We awoke at 9am so we could get out the apartment by 9.45am, heading to the station. From the restaurant at Florence station we grabbed some risotto balls and drinks and hurried onto the train with just a few minutes to spare. The train from Florence to Rome took approximately 90 minutes and as we headed down South the skies above looked more and more ominous.
On our arrival the skies were a very angry grey but it was still dry and our hotel, the Alex place bed and breakfast, was just 600m from the station so we would be there in less than 10 minutes. Yet 2 minutes into our walk the heavens suddenly opened into a sudden downpour. We hurried under the canopy of a newsagent kiosk waiting for the shower to subside. The thunder and lightning started and I started feeling like I didn’t want to be outside anymore. I stepped around the side of the kiosk to ask the owner how much further down the street our hotel was and as I did the lightning hit a tree in front of us and a huge branch crashed down onto the spot where I had just been standing!
Adam had to move the branch to get our suitcases from underneath, he thought the whole thing was rather exciting but I was just pleased to see the shower stop so we could finally get to the hotel. The hotel was a bit of a weird layout, basically there was one building but each floor seemed to be owned by a different hotel. It was a bit confusing knowing where to go at first but we were soon checked in. Whilst the room was quite basic it was really large and clean so I had no major complaints.
It may have been a dramatic start to the day but the rain had cleared the humidity and heat and left the most pleasurable weather, a lovely 26 degrees. It meant we were able to spend the rest of the day strolling around in complete comfort.
Our first stop was The Spanish steps. I can’t say they are one of the sights that impress me, they’re such a tourist hotspot that it’s hard to see the steps at all! But as it was Adam’s first stop in Rome I wanted to make sure he ticked things off the list. For the same reasons we went to the Trevi fountain, despite it being under a lot of scaffolding. As a consequence Adam didn’t see the appeal at all which is sad because I think the fountain is very beautiful normally.
We then decided to stroll onto the Pantheon but on the way stopped for a lunch at the Ristorante Pizzeria Al Piacere. The service was really friendly and we both had the 3 course set menu which featured lasagne, chicken in a red pepper sauce and a delicious chocolate tart. We also got drinks (wine and iced tea) and coffee included so it was great value.
Feeling happily full we continued on with our sightseeing and reached the Pantheon. Adam really loved it, seeing the most preserved building of Ancient Rome is certainly impressive. We took the time to go inside and see the impressive dome, we were wowed.
We wondered through the lovely Piazza Navona with its wonderful fountains and found an adorable bookshop there with the most intricate beautiful pop up books we’d ever seen.
We continued onto Palazzo Venezia and watched the sun set over the white marble, it really was stunning and the perfect opportunity to get some lovely photos. I was feeling very blissful. Florence felt physically hard, the heat was really oppressive, but Rome bought us back to holiday mode and it was lovely to feel the stress slip away.
Adam was loving Rome so much that he wanted to continue exploring. We went down and started looking at the ruins of the roman forum that litter the streets, taking photos as we went. Everything looked so beautiful in the dusk light. He then wanted to continue onto the colosseum but at that point I had to pull him back and remind him we had a few more days left in Rome yet!
The day was really wonderful and we retired to our hotel early with some food from the grocery shop to relax and rest our weary feet ready for another wonderful day.