Hello friends! It’s time for part 2/3 of my spring break. After southern Italy, I took a train up to Rome for some solo travel. This was my first time traveling in Europe alone, but I was super excited about it. Read below for a recap!
Trip 2: Rome
I left the beautiful boot of Italy on Tuesday, successfully got on the correct train to Rome, and found my hostel all on my own. A pretty good start if I do say so myself. I got into Rome around 10am, so I had the entire day to begin exploring. I made my way to the Colosseum, paid 12 euro to go in, and honestly was unimpressed. Stuck up as that may sound, it just was not my thing and I will never get those 12 euro back. Annoyed, I then walked to the Trevi Fountain (which was beautiful), ate some gelato, and tossed a coin in. This first day was a bit too overwhelming and I hated how crowded and touristy the entire city was. Everywhere I went were boatloads of tourists. Don’t even get me started on the people selling selfie sticks every five steps I took. My selfie game is on point, I don’t need assistance! I needed a break from all the fuss, so I wandered until I found an area of the city that wasn’t so packed and just walked around for an hour or so.
Wednesday was much better, more relaxed, and had a fantastic ending. I gave myself an early start and headed to Vatican City bright and early. I wasn’t early enough, as there was a HUGE line outside of St. Peder’s Basillica. I was confused by the line and someone informed me that the Pope would be hosting mass that morning. I decided it would be a cool experience, and joined the line (plus it solved the whole Catholic Guilt thing of not going to mass while abroad). Thankfully, the line moved quickly and I was in before I knew it. I really enjoyed the service, even though I couldn’t understand a word because it was all in Italian.
After the service, I was a bit hungry and decided to go find SoloPasta, a reccomendation courtesy of my girl, Haley. This little hole in the wall place was run by a woman who did not speak any english, but served fabulous pasta and a glass of wine for only 5 euro. Great pasta and a great deal, you can’t go wrong. After, I needed something sweet so I headed out to Pompi a.k.a the best tiramisu in Rome. It was heavenly and I savored every bite. After pasta and tiramisu, I needed to walk around and decided it was time to do some shopping. I managed to find some cute boutiques and made some great purchases!
After resting up at the hostel for a bit, I started to get hungry and decided to check out Trattoria Del Omo, said to have the best ravioli in Rome. I arrived at 7:30 and, to my luck, they had room for a table for one! I immediately ordered the ravioli and a glass of wine. The ambiance was nothing special, it felt like I was eating in someones kitchen (which I enjoyed). The chef was a 75 year old woman and her two sons acted as the waitstaff. Even though they only spoke in Italian, the family bickering was universally recognized and I couldn’t help but giggle. Halfway through my meal, the chef came and sat with me. While she didn’t speak a lick of English, she was great company and offered me bread and coffee on the house! One of the perks of solo travel, you never know who you’ll meet or what treats you’ll receive! While I would not consider going back to Rome, I would go back just to eat here again. So, if you’re ever in Rome, GO HERE!
Overall, Rome went well in terms of traveling on my own. I never got (too) lost, had some time to reflect, and was able to stick to my own schedule. By the end of the two and a half days, however, I was ready to have a travel buddy again. While I loved the benefits of solo travel, I definitely missed sharing the experience with someone else. Rome wasn’t my favorite city, a bit too touristy for my taste, but the food was unlike anything I have ever tasted before and made the trip worth it!!
Some solo travel tips:
- Make sure you’re phone is charged for the day.
- Make sure you have Google Maps (or a similar GPS app)
- Don’t be afraid to go to a sit down restaurant alone, you never know who you will meet!
- Bring a good book.
- Take some time for yourself and just sit somewhere beautiful for an hour or two.
- Stay in a hostel and get to know your roommates, you’ll meet some interesting people!