Sep 062012

Phew. Where to begin. Well, as you probably saw yesterday I am finally home from my vacation in Italy. I have to say it was wonderful and exciting but at the same time I am glad to be back. I wish I could say I have had time to relax and get back into the swing of things, but my schedule is pretty booked for the next few days and I am sort of stressing about my lack of groceries and my pile of laundry that needs to be washed. But, I shouldn’t complain!

Anyway, I’m probably going to have to split this Rome recap into multiple parts because we just did so many things. This post is long enough as it is so I can fill you in on part II tomorrow 🙂 If you want to see more about the food I ate in Rome, check out yesterday’s What I Ate Wednesday post which recaps all the highlights!

So, let’s begin!

We didn’t actually leave for Rome until Wednesday afternoon which meant that first we had to drop Jack off at his doggy daycare.

You can see all the dogs were eager to meet Jack and Jack was equally excited to meet them.

Jack was technically only at this daycare for the first day and then he was moved to a larger overnight daycare in a separate location. This daycare was be great because Jack was able to run around with the dogs all day and was only in a cage at night, as opposed to a few other doggy boarding places which caged them the entire time. No bueno!

After dropping off Jack and packing up the rest of our stuff it was off to the airport!

Our flight left late in the afternoon so we got there with plenty of time to spare and enjoyed a quick dinner with my mom and stepdad. Then it was time to take off! See ya later America!

The flight was pretty uninteresting, despite the fact that I had a kicking and screaming four year old behind me. Unfortunately for me this was an overnight flight so I was trying to get as much sleep as I could on the plane so that I would wake up energized for our first day in Rome. Let’s just say that didn’t really happen and I only wound up getting about 3 hours of sleep. Womp womp.

When we arrived in Rome, we grabbed a quick bite to eat at the airport.

Nothing like a quick Italian cappuccino and a croissant to wake me up! I do love European breakfasts!

Then we left the airport and headed out into our first day in Rome! We didn’t plan anything too strenuous for the first day, since my mom knew we would all be pretty tired and a museum that required a lot of intellect would be lost on us (she was right). Instead, we shopped around Campo de Fiori and wandered the streets nearby.

I managed to pick up a purse, a scarf, and a bag of amaretti cookies for my coworkers at the awesome Campo de Fiori market.

Eventually we stopped and settled for lunch and got more acquainted with the city.

Fabio diligently studied the map.

This is the restaurant where I had the awesome fried fish and squash blossoms meal that I showed you all yesterday. It was a beautiful location and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Hi mom!

Then my uncle took us around where he used to live when he studied abroad in Rome (a looooong time ago, he reiterated about 50 times) and we tried to find his old apartment to no avail.

It was so fun exploring up and down the beautiful streets of Rome without really having a destination in mind.

So beautiful!

Along the way, we stopped for our first gelato! Pistachio for me please!

Then we continued walking and enjoyed all the beauty of Rome. Seriously, every few streets had a square like this one.

My stepdad, of course, knew the history behind everything and stopped to explain it all as we walked along.

He’s just too smart!

Eventually we got tired of walking around and settled at a little outdoor cafe where we had morewine. One of my favorite parts of the trip was just sitting with my family, catching up, and enjoying the scenery. So fun!

Eventually we headed back up to the hotel and got ready for dinner.

My family is a little crazy in that they dress up for everything. Once you see all these pictures, you’ll see that I am not joking. My stepdad wears a tuxedo to dinner every night, and since he was wearing a tux my uncle and Fabio followed suit (haha- get it?). Fabio didn’t even own a tux (I mean, why would he?) until he started coming out to dinner with my family so often. You can see that in this picture of the first night he tried wearing a suit and tie, but in later pictures you’ll see he gave in to “the power of the evening clothes” as my mom says. Haha!

Anyway, we enjoyed some drinks on the terrace of the hotel which had a phenomenal view of the city.

Isn’t it beautiful?

So fun!

After having some drinks we headed over to dinner at this little place my mom and stepdad love near the Pantheon.

None of us were all that hungry so we split a bunch of appetizers to share. There were so many delicious types on our table, including breaded meatballs, smoked mozzarella cheese, precuitto, more squash blossoms, and flatbread. I can’t even remember what else we ordered but it was all so delicious! After dinner we sleepily headed back to the hotel (the jetlag got to us) and passed out.

Bright and early the next morning Fabio and got up for a workout! Who would have thought I would set an alarm for 6:45 am on vacation to go work out? If you had told me that a few years ago I never would have believed you. But looking back, it was one of my favorite times during the vacation.

Fabio and I enjoyed a nice morning run starting from the top of the Spanish Steps, where our hotel was, winding all the way down to the bottom where the Piazza de Popolo was. Then we ran up the Via del Corso and ran past all the great shops (hopefully some of you have been to Rome and know where this is!). At the end, we wound up at the bottom of the Spanish Steps and ran all the way up at the top, ending at the hotel (I think it’s like 122 steps or something, which is killer after a run!). The city was so quiet and beautiful at that time of day and the route we chose had the most beautiful view of the sun-lit city as we ran down-hill. It was amazing.

I didn’t want to use my Map My Run app to track the distance since it would have cost a fortune, but I am thinking it was probably about 1.5 – 2 miles total. Plus the run up the steps at the end was killer. Phew!

Our hotel also had a nice little gym and after our run Fabio and I came up with a quick circuit workout. Our circuit included rowing, bench presses, push ups, and kettle-bell swings (completed with a large weight since there were no kettle-bells). We completed the circuit three times and were both sweaty and gross. Yuck!

Sorry for the crappy pictures!

After our workout, we quickly showered and headed to breakfast. We were in a bit of a rush because on that day, we were headed to Ostia!

Ostia is an old port town about 45 minutes from Rome that reached its peak of prosperity in the 4th century BC. It had a lot of ancient ruins that have been preserved much better than the ones in Rome. In the town you could see the houses the people lived in, the shops where they bought goods, the places where they worked, the temples where they worshiped, the amphitheater where they watched plays, and the taverns they ate in.

These were their houses, which were more like apartments.

This shop in particular was a bakery and you can see the ovens they used to make bread.

This was a tavern that was amazingly well-preserved and you can even see the painting that they had on the wall. It was amazing to see the bar where they served those people, more than 2,000 years ago.

They also had these breath-taking mosaics on the floor depicting dolphins and chariot-racers. These amazing pictures were made up of the tiniest squares of tile and were placed together perfectly to form the images. Isn’t that amazing?

And they had a huge amphitheater from which they watched plays and shows. This one is a lot smaller than the famous Colosseum in Rome, and there weren’t any gladiator fights here, only plays.

After Ostia we headed off to lunch at a palace by the sea, but this post is long enough so I will save those details for tomorrow!

Have any of you ever been to these places? Have you ever seen amazing ancient ruins, like these? I’ve heard there are also Roman ruins all over the Mediterranean where they conquered. I think it would be amazing to see some in Africa!




 Posted by on September 6, 2012

  2 Responses to “Rome Part I”

  1. How cool! I went to Italy about 8 years ago, but we never got the chance to go to Ostia. But it reminds me a lot of Pompeii from your pictures – which was one of my FAVORITE places we visited.

    Also, how interesting that your family dresses up all of the time! Have you guys always done that? My family has always been jeans and tshirts kind of people, so I just find it really cool that you all take pride in dressing up for meals!

    • Yeah my family allllllllways dresses up but I have no idea why lol. It’s definitely weird! However my dad’s side of the family is a jeans & t-shirt kind of group so I get a little bit of both haha

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