Two Weeks Of La Dolce Vita ↣ Part 1
Updated: Jan 9, 2020
A trip anywhere for my big 3-0? Why, Italy, of course!
The country has it all: food, history, architecture, art, rolling vistas, and a culture so magical, so unique, people all over the world get caught up in its spell.
Our plan was ambitious: seven cities in fourteen days. The itinerary was jam packed, bursting like the single suitcases we allowed ourselves to carry on our two week journey. I wanted to experience all that Italy had to offer...and we did just that!
When In Rome
Rome was the city to launch our adventure. Our taxi whirled around its final turn onto the cobblestone street where our apartment would be for the next five nights. We were staying in Trastevere -- a trendy neighborhood just south of the city with candlelit neighborhood trattorias, picturesque sidewalk cafes, lively bars and young energy.
As we walked towards the city center, I was immediately entranced. I was in awe of the countless ancient ruins side by side with modern structures, existing in juxtaposition harmony. Hundreds of motorized scooters zipped by us, the center bustling in the organized chaos that is the Italian way. Cars so cute their squeaky honks couldn't be taken seriously clamor down streets so narrow I realize I have yet to see a truck of any sort.
An evening sound and light show at Caesar's Forum brought it to life again, giving a glimpse into a time when the Roman Empire was thriving and prosperous. I gasped at the astonishing dome of the Pantheon and the ornate frescoes of the Villa Borghese and marveled at the history of the Baths of Diocletian and the Spanish Steps. I fought the crowds at Trevi Fountain to give my two cents. We descended into the eerie Catacombs, and strolled down an ancient road dated back to 312 BC, the Appian Way, bringing images of chariot warriors.
With early entry tickets bought online, as the gates unlocked to Vatican City we bee-lined to the end and began our experience in a nearly empty Sistine Chapel. An hour didn't seem long enough to view the story on Michelangelo’s astonishing ceiling!
Good Thing We Brought Stretchy Pants
Aside from being a photographer's dream, Italy is the ultimate country for a foodie to explore. After months of food research, I secured reservations based upon our itinerary each day -- and we explored the city further not only by foot but with our palettes, too!
We were visiting during peak truffle season -- excitedly, I booked a restaurant with an extensive menu dedicated to black and white truffle dishes. We shared rich carbonaras, traditional Cacio e Pepe and burrata so smooth it brought tears to our eyes. We stumbled upon the best gelato we'd every tasted at a convenience store no less and for just three euros! We sampled Italian street food, a tiny pizza spot packed with Italian businessmen shouting their orders so aggressively we had no choice but to partake.
Suddenly, the skies grew gloomy over the eternal city, and the people selling selfie sticks suddenly were pushing umbrellas! We clamored for shelter from a sudden downpour at a covered sidewalk cafe. Over a cheese platter and aperitif, a vivid rainbow appeared over the piazza and our inconvenience morphed into eyeing a stunning vista.