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Prime Day 2019

All the things I love from Amazon as well as the things I’m buying today that I don’t have yet. Get all of your electronics, people. The deals won’t even be this good on black Friday. Alexa’s for EVERYONE. These are all things I either have or I am definitely buying today. Come back and check today and tomorrow as I’ll be updating as I go!

Lifestyle Travel

Italian Tour: Florence Edition

I really can’t believe that I have not shared about Florence yet. *Shoutout to Anna Simpson for making me finish this!* Florence was NO DOUBT my favorite place we visited. Maybe because it was pretty Americanized? Not sure. But, there was a school nearby, a lot of people spoke English and everything was absolutely beautiful! If I could have, I would have stayed in this city for years. It was THAT great. Anyway, read along to see what we did, where we ate and the beautiful views we got to see.

We left from Venice Monday morning and arrived in Florence midday. We knew the Airbnb was about 1 mile away and we had planned on getting a taxi. Well, jokes on us. Apparently, taxi drivers go on strike all the time in Europe (Who knew? Not us!) and they weren’t driving that day. Okay, cool. So, we had to walk a mile with all our luggage on these cobblestone roads with just a slight idea of where we were going. Basically, DON’T count on taxis in these Italian countries because they decide when they want to work. But, Hannah and I had a good attitude and the walk really wasn’t that bad! This is another reason that people say to pack LIGHT when going to Europe.

We get to our CUTE Airbnb, hauled our luggage up the stairs and walked into the best smelling place ever haha (weird thing to say, but seriously, Hannah was obsessed with the smell of this little flat!). This was right in the heart of Florence. It was clean, a good size, two bathrooms, fast wifi, all the works. DEFINITELY, recommend staying here if you’re in Florence!

Now, I am just going to share some pics, then listed below are things to see, do, buy, eat, etc. written out in an organized way! We got soooo many recommendations for things in Florence, so this is a long post.

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There are a lot of things going on below. My reco is to download offline maps (on google maps or download Maps.Me) and drop pins on the places you want to visit. Beware, offline maps will drain your battery so have a backup haha.

TO SEE:

  • Best views of the city
    • Excelsior Westin – walk in, go up the elevator all the way to the top. It’s insanely beautiful.
    • Michelangelo – the hike up there is no joke haha so you CAN take a taxi up, but we chose to walk. When we got up there, we snapped some pics, bought a cheap bottle of wine, popped it open and drank it while the sun went down.
    • Fiesoli – we didn’t make it here but the photos are amazing, so let me live vicariously through you. Everyone recommends taking the bus to this around cocktail hour.
  • Lookalike statues of David all over the city – you really can’t miss them
  • The famous Razorback!!!!! Lol okay maybe that isn’t the official name but Fayetteville has one and so does Florence, so we’re basically the same….right?
  • As many churches as possible. The architecture is insanely beautiful and worth going inside.
  • Ponte Vecchio – this would be a beautiful place to see early one morning when the city is still sleeping. 50125 Firenze FI, Italy

TO DO:

  • Uffizi Gallery – Piazzale degli Uffizi, 6, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Duomo – climb the nearly 500 stairs to the top if you dare! Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
  • Boboli Gardens – we just wandered around aimlessly here for a while taking cool pics and laughing at dumb things haha but a lot of people will get takeaway pizza or panini, grab a bottle of wine and picnic for a little bit.
  • Mercato Centrale – go here and buy high quality leather goods. We each got a beautiful leather jacket from Mossimo’s Leather (Borgo La Noce 13/R) where the people were SO nice. Then I got a messenger bag (for my laptop that I have carried every single day since Florence) and Hannah got a duffle from another store called A.D. Firenze. Make sure and try to bargain the price with them, they will almost always come down a little!
  • Explore Cascine Park on the banks of the Arno (west Florence). It’s a great escape from the city.
  • If we had had time, we really wanted to take a Vespa Tour of Tuscany and all the small surrounding areas.
  • Also if you have time, try to do a cooking class somewhere in the city. Everyone says they are amazing and worth every penny!
  • Make sure to go to aperitivos (Italian happy hours). They have them everywhere and you get free food when you buy a drink.
  • My best advice for Florence is just to walk all over the city, day and night, cover as much as you can and you won’t regret it. Get lost and happen upon beautiful churches and cool scenes.

