We surprised ourselves by getting a great nights sleep, waking up early, getting ready and heading up to the rooftop terrace for breakfast. Everything was set out as a delicious buffet…..brimming with meats, cheeses, breads, fruit, yoghurt and danishes galore!!!! A piglet with zero self controls dream (oink oink).
Need to just tell you a little bit about our fabulous little hotel. Built in 1787 *so she’s a spring chicken* with the slowest lift in the world so we’ve decided the 4 floors are to be walked which should help with all that pasta and pizza I’m inhaling on an hourly basis. The location is perfectamundo, right in the heart of the historical area and in theory we can walk to everything so again…..forced body movement is a good thing right? (ummm no screams my aching feet lol). Room is great, floorboards instead of carpet which seems to be the Italian way. Still loving the rooftop terrace, everyone needs one of these things especially with the cute smiling waiter that makes cappuccinos each morning….
We decided to hit the streets for a bit of a wander….it was quite cold outside (#winning 8 – we love the cold) and the odd drop of rain but nothing too dramatic so we didn’t let that stop us. The cobblestoned streets are so pretty but not for the fainthearted *or the clumsy oafs of this world aka LK Clutz Kelly*. High fiving myself for leaving the heels at home. The Pantheon was just around the corner and it is such an impressive building. Quite breathtaking really. We couldn’t go in just yet because it wasn’t opening for 30 mins so we just admired it from afar but did get to see them slowly opening the huge doors which took 3 strong burly men per side. If only they had been hot Italian Stallions for my viewing pleasure instead of old tubby smelly men….sigh!!!
We then wandered a few more minutes to Piazza Navone (god I love the location of our awesome hotel) and it was just as pretty as I had read….although at that time of the morning it was missing the huge crowds so pretty delightful. All of the architecture here in Rome is beyond mouthdropping.tonguehangingout.droolworthy…..I am loving it so much.
After a bit more aimless wandering husband appeared to be yawning and fading fast and since this isn’t my first rodeo travelling with the “toddler” I suggested we go back to the hotel so he could have a nap before we headed to the Colosseum for the afternoon. He thought I was being thoughtful and kind…..ummmm no you friggin idiot….I’m dying to see the Colosseum and don’t want you to “fungul” it up lol. So I tucked the sweet prince up in bed and headed back to that awesome rooftop with the cutie cappuccino waiter/eye candy – to finish up the Day 1 blog post (see the sacrifices I make for you lovelies.
Finally His Highness was rested and we thought we would start walking towards the Colosseum slowly since we were a little unsure of distance/directions/you know the important stuff….it was actually amazingly simple and only around 20 mins walk with so much to see along the way. We saw our first bit of thievery/chasing of said thief. It was all very exciting and by the time we get home no doubt husband will have embellished the story into him chasing down the culprit and singlehandedly saving the day. But you and I will know better….lol.
Annnnyyyyyyway…we decided to grab a bite to eat. I find it so hard to choose somewhere because I don’t want it to be crap. We soon found a really quirky little place where you could get paninis or slices of pizza and you pay by the weight which is clearly an interesting system. Cranky old Italian men ran the show who I quickly fell in love with lol. And they had a bathroom and since finding somewhere to syphon the python is challenging here in Rome, I was in food/bladder heaven *note – husband keeps telling me I don’t have a python but how would he know *.
Then it was time to hit the Colosseum. There is a reason this is the thing I booked in for the first day….it’s the thing I want to see and do most of the whole trip. No I don’t have a Russell Crowe fetish – I just love history and old stuff and a falling down 2000 yr old arena of death really gets me all hot and bothered okay!!!!
TOURS – A QUICK RANT – If this is your first time following along on one of my trips you may not know how I feel about tours…..
I FREAKING LOVE THEM!!!!!
But only the right ones – the kick arse heavily reviewed ones – insanely great ones!!!! The ones that engage you and bring history alive (piss off, I know I am on the cusp of history wanker speak lol) with facts mixed in with details with funny little stories…..and the tour guide…..well that person becomes my new super hero for the duration of the tour. A good tour guide usually makes me all flushed and giggly. A REALLY GOOD TOUR GUIDE gives me heart palpations and that after sex glow …. and man or woman – if they are smart, funny and give great ‘TOUR’ I want to immediately throw out my birth control and have their *historical* babies. I prefer a private tour almost always however budget and good reviews of companies don’t always align on that one (aka husband needs to earn more money to keep his Queen in the tour style she prefers) so I am happy to whore myself about to small guided tours, small bus tours and even on occasion will sell my soul to the “TRAVEL DEVIL” and do a large bus tour *left eye starts to twitch*. You fraking can’t go and see old historical stuff on your own – same goes for art and museums to be honest. You don’t know what the fantale you are looking at and you completely miss all the goodness there is to know. Great tour guides are worth their weight in Tim Tams my friends and I never leave home without a legendary one (well I try not to…..sometimes I stumble and fall but more on that in Day 2’s post hahaha). If you take nothing away from my blog of any sort of sense and sensibility, this is the thing…..tours and good tour guides are the bomb-diggity and are to be treated like the god’s they are. I also like to stay close to the guide in a tour, sit near the front of the bus and if I don’t walk away feeling like I’ve made a new friend you may see me let out a wail and some tears of desperation. It’s a mental illness for sure…..I believe it’s called “that one really annoying tourist who invaded my personal space” and “Mrs. Kelly, here is a restraining order taken out by Tour Guide 2035”. You can only imagine the choice words husband has to share on this subject hahahaha.
