A trip down memory lane: Rome, Italy
I have very fond memories of Italy – the food, the city, the gelato!
Traveling solo can be lonely. It really depends on the type of person you are. I'm naturally quite independent, but I like familiarity in unfamiliar spaces. That's the thing about traveling, nothings familiar, everything's a new experience waiting to be had. Whether you're alone, with a loved one, or with strangers you've just met. My time in Europe was during winter, although they say Europe never has an off-peak season, Italy certainly does. I was completely alone in Venice. I met people the first night I was there, but they were gone the next day. Once I made my way to Rome, I felt isolated, and doubtful. Until I made that connection with two people I had never met before. This is what made my time in Rome so memorable. To this day, we still take a trip down memory lane. We often eat pizza and pasta when we catch up those few times a year, and reminisce.
It all started in Venice, the American kids told me that Rome was a scary place. They compared it to LA, but apparently scarier. I'd never been to LA, but boy, was I frightened!
Getting off my train at Roma Termini, I dragged my life in a bag behind me, stumbling over the cobblestoned streets that had fast become more painful than romantic. Ready to collapse on my hostel bed, I found an Italian man, nearly twice my age standing too-close-for-comfort at the traffic lights. He started with small talk before he asked where I was staying, and if he could carry my bag for me (eik!). Thinking of the American kids in Venice's opinion on Rome, I politely declined and told him I was meeting friends.
Ah Italy, home of the narrow spiral staircases! After my heavy walk up three flights of stairs I was safe inside what looked like someones home, turned hostel. In an all girls room (hallelujah!). And this is where I met two girls from Sydney, who fast became good friends of mine.
Rome's a beautiful city. It's busy, full of tourists, and might I add, gypsy's. Hanging out in lines, treating yourself to a carb-filled dinner, or getting lost in language barriers is all that more exciting and fun when shared with new friends. So, that's what we did for the five days we had together. We carb-loaded, did the touristy things, got harassed by Gypsy's, ate way too much gelato, I even met their families on Skype! For once, I had someone to take pictures of me in Europe. And we fast become regulars at both a restaurant and a bakery.
This was back in 2010, so unfortunately I didn't write down any of the restaurants or cafes I went to. That said, I do have some valuable information – the hostel I stayed at! This place did feel like it was someone's home, and in reality, it was. The owner is a young Italian woman who's pretty friendly. Each room has about 3 bunk beds (sleeps 6 people), each with a communal table, computer, and personal lockers (BYO lock!).
Rose B&B and Hostel From approx. AUD $20 - 40 per night Via Sforza,40, 00184 Rome, Italy
Got any travel tips or recommendations for Rome? Share them with me in the comments!