When friends and family said I'd be blown away by the city, I was sceptical. Not because ancient Roman ruins and beautiful basilicas don't impress me, but because I thought I'd be prepared for it all.
I wasn't. It's totally mind blowing; a city where buildings spanning centuries fight for your attention, where some of the most incredible churches I've seen don't even make the map & where bruschetta is so fresh you have to have it with every meal you order...
We spent three days in Rome but you could easily spend a week and not see the same sight twice.
We spent the first day in awe inside Vatican City, spending hours climbing St. Peter's Basilica. Once you eventually get to the top (after ascending the teeniest, narrowest staircase), the views of Rome are unrivalled.
The church ceiling is beautifully intricate:
On the Friday we hopped on the metro to the Colosseum.
I'm not going to reel off everything we learnt from our trusty audio guide telephones (hello fashionista), but in a nutshell it's probably one of the best buildings I've been in to. You don't realise how much history is steeped within its walls, and despite how some have crumbled, you can't not be moved by how impressive it still looks.
Walking around Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum in 33 degree heat probably wasn't the best idea, but we still managed a good three hours taking it all in.
After sheltering from the sun with beer and pizza (preach), we had a nosey at the Pantheon.
Piazza Navona was the image of Rome I'd created in my head before I came: a bustling pedestrian square overflowing with busy cafes, people dining alfresco (bruschetta everywhere, naturally), prosecco and water feautres flowing..
That night we ate just off the square at Mimi e Coco - one of the nicest restaurants I've been to.
The Trevi fountain was being renovated, so we didn't have the opportunity to throw a penny in (the story has it that tossing a penny in the fountain ensures a return trip to the city), but given the chance I'd be back in an instant.
P.S. We stayed at the Hotel B-Cool, and I'd definitely recommend it. The rooms are gorgeous, the breakfast is good and the price is great. Plus, you're a five minute walk to the Vatican and one minute from the nearest tram stop.