~ RANT OVER ~
Okay back to The Colosseum…..stop the world….my first view of this 2000 yr old Buxom Beauty was the stuff dreams and lotto wins are made of. In fact, I’m not really bloody sure how I kept breathing at this point. She’s a beauty alright, even though half her walls are gone and she’s a little old and wrinkly in places….i still think she’s beautiful. I had carefully researched the tour company for this one with the same intensity that a Beverly Hills first time mumma researches her Versace baby bag. I was all over it and was happy with my choice. Reviews were great and there was one particular guide who seemed to be the ducks nuts so I had fingers and toes crossed he was the star maker on the day. Truly I must have been kissed on the butt by an angel or something because woot woot/doing the sprinkler and the running man/happy dance — the tour guide was the much coveted Niccolo (#winning 9). He is a historian and was a professor at a university in Rome and specialises in Roman history and especially the Colosseum. Sounds snooze worthy when I write it like that but I had read enough reviews to know this was going to be a special afternoon and boy.o.boy was I right. He was just so engaging, not a loud, arm flailing belly laughing kind of man but an intelligent quietly humorous and passionate tour guide who clearly loves and wants to date the Colosseum even more than I do. Nic has actually written some random book that only sold 3 copies probably about the 121 mistakes in the Gladiator movie. So I liked that he was serious about his history but made it relevant to things we know today. There were only 6 of us on the tour which was perfect. We had to wear little ear pieces which I was a bit thing about because it didn’t seem necessary when we were so few but actually it allowed me to hang back a bit at times to take more photos (I think I took hundreds lol).
Here’s the next thing I love about tours. It may have escaped your notice but I am quite in love with special treatment and awesomeness. I love unexpected attention, jumping lines, seeing and doing special things that not everyone gets to do, feeling like I am having a unique “lisa is so vag-azzling awesome” experience. I’d rather get all that for free but since we’ve established I’m not famous – I on occasion have to pay for the privilege of awesome. This tour was going to allow us to A. skip the line, B. go underground at the Colosseum and C. go out onto the “stage/arena” where the gladiators used to fight.
Skip the line – I have to say I think basically most people in the world are mother chuffing stupid in many ways. I mean really why would anyone rock up to such a spectacularly iconic site and not have pre-purchased tickets. It boggles my incredibly sexy mind. March isn’t peak season but still…….the lines were absolutely insane. I can’t imagine what they are like in July in the heat, truly I can’t. We got to just glide by everyone and you soooo know I was doing the John Travolta “you can tell by the way I use my walk…..” strut from Saturday Night Fever sans white suit obvs. I may have also poked my tongue out at a few of the thousand obnoxious teens in the line too (or flipped them the bird *can’t quite recall*).
Nic brought the whole Colosseum and its incredible history alive for us. He explained how the gladiators and animals fighting was just like a broadway show with all the theatrics and behind the scenes stuff. It was actually fascinating. We got to go underground which is what he liked to call “backstage behind the curtain” and it was amazing.
But by far the best most Holy Mother of Pearl moment was when we got to walk out on the “stage” of the Colosseum where the gladiators used to fight. They only allow 25 people out there at a time and you need a “golden ticket” ( you so know I was Veruca Salt). I swear to Godzilla I could hear the crowd roar like in the old days…..it was probably just my fans in the crowd I guess. The venue is incredible and filled with some pretty sordid history and facts. Over 1 million animals were killed there and approx. 500,000 humans. I didn’t realise but Amazon women fought there as well as Gladiators, and also lions and tigers and bears (oh my…..cmon you know you said it). I couldn’t even begin to relay 1% of what we learned this day but husband and I freaking loved every minute of it. So many crazy facts and interesting stories, I wish you all could’ve been there. I can tell you however that the words Nepotism, Fornication and Venereal Disease come from here and apparently one of the emperors liked to watch Amazon’s and drawfs fight to the death…….so there’s that and you are welcome (always trying to help you learn new things lol)!!!!! We also visited the Forum, Palantine Hill and Circus Maximus. (you’ll have to google if you want to know more, I’m no bloody tour guide haha).
I kinda wanted to hug Nic at the end of the tour but as I’ve mentioned previous restraining orders have taught me to say no to the tour guide grope. Instead I just gush and hehehe like a school girl and say thanks a lot. It’s not quite the same but it will have to do.
Tour company was www.realrometours.com, check out their Trip Advisor reviews if you are going to Rome anytime soon. Hands down one of the best tours ever and one of the best Tour Guides we’ve encountered. I was still in a hyper state hours afterwards I can promise you that.
Well all that talk of death, hot men in skirts, falling down buildings and dwarfs left us parched so we decided a cool drinkie was in order. When in Rome do as the Roman’s do I always say so when HIMSELF suggested having a pint of Guinness at the Irish Pub a few blocks from our hotel who was I to say no. it’s all about smiles on faces after all. Two pints each later, and all the problems of the world solved (well actually we talked about Marist U14 AFL stuff lol) we wandered back to our hotel to freshen up to go out for dinner. We were pretty stuffed to be honest but we hit up a nearby Pizza/Pasta place for a quick bite before bed. It was nice and fairly yummy but not the best meal we will have on the trip I dare say. I’d give it a 6/10 rating so that’s not too bad.
Okay so who knew that Pinocchio was so huge in Italy but appaz he is god-like status…
Well that was our first full day in Rome. Hope you enjoyed following along
Highlights – Colosseum, Nic the tour guide, relaxing laughs at Irish Pub
Lowlights – selfie stick sellers at the Colosseum….arghhhhhh
Weather – High 13/Low 6
PLEASE NOTE – None of the images I am sharing have been edited in any way. I haven’t brought editing software withe me and quite frankly I can’t be stuffed so just imagine everything better and brighter ok xo
Love your blog Lisa!! I can’t wait to go there in July. Looks fabulous.