see on the outside (and inside). It’s free so you can just stroll in and gaze up at the dome and other stuff inside. We grabbed some cappuccino to jumpstart the day and give us a push since we were so tired. I don’t drink coffee but in this case, I said screw it and had a cup. I think it helped out but after 3 days of drinking that I stopped because it was making my heart race. Besides, I just don’t like the taste of it but I wanted to try at least.
After that, we wandered over to the shopping street Del Corso and walked over to the Spanish Steps. There wasn’t too many people there but it was certainly crowded for the annoying merchants to be out and trying to hand you flowers, stupid squeaky toys and offering to take a picture of you. You encounter these people in every city but they were extremely aggressive in Italy, to the point I almost got in a fight with one. When they continue to annoy you when you say “go away” or “no” or even “fuck off,” then it becomes a problem and I want to slug these cretins. I have more respect of a pile of shit than these people. The Spanish Steps are nice, but like with most things in Italy, just way too many people there. It is a nice spot to sit down for a few minutes from all the walking, though you’re just subject to harassment then.
We headed down to the “Wedding Cake Building” and made our way back towards our hotel but below that in the Fiori area. There’s a few places to grab some food in that area and we had some caprese pizza and suppli. Delicious! One thing was certain on this trip, we were going to eat well! We headed back to our hotel to rest up and then we went back out later for dinner. Dinner is late in Italy, at least starting at 7pm so that took some getting used to. I’m used to eating dinner at 530-6pm. We found a place near the Pantheon and I got the Cacio e Pepe, which you just can’t go wrong having that. The portion size was big so I was happy.
It was beautiful night, and we weren’t too tired so we managed to squeeze in one more thing on our list and saw the Trevi Fountain. You can’t visit Rome without coming here, even if it’s absolutely packed with tourists, locals, and the people I ranted about earlier. People come up asking to take your photo but I wouldn’t advise it unless you know they are a tourist. It’s usually people trying to get money out of you. Key is just another couple, and return the favor. The fountain itself was impressive and a beautiful sight to see, especially at night! We finished the night off with some gelato, the one of many on this trip.
It was a great first day in Rome and I’m surprised we did as much as we did on the first day.
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Tags: Italy, Nikon D800, Piazza Navona, Rome, Spanish Steps, The Pantheon, travel photography, Trevi Fountain