'Not Lit'aly Part One: Rome

Wednesday, February 3
Now, as you've probably gathered from my amazingly current, punned title - this may not be what you're expecting from the 'usual' type of travel post. In mid-Jan, my sister and I embarked on an interesting city break to Rome and Florence (part 2 impending!) to prematurely celebrate her 25th. If you've never been to Rome, you've sure as hell heard of it and could probably tell me the entire history behind each and every landmark I've very touristically photographed below! Being my first time in Italy, let alone in one of the most visited cities in the world, you can imagine I set off with high hopes. 
^ 1 euro 50 bus selfie. YES ITALIA for having cheap-as-chips travel!

After a bumpy ride navigating our way to London Stansted (got a bus in the wrong direction, UBER dropped us at the wrong side of Liverpool Street station, our pre-booked coach was delayed so had to run for an earlier one in order to catch our flight) we finally made it onto our wonderfully cramped, pocket-lacking Ryanair plane. Credit where credit's due though, we landed safely and smoothly with an added Super Mario-esque jingle just to further celebrate that we were alive, so that was a fun bonus...even if I did have to pay £2 for a pocket-sized tub of Pringles. Despite our canvas, non-padlocked holdalls not making it into the cabin due to numbers, baggage claim was pretty speedy and all belongings were in tact, so it was on to our middle-of-nowhere 4 star but not really 4 star hotel to settle in and begin to see the sights of Rome.
Now, if I could tell you anything worth noting from this trip, it would be to always listen to your mum. No matter how old you are. You know that 'pre-warning' advice chat she gives you on what to take and how you must remember to wrap up? That. I think we've all been guilty of nodding along, with the occasional 'yes' input, whilst still sticking to our original plans of 'take what looks pretty'. Well, boy do I regret that one. We ended up practically living in the same clothing, just to refrain from chilling ourselves right through to the bone and I will just say, I owe my entire frickin' life to this incredible Zara coat for becoming my 'JC, our saviour'.
Outfit pics by Alix

We were also forewarned of pick-pockets around the busy, town centre, so that explains the double bag sitch. Bum bag contains all the uber-important, 'you won't make it alive without me' stuff and the handbag carries all the rest (speaking of uber...did you know Rome has UBER?!!). Before you laugh, this is actually a useful tip and saved us from what could have possibly been a whole loada tears and distress. So invest. This little shearling number is now only £4.50!!

I am wearing
Zara jacket (sold out, similar here) // c/o In The Style dungarees (OLI10 for 10% off anything!) // Topshop hat // Topshop jumper // Mango bag // ASOS bum bag // H&M trainers (similar here)

A highlight of the trip had to be indulging in the most divine gelato, whilst stood in front of the most divine stonework offered up by the Trevi Fountain. It was one of those noisy but peaceful places, filled with a constant buzz from other equally in-awe tourists, that was just quiet enough not to drown out the refreshing sound of falling water. Just be careful, on your way out of the square, of eager selfie-stick sellers who think you'll still say yes to them no matter how many times you've politely declined the previous guys with the same product. SUPPLY AND DEMAND PEOPLE!
We reached the Vatican at perfect time to catch the pastel skies, after finally getting the hang of the bus system and being prompted by the one, helpful local who informed us it was our stop. Cleaner than your Nana's kitchen and inexplicably silent and still, no matter how many people entered its vicinity, this was like nowhere I've ever experienced. I'm still trying to comprehend how any of this was built and the basilica itself takes beauty and extravagance to a WHOLE other level. There are some people who claim taking pictures distract from the real life encounter, but here I just can't help but be transported back to exactly how I felt in this moment, looking up at the extraordinary art around me. Feeling a tad too emosh and sentimental, so I'll continue onto 'ciocolata calda' (i.e. the best hot chocolate you'll ever try, no matter what establishment you enter into) and be done with it...
We wandered the streets a little longer; mainly to try and find take away pizza but also just to take it all in until we were too physically consumed by the cold to function. One thing I will say about Rome is that, although it's bloody gorgeous and you will not find an ugly building for the life of you, nothing wants to be close together. I'm not even talking monuments here, I'm simply referring to the lack of a 'central strip' of restaurants/amenities etc. etc. You'll find one eatery every 100 or more metres away, which doesn't bode well when you're basically battling hypothermia and are starving for a big, cheesy slice. That's another top tip right there: Make no assumptions. You may have an idea in your head of how you picture that perfect pizza but I can assure you, it will not turn up how you expect. If you are searching for that ideal, warm, melty, saucy image I'm creating right now in your head, then be sure to check for mozzarella AND tomatoes in your pizza dish and you'll be right. 

I'm simply trying to save you from our double disappointment of discovering one pizza with no sauce, and another with no cheese. 
It's like that eh, Italy?

For now, that's all I have to update you. I mean, I could go on and bore you with the trivial, moany details of what gave this trip ALL the tears lols but you kinda had to be there and witness the snowball effect that kept occurring. Plus, we'll save all that for the Florence post, right? Just kidding.

Until next time,

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