BARS:

  • Kikuya Pub – English pub right by S. Croce with a really strong beer called the Dragoon. You have to try it! (Via de’ Benci, 43/r)
  • Lion’s Fountain – Irish pub and awesome bar for young people (Borgo degli Albizi 34/R)
  • Red Garter – another great bar by Santa Croce. They do beer pong tournaments on certain nights and karoake. Honestly felt like we were back in the states here (Via de’ Benci, 33)
  • Flo Night Club – this was closed when we were there in February because it’s outdoors, but if you’re there when it’s open, it’s apparently not to be missed!

TO EAT:

  • La Giostra – get ready to have the BEST meal of your life. The pear ravioli was recommended and while it sounds weird and gross, it’s a MUST. Make reservations, though. Which you can do online really easily.
  • Yellow Bar – we had pizza here our first day and it was really good! They also have an amazing piano player on Monday nights, I believe. Via del Proconsolo, 39r, Florence, 50122
  • Trattoria Za-Za’s – located in Piazza del Mercato Centrale (great location). If you’re into cooking, their cook book is apparently amazing! Piazza del Mercato Centrale, 26/r, Firenze
  • Gusta Pizza – near the Biboli gardens. And if you request the pizza in a specific shape (like a heart) they will make it happen!

TO BUY:

  • Leather – Florence is known for their high-quality hand made leather goods. Worth the splurge for sure.
  • Ceramics – there is a place that was recommended, but we didn’t have time, and it was right outside of Siena (you’d need a cab). Apparently, there were handmade beautiful ceramic pieces here for next to nothing. You should call in advance if you are planning on going. Ceramiche Bibi is the name of the company. The artist’s name is Sabina Pagliai. Located at: Strada della Tressa, 1  –  53100 Siena- Italy.
  • Shop for food in the open markets and try to speak italian with the vendors
  • Shop around San Lorenzo market – such a cool area

More reco from people that we didn’t get to experience but I want to keep it all in one place and share it with you!

  • Great ice cream places: vivoli and another place called perque no near the American Express office
  • *Trattoria Sostanza-Troia s.a.s. (I would try and make a dinner reservation here) “This place is amazing but only takes cash. Try the Chicken dish..loads of butter but it’s unbelievable…also try the egg dish with the carcioffi/artichoke…really really good…..if they have the meringue desert with the tiny strawberries that is also really good….I wouldn’t miss out on this restaurant! It’s very authentic..may be hard to get into but worth waiting….They take reservations so I’d suggest doing that.  Address: Via del porcellana, 25 r Telephone 055212691”
  • Garga–  a great restaurant on a side street not too far from the Arno and the chef is a character. Innovative cuisine and very good. Address: Via del Moro, 48/r
  • *Buca Lapi  Via del Trebbio, 1r, Florence, 50123 Italy
    UNBELIEVABLE STEAK!!!! I’d suggest going here for dinner but having a glass of wine before at Cantinenta Antinori
  • Il Pizzaiuolo–“the best pizza place in the city hands down!” (street number 70). (Via de’ Macci 113/r, Firenze)
  • Ristorante Buca Mario–“a little pricey, but worth it”. In the heart of Florence, a few blocks west of Piazza della Repubblica. (Piazza degli Ottaviani, 16-red, Firenze)
  • Mr. Pizza–best take-away pizza place by far, and also near my apartment. Near the bar district (Santa Croce) and open until 4 or 5 am. (via Peitrapiana 82/r)
  • Teatro del Sale–dinner and show, runs you around 35 euro. Great opportunity to try a few native Florentine dishes (Via dei Macci, 111/r)
Spring Outfits Summer Outfits Travel

Beach Trip Outfit Roundup

As most of you saw on my Instagram, I was able to go to the beach for a weekend earlier this month. My friend’s family has a sweet condo in Seacrest Beach right down from Seaside, where I had never been before. She invited me to come along and of course, I said yes. The drive kind of sucked (thankful for Up & Vanished podcast), but the sunshine, amazing condo, white sand beaches, delicious food and beautiful views was well worth it. I added several photos to my Instagram from our trip, but wanted to do a full roundup of outfits and things here so it will all be in one place!

