Buongiorno from Rome!

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After a nine hour flight from Atlanta to Rome, my family arrived in Italy around 9 a.m. (that would be 2 a.m. in Orlando). We tried our best to sleep on the plane so we could hit the ground running and really enjoy our first day in Rome.

The time change was a bit of an adjustment, but I think that after a good night’s sleep this evening, we should be good to go! It felt so weird eating “breakfast” at 2 a.m. when I wasn’t hungry in the slightest.

I then found myself snacking on peanut butter M&Ms and Combos that my mom brought along just to keep my energy up.

After meeting up with our Globus tour group, we made our way to our hotel where we quickly changed and headed out onto the streets of Rome. Today is a “free day” from the tour group because everyone is arriving at different times.

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Our first mission was to get some authentic Italian food in our bellies. 

We bought pizza from a little café outside of our hotel and inhaled it!

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My dad and I both commented on how we really enjoyed how this pizza seemed to really put the emphasis on the tomatoes, vegetables and spices rather than the gobs of cheese. Now I’m not saying that a ton of cheese is a bad thing, but this pizza tasted so incredibly fresh and flavorful and not heavy and overly greasy like the pizza I am used to eating.

I can’t wait to try some other flavor combinations. I saw one pizza that looked like it had thinly sliced potatoes on it and another topped with artichokes that were calling my name.

After our bellies were full of pizza, we walked toward the Vatican. Though we will be enjoying a full tour of the Vatican tomorrow, we couldn’t resist exploring and beginning to see what Rome is all about.

En route to the Vatican we stopped for some gelato.

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Guys, I don’t even know what to say. I think I found my mother ship. This stuff is unreal. My family and I sampled a ton of different flavors before ordering our own cups and every single one we tried we loved.

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My personal cup included a combination of panna cotta and Nutella gelato and I practically licked my bowl clean.

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I plan to eat 5,000 cups of this stuff throughout the next 12 days. Thank goodness I packed my elastic-waist pants and flowy dresses.

After eating our gelato and walking a couple of blocks, we stumbled upon St. Peter’s Square…

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and the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica.

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We waited in a brief line before entering St. Peter’s Basilica where we were blow away by the beauty inside.

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The ceilings, the detail, the marble… everything was incredible. I can’t wait to learn more about it tomorrow!

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Oh! And great news, Ryan! I found the place where we can renew our vows in a few years…

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The feeling in this church was truly unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. People were walking around with their mouths open and their eyes wide trying to understand how much time, detail and talent was required to make the most amazing Christian church in the world.

I am so excited to absorb as much information as I can about this church and its history tomorrow!

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After spending quite a bit of time inside, we wandered outside and out of the square toward Castel Sant’Angelo, the building there the Pope retreated during times of danger. It was quite the site!

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We then walked a ways until we reached Piazza Navona, Rome’s most popular piazza, originally built for raceway chariots!

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We also have plans to return here tomorrow!

Now we’re relaxing back at the hotel before we join with our tour group for a four-course dinner in Rome. I am beyond pumped for this and am planning on calling in my second stomach!

Ciao for now! Smile

P.S. The Fashion page was updated!


  1. says

    I spent my summer in Italy last year and your pictures are making me miss it!

    Isn’t their pizza divine? Even the simple pizza marinara (pizza with just tomato sauce and nothing else) is beyond comparison.

    A word of caution with gelato: when looking for a good gelateria, look at the color of the banana gelato. If it’s yellow, move on. If it’s greyish, you’re in the right place! My favorite flavors were malaga (rum raisin) and pomelo (grapefruit).


  2. says

    I did a verrrry similar tour with Globus a few years back. You’ll love it! I hope you get the same tour guide and bus driver – they were beyond amazing! I forgot the guide’s name but the driver was Salvatore…he was a trip!

    PS….i’m not sure if it’s on the itinerary but definite hit up Versailles in Paris… absolutely breathtaking! OH and water is really expensive in Europe but if I remember correctly, gas stations tend to sell big liters for about the same price as a small bottle (at least the ones we came across traveling between cities). So stock up if you can! :)


  3. says

    Those sites look amazing!!! Italy is definitely on my go-to list. I’ve already done Paris, Madrid, Zurich and Dublin. Next up: London, Rome and Prague. :-)


  4. primrose says

    Ahh it all looks so beautiful!! Good on you for not giving into jetlag…I would have gone to the hotel straightaway to have forty winks! (or ‘rest my eyes’ as I like to call it).


  5. says

    Wow, looks like a dream! The weather looks perfect too and that gelato, ermmm HEAVEN! I always load up on samples before ordering- those don’t count right ;)!


  6. Nicole says

    Best gelatto place in Rome is named Marriott – yep, like the hotel chain. There is one just off of the Piazza Navona.


  7. Andrea says

    If you’re going to Florence during this trip (or anytime in the future), you must eat at Gusta Pizza on Via Maggio. You have to get there right when they open for dinner at 7 because there will be a line (maybe get there a bit early). AMAZING! Have a great time!


  8. says

    How cool- you’re blogging from Rome! I love this city, it’s where I studied abroad and lived for 6 months. Gelato is HEAVEN- but you’ll be surprised with the non processed food and walking, even eating globs of gelato really won’t make you gain weight. Okay so you may not be able to get there, but if you can, in Piazza Navona there is an alley way – at the top of the alley is a fancy gelato store (Keep walking), walk and walk (you’ll pass a little museum thing), and then there are two gelato shops. One has music and you can see the flavors. The other has no music, and just a silver metal wall and you can’t see the flavors. Order Nutella, and whatever flavor you want. I promise, on my life, it will be the best gelato you EVER taste.

    Ciao bellissima


  9. says

    Have so much fun Julie :)
    It is sooo gorgeous..I cannot wait to visit there one day! I hope you & your family enjoy every minute of the trip!! 😀


  10. Allyson says

    Girl, you look like you’re having a blast already! I don’t know if you know this or not, but gelato is actually really healthy compared to ice cream! I lived in Italy and also worked at an authentic Italian gelateria here at home & can 100% vouch for this – it’s half the fat of regular ice cream and a smaller cup usually runs at about 150 cals & less than 5 grams of fat! Not that it matters, because you’re in Italy & it’s all about the food! When I lived there I ate it every day (ok usually 2x a day) and ended up losing weight because of all the walking.

    Mangia! Mangia! :)


  11. Amber K says

    Oh wow, it’s so beautiful! When I went to Europe I only got to spend five hours in Italy, in Venice. Definitely not enough to fully enjoy it. I never even got to sample any gelato, but it sounds so good!


  12. says

    looks amazing! Gelatttoooo! I went to Rome with my Mother and a tour group when I was in High School. It was such an awesome experience, and I know you’re having a fantastic time!


  13. Becky says

    Oh!! I have the best memories of being right where you are with my mom 8 years ago!! She and I took a mother daughter trip to Italy when I graduated college and I still think it was my favorite trip ever!!! Especially Rome. Sigh!



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