WHEN IN ROME – PART ONE

16th October 2016

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I appreciate it must not seem that long since I was telling you all about our trip to Barcelona but I am back with another travel post, but this time all about Rome! Again, it’s been split into two parts due to me not wanting a post you’ll have to scroll for days through.

Matt has wanted to go to Italy for quite a while, even going so far as attempting to teach himself some of the language. I’ve always heard great things and knew it was always going to be somewhere I would like to visit. So when we found we had the time and funds to go to Italy, the one struggle we had was exactly whereabouts. We darted between Florence, Venice, and Rome, each holding beautiful and distinguishing features that tempted us. We settled on Rome, simply because we knew exactly what it had to offer and everything slotted into place smoothly, the flights were perfect and the hotel looked divine.

SUITE SISTINA

A hotel that is central is always key for us, we want to be within easy reach of everything. Often, this can mean rooms can be expensive but this wasn’t the case with Suite Sistina. A boutique hotel located within five minutes walk of the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, I don’t think I have ever been so excited about a hotel. It is clearly a hotel meant for couples, with romance a prominent theme, purple mood lighting setting a passionate scene. The beds are large, plush and round. Don’t ask me why, but I have always wanted to sleep on a round bed and I finally got my chance. We lined half of the bed with pillows and I have never felt so cosy, starfishing to my heart’s content, cocooned by the softest duvet. An iPad sat next to the bed, ready and waiting for you to play whatever music you would like. You actually receive an email a few days before your trip, inquiring what type of music you would like playing when you get into your room as well as your optimal room temperature. We went with jazz and 18 degrees FYI!

The amenities really help make the room, there is a minibar stocked with branded drinks including alcohol, fizzy and water as well as snacks should you get peckish. This is free of charge and replenished daily. You also have your very own coffee machine complete with pods, should you want to recline with a latte. An obvious highlight of the room was the in-room jacuzzi. The perfect size for two, you are left bubble bath and salts and honestly, there was nothing lovelier than sinking amongst the fragrant bubbles with a glass of something cold while music serenaded you softly and the jets gently massaged your skin. I’m definitely more of a shower person but in Rome, I was in that jacuzzi every day
A surprising but very welcome treat included in the price of the room was breakfast. And it wasn’t just any breakfast, oh no! Every morning we were left a menu on our door where we could select however much or little that we wanted the next day as well as the time we wanted it. The next morning, breakfast was then wheeled into our room and set out onto our table for us to feast upon. I was seriously impressed, I’ve never heard of such a service where you don’t have to pay extra for. Even my mother asked: “Are you sure you don’t have to pay for it?” A hearty breakfast is the best start to any day and especially when you are packing in a lot of sightseeing. We indulged in croissants dipped in Nutella (naturally in Italy, Nutella is everywhere!), eggs, bacon, toast, cappuccino and so much more. It was really nice to be able to eat in the privacy of our room too, discussing our plans for the day.


THE VATICAN CITY

Our first trip was to the Vatican City and of course, the Vatican itself. To explain, the Vatican is essentially the palace in the city that is the official residence of the Pope. I find it fascinating that it’s actually considered a country in itself, which runs independently from Rome. An incredible amount of people visit the Vatican museums and it amazed me that there was a long waiting line for two hours of people who hadn’t prebooked tickets. Thankfully we had and it really didn’t take us too long to get into the entrance building. There is quite a rigorous process to actually get in. Somewhat like an airport, there are scanners which you walk through and where you have your bags scanned swell as a check in desk for any items such as backpacks. We were asked to leave our umbrella, which could be seen to potentially damage the art. Naturally, you are to dress respectably, so no bare shoulders or shorts for men or women.
The museums are enormous. I think there are about two dozen different collections but they really are truly beautiful with such a great amount of detail, you don’t really know where to look as it’s everywhere. I was fascinated by the beautiful ceilings, I’ve tried to capture them for you below but I’m not sure a photo could ever do enough justice.

We were both really looking forward to the Sistine Chapel. While it’s a shame you cannot take photos, I completely understand why that is the case. Being in the area, we couldn’t leave without heading to St Peter’s Square, the entry to St Peter’s Basilica, which I believe is the world’s largest church. St Peter was considered the first Pope is buried at the church, hence the name. It really is a gorgeous building, a theme I imagine continues inside too.
Carlo Fontana’s fountain

I’m going to wrap it up there today before this post gets too long. The second and final part of our trip to Rome will be up next Sunday where I tell you about our visit to the Colosseum as well as the Trevi Fountain and my top tips if you too fancy visiting Rome!

Emily>