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[/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]OUTFIT DETAILS: Peplum Top | Black hi-rise jeans | Platform Wedges (similar here and here)

OUTFIT DETAILS: Stripe Tank | Distressed Denim Shorts (similar here and here) | Sandals | Sunglasses

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OUTFIT DETAILS: Gray Cardigan | White Tank | Distressed Denim Shorts | Similar booties here and here
I could not get my pose or outfit or background to work for most of these photos, so I apologize for looking so incredibly awkward!

OUTFIT DETAILS: Weekend Hat | Gray v-neck tee – this is my go to shirt. I have it in 3 colors and just ordered two more white ones because they’re that awesome. Highly recommend!

OUTFIT DETAILS: High rise swim bottoms | Flowy White Top | Sunglasses
See more swim details and where to find cute suits in this post!

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OUTFIT DETAILS: Romper is from Target last summer but similar options here, here and here | Platform Wedges | Crossbody Bag

Extra Pics From the Beach

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Lifestyle Travel

Italian Tour: Venice Edition

Venezia! Venezia!

First of all, what you have heard about the views in Venice is absolutely true. They are impeccable.

We arrived in Venice mid-day on a Sunday after taking the train from Rome. It was only like a 2.5-hour train ride which wasn’t bad at all!

Arriving in Venice, we knew that the AirBnB was walking distance and we had the address. What we didn’t know (aka I didn’t pay attention to my messages and emails from the host) was that Google Maps doesn’t have the city perfectly mapped because there are so many tiny little walkways. So we walked to where we thought it was and it definitely was not it. Eventually, we had to post up at Burger King with wifi and contact the host to ask her to come find us. She did, she was very nice and understanding.

There were SO MANY PEOPLE in Venice because of Carnivale. We knew it was going to Carnivale when we were there but we just didn’t know the extent of it. Basically, it’s a 2 week long Halloween and everyone dresses up (some of these costumes were SO ELABORATE) and celebrates. Once we finally got to our Airbnb (this one we had to stay in a private room rather than our own place because, with Carnivale, the prices were so high or already booked) and got settled, we went and got some pizza and decided to go explore the city.

Exploring Venice

From one end of the island to the other, it is only (at most) about a 45-minute walk. So the island is not very big. And there are 3 main bridges across the main canal. There are also water taxis, gondolas and those boats from The Italian Job (lol) to help get you from point A to point B. We hopped on the water taxi to take us to San Marco Square where there is shopping, food, beautiful views, culture and Carnivale celebrations.

It was actually pretty cold in Venice, so you can see that we are bundled up in most of the photos to stay warm. But it wasn’t unbearably cold, so that was good news. But LOL at Hannah in this first pic on the water taxi. She was a tad bit cold.

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First Night in Venice!

We went to dinner at Ristorante Al Bacco Felice which was really close to where we were staying. Of course, we had wine and then limoncello for free…gross every time. After this, we wanted to go to a bar somewhere to drink and hang out, so we walked to a bar called Chet Bar. The whole trip, we carried around a deck of cards with us so when we were at places like this, knew no one and had nothing new to talk about we could play games. Also, this would attract new friends!

So, after a few games, two guys started playing gin rummy with us and they were really cool and funny. One could speak fluent English but the other one could not speak ANY English. Tbh, I thought they were dating the whole time. We were all drinking, carrying on and having a good time. Then they suggested that we go to a bar near the Rialto bridge and we headed that way. This was when I finally (like 2 hours after meeting them) realized they were not dating. We take a 15-minute walk to the new bar and this is when I realized it was really late at night, we did not know these guys and we had been drinking quite a bit. I grabbed Hannah and said let’s head home!

Below you will see how far we were from our house. It should have been a 17-minute walk.

But, if you have ever been to Venice, you know that the alleys they call streets are not very easy to navigate. There are not city blocks, and there is water everywhere. So you may think you are going the right way, but you come to the end of the street and it’s water with no bridge.

We. Got. So. Lost.

You guys, Hannah and I were lost as hell for almost 3 hours in the middle of the night, alone and pretty tipsy. I am laughing because looking back it is kind of funny. But in the moment (about 1.5 hours in when we realized we were lost), it was less than fun. We had our phones, but could not put in “directions to get home” because we had no signal or wifi. So we knew generally where our place was but we were really just kind of saying “okay let’s go straight here, take a left, go right, left, etc” and hoping we were going in the right direction.

