Vacation Photos: Rome, pt. 1

Ristorante Sabatini, Trastevere

Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere

Vintage Fiat!



The Colosseum

The Forum

Piazza della Bocca della Verita

Piazza di San Calisto, Trastevere

Carbonara, Ristorante Carlo Menta

Piazza di San Calisto, Trastevere

Making friends with the locals


Creeping vines


We arrived in Rome on a gloriously sunny Sunday afternoon. After checking into our Airbnb rental, and in an effort to stave off jetlag and resist the urge for a quick nap, we quickly set out to get a lay of the land. No easy feat, considering we were staying in the Trastevere neighborhood of the city. Full of windy, tucked-away streets, cobblestone piazzas, and endless old-world charm, Trastevere sits on the south bank of the Tiber river and was just far enough off the beaten tourist track to really give us a sense of how the locals live. (We basically found the Montmartre of Rome.) We decided to familiarize ourselves with our new, temporary home, and save all the major sightseeing –including the Colosseum and the Forum– for Monday. We stayed in Rome for three and a half days, and could’ve spend the full two weeks just there. There was so much to see and discover on both sides of the river, and while we mostly stuck to Trastevere when it came to dinner options, we were floored with how good the food was wherever we ate. I know, I know, it’s Italy, they’re kind of known for their food. But my best friend had gone to Venice and Milan in February, and came back sadly underwhelmed and lamenting the quality of the food; maybe it was my lowered expectations, or maybe it’s more of a regional difference in cuisine, a northern Italy vs. southern Italy thing, but MY GOD THE FOOD. That dish of spaghetti carbonara up there? Yeah, it cost a whopping €5 and was some of the most delicious pasta I’ve ever eaten. (I’d go on to have carbonara or cacio e pepe, a simple pasta with tons of pepper and cheese, almost every single day. Give me bacon and melty egg yolk and cheese and carbs any day.) Our first night in Rome, we split an enormous, thin crust pizza with heaps of fresh mozzarella for the absurd price of €3. Three!

And then there were all the sights. The centuries-old ruins Rome is famous for. On Monday we ventured across the river to the Circus Maximus, the Forum, and the Colosseum. The surreal feeling of standing in the Colosseum where gladiators and emperors once stood was one of the highlights of the trip. You read about these things in grade school and they seem so abstract and faraway, and seeing them in person, standing in them, is a beautifully humbling experience. I am so grateful to have been able to see them (and equally as grateful for the delicious gelato we gorged on right after).

This is Rome, part 1. See you on Friday for part 2!

22 thoughts on “Vacation Photos: Rome, pt. 1

  1. Oh, your photos… You really captured the beauty of this city! I was in Rome last time one year ago and I´m really happy to enjoy the beautiful colours again. You are a great photographer, I so look forward to follow your journey. Thanks!

    1. Oh, thank you so much! That’s so sweet of you to say. I am already anticipating the urge to go back. It’s a wonderful city! xo

  2. ok, these photos are STUNNING. i am completely taken away by your skills. rome (ITALY) is gorgeous, but you , my friend, do it every bit of justice that it deserves. i am so glad you chose to stay in a part of the city where you could get a good sense of how the locals live. that is the *only* way to see a place!

    1. Thank you, darling! You are so kind. I promise, though, Italy makes it really easy, in much the same way France (and Greece…and basically anywhere not here ;) does. xoxo

  3. I am soooo happy your carbonara experience was better than mine!!! I definitely think it’s a regional difference with the food! don’t get me wrong, I never said “ew get this away from
    me” with the food but I definitely had better pasta and pizza
    in Philadelphia! this just means I have to go
    back…this time to southern Italy! can’t wait to hear allllllll about it this weekend!!!!!

