Rome: Veni, Vidi, Vici

A little over two years after studying abroad in Rome for a semester, I made it back to the city that stole my heart. Ryan and I spent our final three days in Europe venturing from attraction to attraction and taking in as much of the historic city as we could (and of course eating plenty of gelato along the way.)

Our first night was spent in a beautiful large apartment in the Jewish Ghetto. We kept things low key and decided to make dinner in since we had a kitchen. I have to say, I really appreciate being able to cook on long vacations. I get tired of eating out every night and it can be so expensive. We made a lovely spread, including gnocchi with pesto, caprese salad, and a charcuterie platter. Ryan went to bed early because he was feeling under the weather and I ended up going for a midnight walk around my old stomping grounds. Rome by moonlight is magical.

The following day we relocated to an Airbnb in a different part of town. Again, we had a private room in someones home. This was probably my favorite of the Airbnb’s we stayed in because the home was so eclectic. Each piece of furniture was so unique and there were cool trinkets everywhere. Our room was decorated with twinkle lights and an antique lamp and there was a home cooked breakfast each day. Our hostess, Giulia, was also incredibly friendly and sweet. It was very cool to be able to stay in the home of a Roman woman whose family has lived in the city for generations. Needless to say, she gave us many fabulous restaurant and tourism recommendations.

Some of the things we checked off our to-do list included trips to the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Venezia, Piazza Navona and the Vatican, shopping on the via Condotti, and a trek to my old apartment and school. We also ate plenty of cacio e pepe, my favorite Roman pasta dish.

On our last night in Rome, Ryan and I walked to a nearby restaurant that was recommended to us by our hostess, only to find that the wait was over an hour without a reservation. Disappointed, we began walking around the neighborhood in search of anything that looked decent and uncrowded. The pickings were slim but we finally found a place. It didn’t look great to me but we were hungry and getting cranky so we decided to stay for dinner. The restaurant, Cala Luna, ended up being amazingly delicious! I think it’s a Sicilian place and the menu is almost entirely seafood. I wasn’t in the mood for seafood that night so I ordered one of the only vegetarian options, which was a lemon pasta, and was arguably the best pasta I’ve ever had. We also ordered calamari as an appetizer and the house wine, a Cannonau di Sardegna, that Ryan and I agreed was the best wine we’d ever tasted. Everything was totally phenomenal and we really felt like we lucked out. I 100% recommend this place to anyone who visits Rome.

It was bittersweet leaving Rome the next morning, as departures usually are, but honestly after over a month of traveling, Ryan and I both felt excited to stay put for a while. The trip home was smooth and we arrived back home in Hawaii feeling happy and fulfilled.


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