Long story short, we did not die this night. We did walk about 5 miles trying to get home in the dark, where creepy people were lurking and cleaning up the city at night, homeless people were mingling and we had no phone service and NO IDEA HOW TO GET WHERE WE WERE GOING. I mean we were LOST, y’all. So, my tip to you if you ever go to Europe. Download offline maps (this was something we learned the NEXT day) and you don’t need to have phone service to get actual real life directions in the moment.

For perspective, you can’t see a skyline or really any landmarks when you are in the thick of the city. So imagine being lost in a really tall corn maze at night with no cell phone service or ability to give up and walk through the walls.

Day 2 in Venice

We slept in the next day (which we had already planned on doing) until about noon and took it REALLY easy. Walked very slow, ate gelato from SuSo Gelato twice in one day, stopped for coffee about 12 times and reminisced on getting lost AF the night before. We were low key mad at Venice for sucking us up into its maze. You would have been too.

LOL this was us trying to take jumping pics. Look at the sheer excitement. *Internal thoughts: yaaaaayyyy Venice, ouch our legs and feet, why did we just jump in the air??*

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This was a pretty intense costume, but just imagine this EVERYWHERE! It was insane. But also, super cool at how into it all these people got.

This is the Bridge of Sighs. They call it this because this was the last thing the prisoners saw before they were taken to the deep dark dungeons (or something like that).

We never did a gondola ride. No real reason, we just didn’t really want to that bad, so didn’t make time for it. But, all of the gondola boats were super boujee! Also, I REALLY wanted to take a ride on an “The Italian Job” boat, but they were WAY too expensive….like more than a YOLO expense. BUT LOL at the background of this pic where the gondola dude looks like he is about to go for a swim!

Finally, the sun setting in Venice on our last night. it was definitely beautiful. Would I go back? I think I would. But it would need to be a bit warmer and probably not right in the middle of Carnivale. Although that did offer a LOT of good people watching.

For those of you who have visited Venice, what was your favorite parts?

Lifestyle Travel

Italian Tour: Rome Edition Part 2

I’m back again with more about our trip to Rome! The second half of our time in Rome, we went to The Vatican and Sistine Chapel, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps and The Orange Garden. We actually ended up getting half a day back in Rome that we thought we wouldn’t have. I’ll share that story below. But we are super glad we got to do that because this day was a ton of fun and we loved The Orange Garden! Note: this post is really long!

The Vatican & Sistine Chapel

First, The Vatican and the Sistine Chapel. Honestly the coolest thing ever. We did an audio tour without a guide and they gave us a phone looking thing and we could explore at our own pace. There were little numbers by each piece of artwork or statue and we could enter those numbers to learn about what we were looking at and skip over the ones we didn’t much care about.

We spent so much time slowly walking through The Vatican. We were blown away by the ceilings in every room. The detail was amazing and by the end of the day, our necks were killing us from looking up all day!

Another room we were super interested in was this hallway of tapestries. These HUGE tapestries that were drawn out on cardboard, hand sewn and dyed and made to be a lifesize depiction of the scene. There was no flash photography in this hallway so I couldn’t get good pics, but it was SO COOL. They were set up in order and told a story. So we could listen to the audio tour tell us the story as we were looking at the tapestries and walking down the hall.

Finally, the Sistine Chapel. The audio tour was absolutely perfect for this part because you can’t talk. So if you have a guide, they can’t talk to you to explain what everything is in here. In all, I bet we spent almost an hour in here alone. Looking at each and every detail on the walls, ceiling, floor, etc. And again, the audio guide would tell us “look at the south fresco where Christ is sitting next to the Virgin Mary…” and explain what we were looking at all over the chapel. I could talk and talk about this but this was an article I read before we went so I would know some fun facts and it is pretty interesting!

