I experienced my first weekend trip exploring this beautiful country I get to call home! My friends and I decided to spend our first weekend trip in Italy to try to get to know the country better, before we move onto other European countries. We walked to the train station (about a 25 minute walk) after grabbing some breakfast, and were on our way! Traveling is very convenient from Florence, since there are decently priced trains leaving every hour. This past month has been a series of firsts for me, including this train ride. It was thankfully much easier with the guidance of my friends, who had experience with this type of travel. After a short ride, we finally arrived at the train station in Rome! Unlike Florence, Rome actually has Uber, which was very convenient for a group of 6. We took an Uber to our air b&b, where we settled in and prepared for an amazing weekend.
No movie, picture, or book could have prepared me for how incredible Rome is. The Colosseum is so overwhelming we visited both days, once at night and once during the day. Another popular must-see was the Trevi Fountain, where I tossed a coin in the water and made a wish that I unfortunately can’t expose, or it won’t come true. While these sights were tons of fun, we also hit a few less popular spots that I highly recommend. For example, Il Convento dei Cappuccini, also known as the bone crypt. We expected a fun, spooky museum, but were shocked at the emotional weight these exhibits carried. When we made it through the general showcases, we entered the last exhibit where there were bones of thousands of people who had passed away from 1732-1775. The exhibit consisted of six rooms, where the remains of mostly monks were formed into artful decorations and masterpieces. Anyone who is interested in Roman history should check this museum out, but definitely know what you’re stepping into first.
The restaurants in Rome are no joke, my friends. My favorite part of traveling is obviously trying the food, so when we were feeling hungry we let our stomachs guide us to a random restaurant called Taverna Barberini. This place was AMAZING and we actually hilariously ran into one of my roommates while we were there – what are the chances? The man who served us was incredibly friendly and really made the experience for us, along with his amazing food. We all got some variation of pasta and finished every last bite. When I return to Rome with my family, this will be the first place I take them for a meal.
One thing I will say about Rome is that the locals are certainly tired of tourists, and are therefore not always friendly. This really bothered some of my friends, who were hoping for a more welcoming atmosphere. We had the most wonderful weekend regardless, but keep in mind when visiting areas with tons of tourists that the people who reside there might not be too thrilled with your visit. For me, I was awestruck by the amazing sights and actually saw a couple of girls I went to high school with on their vacation, which reminded me how small of a world we live in. A weekend was not enough time for me, and I can’t wait to return and experience Rome with my family.