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485. Day 8 - Rome

Aroma Restaurant breakfast Rome
I almost made it to the end of my trip by daily posting, but on the last day I just wasn't able to. I had to wake up at 6am for my flight the next morning so I didn't have time that evening..so now I am posting this from back home in Toronto (unfortunately)! I really wish I was still there, especially in Rome as I didn't have nearly enough time there. Actually when I booked the trip, I didn't even think about visiting Rome. If I had planned it better, I think a week in Rome would be ideal. The architecture, Piazzas, and everything in the city are so beautiful. I love art and photography so I had a lot of fun just walking around and taking photos of everything. I really have to return one day. I've visited once before when I was 17 and don't remember much at all..but that was a very different experience as I went with my mom on a tour.

So on my final day in Rome, I started with breakfast at my hotel's restaurant - Aroma. Aroma is on the rooftop of the building with the PERFECT view of the Colosseum. They are a Michelin-Starred restaurant and book up months in advance for dinner especially. As I only sorted out my stay there maybe a week before I arrived, I unfortunately couldn't get a table for dinner but they reserved me a nice table for lunch. I will do a full review on it in a future post. Their breakfast was very good. The atmosphere was nice and relaxing, with my favourite lounge music (some of Hotel Costes songs) playing in the background.

After my breakfast, I walked out to realize it was extremely windy and quite cold that day. I very impulsively decided to buy a Louis Vuitton scarf. I don't know if it was impulsive actually, since I had wanted it for a few years now lol. But I never had a good enough reason to buy it until that day. I really love it, especially in this colour (as you probably know, I love navy blue/all shades of blue). I also realized that Louis Vuitton, and most designer items, are a lot less expensive to purchase in Europe than here in Toronto. For example this scarf I got for about ~$300 LESS than I would have paid here..after taking into account the currency conversion & VAT refund!

Louis Vuitton Monogram Shawl
Outfit Leftbanked
Colosseum Line Up
My first stop of the day was the Colosseum. My hotel had kindly arranged tickets for me so I didn't have to purchase them on my own, and technically my tickets should have allowed me to bypass the line. In the photo above, you can see how crazy long the line was. I couldn't even get the whole line up in the photo lol. I can't even imagine how much worse this would be if it was during the peak tourist season. To get an idea of how packed it was...my "line bypass" tickets had its own line up!! It was just for the security check but luckily went pretty quickly and I only waited about 10 minutes.

Colosseum interior
Many people recommend going in here to get an idea of how large it is but to be honest I wasn't too impressed..I think a lot of other sites in Rome are more interesting. It was nice to go in but if I had to, I would not spend more than 30min lining up to go in. I really loved the Roman Forum though so if you are tight on timing, I recommend lining up to go in there instead. I also waited about 10min only with my line bypass tickets and the actual line there was a lot shorter than the Colosseum.

Pantheon opera singer
After the Colosseum, I just walked around aimlessly. This is my favourite thing to do when I travel on my own. Rome is perfect for this as there is so much to see and so many tourists to follow behind (so you don't need to plan out your route)..so wherever you walk to, you know you'll end up finding a good spot. Here is the Pantheon. There was this street performer there singing "Time to Say Goodbye". I guess that was a fitting song for my last day of the trip lol. He was so good! I love all the musical street performances there (there are a lot)..really adds to the atmosphere of the city. I took a quick video. I don't know how to upload it on here but it's on my Instagram if you want to take a look - CLICK HERE

Tucci Ristorante Rome
Another thing I love about Rome is all the Piazzas. One of my favourites is Piazza Navona. I went here and sat at the patio of Ristorante Tucci for awhile, enjoying some gelato, tea and free WiFi.

Piazza Navona
Trevi Fountain
Towards the evening it started to get really cold, so I started to head back to my hotel while stopping at (my favourite) Trevi Fountain one final time. If it wasn't so cold and if I didn't have to wake up so early the next morning, I would've walked around all night. This would be a great city for night photography.

Santi Vincenzo e Anastasio
This is inside the small church across Trevi Fountain.

Piazza Venezia



484. Day 7 - Rome

Palazzo Manfredi Rome
I am now in Rome!! Sitting in my beautiful hotel, Palazzo Manfredi. I've been very lucky this trip to have all my hotels at a very central location, and the best views of the city (or in the case of Capri - the sea). I am just steps away from the Colosseum here. Speaking of hotels, my Italy trip has been very hotel-focused. I know not everyone is like this but for me, the place I stay at is quite important when visiting a city. Sometimes it really adds to the whole experience and makes it all the more memorable. Like in Capri, I couldn't be happier with the service I received at both Punta Tragara and Casa Morgano. Both hotels offered really personalized services and went above and beyond. They made me feel like more than just one of the many guests at their hotel. Well I will go in more detail for each when I do my review posts.