Tips to help you have a great experience at The Vatican and Sistine Chapel

  • It wasn’t super packed, but we were glad we bought the tickets online before so we could skip the line out front. Definitely saved us some time!
  • We did an audio tour which was a great idea! But if you are going to do this, be sure to bring your own ear buds. Everyone else knew this except us haha.
  • Of course, dress comfortably. There is a LOT of walking. We actually took a few breaks and sat down to rest or stopped and got coffee. But also remember that if it is warm outside, you have to have your knees and shoulders covered.
  • If you are there during the busy seasons on a Friday, try to do the whole tour late that evening because no one will be there. A friend from work said he and his wife did this when they were there in September and basically had the whole place to themselves. They were able to walk around the Sistine Chapel, sit on the benches and just take it all in. Unfortunately, these times weren’t available when we were there because it wasn’t a busy season.
  • Eat before you go! We thought we had to be there right on time and we were running late so didn’t eat or get coffee. Once we realized it was okay we were a little late, we stopped at the vending machine and grabbed a snack….then stopped again for coffee and a croissant LOL.
  • Don’t eat inside of Vatican City unless you know somewhere that isn’t a tourist trap. It will be super overpriced and you can walk not very far back to Rome and eat somewhere great. In fact, we walked about 10 minutes because we were STARVING to death and stumbled upon this place. We were sat next to some girls from America studying abroad in Paris and they were the first Americans we had met. The walls of this restaurant were covered in napkins with messages from people all over the world, which was really cool! Plus the food was great!

Me being a total tourist with my audio thing around my neck

This was in the Sistine Chapel. Yes, I realize I was not supposed to take pics, but other people were doing it and I just HAD to.

Hercules in gold looking like a boss

I am pretty confident that this one and the one below was taken in the “Room of the Signature”

Piazza Navona

We really just walked through here to see it and say we saw it. There were people playing music, selling items and it was really beautiful but in all honesty, we needed to make it to The Spanish Steps before sunset. Basically, on a mission.

The Spanish Steps

Funny story. Well, funny to us at least. Hannah thought that we had stumbled upon the Spanish steps on our first day and we were both incredibly underwhelmed. I thought “wow, no one was there and I did not see the bar I was told to visit!”. Of course, we were nowhere near the right place. So this time, we made a point to go the right place! We were almost there but got V distracted by all the shopping and had to make some pit stops along the way. Eventually, we made it to the steps which were pretty crowded. But we knew we had to climb them. Can I just tell you that by this point we had walked 10+ miles today and our legs were killing us? But…… when in Rome!

We climbed the 136 steps and went right to the bar we were told to go to and watch the sunset. You can see the view below, but it was obviously insanely beautiful and worth the climb up those stairs. Plus the wine didn’t hurt after walking all day!

This is me trying to take candid shots of Hannah and really it’s just us laughing way too loud and trying to get it together

The Naples Fail

Feel free to skip this section if you don’t want to read a story.

For those of you who didn’t get ALL my snapchats the morning that we tried to go to Naples, this story is for you. Mom and Dad, you were among those that did not get the snaps because you probably wouldn’t have been too thrilled.

So, our plan was to do a day trip to Naples, see the coast, eat some good food and mainly just see another city in Italy. We had bought our train tickets in advance and it left about 8:30 am Friday morning. This was our first train ride and we did just fine, which was a relief. Also, the ride was only about an hour long and I slept like a champ the whole way.

When we got there, we got off the train and walked outside to the straight up ghetto. In true Hannah and Shelby fashion, we didn’t much have a plan and didn’t look at a map. Our plan was to “just figure it out” which had worked really well for us so far. Until now.

We walk outside and just kind of start walking. Knowing we needed coffee, a bathroom and some wifi, we found a hotel restaurant where we got the coffee and bathroom. But NO ONE could speak English or even semi-English. So we are asking for wifi and they were confused, then we were asking how to get to the coast and they were confused. One guy finally told us we basically needed to take the bus down there and to go do that. So we headed back to the train station to try and figure it out.

Here is where things start to go really south….

When we get back there, we are standing there looking like typical lost and confused Americans. These two men walk up and they could speak English and seemed harmless, but then we quickly realized they may want to low-key kill us. We walked away from them 3 times trying to tell them to leave us alone and they wouldn’t. So we decided that if we left the train station at this point, they would follow us and probably kill us or at leas steal us.

