The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of best friend visits, midterms, and spring break. So, as always, I’m fashionably late on my posts. Better late than never right?
Three weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have two of my best friends from UNC travel across the pond to spend their spring break with me in Italia! After spending a weekend in Venice, Emma and Jasmine took the train south to Florence. When I met them at the train station, I think it’s safe to say that I basically attacked them in excitement. I can’t even begin to describe how amazing it was to see some familiar faces from my second home in America. We spent the next four days catching up, eating at some great Florentine food (and desserts), and while I was in class, E and J spent their time discovering the city. On Thursday, we left for a long weekend in Roma! I couldn’t wait to see the grand and historic city, but more importantly, I couldn’t wait to see it with my best friends!
ZTA takes Florence!
While our hotel wasn’t in the best location, it was pretty awesome, and definitely a step up from the hostel-life I’ve grown accustomed to. That night, we went to a restaurant with typical Roman cuisine, and it was amazing. After, we spent the evening in traditional slumber-party-style, drinking wine, having girl talk, and listening to Rihanna and 90s music. Could we be more cliché? On Friday morning our first stop was Vatican City. Since il Papa nuovo had only been announced days before, we were afraid the Vatican was going to be a zoo. Instead, we were pleasantly surprised by how manageable the small crowd was. We spent hours inside the Vatican, admiring the jaw-dropping artwork that covered every inch of the holy site. I was astounded by the detail in the Rafael rooms and the ornate design in the various chapels we explored. The only downside was that, because the Papal Conclave had just ended, the Sistine Chapel was still closed to the public. I know I’ll get back there eventually though! After lunch, we checked out St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica to pose for a few pics (as per usual).
Casually posing with St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Square
Next, we hopped on the metro to see the Spanish steps. While I was so excited to see the Spanish steps in person, they were probably my biggest let down of the trip. They were crowded and smelled like pee (I know, ew). But, any disappointment I had was erased when I set eyes on the truly stunning Trevi Fountain. All I needed was to be mistaken for an Italian pop star, and I swear I could have been straight out of The Lizzie McGuire Movie (hey now, hey noww)! A million pictures and a million wishes later, we were ready to head back to the hotel to take a nap.
I’d tell you what I wished for, but I’d have to kill ya.
Saturday was dedicated to Ancient Rome. After a kind of late start, we walked from our hotel to the Colosseum where we waited in line with what felt like every rude tourist and crying baby in the entirety of Rome. Luckily, the wait was worth it! The Colosseum was everything I imagined: fantastic and colossal. We took in the architecture and soaked up some sun before we walked on over to explore the nearby Palantine Hill and Roman Forum.
Here comes the sun!
It was crazy to see structures that have been standing for nearly 2,000 years. The top of the Palatino offered amazing views of the Foro and Colosseo. We then took in some more ruins, street performers, and wandered into some back streets to find (obviously) some gelato. When in Rome, eat as the Romans do?
Jump around (the Palatino)!
That evening, we headed to the Trastevere area where we ate a phenomenal dinner, drank lots of wine, and headed out to Campo de’ Fiori, a square surrounded by tons of bars. We went to several different bars and clubs, met tons of new people, and, thanks to my fabulous (blonde) company, I had the most fun I’ve had in Italy yet!
Just bein’ cute
The next day, we packed, ate lunch, and then it was time to go. Seeing Emma and Jasmine definitely made me miss Chapel Hill, especially since they will be graduating this May. I was extremely sad to say goodbye, but I know if they made it all the way to Italy just to see me, we’ll be seeing lots of each other in the years to come! Love you guys more than you know!
Ciao for now!
P.S. Stay posted for my upcoming posts on my spring break trips to Paris and Prague!
And thank you Emma for letting me steal some pictures!
(Obviously I forgot to bring my camera charger to Rome)