I had been thinking about it (the hotel service) this morning after an issue arose...as Capri is an island, you always have to take a boat to and from Naples on the mainland. I had booked a train to Rome and needed to take a high speed boat to Naples this morning. I had booked everything already on my own but when I was going back to my room yesterday, I spoke with the front desk to arrange my luggage being brought down to the harbour for me and mentioned that I was taking the boat to Rome. So this morning before I woke up, I received a call from front desk to inform me that they found out all the high speed boats were cancelled for the rest of the day due to the rough waters. I started panicking but then they told me not to worry and they helped me arrange the next option which was to take the slower ferry over. They even made a schedule for me telling me how much time I had for breakfast, when I would have to start walking down to the harbour, etc. There was only one departing that morning (it was a bit earlier than my original boat) so I had to quickly pack up and leave. They even gave me a ticket for the funicular and told me everything I had to do to make sure I got there on time. Obviously if I wasn't informed of the boat cancellation, I would not have known and would have only found out when I went down to get on the boat..then I would've missed my train to Rome and it would've been a disaster. Anyway I prefer not to think of that lol. But I am very happy that it ended up working out, and I successfully made it to Rome.

My hotel in Rome is also pretty amazing. They provided me with tickets to the Colosseum, Roman Forum, & Palatine Hill today and apparently it should help me skip the lines..but today I didn't know how to enter without lining up. Well I managed to not line up for the ticket purchase line at least. Will try again tomorrow to bypass the entrance line (as it's huuuuuuge for the Colosseum). They said they could also get me tickets to Vatican City or wherever else I want to go but unfortunately I only have 2 days here which I now realize is nowhere close to enough!! I must come back to Rome/Italy again soon. I am really starting to love it here.

Angelino Ai Fori Dal 1947
I ate at a restaurant called Angelino Ai Fori Dal 1947 tonight. As it was right beside the Colosseum, I didn't expect the food to be that good as it's tourist central. But this Fettucine Alla Roma was amazing!! I was sitting on the patio though and it got so cold. The weather here in Italy is really annoying. During the day it's very hot but as soon as it hits 6pm or so, it becomes freezing. I thought it would be hot here all day so I didn't bring any warm clothes.

Piazza di Spagna
Here is the Piazza di Spagna. Rome is quite the opposite of Capri. Capri is quite small and quiet in terms of tourists during this time but Rome is huge (lots to see) and soooo many tourists everywhere! Places in Capri also close extremely early, but places in Rome seem to stay open late and people are still out very late. I knew it would be busy here but I didn't expect it to be this busy at every attraction and every street. I like it though. This way I can just follow the crowds and I won't get lost while looking for an attraction (like I usually do).

Trevi Fountain Rome
The Trevi Fountain - my favourite attraction in Rome. So beautiful.

Roman Forum
Roman Forum. I think I may go again tomorrow.

Capri Marina Grande
& my final moments in Capri :(



483. Day 6 - Capri

Via Krupp
Today is sadly my last night in Capri. Anouk is heading back home tomorrow while I head to my next city before heading home as well...I'm already sad about leaving! Well I am sad to be leaving Capri but also sad that I am now in the last part of my trip. Now I want to plan another upcoming trip (not sure when though) just so I have something else to look forward to. I wish I could stay in Italy longer. I am really starting to love it here.

So today I started off visiting the Augustus Gardens and Via Krupp (photo above). It's so amazing how blue the waters are.

Augustus Gardens Capri
Faraglioni Rocks Capri
Gelato in Capri
I regret that I had been avoiding gelato this entire time while in Italy, as I thought it would be bad for my sore throat/cough. Yesterday, our Pompeii tour guide told me they always eat gelato here when they're sick as it soothes the throat. So now I have decided to eat as much gelato as I can in order to heal my sickness.

Gatto Bianco cat
Then I met with Anouk at her hotel (where we saw this cat), and we headed to Anacapri on the other side of the island.

spiral staircase
I will post more about the places we visited in Anacapri in a future post. Here is a spiral staircase in one of the churches we went. It was so scary going up and down.

Villa San Michele Capri
This is from Villa San Michele

Capri Italy
The beautiful view from the villa

Gran Caffe Capri gelato
After that, we went back to the main part of Capri. We started off with a dessert before dinner. Here we sat at one of the cafe patios in the main square. Our server, Fabrizio, was quite energetic and hilarious. I will not go into detail of what happened but at one point he unintentionally got everyone's attention (on the patio) focused on us..it was so embarrassing and funny at the same time. People were clapping and the woman at the front of our table for some reason got all excited and took a photo of us.

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