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Veni! Vidi! Visa!

Shannon & I

I came! I saw! I shopped!

Last weekend I went to Rome for my very first time.  It was a long over due girls weekend, and I had an absolute ball.  I couldn’t have asked for better travel companions than Vicky and Shannon (thank you ladies!).  And, since none of us had been to Rome before, it was going to be an adventure for all of us.

Anyway, the adventure began when Vicky and I went to the airport (unfortunately the three of us weren’t all able to travel together)…we found it a bit odd (and scary) that no one checked our identification.  Not “passport controle” (um, isn’t that their job?), not the airline, no one…yeah, safe.  We arrived a bit late (and thankfully unharmed), and were able to meet up with the third amiga when Shannon’s plane got in a little after us.  We grabbed a taxi, and headed to the hotel.  I have always heard that Rome was a crazy place to drive, but to quote Joey Lawrence, “WHOA!”.  Drivers their are crazy, and driving down on-coming traffic lanes and cutting across jam packed roundabouts is totally kosher.

After we dropped our bags in the hotel (which we found thanks to my iPhone), we hit the streets to explore.  I quickly realized that Rome was A) a shoppers paradise, and B) that dining al fresco has a totally different meaning in Italy.  We had the best weather (75F and sunny), so meandering the shops and boutiques was a real treat, but so was having drinks and antipasti at a chic sidewalk cafe.  I mean let’s be honest…Prosseco, friends, and good conversation is a girls dream…If you throw Italy in the mix, well…it’s another kind of dream!

The Coliseum – Check out that line.

Another great thing about the weekend was the food.  It was so damn good.  Pizza, pasta, vino, olives…so good.  We dined at Antica Pesa, which was a real treat…the atmosphere was fantastic, and is considered one of the best restaurants in Rome.  We lunched at a restaurant around the corner from the Vatican…the pizza was so fantastic that I had to try and recreate it myself (it didn’t turn out as good, but hey…I’m no chef).  For breakfast on Saturday, Vicky and I went down to the restaurant connected to our Guest House.  They served us ricotta cheese cake (to die for), omelets, capuccinno, fresh squeezed OJ, and rustic bread…It was so good that we decided to eat there for dinner.  Dinner was fine, but the people were what made it great.  The staff was funny and accommodating, and the owner was well, Italian – charming and handsome.  Breakfast on Sunday was delivered to our room…you just can’t beat that.

St. Peters Square – Do you like the nut job standing in my photo?

And yes, during this weekend of fun, we did do some sightseeing too.  It might sound lame, but we did a bus tour and saw most of the major sights in less than 4 hours.  Rome is just too massive and historical to see in two days.  I would have LOVED to have seen the Sistine Chapel, but the line to get into the Vatican Museum was over two hours long.  I plan on going back, and taking the time to see those things…so I don’t want to hear how I didn’t go to the Coliseum or the Pantheon.

Now, when I think of Italy, I think of wine, olive oil, and footwear.  I couldn’t leave Rome without going home with a pair of Italian leather boots.  I had been in the market for some prior to going to Rome, but my search heightened while I was there.  On the last day I found the perfect pair.  So, whenever I wear my new “Italian” boots, not only will I be totally chic, but I will think back to my friends, Shannon and Vicky, and the good times we shared.

I mean, let’s face it…sweet boots and good friends – make a happy girl.

Ciao bella!

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