Sorry I haven't been around lately - my darling hubby took me to Rome for a child-free weekend last weekend and it was FAB !! Now don't get me wrong - I absolutely adore my children, of course I do, but sometimes, just sometimes, we all need a bit of adult me time and I am no exception. So as a little birthday treat to both of us (it's his 40th this year), he decided to book a weekend in Rome.
Having never been to Italy before, I was excited yet a little wary at the same time. I know no Italian whatsoever (apart from Latte, Cappuccino, Lamborghini and, of course, Prada !!) so was panicking slightly that we wouldn't have a clue what was going on and would be continually lost ! But of course, my panicking was a complete waste of time as most Italians can speak a little English and reading the menus in the restaurants was doddle - Lasagna, Penne Arrabiata, Pizza - etc etc. I even started to think I could actually speak Italian myself !!
But we had the most fantastic time - if you have never visited Rome before I can highly recommend it. I fell in love with the place - the history, the architecture, the people, the food, the shops - all of it was fantastic.
On Saturday we did a tour of the Vatican, St Peter's Basillica, the Cistine Chapel etc and was absolutely in awe of the beauty of the place. Now, I'm not a religious person by any stretch of the imagination, but visiting somewhere like that really makes you stop and think. After a lovely lunch at the Piazza Novona and an hour or so of people watching, we walked to the Pantheon and spent a little time in there and then wandered around the tiny little streets looking in shops and stopping for beer, wine and icecream (not all at the same time, I hasten to add). Well, they do say "When in Rome" !!
Sunday included a visit to the Colloseum in the morning - now, that place really is something else. It was actually quite spooky thinking about what had gone on there all those thousands of years ago and to hear from the tour guide how Gladiators would fight virtually all day either against other Gladiators or against the wild animals that had been shipped in specifically to please the Roman Emporers and their people. Elephants, Lions, Tigers, Giraffes, Camels, Zebras, Panthers - all of these animals were killed by Gladiators just to entertain the Romans. What a horrible thing to do, yet it's a part of history that will never ever be forgotten, certainly not by the Italians and certainly not whilst the Colloseum is standing, which it is likely to do so forever, bearing in mind how long it has already been there !
More lunch in an open-air cafe at the Pantheon (the weather was gorgeous by the way - 72 degrees on Saturday and 75 on Sunday), followed by a meander to the Trevi Fountain and then some serious shopping - sadly not in Prada, D&G, Gucci or any of the other mega expensive stores, but a 1950's style Audrey Hepburn dress was purchased in a lesser known store and that gorgeous dress is the dress I shall be wearing to the School Ball next month.
And then on Monday it was back to reality - chilly weather, food shopping, queuing for petrol. But seeing my gorgeous children's faces light up when my parents dropped them back home after school and nursery, is probably what I shall remember most about my grown-up weekend in Rome.