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  • October 19, 2016

    ROME AND PISA TRAVEL DIARY

    Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've posted, but I have been traveling and just got back 2 days ago. Now that I am back, I finally have time to sit down and show you around Rome & Pisa!

    Packing Tips - For October, it can either be warm or on the slightly cooler side in Rome. Definitely pack a light jacket for those cooler days. Mine is from Nordstrom. It's super light and comfy, and the rusty color is kinda unique. Bring a pair of comfy shoes because you'll be doing a lot of walking, especially on cobblestone which sucks to walk on. I also brought a little backpack to carry my camera, phone, wallet and things I bought. Mine is from Tory Burch. It's light and cute - so I definitely recommend it.


    Our first stop was Pisa, and we only spent one night and the afternoon there. That IMO was actually enough time.

    WHERE WE STAYED IN PISA- Hotel Astor

    The room itself was pretty small and it didn't have too many amenities in the hotel, however because we were only there for 1 night, it wasn't too bad. One good thing about it is the location. It was very close to the train station and attractions we wanted to see.

    For me, there really was only one attraction that I HAD to see, and that was The Leaning Tower of Pisa.  It was a lot bigger than I thought it would be, but it didn't look as tilted as I imagined.

    Here is my boyfriend trying his best to keep the tower from falling:


    We then took a train (trenitalia) from Pisa to Florence, but we didn't stop there. The trains were pretty cheap too - only around 9 Euros per person!

    We spent about 4 days in Rome - which is a good amount of time for Rome.

    WHERE WE STAYED IN ROME - Grand Hotel Palace

    This was a great hotel! The rooms were huge and very modern. There's a restaurant in the hotel and an indoor pool as well. I love that the hotel was really close to the big shopping area where there was lots of options for restaurants and things to do. Everything was pretty much walking distance.

    hotels.com

    WHAT WE DID 

    1) Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill - I bought my tickets here for $17 and did a self tour for all 3 attractions. You can of course get guided tours too.

    TIP - We went to the colosseum a little bit later around 4:30PM and it was a lot less crowded because everyone tends to go early!

    We tried to do a cute pic but I kept laughing and then our camera died but here we are!


    2) Sistine Chapel & St. Peter's Basilica - I bought my tickets from Viator and it was the best decision I've ever made. I HIGHLY recommend getting skip the line tickets because the lines to get into the Vatican City are insanely long. People waited for HOURS.

    St. Peter's Basilica is free so you don't need a ticket for that.

    TIP- Go to the Sistine Chapel when it opens at 9am. Start backwards and go through the Sistine Chapel first and work your way backwards. That way, it's less crowded since everyone starts through the museum.

    St. Peter's Basilica:




    Vatican City: This is on the way to the Sistine Chapel and they don't allow photos inside the chapel.

    Tory Burch backpack
    3) Trevi Fountain - This is so pretty! Especially at night. The best time to go is later at night so there aren't as many people there! We went around 11PM after dinner (yes I know, super late). 

    4) The Spanish Steps - These steps lead you to the Piazza di Spagna where many high end fashion stores are and also lots of restaurants. This is a nice spot to sit and chill after a long day of walking around Rome.  



    5) The Pantheon - MY FAVORITE place. This place is huge and is still in such great condition after all these years. Entry to the pantheon is free and it is only one room so it is a very quick attraction.

    Around the corner is a cute cafe called Tazza d'oro where you can get a nice refreshing treat called a Granita!



    Jacket from Nordstrom 
    6) Shopping - Via Cola di Rienzo and Via del Corso are right near the Spanish steps. These two streets are very populated with stores and people all times of the day. But hey, who doesn't shop when they travel?

    I bought some cute and comfy slippers from Tezenis and really comfy ass jeans from Tally-Weijl which is actually a Swiss brand. I really liked these two stores - go check it out if you have time!


    WHERE WE ATE 

    I think I am going to do another post on the different places we actually ate in and what we ordered but here is just a little run down of what eating in Italy is like. 

    Breakfast in Italy is so different than how American's eat. They like to eat a small breakfast - generally at a cafe, eating just a pastry and without a doubt, a cappucino. This is basically what we ate every morning.


    For lunch, we pretty much went for anything. Some days we had pasta, and some days we just ate a pizza.

    This pizza is from La Boccacia - super cheap and delicious!


    This is Amatriciana pasta from Mastro Ciccia!


    The big deal in Italy is dinner. You order an Antipasti, Primi, Secondi, and dolci. So basically one person should be eating "4 courses" but I was never able to do that. 

    Also Italian's eat much later than American's do for dinner. Most restaurant's don't even open until 8PM for dinner. We always ate around 8:30-9:00 PM!  

    And of course, dont forget the gelato. You can't turn a corner without seeing a gelateria in Rome.

    This one below is from Grom! They have lots of delicious flavors - here I have tiramisu, stracciatella and hazelnut.


    I hope you enjoyed this post and find it helpful if you are going to Pisa or Rome anytime soon! 

    I will definitely write another post with just the foods we ate for all of you foodies out there! 

    Please leave any comments or feedback for me if I've missed anything. 

    xo 
    Michelle

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