We bought our train ticket back to Rome in advance and it didn’t leave until 7 pm that night. Right now it is about 10:40 am. We try to ask them to change the ticket we already had to a different time but that was a fail. So we were just going to buy a new one (45 Euros each but, I mean, whatever at this point) back to Rome that was leaving in about 15 minutes.

Of course, the machine to buy a ticket was hard to use (it just wasn’t working right and taking forever). This nice guy was helping us, but we thought the train was leaving from platform 6 (but the guy helping us bought the tickets in a diff language…of course so we didn’t know for sure). And the train was scheduled to leave in about 3 minutes now. We SPRINTED to platform 6, hop on the train, we are asking people “is this the right train? is this the right train???” and no one is helping us. Long story short, it was NOT the right train. It was headed to Rome but very slowly.

So we missed our train. Now we go BACK to the ticket area. After a few eye rolls, dirty looks and overall rudeness, someone changed our tickets to a train that was leaving in 30 min. We killed some time in the train station, got on the train headed to Rome, played cards and listened to music on the way back and were so thankful to be back in Rome on familiar soil.

I can honestly say that this was one of only 2 times during our whole trip when our motto, “we will figure it out” didn’t actually work out as we hoped. You will hear the other story when I share about Venice!

Thanks for not killing us, Naples, but I don’t think I will be visiting again.

The Orange Garden

Thankful we had an extra day in Rome to experience this! This wasn’t on a lot of the lists of must do things in Rome and I don’t know why! The views were amazing and the secret keyhole view was so cool.

The keyhole is in this big green door outside of the main garden. Looked it up and it’s called Villa del Priorato di Malta. If you walk out of the main entrance and just keep walking straight down that road, you will run into it. There was a line when we were there as well as a little food truck with snacks and drinks. On the other side of this door, there is a long tunnel/aisle of ivy with a bench at the end overlooking Rome. The door stays closed, BUT if you look through the keyhole, it is a straight shot view of St. Peter’s Basilica! No one knows if that was done on purpose (a million years ago) or if it just happened this way. Either way, it was worth the wait in line to see this and get a few photos.

Last Night in Rome

I mentioned in my last post that we went to this same dinner spot 2 separate nights because it was fantastic. This night was the other night we went. We walked in and they recognized us! Told us there was a short wait but brought us free champagne (sweet guys) outside. We decided that we wanted to split the courses and go all out. Order an appetizer, first course, second course and dessert tonight. So we did. Also….wine. We ordered the artichoke, which is a must in Italy! Then we got some kind of pasta and a rack of lamb (ribs?). Quickly realized we were still hungry and proceeded to order another course of pasta haha. Then we each ordered our own dessert! We definitely recommend this place if you are in Trastevere!

Thanks again, Rome! You were everything we wanted and more. Hoping to come back to visit again very soon! Ciao ciao ciao ciao ciao!

Lifestyle Travel

Italian Tour: Rome Edition Part 1

Hi, everyone! As most of you probably know, I just got back from being in Europe for almost two weeks. It was beyond amazing and I am ready to go back right this minute. We went to Rome, Venice, Florence and Madrid while we were over there and I can honestly say I had the time of my life. So, since we did so much, I am going to break up these posts so it won’t be the longest post of my entire life haha. We spent the most time in Rome, so I will have to do two Rome posts!

We started in Rome! And all I can say is WOW. We are obsessed. A lot of people said it’s like the NYC of Italy, but I don’t think so. It’s wayyyy better. We decided to do AirBnB for the whole time in Europe and it was perfect. In Rome, we stayed at this place in Trastevere. It was plenty big, in a safe place and right above a big green neon sign for the coffee shop/cafe so we were able to find it really easily when walking home. Which was nice because no cell phone service to help us navigate haha.

Roman Forum

Our favorite thing in Rome was the Roman Forum. We got there pretty early one morning and basically, no one was there. It was a crystal clear day and just absolutely beautiful. Yes, these are just super old ruins from forever ago, but the stories and the history was so amazing. Like I mentioned above, the weather was perfect for visiting the Forum. Honestly, cannot imagine going when it’s blazing hot, I would have been done in about 5 minutes. We even climbed way up to the top so we could see everything and just stayed up and there for a while taking it all in. And catching our breath from the thousands of stairs. Haha. Below are a few pics so you can get an idea of what it was like!

