When we realised we had ten days between two weddings in Italy we knew instantly we wanted to do a bit of a road trip. As if by magic Alcatel got in touch to tell us about their new POP 4 phone and an amazing deal to get return flights to one to of 9 destinations over the summer when you buy the handset (discover more here). As Rome was one of the destinations I leaped at the chance to visit it and meet the challenge of experiencing the city in 48 hours.
We drove from Tuscany (more on that later in the month) which took about 2 and a half hours. I'd been forewarned that driving in Rome was absolutely mental, but having experienced some of the sharp twists, turns and driving styles for the previous two weeks it really didn't seem that bad! We arrived at our hotel (incredible find, if you're going you must stay here: Trevi Palace) smack bang in the centre and parked opposite for 6€ a day...
Our 2 days were not planned very well other than to the agenda to "see lots." So, we set out armed with the phone (for maps, shots and lots of Googling) to discover the city. First, the Trevi Fountain. Frustratingly it was being renovated but I was still really taken back by the sheer size of it! We then walked through the backstreets (by favourite part of Rome, or in fact any European/Mediterranean city) until we reached the Spanish Steps.
Few things to know about these steps: Keats and Byron lived next door (viewers of The Trip will know this), Susan Sarandon conceived her first child on them and in 2007 someone attempted to drive down them in a Toyota Prius, and failed. We took some recommendations (thank you, Twitter) and went up to Il Palazzetto for a quick drink on their rooftop bar - perfect if you want a view of the Steps and not be covered in other tourists.
From there we caught the tube to the Colosseum. I'd done this before and wasn't all that bothered, but as the boy hadn't it was the first time in my life the expression "when in Rome" made perfect sense. To be fair it was actually really good, there is something pretty electrifying about walking through something with that level of history and theatre about it. From there we grabbed a quick drink in a nearby bar (you really can't go wrong in Rome, it's all good) and went back to the hotel to freshen up before an evening stroll.
Freshly showered (needed, Rome was 38 degrees) we wandered from the Trevi Fountain to the Pantheon (do bother to read up on this Roman building as it really is quite special, housing the world's largest dome until the 1960s - pretty incredible considering it is two thousand years old) to Piazza Navano for a drink whilst watching the world go by. Following that we found a great little pizza place just around the corner and filled out boots with freshly baked carbohydrates before bed.
Up and at them the following morning, we had a quick breakfast at the hotel (exceptional, seriously do stay at this place, here) and drove over to St Peters Square. Admittedly, we should have been more organised. If you want to see things like the Sistine Chapel then you need to book weeks in advance unless you fancy queuing for four hours under a baking hot sun. We didn't so instead we explored the Basilica and the tombs of the Popes which was very special. I was quite taken back by the power of the architecture...
I really can't recommend a city break enough. Living in Europe (!!) it's easy to forget how close we are to all these places. Flights take 2 hours and at really good times to help you make the most of a weekend. To keep an eye on all the adventures involved in the Alcatel POP 4 project follow the hashtag #makeitpop4 on Instagram (find me here) and to discover more about their return flight offer visit their site here.
shorts = denim mom shorts, Topshop
This post was written in collaboration with Alcatel. All words, images and positioning my own. For more details on their free flights offer visit them here.