"May you always find new roads to travel; new horizons to explore; new dreams to call your own."

Roma

Roma

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Ciao! 

The last two days I have been living a dream. I've been exploring Rome, Italy like I have dreamed of for as long as I can remember.

I am the type of person that loves to do things the locals do, but of course I wanted to see the major sites too - including the marvolous Colosseum.

Views from Terrazzo del Gianicolo

Views from Terrazzo del Gianicolo

The alleys in Rome are definitely enchanting.  

The alleys in Rome are definitely enchanting.  

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My first night in Rome I went to this cute family owned restaurant. I was excited for wine even though I don't usually drink wine...when in Rome! I was not prepared for the meal. They had baskets of meats and bread. It took every muscle in my body to cut a piece of salami, but it was so worth it. Then, the waiters/waitresses started bringing dish after dish after dish and putting food on our plates. At one point they took our dessert order and then took our plates. So, at this point I'm thinking...dessert is next. WRONG. They brought us a fresh plate and start bringing dish after dish after dish, again, filling our plates with food. I was full quickly, but it was great. We were surrounded by lots of people celebrating and listening to live music from a man walking around singing with a guitar. It was a warm, Roman welcome. Oh, and I got to take a shot of lemon cello. 

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The next day was a pretty early and jam packed day. We started the morning off with a trip to Vatican City. 

So happy I booked a tour because the lines wrap so far around the building that most people are sitting there an entire day trying to get in. Once you get in, you have to first go through security. Then you enter 4 miles worth of artwork. It is incredible. It reminded me of the Louvre in Paris because of the ceilings throughout. The ceilings are full of paintings that are elaborately framed. 

 

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St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter's Basilica

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Oh, and I can't forget, we got to see Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. No cameras were allowed...but everyone was definitely sneaking a picture.  It was a quiet, intimate atmosphere. 

Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel

After we left St. Peter's Square, we wanted to get some real Italian pizza. We stopped at Piazza San Pietro. We did not realize how much pizza we were getting when we all ordered one. It was beautiful and delicious! The pizza is thin which is my favorite kind of pizza anyways, and because it is thin you can taste all the flavors and toppings so much more.

Best pizza I've ever had - hands down. 

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Brittany, her dad, Cory, and I.

Brittany, her dad, Cory, and I.

After pizza, it was off to the mighty Colosseum. 

The Colosseum is a bucket list experience for me. So this was exciting. It was unreal! Much of the structure has been restored, but the real beauty is in the small pieces of original structure. You can see the colors and the age. It just makes you imagine what it would have been like to attend a game there. To see the gladiators fight to the death. It was a dream come true. 

Arch of Constantine, Colosseum off to the right

Arch of Constantine, Colosseum off to the right

You can see original on the left and restored on the right.  

You can see original on the left and restored on the right.  

The Colosseum was the 3rd out of 7 new wonders of the world I have seen. The Taj Mahal and Chichen Itza being the 1st and 2nd.   

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Me - so excited that I made it here!  

Me - so excited that I made it here!  

Next up was a visit to the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon where I had amazing gelato and made a wish by throwing a coin into the fountain. 

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Trevi Fountain. There were SO many people there.  

Trevi Fountain. There were SO many people there.  

Mixed berry and cookies n cream gelato

Mixed berry and cookies n cream gelato

Funny story about this gelato. These Italian men are so flirty in the gelato shop. When I ordered my gelato they were all being funny, nice, etc. I wanted to take a picture of my first Italian gelato so bad. It was REALLY hot out, so it was dripping all over my hand and everywhere else. So, I went back into the gelato shop and started to grab some napkins to clean myself up, and this Italian guy grabs my gelato come and turns it upside down in a cup. Then he grabs my wrist, grabs a bunch of napkins and starts wiping all the gelato off my hand for me - in between my fingers and all. lol it was so funny.

Pantheon.  

Pantheon.  

Exiting the Pantheon. 

Exiting the Pantheon. 

Frances (the woman I am rooming with on my trip - love her, she's great and from D.C. but originally from Uganda) and I had a charcuterie board and white wine at a little restaurant called Obica to end our night in Rome. 

Dinner in the square.  

Dinner in the square.  

These olives were everything. 

These olives were everything. 

This morning I said goodbye to Rome. Off to Florence!   

Arrivederci!

-Ellie  

See more on Instagram @elsfaye

Florence, Pisa & Tuscany

Florence, Pisa & Tuscany

Italy Here I Come!

Italy Here I Come!