Santa Maria Antiqua

Our very favorite thing in the forum was the Santa Maria Antiqua church. It looked as though it was being restored so we cautiously walked in and I am so glad we did. The church was built in the 5th century and contained unique paintings from the 6th to late 8th century before it was abandoned in the 9th century after an earthquake. Because it’s basically older than dirt, they had light shows in each room that would outline the drawings for you and show you what you were looking at. Hannah and I stayed here for at least an hour in complete awe barely even speaking because it was so cool. I definitely recommend going and reading about it

I definitely recommend going and reading about it here. (Wikipedia seems like a good source for this). Also, I managed to forget my camera the morning we went to the Forum (so upset that we walked all the way home between the forum and Colosseum to go get it haha) so I only had my phone, but still got a few good photos. This first photo is what I am talking about when I say that the projector would outline the very old drawings on the wall and explain to you what you were looking at.

Colosseum

After the forum in the morning, we did the Colosseum that afternoon. I read somewhere that lines to get in the Colosseum can be 2+ hours long sometimes which is absolutely crazy talk. Thankfully that was not the case for us and we got in in about 5 minutes. After walking around on the middle floor, we wanted to climb to the top floor. Let it just be known that the Roman’s must have had long legs and tiny feet because the steps were about 2 feet high and there was maybe 8 inches for you to step. We laughed our whole way up these, then died at the top because out of breath (again) haha.

The views from the top floor were obviously insane! And we read that the Pope still holds a Good Friday procession at the Colosseum. Cool, huh? Also, the silly photos of each of us are exactly how adult we were the entire time we were in Europe 😂

Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Altare della Patria

We landed in Rome around noon their time, made it to the AirBnB and knew we had to beat jet lag. So we went downstairs, chugged some coffee and started walking toward the Pantheon. Hannah kept calling it the Panthenon and legit thought that is what it was called 😂. She would say “yeah, it kind of sounds like ‘pants are on'”. That was definitely a theme in Rome haha. So here are some photos from the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain (which we threw one coin into which means you will return to Rome someday…we didn’t know at the time that two coins in the fountain meant you’d find love soon….we honestly should have gone back! Lol)

Before I finish part 1 of the Rome tour, I wanted to be sure and give a BIG shout out toEmmanuel. We called this Emmanuel because we couldn’t pronounce/remember the real name and I read that it was built to honor the first king of Italy (Victor Emmanuel) to stop the wars in over 1000 years or something crazy. So I offhandedly started calling it Emmanuel and it stuck. Most of you will recognize this from The Lizzie McGuire Movie (lol) but we ran into this on our first night after seeing the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain and it became the center point of Rome for us the rest of the week. We knew that if we could find Emmanuel, we knew where we were going! So, thanks to Emmanuel for keeping us company, helping us not get lost and being an overall boss. Much love.

Where Did We Eat?

Where did we not eat? Any time either of us got the slightest bit sleepy, hungry, tired of walking, cold, hot, etc. that meant it was a good time to eat. So we did. But here are the places we remember and would recommend! Not many specific places we remember because we would just start walking and pick random places most of the time.

Da Enzo – This was right by where we stayed and a guy from work said how great and affordable it was and that we MUST try it. Usually, you can’t get in the door without a reservation but we walked up right when they opened, waited for about 20 minutes and got seated. Great food (huge dishes of handmade pasta) and great wine. We got a liter of wine for like $7…..so we got another one haha. This was our first real meal in Rome and it was the BOMB.

The Jewish Ghetto – There was this awesome bakery here! We walked in and it was very tiny and full of old Jewish ladies that did not speak English. We read that the pastries look burnt but they are good and thankfully they were right! So, we picked out a few of these things just guessing and it was a win. They tasted like Poptarts. 🙌🏻

Ate here one night and it was good! Really just all in this area was where we walked around and found places for dinner because it was near our apartment. But heads up, Trastevere restauarants are made for small people. Even Hannah who is like 4 inches taller than me had trouble in some places because they were so squished and tiny!

Really, we didn’t have a bad meal in Rome. Most of the time we would just wander around until we found something. We did go to this one place for dinner two nights in a row and we are trying to remember what it is called so I can share it.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned as I continue to post about our trip!