After a fantastic 5 days in Paris, we headed to Rome where we met my family that had been traveling throughout Italy. We had so much fun with my family and getting to know the city.
Our flight from Rome to Paris was a breeze. We kept Zain entertained with a movie on hubby’s iPad and he was a little angel, as usual :). Upon arriving at our hotel – the Albergo Cesari (located near the Pantheon, a perfect location and awesome staff) – I got in contact with my mom to find out their ETA. Not surprisingly, their caravan of 3 cars was lost amongst the windy, tiny streets that look like cars should not even be driving on. We went outside to see if we could find them and magically, we did! It was so fun to see all the people I love 4,000 miles from home.
After everyone got settled, we went to a very late lunch at the Piazza Navona and had some amazing pizza and pasta.
After our long day of traveling and doing some exploring, we went to bed early on day 1 in Rome.
On day 2, hubby and I started off the day with a 9 mile run (left Z to destroy the grandparents’ hotel room since he’d already taken care of ours already :)). I’ll go into more detail in my next post about running in Rome, but let’s just say it was an adventure and I’m glad we were together for it! After breakfast, the whole crew headed out for a walk to the Coliseum. It was a hot day already and the walk was right out in the bright sun with no shade to be found. We ended up buying an umbrella to shield the prince from the sun. We also made sure to keep him hydrated.
Hubby and I had both already been to the Coliseum on previous visits to Rome so we opted not to wait in line to go inside with everyone else. Plus, it was only getting hotter and Zain was getting ready for a nap. On our walk back to the hotel, we discovered that the high quality umbrella that my husband bought from a man on the side of the street had broken. We happened to see the man from whom the umbrella was purchased and hubby explained to him that it broke and we’d like another one. Ha. Yeah, right. The guy pretended he had never seen us in his life. His friend so kindly offered to sell us another umbrella at a discounted price, but hubby declined the offer. Fun times.
And during the little skirmish, Zain fell asleep.
After Zain’s nap, we took a walk to the Spanish Steps. Of course, we couldn’t just walk there without getting lost, but we did eventually find our way. Then we continued on to the Trevi Fountain.
Another long day of activities meant we were hungry for another amazing Italian meal. We ate dinner outside at a restaurant near our hotel that our friend at the front desk, Tommaso, recommended.
At most restaurants, if you so desire, you can have them just keep bringing out food of their choosing. We did this a lot for the first course and we got to eat some truly amazing food. The best tasting tomatoes I’ve ever eaten, outstanding fresh mozzarella, mussels, artichokes, and much more. For the main course, I frequently ordered Cappriciosa pizza. Every time I have been to Italy, I nearly overdose on this pizza. It has mushrooms, olives, artichokes and prosciutto on it. And usually, it also has an egg on top. I know you’re probably thinking, “an egg on a pizza?!” Yes, an egg on a pizza and it is delicious.
During dinner Zain was a little antsy so we walked with him a bit in the nearby open space. He stopped to talk to everyone who passed.
On day 3 in Rome, we went to the Catacombs. It was really interesting to take the tour and learn about the history that exists underneath the city. Plus, it was nice and cool underground!
After our tour, we came back for Zain to nap. While he napped, hubby stayed with him so I could go out for a little bit with my family. We went to lunch and I had yet another delicious pizza – Daviola this time. Daviola pizza is sort of like pepperoni pizza but way better an a little spicy.
Then we had some gelato at Giolitti which is famous for their gelato. I had chocolate and stracciatella which is sort of like chocolate chip, but better of course.
After devouring my gelato, I got a frantic call from hubby that Zain woke up and was not pleased that mama was nowhere to be found. Luckily, we were right by the hotel so I came to rescue my boy and all was well again. We then headed out for another trip to Spanish steps, but this time the goal was for the ladies to hit the shops. He went to Louis, Prada, Fendi, Gucci, Chanel, Dior, and more. Of course we didn’t buy anything, but it was fun to look! The only thing purchased was a man purse for hubby at the Ferrari store. I’m so mad I didn’t get a good picture of him wearing it while we were there because I’m sure he won’t wear it again now that we’re back in the US and most men don’t wear man purses :).
That night we went to another fabulous dinner, but unfortunately, we didn’t make it past the appetizers before we needed to get back to the hotel for Zain to go to sleep. He was just not happy about sitting at dinner and was ready to get to bed. While taking a breather outside though while waiting for the food, he made a little friend from Denmark. His name was Hector and he was 2.5. He shared one of his toys with Zain. It was too cute. Hector’s parents were also having a hard time getting him to sit still at dinner so it was nice that the boys got to play together for a few minutes.
On the way back to the hotel, we did manage to stop real quick for some gelato at Giolitti’s. This time I had hazelnut and chocolate. Oh my gosh, it was heaven.
On day 4, after a morning run, we took it slow for the day. My family left for a tour at the Vatican (hubby and I had been there before as well so we skipped it). It was really nice to spend some time just the 3 of us walking around. We had lunch and then guess what we had. More gelato, of course! We tried a different place which had about a thousand flavors to choose from.
We met up with the family for some aperitivos.
Then, off to eat again! We had another incredible meal. I swear the food just got better and better with each meal.
We had to duck out of dinner a little early again. After we put Zain to bed, I sent Navin back to the restaurant to spend some time with the fam. When they all came back, they spent some time on the incredible rooftop terrace at the hotel. Then hubby came back to the room and sent me up to hang out with my cousins. We had such a great time. It was a lot of fun.
Day 5 was our last full day in Rome. Half of the family went on a day trip to Capri and the rest of us just spent some time near the hotel doing a little more exploring and shopping. We went to the Pantheon again followed by a trip the the Adidas, Nike and Puma stores.
We had another great meal for our last dinner in Rome and then we again took turns hanging out with the fam on the rooftop while Zain slept. It was a great last night and a perfect way to end our amazing trip to Europe.
We had so much fun in Rome and we are so thankful we had the opportunity to go. Our flight home went great. Zain slept most of the time again. We’re lucky he’s such an awesome little traveller!
Coming up next – Running in Rome!