All Over Rome

I cannot believe how much we crammed into one day! Rome is absolutely amazing and my mind is currently in a daze as I try to soak in everything I saw today.


From the moment we awoke, it was a go-go-go kind of day. After a 6 a.m. wake up call, we met our tour group for breakfast at the hotel.

Breakfast was served buffet-style, so I grabbed a cup of yogurt and topped it with granola and Nutella.

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On the side I also enjoyed a cup of coffee with cream and a baked apple. I was a little skeptical about the apple, but it tasted like apple pie filling, only slightly less sweet. Yum!

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Vatican City

Up first on our agenda for the day was Vatican City.

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After going through security and giggling with my mom and sister about a guard who looked like Batman (it got awkward because every time we looked back, he totally saw us looking at him), our bags passed the check and we were ready to go!

To try (unsuccessfully?) to avoid looking like tourists, my mom, sister and I kept our headsets in our cross-body bags (seriously love these things for easy travel!) and our earpiece in our ear.

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I guess my dad didn’t get the memo. Winking smile 

The Vatican City is massive. From the museums and the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter’s Square and the Basilica, there was so much to see.

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Above picture: The outside of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica.

Below picture: The inside of the dome.

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I think I was most impressed by the ceilings in the Vatican… not just the Sistine Chapel (which was breathtaking), but the ceilings in nearly every room of the museum and the Basilica (all mosaic!) were unreal.

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I really hope that the lady that totally photo-bombed this picture of me and my sister is one of your grandmothers because she is awesome.

Oh and I also saw a statue of Sadie!

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Scrawny as can be and begging for people food? Sounds about right! Smile 

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After our tour of Vatican City concluded, we hopped on a bus to the Colosseum.

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We were a bit nervous that we wouldn’t be able to see the inside Colosseum because apparently a bunch of union workers were on strike. As we walked up to the structure, there was even a protest march occurring in the street!

rome day 2 058Fortunately the inside of the Colosseum closed at 1:30 p.m., so we had a good 45 minutes inside before we had to leave.

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I was enthralled with the Colosseum and its rich history. It was so fascinating to learn about the time of the gladiators (I have to see that movie now!) and I can’t even imagine being a spectator at that time and watching men and wild animals fight to the death. It sent chills up my spine to think about it!

We even saw one of the wild panthers that dominated the fights…

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Okay, maybe not, but that cat was adorable and walked all over the Colosseum grounds like it owned the place.

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After walking around the Colosseum and marveling at the Roman Forum, we took a quick lunch break for some pizza and gelato.

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I ordered a zucchini and cheese pizza followed by a cone of tiramisu and crème caramel gelato.

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Both were delicious and served as the perfect fuel to get me through an afternoon of sightseeing!

The Spanish Steps

After lunch, the first stop on our list was the Spanish Steps.

They were bustling with people!

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Above picture: View from the bottom.

Below picture: View from the middle of the steps.

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We arrived at the Spanish Steps at the top and when we walked to the bottom of the steps, we were immediately hit with the smell of roasting chestnuts.

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Before I knew it, my parents purchased some for all of us to share.

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They were fantastic!

Trevi Fountain

One of my favorite stops on our super-tour of Rome was the Trevi Fountain.

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The water was crystal clear and the sculptures in the fountain were ornate and so beautiful. Though the fountain was absolutely jammed, we made our way to the water’s edge to toss in two coins as all tourists do… one to ensure a returned trip to Rome and another to make a wish.

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After a short walk, our group found ourselves in front of the Pantheon.

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I’ve obviously read all about the Pantheon’s amazing architecture, but seeing it in person really allowed me to fully understand just how magnificent it is that this structure that was created in 27 B.C. is still in such wonderful condition. It’s incredible that such a massive and incredibly complicated structure was built so long ago.

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Piazza Navona

Our final stop of the day took us to Piazza Navona, the same square we briefly visited yesterday.

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We enjoyed exploring again today and my sister and I loved looking at all of the artwork.

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Another thing we love about Italy is the way the Italians decorate their windowsills and balconies.

There are plants and flowers on nearly every one!

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To be totally honest, one of the things I am enjoying most about this trip aside from visiting all of the “must see” sights and enjoying the delicious food is simply observing the culture. It’s so interesting to me to see how different people interact, how they dress and how they carry themselves. I love it!

