And finally, today was my last day in Rome. I had a couple of things left to do. Visiting The Colosseum and Roman Forum for one. I also had a few last minute presents to buy. So I did those things.
The Colosseum was glorious! A place where Romans for centuries cold-bloodedly killed literally thousands of people as well as professional fighters and animals, it is an impressive monument to ancient Roman imperial power and cruelty!
And so visiting the last things on my list took half a day. Shopping took a couple of hours. Then it was time for yet another amazing dinner. My last in Rome!
My amazing dinner
After dinner, armed with Google Maps and a Day Pass, I just went from one place to the next. I wanted to see Rome by night. It was incredible! Rome is so beautiful at night. And charming. And bustling.
Summing it all
I’m going to miss this place. BIG TIME. The food, the city, the shopping, everything! Rome is now, without a doubt, one of my favourite places in the world.
When I googled Vatican last night to prepare my itinerary for today, I found this page on the official Musei Vaticani website.
Overwhelming isn’t it?
It occurred to me that if I wanted to truly see everything and properly visit Vatican’s incredible artwork, I’d need a guided tour. That feeling lasted for about an hour or so. Until I realized, I don’t really want to go into the history of everything. I can appreciate good sculptures and beautiful tapestries without a walking, talking Wikipedia page on the subject matter.
So I decided to do my own research and go through enough YouTube videos so I at least know what I can’t afford to miss. See, any visit to the Vatican has a few highlights: the Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. And I figured I’d be okay by myself.
And I was!!
The Vatican is BEAUTIFUL! And St. Peter’s Basilica breathtaking!
After half a day at the Vatican, next up I went for a food tour in Testaccio, the original foodie neighbourhood of Rome and where cucina romana (roman cuisine) was born. BY MYSELF!! I had half a mind to book an actual walking food tour until I realized this is what a food tour in Rome looks like.
Price: $ 96.65
Here is the thing… I can walk around Testaccio by myself 😛 😛 😛 And google the best places to eat.
So I did that and spent way less than $ 96.65. And I’m fussy food wise so I got to pick and choose exactly what I wanted to try. I had some amazing things: gelato, cannoli, pizzas and loads of other real Rome street food. IT WAS AWESOME!! The pastries from Barberini were particularly delicious.
And finally, later in the evening, I went out to dinner in Trastevere, a daytime draw and nighttime hotspot on the picturesque west bank of the Tiber.
The food was amazing at the restaurant I narrowed down on TripAdvisor.
Okay the title is a little misleading. I wasn’t actually in Rome today! First thing in the morning (so at 06 30), I took a train to Bologna, the largest city of the Emilia-Romagna region in Italy and a rail junction connecting Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice.
It’s also the starting point for getting to the city of Modena (home to the Museo Enzo Ferrari) and the town of Maranello just outside Modena (home to the Museo Ferrari, the famous Fiorano test track and the factory where every Ferrari is made). See today I decided to give Rome a break and visit the Ferrari Museums. I say museums with an “s” because there are two of them.
It was so cool!
The Museo Enzo Ferrari
A space dedicated to Enzo Ferrari more than an actual museum, the Museo Enzo Ferrari is a fascinating, futuristic workshop where you can get acquainted with Enzo Ferrari’s incredible life story spanning 90 years. Current exhibitions at the museum include:
1. Maserati 100, an exhibition dedicated to Maserati’s 100 years.
2. Enzo Ferrari in the time machine.
The exhibitions at the Ferrari museums (both in Modena and Maranello) are apparently cycled periodically. When I got home tonight, I googled some of the past exhibitions and I think the ones that are on right now are so awesome. Because of the special Maserati exhibition, I was able to compare and contrast the most famous Ferraris and Maseratis of each era. And at the Museo Ferrari as well, the exhibitions that are on right now are really good.
The Museo Ferrari
In contrast to the Museo Enzo Ferrari, the Museo Ferrari in Maranello focuses on Ferrari’s present and future, whilst remaining deeply rooted in the Prancing Horse’s extraordinary history. A permanent exhibition is dedicated to Formula 1 and the World Championship flanked by five other rooms that host themed exhibitions.
The museum also houses a screening room where themed films are screened on a loop, Formula 1 simulators and a large Ferrari Store. Current exhibitions at the museum include:
1. Racing, with the Formula 1, sport and GT cars that raced and won on American tracks
2. The great Los Angeles where the most fascinating Ferrari cars of all times are gathered under one roof
3. The magic of Ferrari’s technology including the unparalleled “LaFerrari”
So… Yeah! See what I mean by it was so cool? 😛 😛 😛
Today was a day I’m going to remember for a very long time. Oh did I mention that right outside the Museo Ferrari, there is a rental company where you can test drive Ferraris and Lamborghinis? Yep, that’s right. You can test drive:
– The Ferrari F430 Spider
– Ferrari California
– Ferrari F458 Italia
– Ferrari F430 Scuderia
– Lamborghini LP570-4 Superleggera
– Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
– Lamborghini Aventador LP-700/4
– Ferrari 430 Challenge
– Ferrari 458 Speciale
By 14 30, I was done with everything in Modena and Maranello. I took the train back to Bologna and walked around the city. Mostly I was in the city center going through the shops there. And having street pizza.
So this was my original map. And really speaking, that’s mostly what I did today. Keyword here being mostly. Because there are always deviations. You see a square with a fountain and you want to have a closer look. You see a church that looks pretty and you want to go in. You see a little road that seems interesting and you want to walk through it. That’s how I found out that there is such a thing as flower bouquets where the flowers in the bouquets are actually sweets.
I mean… WOW!!!
So I walked from 10 00 to 18 00 today, almost non-stop. I only stopped for an espresso at one point. Somewhere close to Piazza Navona.
And as you can see from the map, I hit the shopping streets hard today. Via Condotti and Via del Corso!! 😀 😀 😀
Later in the evening, when I got to the hotel at 18 00, I rested for a while and by rested, I mean I googled some potential places to have dinner that does not involve a lot of walking or a lot of money. 😉 😉 😉
I found this little restaurant barely 5 minutes away from my hotel. 698 reviews on TripAdvisor, rating: 4.2 out of 5. The food was A.W.E.S.O.M.E and the one thing that was even more awesome than the food was the place itself, the waiter included. The guy was so nice. And charming. I had a really good evening. After a really nice day. My feet are not so happy but the rest of me is ecstatic.
It was a good first day. I landed at Fiumicino Airport at 12 30 and made it to the hotel by 15 00. So really speaking, I only had half a day here today but it was so cool. I took the metro to The Spanish Steps. Walked from there through Via del Corso to Trevi Fountain. Had dinner somewhere along the way and gelato.
So this was my map today 😉 😉
I think I’m going to love this place so much by Saturday!
Meals of the day
Before we talk about food, I think I need to mention that I have a strategy for being able to enjoy the food here without putting on weight. Actually I intend to lose a couple of pounds if I can swing it. What I have in mind is that I’ll only have ONE meal everyday. This way, I can eat the things I want to and not put on weight. Technically, I’ll be fasting for 20-ish hours everyday and breaking the fasts with a “normal” meal. I might even throw dessert in every now and then, like I did today. Gym is obviously not going to happen.
I know it doesn’t sound healthy but really speaking, think about it, do I have a choice? Not really right? I can’t have salads while on holiday in Rome! Well, technically and in theory, I can. Realistically though, not so much..
So after fasting for 24 hours today, I had fettuccine with porcini mushrooms. I also had gelato for dessert. Chocolate and strawberry.