    1. Hahah no, I don’t think anyone would go to Italy and be all, “ew yuck no food for me thanks” but still, I was so sad when you said the carbonara at Garces was better! It is delicious, though, and they set that bar pretty high. I can’t wait to seeee youuuuu xoxo

  4. The photographs are gorgeous! Your eye is amazing. I won’t repeat what Dr Trayes said so don’t worry….JK.

    1. Thanks, moo! You have to go to Italy next year!!

      (I feel I should clarify for everyone else that may read this that Dr. Trayes was my photography department chair, and not a physician. Lest anyone think we’re quoting my therapist or something ;) xo

  5. looks fabulous. Rome is one of my favourite cities. as to food in Venice and Florence. it’s great there too. but they are both smaller and therefore more obvious touristy, so if you don’t know what to look for, you easily end up with over-prized and underwhelming food. especially in Venice. I had some amazing food in both place, but especially in Venice it takes some guts to walk into a restaurant frequented by locals as they often don’t look very inviting. the food there, however…

    1. We had really good food in Florence, too, but that may be because we knew what to look for thanks to the first few days in Rome? I’m dying to go see Venice, though, so maybe on the next trip ;) That’s something I didn’t expect about Italy, was that it wormed its way inside me instantly and I’m already itching to go back. xo

  6. Des très belles photos Erin ! La première fois que j’ai visité Rome, on a reste les mêmes jours que vous, 3!! Cette ville ça nous a plu tellement qu’on a décidé retourne un année plus tard pendant 1 semaine ! La meilleure carbonara est à Rome ! xo

    1. Trois jours est assez longtemps pour la première visite. Tu peux voir la meilleur endroits dans trois jours, c’est possible. La prochaine fois, nous aurons une semaine, minimum! :) xoxo

  7. The pictures. There are no words.
    What a fabulous trip you had! We’ve been watching the Giro (Tour of Italy) a little and it made us want to jump on a plane and fly to Italy! That country is so beautiful!

    1. Thank you, my dear! And welcome back from London, too! As far as jumping on a plane…do it! Do it do it! You won’t regret it ;) xo

  8. Oh Rome, such a beautiful, beautiful city! When I went with my family last year, I found that the Parla Food app was a godsend to help find the best of the best when dining out. Such a shame about your friend not having a great time with food in Venice and Milan! My boyfriend was saying that there tend to be more crappy restaurants in the North whereas in the South all of the restaurants have to be good or people just stay at home to eat! On the other hand, there is some absolutely excellent food up here in the North too, whether it’s hidden gems of restaurants in the cities or mountain refuges serving up hearty, traditional food. I want to invite your friend back so I can show them just how delicious Milan can be :p (although I don’t recommend myself as a tour guide as I tend to try and cram way too much in at one go haha) xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua Italy

    1. That would have been a helpful app to have! Next time :) Thanks for the tip, Lucy! We stuck to recommendations off Trip Advisor and didn’t have a single bad meal (though our favorite meal by far was at a tiny lunch counter at a market in Florence. Amazing, can’t wait to write all about it). That’s interesting that it’s definitely a regional thing when it comes to the quality of the food! I’m like you, too, I cram a lot in when it comes to “leisurely” vacations. We ran ourselves ragged, but in a good way :) xo

  9. Les photos sont magnifiques et les couleurs de la ville éternelle splendides. Être à Rome, c’est vivre une histoire à travers l’Histoire, c’est saisissant de beauté. Je crois par ailleurs que tous ceux qui sont allés un jour à Rome y ont un souvenir culinaire mémorable.

    1. C’est vraiment “la ville éternelle,” nous avons appris. L’histoire, les couleurs, les gens…tout est incroyable! Merci pour vos mots gentils, Veronique! xoxo

  10. Beautiful!! I would love to visit this city one day. I don’t remember the food in Venice being particularly good or bad (the pastries – amazing!), but I do remember being astounded at the low cost of everything, just like you! Whyyyyy is pizza so expensive here?!

    1. The low costs were amazing and also really, really unfair. The closest pizza to the thin, crispy crust we got in Italy is at Pizzeria Vetri, and that’s $18 a pizza! I wanted to order four or five in Rome that night just because they were so cheap. ;) xo

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