Audio reading: https://open.spotify.com/episode/2RjXDLWcgyT2LpceujMN9x
So three years ago me and my family took a coach holiday and toured around Italy. If you don’t know what a coach holiday is, it is a holiday where you get on a fancy bus with 30 to 40 strangers and spend either a week or 2 with them staying at different places. It can either be a living hell or it can be fun! This holiday back in 2018 was a fantastic holiday and lasted 11 days, touring all over the place.
My mum, in preparation for this holiday, made each of us 5 a journal to write in each day. It had a schedule of the days, where we were going, doing and staying. It also contained a handy little phrase page so if we needed to find a loo or the nearest restaraunt we could refer to it and ask a local Italian.
16 year old me wrote extensively in this little journal, sticking postcards, bus tickets, train tickets and even ferry tickets in this thing making it look like a little scrap book of memories. I thank my younger self because I now have a very detailed account of what we got up to…of which I’ll share with you now in a 3 part series.
We had an early 5AM start, ( pahah can’t believe I used to think that 5am was early), and the taxi came at 6am to the house and it took us to Liverpool John Lennon airport. We rushed around to get our luggage ckecked and my nan had to have a pat down. We then sat down in a comfy lounge and waited what felt like forever for us to be called for departure. We were finally called to gate 3 for the Ryanair flight to Rome!
When we landed after flying for 5 hours, the company we were travelling with were waiting for us and took us to Pinewoods hotel. We spent the rest of the day basking in the warm Italian sunshine and unpacking.
The coach driver took us into Rome and parked somewhere near The Vatican City. Little bit of interesting information about The Vatican City. It is a city-state surrounded by Rome, and it is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. It’s home to the Pope and a treasure trove of iconic art and architecture, for example in the Sistine Chapel, there are the beautiful frescoes such the famed “Laocoön and His Sons” as well as the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling.
The tour guide took us to a place called Caffè San Pietro in the Vatican and told us that this would be the meeting point for that day later on. Some went into the Vatican but we decided to do a little exploring of our own on our first proper day in Rome.
A guide called Rita took us on a tour around different parts of the city, such as the Roman Forum, The Constantine Arch and the famed Colosseum. We also went into the Pantheon. The Pantheon is a big monument that is one of the best preserved ancient buildings in the world. It is truly beautiful if you get to visit. Now here comes the tasty bit hehe. Rita the tour guide took us around different areas tasting coffee and tiramasu.
The Sant ‘Eustachio Il Caffe goes all the way back too the 1800s, and is a stones throw away from Piazza Navona and the Pantheon. From their website, they have said of their history: “ Since 1999 the restaurant is owned by the Ricci brothers, who keep the tradition intact with the first goal of always serving a quality product, using organic and fair trade coffee, coming from sloow food principals, for a fine blend of 100% Arabica coffee. imported directly from South America.“
I can honestly say it is some of the best coffee I have ever tasted and it was made even better recieving it from the hands of the experts.
Next up: Tiramisu! Ria took us to a prestige Tiramisu shop called Pompi. The Italian Pompi family is the sole owner of the brand and the company, keeping alive the passion of Giuliano Pompi, the founder of Pompi. it was founded 60 years ago when Giuliano opened a small dairy making icecream. Fast forward to modern day and they have been satisyfying many with their sweet treats. My tiramisu was Strawberry and cream! Very nice!
Now on this certain day of our holiday we went and visited the markets. These markets were so interesting to visit as they were so full of life. You had people bartering all over the shop with different market stallholders, family heads shopping for food with their family and young children. Stall holders shouting out deals for their wares. So bustling with life. I cannot help but think how much those communities have suffered during Covid with so many dying in the towns and cities.
We made our way to the Roman Forum, but sadly we were rained off as a flood of rain came upon us. This site is located at the center of the ancient city of Rome and it was the the location of important religious, political and social activities. In modern day times it is now a massive tourist attraction that millions of people visit every year.
Even though we weren’t able to go and see the Roman Forum in person, we were able to peer in from the pavements around the ancient site.
…and that is a wrap on part 1! Next part is about our journey through Naples and the beautiful Sorrento! I hope you enjoyed reading this. It has been fun researching the places we visted those years ago and sharing my expericnce with you. Part 2 will be up soon so make sure you follow my blog to recieve an notification. Take care!