You know when you have really really high expectations for a holiday? You are pretty much expecting a little element of disappointment because your hopes are a little off the charts. Well Rome absolutely knocked it out of the park. Rome, you captured my heart and I will 100% be back to you very soon my love.
So yes, we went to Rome on Honeymoon. I like to start these posts on a dramatic note. We booked a three day trip pretty much as soon as filming ended for Don’t Tell The Bride. You see, you can’t really book a honeymoon until you’ve booked your wedding and I found out my wedding date three days before my wedding. As soon as we were reunited after the show we wanted to book a holiday. We decided to go on a familymoon so we could have some much needed time as a family after three weeks spent apart. We had a ball.
In terms of our actual honeymoon I knew I wouldn’t want to be away from our son for longer than a couple of nights. An elaborate holiday to Mexico or America just wasn’t going to happen. I had been away from him for two nights before and found that absolutely no big deal at all. It flew by. Three nights suddenly felt like a whole lot longer. It meant being away either side of the weekend.
We loved the idea of Rome for a city break. Both of us adore Italian food and I had been hounding the hubby (love saying that word) about a holiday to Italy at some point in the near furture. It made perfect sense. We ended up getting it all for an amazing price. Three nights accomodation plus flights came in at €370 between us. You would quite literally pay more for a weekend away in some Irish hotels.
So how did we get there? We flew with Aerlingus. We got the afternoon flight on a Friday to make things easier with the little man. It meant he could go to play school as normal that morning. It was a win-win because he was kept in his routine and we had the time to get ourselves properly packed up and sorted. Naturally we had to pack him up too as he was going to be staying with Peter’s parents for the three nights. We collected him from play school and he napped in the car. I managed to transfer him asleep from the car to his grandparents house and I was so so grateful that he stayed asleep because there was no dramatic goodbye. He would have cried and I would have found that very upsetting. We left on a really stress-free note and I immediately felt relaxed knowing he was in great hands. I’ll admit I shed a few tears but that is only natural.
We parked at Quick Park beside Dublin Airport. We always use this facility and find it so handy even when travelling with a child. It cost €26 to park for the three days and that is a huge saving considering a taxi would cost €40 each way. You simply print out your voucher and scan it on the way in to the carpark. You then park in one of the designated spots and hop on the next courtesy bus to the airport. They are spacious buses with lots of room for your luggage and prams etc. We have never waited for longer than five minutes for a bus so there is no worrying about getting to the airport on time. Giving yourself an extra half an hour to drive there, park and get the courtesy bus to the airport is more than enough time.
Our flight left on time and all was good there. It was quite turbulancy though. Actually the return flight was too but it only lasted a couple of minutes.
We flew to Fiumicino – Leonardo da Vinci airport and had decided to get the fast train from there to Rome city centre (Termini Station). It is so incredibly handy. We walked for five minutes, bought our tickets at the machine (€14 each one way) and were on the train and all five minutes later. The train takes just thirty minutes and is super modern and comfortable.
From Termini Station we knew we were just a ten minute walk to our hotel. We stayed in this hotel and it worked out great. The hotel is lovely. Rooms are quite small and basic but in a city like Rome that’s all you need.
We had been given a great recommendation to visit Trastevere for really good food at great prices. The first night we actually got the bus there. The local bus (75 or H Bus) was just €1.50 for 100 minutes of travel. You have to buy the tickets before you get on the buses but most shops and kiosks sell them so it was super handy. We used the bus three times in total. And what a recommendation it was. If you are travelling to Rome you HAVE to visit this part. It’s where we went every single day for the best food and atmosphere. So many beautiful quaint restaurants boasting authentic Roman food. Favourite dishes such as amazing pasta dishes made with just pasta water and Pecorini Cheese. SO simple and so incredibly delicious.
As it rurns out Trastevere was the beginning of the walking food tour we booked. Yes you heard me – a walking food tour. This is what I was most excited about for the whole trip. It was on the pricy side at €77 per person but it was absolutely worth every single penny. Four hours of pottering around this neighbourhood visiting all the local places. We visited ten different establishements tasting a range of unbelievable food items. meat and cheese in one place followed by pizza in the next. Incredible gelato, pasta, pastries and fruit. It was just out of this world and gave us a real insight in to Roman cuisine. I would highly HIGHLY recommend doing this on your first day as it will give you great guidance for how to eat for the rest of the trip. We came back to the area every day to eat. We booked with this company and booked it a few weeks before we visited.
Some research online kept drawing our attention to a pizza place that the locals all visit and I am so glad that we visited it. It’s called Remo and it was by far the nicest food we had on the whole trip and it was such good value. €42 for a pizza, pasta dish, Suppli (balls of rice with cheese and fried in breadcrumbs), another side dish, a dessert, wine and beer. I kid you not. This place does what it does well. You are there for the food. It’s edgy, has loud waiters and resembles your local Charlies. It is not fancy and the food does the talking. We got a taxi there and it was so worth it. When we arrived we joined a small queue of people waiting to go in. This is always a good sign. This is the area of Rome (Testacchio) which houses the nightclubs too so you can kill two birds with one stone.
As for the sight-seeing. You can literally walk around for hours every day and you will find yourself in awe constantly. Every corner hosts another incredible sight. It is a city littered in amazing things to see and you could do tonnes of sight-seeing without spending a penny. We visited the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon & passed the Colleseum tonnes of times but didn’t actually go in (I know, I know but we were limited for time).
The best thing about Rome was just the beauty of pottering around. Hand in hand we strolled through so many beautiful cobbled streets. We people watched, stopped for drinks and just enjoyed the slow pace. It is a city that is bustling with activity but you walk for five minutes and suddenly find yourself at a hidden gem of a street with tiny restaurants full to the brim. We even found a place that does a fabulous deal actually – €10 for FOUR courses at lunch time and €13 at dinner time. Unreal and the food was gorgeous. Worth waiting a few minutes for. Now, do you think I can remember the bloody name of it? Sorry.
We had an absolute ball and have already decided to return with Billy when he is a little bit older. I am sensing a Spring 2018 family city break
Oh and before I forget – I loved getting dolled up but the best thing about Rome is just how casual everyone is dressed. I used to wear my runners while we walked around and then I’d put dressier boots on when we got to a restaurant. On the last night I didn’t even bother changing though. Dress comfortably with tonnes of walking in mind. Oh and don’t wear a striped shirt without expecting your husband to ask you for a pair of shoes in a size 11. Apparently I resembled a staff member from Foot Locker. Romance is not dead!