Ray and I enjoyed two weeks honeymooning in Venice, Bari, Greece, Albania, and Rome. Here’s part 8 of our trip! If you want to go to Part 7 in Dubrovnik, click here .
When the cruise came to a wrap, we were ported back in Venice. The cruise port and the Santa Lucia train station are just a few minutes walk away from each other after the people-mover so we lugged our carry on’s across the bridge and over the cobblestones to make our way to the next city. We took a high-speed train to Rome that took about 3 hours.
In Rome, we stayed at Rome Style Hotel which was conveniently located in-between the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. The hotel was beautiful; modern and clean with friendly staff that helped us with our luggage to our room. The room was permanently placed in ‘mood lighting’ which was cool at first but eventually led me to looking for more sources of light. The toiletries were Etro! But what I loved even more was the location of the hotel; we were in the middle of everything.
We arrived in Rome late in the afternoon and we were hungry so after dropping off the luggage, we ventured our neighborhood. Our hotel was located between the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain and everything in-between was beautiful. We stumbled upon the Spanish Steps, busy with people relaxing on the steps and shopping in the nearby streets. Next to it was Ristorante Alla Rampa and we dined al fresco. We were addicted to two entrees our entire stay in Italy: carbonara and penne al salmone. And because of Venice, we made it a point to have tiramisu at every. single. meal.
The Trevi Fountain was incredible to see in person. It’s much larger than what I had imagined and the area was buzzing with the same excitement of seeing the fountain for the first time. Nearby are many shops for souvenirs and gelato on nearly every corner. We stopped in Don Nino since the interior and cones had caught my eye as we were on our way out of the fountain area.
One of our favorite dinners in Rome (located on a tiny side street near Trevi Fountan) is Piccolo Arancio Ristorante. They had seating on the street and it was always amusing when a car would try to squeeze through. We had called for a reservation that same afternoon and I’m glad we did — the restaurant was packed shortly we had arrived! The pastas were even better here and the wine was a treat.
We did so much walking while we were in Rome! There’s so much to see by foot and many tiny shops to check out.
One of the coolest experiences was being able to walk and learn about ancient Rome and the colosseum at night! This was a tour we had booked through points on our Sapphire Reserve and was worth it 100x. We were amongst a group of 12-15 people and one of the last groups that had access to the colosseum. Our guide was knowledgable and we learned so much about ancient Rome and how influential Michaelangelo was in building Rome. We even got to tour the underground chambers of the colosseum where the fighters prepared for their battles! You can learn more about the tour here.
We visited Vatican City on two different days while we were in Rome. Once for a blessing from the Pope and two, to check out the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica.
Every Sunday at noon during the Angelus Prayer, the Pope speaks from his window overlooking St. Peter’s Square. Tickets aren’t necessary to be a part of the Angelus Prayer and luckily we happened to be in Rome on Sunday! We were ambitious this morning as we had walked from our hotel to Vatican city. We climbed up the Spanish Steps, skipped across the bridge, and followed the crowds into the Vatican City.
This was a bucketlist moment! The energy of the crowd was incredible the moments leading up to Pope Francis arriving at his window. I still can’t believe it, we prayed with the Pope!
The Vatican Museum is the 2nd largest museum in the world and possibly has the most visitors in a calendar year. I had heard of the museums being insanely packed and far too large for our first visit so we opted for a tour that brought us around, highlighting and discussing specific exhibits that included the Sistine Chapel.
Right after the Sistine Chapel we were brought to a side entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica where we bypassed people who were waiting in line. Everthing about this basilica was incredibly grand. It’s hard to grasp the idea that the basilica took about 120 years to build!
We did so much on our honeymoon that I had to split it up in multiple posts. Here you can skip around and check out the cities you’re most interested in, or you can keep going in order 🙂
Part 1: Overview + Venice
Part 2: Murano + Burano
Part 3: MSC Poesia
Part 4: Bari, Italy
Part 5, Greece
Part 6: Albania
Part 7: Dubrovnik, Croatia
Part 8: Rome + Vatican City