And now it’s time for bed! I don’t have the energy to recap tonight’s four-course dinner, but hopefully I’ll be able to pop in to recap our day and special dinner in Florence tomorrow night! Smile

We have a 6 a.m. wake up call again and my pillow is calling my name.

P.S. My dad has a special request for you Paris lovers out there. He’s on a mission to find a must-try local, delicious and “not too expensive” restaurant in Paris that is close to the Pullman Paris Bercy Hotel (1, Rue De Libourne, Paris, 12 F- 75012). He will love you forever if you have any suggestions!

P.P.S. The Fashion page was updated!


  1. Holly @ The Runny Egg says

    How fun!!! I loved seeing all of these pictures!

    The statue of Sadie is the best!


  2. stevie says

    I went to the spanish steps at night and there were barely any people there and the beautiful lights lit up the steps and the fountain in front of the steps. It was gorgeous!


  3. says

    Wow! I’m so excited for your trip knowing I’ll be tons of posts similar to this one =D You look like you’re having a blast! I’m jealous ha!


  4. Sarah says

    Hi Julie! Long time reader but my first time commenting. I am in Rome today too and just came from the Spanish Steps! My boyfriend proposed to me this morning and surprised me with a wkend in Rome to celebrate! One of the first things I said after I calmed down was that pbfingers was in Rome! Hope you really enjoy the rest if your trip, you have to bring Ryan here- so romantic!


  5. says

    One year ago on Monday I was flying to Italy where I would live in Rome for 5ish weeks. I am SO jealous of you right now. I miss Italy to death! You’re going to fall in love with Florence. Aren’t those cross body bags the best ever?


  6. says

    this photos are amazing!! I was jus there 2 years ago!… baked apple sounds amazing! i can only imagine how much those natural sweet flavors come out!


  7. Lindsay says

    I love steak and frites at Le Relais de l’Entrecote (website here: They have a few of them around town, so there might be one close to your hotel. They ONLY serve steak and frites and it’s totally worth it!

    Also, before I forget, if you have time in Paris, head to the famous bakery of Laduree. They make the most excellent macaroons in so many flavors. Since your sweet tooth is just as massive as mine, I think you’ll love it!


  8. says

    Nice! I remember seeing the Fountain at night, and everything!

    I’m trying to remember about Paris…I ate in a little bistro place that was amazingly fantastic, but I don’t remember the name! I’ll have to ask others if they remember! ALSO there is a fabulous gelato place by Notre Dame!!! They turn the gelato into flowers if you get two flavors! 😀


  9. Laura says

    I’m having so much fun reading about all your Rome adventures – it makes me want to go back! I forgot how Nutella is everywhere there… one more thing that’s amazing about Europe 🙂


  10. says

    So excited that you’re getting to see all of these places! I hope you tossed a coin in the fountain, too…then you’ll definitely be coming back!
    I love the breakfast buffets in Italy, they’re so amazing!


  11. says

    Leon de Bruxelles is definitely not too expensive – it is a Belgian-themed chain within Paris that deals almost exclusively with mussels and frites. The service usually stinks and it’s full of tourists, but MAN are the mussels delicious! My faves are the moules escargot and the moules provencal. And oh yeah…the fries are BOTTOMLESS! 🙂 They will probably have a branch near you :


  12. says

    Looks like you’re having an amazing time!! I think I have a place for your dad- Le Temps au Temps in the 11e. I just Googled it to make sure it’s still around because I haven’t been there since 2006, but it’s awesome. Little authentic hole in the wall place with a well-priced and AMAZING prix-fixe, but it gets packed so you might want to try going on off hours/seeing if they take reservations!


  13. says

    So beautiful and I’m so jealous! 😉 Keep enjoying your time!!!

    My favorite part about when I went to Costa Rica was just observing the culture. It is amazing how different other countries are from America!


  14. says

    Everything looks so gorgeous! I love the all of the artwork. And your right about the Pizza, I like how they focus more on the sauces than on globs of cheese.


  15. Lisa says

    Your pictures are taking me back to when I went to Italy in high school. Nearly every place you have been to (even the fountain from the other day’s post) I was at. BTW did you see a McDonald’s in Rome? I remember we all shouted we wanted to eat there (not my fav., but I’m a sucker for french fries). Did you know they charged us for ketchup?
    Enjoy Florence. Can’t wait to see the pictures.


  16. says

    Wow – you seriously got to so many place in one day! I am impressed! On our last day in Rome, we went back to see the Colloseum one last time, and the street was blocked off because the president of Italy was giving a tour to a bunch of other presidents, including Obama!


