My boyfriend and I have been talking about how we want to go on holiday together for ages. For months we were in between Barcelona and Rome; then one day we just decided to actually fulfill what we’ve been promising ourselves, and booked the place with the cheapest plane tickets and best weather, right around the time of our anniversary. I rarely write posts about my holidays, but it’s never too late to start…
I often call my boyfriend “me, if I were male”; as time goes on, we notice more and more similarities we share. Here’s one – whenever I go on holiday, I am never the one in charge. Be it with my family or my friends – I don’t usually decide on the destination, I don’t book the flights, I don’t find the hotel, I don’t decide how much money is appropriate to change, I don’t figure out what time to get to the airport, I never hold the map to getting around… instead, more responsible people tell me what we’re doing and when, and I say “yeah, sure, okay, I don’t mind.” But, my boyfriend is the exact same way. Which means for once in our lives, we had to be responsible. We took to Google to find out the best places to stay within Rome, Google said ‘Centro Storico’ was best for couples, so we went to Booking.com, and booked a place in Centro Storico.
Mistake number one. – After we had booked, I searched for Centro Storico again. Google came back at me with ‘Centro Storico Rome, Centro Storico Florence, Centro Storico Naples, Centro Storico Turin‘, genuinely shocked to find that Centro Storcio (which actually just means ‘the centre of the city’), was clearly not just a Rome thing, I went back to see our booking. Where had we booked? Turin. A good 4 hours away from Rome. Not to worry though – we got a refund and ended up booking a B&B near Rome in a place called B&B Suites Trastevere, which had been highly recommended online. I loved the place as the owners were nice, our room was amazing (it resembled The Pantheon), and it was a 10 minute tram journey into the city (the Centro Storico…)
Mistake number two. It really takes a while to get used to your surroundings, I think, when you’re on holiday. When we first got to Rome, we both didn’t really know what to do, how to get to where we needed to go and we felt quite out of our comfort zone. Walking down the road in Trastevere, less than an hour after arriving, a man approached us with “Belle! Beautiful chap, beautiful lady!” He asked us where we were from (clear tourists, I guess) and what we were looking for. We told him we were looking for somewhere to eat; he said he’d take us somewhere amazing, in fact, he promises us we would “eat belle!”. The place he took us was terrible, overpriced given its quality, and I’m pretty sure owned by him or his family. Again, no worries – we learned; from that point on, we had only nice meals. We ate every meal in the city center, with our favourite restaurant being Pierluigi, which gave us our nicest meal of the trip.
Mistake three. Once we finally found ourselves in the city center on day 1, we were approached again, this time by two men dressed as gladiators. The usual – “Belle! Beautiful lady! You (my boyfriend) – Michael Jackson! You (me) – Michelle Obama!” They took my camera and said they’d take pictures we us, they took a good 5 in different poses, all the while telling us how they thought we were “belle”, then the happiness abruptly stopped, and they asked us for 20 euros in exchange. My boyfriend was ready to kick off, but I told him it was fine, I was still finding my feet in Rome and didn’t want my boyfriend getting into any arguments, so I paid up… 20 euros gone… Let’s not talk about it. I definitely let myself get pushed over.
Despite these mistakes, we really did have an amazing time. Given we each have lectures or classes 5 days a week, the only way to ensure we got to spend two full days in Rome was with extra early flights and minimal sleep. In those two days we were able to visit all of the major sights. My favourite places would have to be The Vatican (so beautiful), The Pantehon (also, so beautiful, like the rest of Rome), and I definitely loved soaking in the culture of Rome as we walked down Via Del Corso (past 100 Zara stores). It was a wonderfully romantic city, and I’m so happy to have been able to experience it with my boyfriend for our anniversary.
And finally, on the way back, when we got to London, it was so foggy we had to do what they call an “automatic landing”. Definitely never been more scared in my life. Definitely sat and wondered if I would in fact make it out alive. Not that the pilots don’t know what they were doing – but all I know is than at “automatic landing” means, “guys – we’re going to plan B!” And that’s enough to have my shaking thousands of feet up in the air.