When travel becomes a grind, it can be the worst thing for a relationship. Dave and I have been spending our time in some of the most incredible places on earth and yet we haven’t been enjoying them to the fullest. We’ve been too busy working and worrying. So much that everything is suffering. Our relationship, our health, our sleep and even our travels. We haven’t been enjoying life to the fullest, even though we preach about enjoying life to the fullest. We’ve lost that spring in our step over the last couple of months and we’ve decided to get it back.
If Rome can’t bring the romance and zest for travel back, nothing can!
As we were driving into the Trastavere area of Rome, the neighbourhood where our apartment is, we caught a glimpse of the old city and instantly my heart leapt. How beautiful! I could already see the massive monuments that we all have learned about in our history classes. My mood of weary traveler changed instantly to excited tourist.
We checked into our tiny apartment and while it wasn’t exactly what we expected, it was in the best location we could have imagined. For $125 per night in downtown Rome, it is a smoking deal. Juan Carlos took out a map showing us where everything was. The Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain,The Spanish Steps, even the Vatican are all walking distance from here.
The thing I love about apartment living are the little things, he took the time to map out our route of where we should go, how we should walk to get there and what buses to take should we get tired. They have Italian coffee stocked in the kitchen and a Lonely Planet Italy sitting on the bookshelf. That’s gonna come in handy!
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We are just a couple hundred meters away from the Tiber River where we cross the Ponte Sisto foot bridge and are instantly transformed to ancient Rome.
We didn’t even waste time for a shower. After our landlord retired to his apartment next door, we put on our walking shoes and explored the village.
Jodi of Legal Nomads gave us a list of great places to eat. Food is her specialty and when she recommends, we listen! Imagine our surprise when we walked out our door and her favourite wine bar, traditional osteria, and pizzeria were right at our doorstep. Literally, the wine bar is right next door and the osteria is at the end of our street!
We opted for the Pizzeria as it was early in the evening for Italian standards, and the only thing open. The Pizza was delicious! I have always heard that there is nothing like Italian Pizza eaten in Italy and now I understand why. As their menu says, their dough is thin, but not too thin and fluffy but not too fluffy.
With our appetites satisfied and a glow from a 1/2 litre of wine, we set off to explore.
We’ve decided that Trastevere is our favourite place in Rome. I know, I know, we’ve only been here 4 hours, but this neighbourhood rocks! That is the joy of renting an apartment. We get to stay in the cool neighbourhood that doesn’t cater to hotels. We’re in where the locals are eating, shopping and dining out. We feel like a local.
We donned our umbrella like the rest of the Italians, walked hand in hand and talked about nothing but Rome and Italy and movies. When we saw the sign to the bridge crossing into the old city and saw that it dates back to 212 AD in the times of Marcus Aurelis, a name we only know from Gladiator, we laughed and laughed. We know nothing really of Rome, only from movies and legend. As usual we haven’t done our research beforehand and we are walking in nearly blind.
But we are so excited to be here. With our iPhone in hand, we snapped some shots of the area, but didn’t focus on blogging or taking photographs, we’re just taking in the atmosphere and energy of what just may be the best city in the world. It is just what we needed.