  17. says

    That is my favorite thing about Japan too! It is just being able to interact with the locals and see all the different ways of life!
    Looks like your day was a blast! My parents promised to take my little sister and I there when she finished high school… we will see if that goes down lol! Thanks for all the awesome pictures!!! 🙂


  18. janet says

    Dear Julie and “Mr Bob”…there are tonnes of restaurants as Libourne is a pedestrian mall-type area.
    This page lists the restaurant with links to each restaurant by dbl-clicking their names.

    Your hotel’s restaurant is €50+ per dinner entree … Expensive!

    Personally I would ask someone at hotel “where they’d take their mom to eat” …that usually gets a good local place!

    Bonne chance!


  19. says

    I can see the Piazza Navona restaurant where my family had our last night dinner on our amazing trip last year! Ah, memories!

    Glad you’re having a good time. There is nothing like traveling abroad — what an education!


  20. says

    I love this post! How can manage to find time to upload your pics, write and all with allt eh exiting things you see! This is really stunning!


  21. says

    Julie! Ahhhh the gelato sounds and looks amazing!!

    What beautiful pictures, I am glad you and the family are having a great trip!!!! I bet Ryan is loving the posts too, he can see everything too, great to have a blog , just one of the many reasons!!



  22. says

    Hey Julie!

    Not to be a total “debbie downer” but when I went to Europe (Rome included) and my friends had bags (like yours) and got pick pocketed without even realizing it! So watch out for that (which is hard because everything is soo exciting to see!). We all ended up buying these unattractive things that looked like flat fanny packs and you wear them around you waist, but underneath your shirt/clothes.

    Just sayin! Glad to see you and your family are having a great time. It was a tour like that when I picked up my first carton of nutella… I’ve been addicted ever since! So happy USA has started to catch on!!


  23. says

    Try and buy something little and easy to carry in each city / country you visit.

    I have a painting I bought from a local artist in Rome, which is now framed and on my wall and every time I walk passed it I am reminded of the wonderful week I spent in Rome like it was yesterday.


  24. says

    wow it looks like you’re having an incredible time. I love the crossbody bag. I could see that carrying a purse around would get old fast.


  25. Pippa says

    L’Auberge Aveyronnaise is right near your hotel. It is a brasserie that won the Bib Gourmand award by Michelin this year, which means that it has great food at reasonable prices. I haven’t been to this particular restaurant, but I recommend checking it out!


  26. Jeanine says

    Thank you so much for sharing your trip with all of us. It reminds me of my trips to Italy – and makes me want to go back so bad. Also – I am loving the guest posts. But I’m afraid it has turned me into a bit of a blog-addict now. Have a great time – and enjoy every moment with your family.


  27. says

    Ohhhh my goodness, this post brought back so many memories of a high school trip i took with my latin class back during my junior year! We visited every spot you mentioned, and it’s all just so beautiful! So glad you’re having such a wonderful time 🙂 Keep on that gelato eating!


  28. Vivianne says

    Your trip looks like it’s off to amazing start. I can’t believe you are seeing all of these spectacular sights! I have never been to Europe (or really any other country other than Canada) so I love seeing pictures from trips.

    It looks like you’ve had great weather too which is good! Keep enjoying your trip (;


  29. Dawn @ Blonde on a Mission says

    I am totally vacationing vicariously through your photos. Thank you for posting all of these wonderful pictures! It looks so amazing there. And that pizza looks ridiculously good. I hope I can go to Europe sometime soon because I know I’d love to see the different cultures there too! Keep having fun & posting fabulous pictures! 🙂


  30. says

    Julie, I am LOVING your re-caps!! I have been showing them to Craig too- we are both just in awe of all of the pictures 🙂
    I had no idea about the Pantheon- I didn’t realize it was so old. That is really amazing!
    Keep enjoying your time over there 😀 I wish I could help you with the restaurant, but I have no idea!

    Can’t wait to read more 🙂


  31. Tamar says

    There is a place called Le Pain Quotidien (The Daily Bread) that’s a chain, but it’s all about delicious, organic ingredients. It doesn’t look like there’s one super close to your hotel, but it’s amazing and you should definitely go! Go for brunch, and you guys can share the bread basket which comes with croissants and rolls and pain au chocolat, along with chocolatey spreads and jams. It’s UNBELIEVABLE. Here’s the website with the Paris addresses: and here’s the menu in english:



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