Rome was so surprisingly wonderful.
I knew I would like it, but I couldn’t have possibly predicted how much I would love it.
We stayed in a cute little hotel in the square right next to the Pantheon. It was an adorable part of the city-- walking distance to all of the popular sights, but just quaint enough to make you feel like a local. This was our entrance:
There were these winding cobblestone backstreets made for pedestrians, bicycles and scooters that made the city feel like it was full of secret passageways. We saw everyone riding these scooters through the city and backstreets and we felt so inspired. Michael found a rental hut, and we rented a moped to share. We weren't quite ready to jump in, especially driving a tiny scooter through one of the most crowded cities in Europe. So we took it up to a less busy area to drive it individually before we jumped on together (and that was a good move because I almost wiped out twice).
Once we got the hang of it, we took off down to the main roads. Everywhere we looked there were scooters—hundreds, I’m not kidding. When the cars and buses would come to a stoplight, ALL the scooters would fly past us, riding through the TINY space between the cars and big buses to get in front of the cars. I felt pretty sure we were going to die if we tried that.
What's funny about being married is that right when you've made up your mind about something, you look over at your partner and can see it in their eyes -- they're sold on the other thing.
And the best part is deciding which plan you're going to go with.
Before I knew it, we were blending in with all the other mopeds riding inches away from buses and saying little prayers through our giggles, screams and smiles. Riding all over the city was pure magic.
We loved having the scooter because we were able to see most of Rome in the 2 short days that we were there.
We found authentic Italian restaurants, delicious gelato, parks just outside of the city center, rode by the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, and the Spanish Steps, we hopped the curb and rode through the cobblestone sidewalks in front of the Roman Forum. Every moment was exhilarating.
Those two days play back in my mind like an old movie.
The day was absolutely gorgeous—sun shining and not a cloud in the sky. I remember wandering the cobblestone backstreets and finding a tiny restaurant that was full to the brim with locals. They were booked solid, but we squeezed in a reservation for the next night because we agreed to sit at the table right by the bathroom.
I remember how every piece of pasta we ate was handmade, how the gelato was so rich and refreshing after a long day of exploring the city. I remember eating pizza in Piazza Navona and people-watching for hours.
I loved every minute of walking through the old city, totally in awe of the ruins and the history.
I loved finding that little espresso bar and eating a cannoli while we sipped coffee out of our tiny mugs. I loved when we finally found that spot that they called the "best view in Rome" after walking for an hour inside the park at Villa Borghese.
I remember the serendipitous mistake of getting lost on the highway at night, only to find ourselves in front of the perfectly-lit Vatican. Then we drove around the city trying to pretend that our short stay in Rome wasn't coming to an end, and found ourselves at the Trevi Fountain. We bought a polaroid from one of those crazy guys that sell junk at every major landmark, threw a coin in, and made a wish to return there someday.