I have reached the last city in my Europe travels, Rome! The city of Rome was one that I had looked forward to visiting as it is so ancient and filled with history. Right after getting settled in our Airbnb, my friend and I took a very brief walk to visit our first Roman landmark: the Colosseum. Obviously, what better shoe choice could there be for visiting the Colosseum than a gladiator sandal. I have had this particular pair for a couple years now, and they have served me well. As I wore them sightseeing throughout Europe, they also proved to be very comfortable for walking around all day. I have never been a huge fan of flip-flops because they just don’t seem all that secure, (hence the name flip flop) so gladiator sandals have to be the extreme alternative to that unstable style of shoe. Also, why wear boring old flip-flops when you can wear something much more stylish and interesting?
I bought this dress while I was in Paris at Forever 21 of all places. I know, it seems stupid to buy something from a store I can shop at here in the states for less, (the exchange rate kind of ups the price of everything, if you’ll remember) but this was a dress I kind of eyed on their website for a while until, of course, it sold out. This is the story of my life with Forever 21, so I have learned that if I love something on their site, I have to buy it, because chances are a bunch of other ladies are going to like it too and buy it all up! I was pleasantly surprised while shopping at Forever 21 in Paris to find this dress that I thought I had lost forever.
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Photos by Wendy Jones
Can anything be more quintessentially Roman than the Colleseum? I made this my first stop on my trip to Rome because this place is something I have been learning about since before I can remember. What is incredible is the fact that this structure is largely still intact. This is thanks to the fact that the Romans discovered that magical substance known as concrete. Interesting trivia fact: after the fall of the Roman empire, it seems that the knowledge of how to make concrete was lost for several centuries. This was apparently due to the fact that concrete was used to build state-sponsored structures, and without the government to sponsor these buildings, the need to use concrete was gone.
One thing to know when visiting the Colosseum and Rome in general is the fact that people are definitely going to try to scam you in some way. I feel as though I was dressed very nice and not like your typical American tourist, however, when in Rome I must have had “American” written on my forehead. When my friend and I arrived outside the Colosseum, we were immediately approached by a man saying that the line to get in was an hour and a half long, but if we bought his tour for 30 Euros, we could skip the line. He also tried to sell us on the fact that he was the “only English-speaking tour guide” present. After considering this for a second, I passed on this offer thinking I could try my luck at this “long” line. The funny thing was that not five steps later, some other guy came up and gave us the same story. So much for this first one being the only English-speaking guide! We ended up just getting in line, and wouldn’t you know it, we only waited about 20 minutes! So basically, do not listen to these people who approach you outside of historical landmarks in Rome, they just want your money.
Obviously, when you find a cute red scooter, its time for a photo-op! Total Roman Holiday vibes going on right here! 😉
One really cool thing about Rome is that you can totally drink out of the water fountains you find across the city. The water than comes out of them is from the mountains, and it finds its way to Rome thanks to the aqueducts that the ancient Romans built to bring water to the many cities of their empire. It is definitely so nice to have a nice cool drink of mountain water when you’re walking around Rome on a hot day. If only we could have something like this in Southern California!
After the Colosseum, we wandered over to Piazza Navona, a very large square where you can people watch, see street musicians, and eat and drink at one of the many cafes. We had lunch and drinks at Anni ’60, which had the best menu cover of any restaurant probably ever…well, in my book at least.
The Trevi Fountain is another must-visit site in Rome. I won’t lie, all I wanted to do while I was there was jump in, a la Dolce Vita. I’m pretty sure this is frowned upon and punishable by fine, but a girl can dream!
When you visit the Trevi Fountain, you absolutely must throw a coin in and make a wish, but there’s a specific way you have to go about it. Grab a 1 Euro or less, stand with your back to the fountain, make a wish, and then throw the coin over your shoulder.
The one downside to visiting Rome in the summer is that there are SO MANY TOURISTS. EVERYWHERE. Literally, it sometimes felt like we were at Caesar’s Palace in Vegas rather than actual Rome, because there are just so many Americans. Case in point: the Trevi Fountain…I mean, look at this!
Later that night, we went to check out the Spanish Steps, only to find that they were blocked off for a marathon. I had to give those people props, even after the sun had gone down it was still so hot.
The last thing we did on our first day in Rome was take a night tour of Julius Caesar’s forum. You can get tickets here. What was awesome about this is that it is a guided audio tour, where you walk through the ruins of the forum at night and get a glimpse at what the forum looked like back during the Roman Empire. They use lights and holograms to give you a really immersive experience. This tour was probably one of my favorite parts about my visit to Rome, so I definitely recommend checking it out!
I hope you enjoyed this post…thanks for reading and have a great day!