I’ve been to Rome before (click here to see my first time in Rome: Rome, Italy) and did all the touristy things, but this time around, i liked it more. We weren’t rushing to go stand in line at the Colosseum or at the Vatican, we were leisurely walking around Rome and exploring more areas we didn’t get to last time.
Last year when we were in Rome they were restoring the Spanish Steps, so this time around we were able to actually see them! and we also noticed the construction on the Colosseum was finished too but not they are improving their metro line so the area right in front of it is all torn up.
Largo di Torre Argentina
This was the cutest place we stumbled upon. It’s another ruin of Rome which is below street level but completely open. It’s the place where Julius Cesar was murdered and now acts as a cat sanctuary. We heard about this place before coming so when we did find it, we were skeptical we would see any cats at all. We ended up seeing almost 10 cats sleeping around the ruins. There’s a sign that says don’t feed the cats because they get fed by the organization there but you can make a donation that goes towards feeding the cats. In Rome there’s a rule that if more than 5 cats occupy an area, you cannot kick them out.
We were finally able to explore the neighbourhood of Trastevere which is right across the river from the Colosseum. Last time we were in Rome we wanted to explore the area But we never got the chance since it was far from where we stayed and never had the energy last year. We heard it’s a good neighbourhood for young people and has amazing restaurants and thats exactly what we found.
On our way there we were able to pass the Jewish district and cross Rome’s oldest bridge which provided views of the Vatican in the distance. Once in the neighbourhood it reminded us of the streets of Florence and was just to typical picturesque of what you would expect the streets of Italy to look like. We had a lovely time exploring the small neighbourhood.
We didn’t enter the museum but behind the museum it offers some great views of Palatine Hill, The Roman Forum and the Colosseum in the far back.
Villa Borghese Gardens
We were so luck when we went to Villa Borghese Gardens, we had clear blue skies and warm temperatures. The gardens are huge and reminded me a lot of NYC’s Central Park. I don’t think they’re the same size (NYC would be bigger) but it was all lush greens and the typical trees one sees when you think of Italy. There were many little Villas scattered throughout the gardens and of course the famous Borghese museum. But we just took our time strolling through the pathways, admiring the architecture… and in my case the orange trees.
As tradition, we had Valentine’s day in Rome and of course went out to a nice restaurant. We usually stick to Tripadvisor when finding places to eat and it has never let us down. Yes there is different qualities of food in Italy, like fresh pasta or packaged pasta and yes you can taste the difference. But with the gelato you really cannot go wrong, our favourite place was right in front of the Trevi Fountain and therefore right around the corner from where we were staying.
We could not have found a better place to stay, or could even imagine one. Our hotel was 2 blocks from the Trevi Fountain and in the center of Rome, everything was within walking distance of 10 minutes or less. The interior was old fashioned but the appliance were completely new, like our door and windows were brand new and solid, did not let any noise in even though we were facing a busy street. And the shower was the best part, we had a rainforest shower head and jets that came out at the side. We were so lucky that we found this place, we really did not wanna leave.
We also had the best weather here too. Everyday had a high of 18 degrees and plenty of sunshine. It was so comfortable just walking around in a sweater and not our heavy coats. We really did have the best and more relaxed time here.