Buongiorno, ya'll! Ready to be bombarded with a zillion travel photos? Good, cos I've got a TON and I cannot wait to share them with you! Here is the first batch, along with some of what I consider to be THE most essential tips you'll ever need to get yourself around Rome.
1) If you are going to the Colosseum, don't go there first. Go across the park to the Forum and buy your ticket there. The same ticket gets you into the Forum and the Colosseum and will save you an hour in line at the Colosseum. I knew this before going to Rome, but decided not to take this advice. This was a mistake. Do not make this mistake.
2) If you are planning on wearing sandals in Rome, be prepared to spend at least 30 minutes washing your feet at the end of the day. And pumicing. That dirt just don't want to come off with soap and water. You are literally going to have to slough it off.
3) If you are going to Rome in the summer, bring a fan, a parasol and a sun hat. When I tossed my fan into my suitcase, Soldier Boy made the most ridiculous face at me and said (in one of those squeaky, I'm-pinching-my-nose voices) "You just want to look faaaaaaaaancy" (insert dramatic hand gesture). Really? I just wanted to be cool. Fancy whooshes straight out the Roman aquaduct when you've got sweat dripping down your (nonexistent) cleavage.
4) If you are going to Rome, pack your sunglasses… or possibly ski goggles. If it is sunny, you're going to need shades because the sun will bounce straight off the white marble of the Spanish Steps (which are actually called the Scalinata della Trinita dei Monti) and will fuse your eyeballs into their sockets. If it is overcast, it's probably windy, which means that the grime that's going to stick all over your sandaled feet is also going to be blowing into your eyes. Sunglasses will work, but honestly, a ski mask might be a better option.
5) If you want to go on a "Roman Holiday" tour (as in, the Audrey Hepburn movie that makes my heart sing like a little bird every time I watch it), book a tour or hire someone with VIP tourist site status to take you on said tour. And give yourself at least a day to do it. We loosely pieced together a tour of RH movie spots over the course of two days. I totally forgot about la Bocca Della Verita (which you WILL see in a later post), but we had too many other things to do and had to meet my mum for her birthday dinner, so we didn't have time to wait in the ginormous line to stick our hands into his mouth.
… and as always, when traveling… pack your sunscreen, your smile, and your patience. Just about everything was covered in scaffolding (and my dream of making a wish at the Trevi Fountain and opening my eyes to see Soldier Boy proposing didn't come true). Oh, and prep yourself for some interesting smells. I'll leave it at that!
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