Bath and London were both relaxing and uneventful, since our main purpose for both of those destinations were to spend quality time with our friends. Therefore, by the time we arrived to Rome, we felt somewhat well rested (travel days are still tiring no matter how short the flight) and were ready for more adventures.
We had a few days in Rome to ourselves before the rest of our family would arrive to join us. Bridge and I checked into Le Meridien hotel and spent the morning and early afternoon on our first day exploring by foot. We walked to the nearby Spanish Steps, visited the Trevi Fountain, and had our first of many Italian meal!
We signed up for a bike tour via Airbnb Experiences for the late afternoon/early evening, and it was great fun! Rome does not have a lot of wide sidewalks nor bike lanes, so we had to ride on the streets most of the time, but that wasn’t a problem for Bridge and I.
Tip: Bike tours are an excellent way to get around a new city. It really helps us to get our bearings and to hit a lot of major tourist spots in one day!
We had an awesome guide for this tour, who was both knowledgable and fun (2 very important qualities for any tour guide!). She taught us Roman history, Italian etiquette and lifestyle, and took us around a lot of back alleyways which we never would’ve found ourselves. Bridgette even got to try her very first affogato and immediately fell in love with this Italian coffee-based dessert!
The next day, we took a pizza and pasta making class which shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that knows us because we love taking cooking classes in different countries. Plus, Italian food is one of our favorite cuisines, so naturally we looked into cooking classes as soon as we decided to visit Italy!
The cooking class was booked via Airbnb experiences again, and the instructor Giuseppi, had raving reviews all around, so we had high expectations for our class. We were instructed to meet at one of the further metro stops, where Giuseppi picked us up in a large van, along with about a dozen other people. We then drove to what felt like a remote farm-like property, where we were dropped off and then instructed to wash our hands, store our bags, and then apply the insect repellant that was available to us. That was when we realized the entire class was going to take place outdoors in a very forest-y area. Bridge and I are both magnets for mosquitos, and we weren’t prepared to be in the forest the whole day, so we tried to smother our bodies with repellent. Unfortunately, the repellant that was provided for us was simply not strong enough, so Bridge and I were basically eaten alive by mosquitos for the 3+ hours that we were there. It was horrifically unbearable, but because we were in the middle of nowhere, we couldn’t even leave the class early. There was absolutely no escaping the mosquitos! 😭
Okay, so besides the whole mosquito fiasco (which completely ruined the experience for us), we did learn how to make a fresh pizza from a wood burning oven. We also learned how to shape pasta. Much of the prep work and the actual making of the pasta was already done for us though, which was kind of disappointing because we left feeling like we really didn’t learn how to make either pizza or pasta from scratch. We did get to enjoy the food we made, but all while being food ourselves to the mosquitos…
That night, we made our way to Lungo il Tevere, the annual outdoor festival that takes place alongside the beautiful Tiber River in Rome. Along the riverbank, we found many restaurants, booths that sold clothes, souvenirs, and handmade products, and rows of foosball tables for people to play. The vibe was upbeat and vibrant, and we found it soooo hard to choose which restaurant to eat at!
Stay tuned for more activities in Rome in Part 2 of this post!