People & Places

Flashback Friday; Rosie’s European Vacation – Italy (Part 1) – 2009

italy_rome

Rosie is Rome!

Hello gorgeous dollfaces and happy Friday!! Last month I shared with you my journals that I’d been keeping for the last 17 years and this got me thinking. I got some amazing feedback from that post as well as my posts last year from my trip to the US, so I thought I’d share some more journals with you and take a step back in time to 2009 when my sister and I travelled to Europe for 5 weeks.

Over the next couple of Fridays I will be sharing with you my journal entries from Italy, Croatia and Greece. Apologies in advance for some of the photos taken. We bought a new camera/video before the trip and like classic noobies we didn’t play around with it and ended up taking some pretty appalling photos – we’re talking grainy and blurry! Lesson learnt – always know your equipment. Anyway, I may have tweaked these entries a little so they read better (I wasn’t a sophisticated blogger six years ago!) but they are mostly unedited.

Sit back and relax and come with me on a little vacation, filled with LOTS of food, relaxation and plenty of fun…picture it Sicily Rome, 2009….italy_rome_trevifountain

Lost at the Trevi Fountain

26th July 2009 – And we’re off! What a crazy long flight. 14 hours to Dubai and I only got a little bit of sleep. On this leg I watched “The Goonies” and “The Wrestler” which I enjoyed and “Seven Pounds” which was crap. We landed quite early in Dubai but it was already 30+ degrees. Coming off the plane my glasses fogged up immediately. We had a 4 hour layover before heading of on the 6 hour journey to Rome.

27th July 2009 – No sleep on this flight what so ever  and quite delirious at this stage. I started watching “Marley and Me” but didn’t finish due to landing in ROMA! Super hot here too and I was pretty stinky after the long flight. Got the express train which took about 30 mins into Rome and our hotel/hostel was 5 mins walk from the termini. Staying at the Beehive for 2 nights. Lovely little room with a shared bathroom. First thing we did was have showers which was fab. Being so tired we weren’t up for much adventure, so we walked down to an area near Santa Maria Maggiore church and got a bit confused with the directions the guy at the Beehive gave us. On the way there we saw for ourselves the crazy fucking drivers that exist in Rome! Holy shit!! There was an accident within two minutes into our walk and trying to cross the road was a nightmare.

We settled on a restaurant where I had a simple but tasty tomato and basil pasta topped off with a yummy gelato (first of many no doubt!). Walked back to our hostel and settled in for the night. Stretching my poor knees out was a godsend.

italy_rome_trevifountain2

Making a wish!

28th July 2009 – Up bright and early to beat the crowds at the Vatican. We took the train to Ottovano station which is around the corner from St Peter’s Basilica. There weren’t any lines, so straight into the church. Wow, beautiful! It makes me want to go to church again and why is it every time I step into a church I want to cry? Catholic guilt? I prayed in one of the little nooks and almost forgot the words to “Our Father”!

From there we walked to Castel Sant’ Angelo then over the bridge to try and find the Piazza Navona. It was a bit early for all the hoopla but was very nice all the same. Then around the corner to the Pantheon and it felt like I was I was in a scene from “Angels and Demons”. Then it was onto the Trevi Fountain to throw our two coins in (the first one is so you can return and the second is to make a wish). Seems like my coin from 2004 worked as I returned. Stopped at a supermarcato and picked up a couple of slices of pizza for a cheap lunch and then headed over to the Spanish Steps. It all felt like it was ticking boxes but I suppose that’s what you do “when in Rome” – BOOM TISH!!

We then hopped on another train and headed to the Coliseum. We had our history lesson from the Lonely Planet guide and I made mentioned to K that I’ll never make anything that will last 1900 years, to which she said she made a spice rack back in Year 7 that may stand the test of time! We cracked up laughing and one of the gladiators that roam around to take snaps with the tourists stopped and asked us where we were from. We told him we were from Australia and he replied “hey Skippy, I kill you slowly!” Ummmmm OK!!

Returned to our hotel just after 12pm and had showers and a nap which didn’t last too long. I kept reading and K woke up an hour later. We decided we’d head back to the Spanish Steps for dinner and to see Rome by night. It was a great plan! The only problem was we both fell asleep again and woke up 4 hours later! Gotta love that jet lag! We decided to stay in and have dinner from the Beehive café (more yummy pasta) and then back to sleep. Haven’t slept this much since I was a baby.

29th July 2009 – Wednesday morning up early to catch the train to Naples. From there it was a regional train down to Sorrento then a bus to Positano. Hostel Brikette was a little on the dodgy side; gross towels, yucky shower curtain etc., but hey I’ve stayed in worse. Had a quick shower then off to Positano centre. Had a bite to eat then walked up and down the beach and decided we’d pay the 15 Euro to sit in a deck chair tomorrow. Quite ridiculous paying to go to the beach but that’s tourism for you (and probably the mafia!). We shared a bottle of pinot grigio and chippies at one of the beachside restaurants.

A quick drink before dinner at Bar Internationale and our bartender recommended a restaurant just down the hill. Found Il Fornillo about 100 metres down and it was a lovely little restaurant. We shared another pinot grigio and I had spaghetti with lobster while K had spaghetti bolognese and we both agreed our meals were ace! We then walked down into town and finished off the night with ice cream.

30th July 2009– Full beach day! Went down early and grabbed deck chairs on the beach. Water was lovely but getting in was the problem. The rocks dig into your feet making it difficult. Broke the hard work up with pizza for lunch, and then went right back to lazing on the beach.

In the evening we had dinner at the last trattoria in Positano which was recommended by the hostel, it was next door to Bar Internationale. Such amazing food! Started with bread and bruschetta, then had the yummiest pumpkin ravioli with pumpkin sauce, divine! We ended the evening with ice cream at the bar and ended up cuddling a dog that was waiting for its owner who was inside. When the owner came out and hopped on her scooter the dog ran out and hopped on too! Hilarious! Also met some guys who were going to teach us how to swear in Italian the following night.

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One of the beautiful churches in Rome

31st July 2009 – Another full beach day. This time around we grabbed some sandwiches from the shop around the corner (prosciutto, tomato and olive oil, pepper, salt and oregano = HEAVEN) On a side note, K and I still dream and reminisce about these sandwiches to this day. They were simply magnificent! Today we had we had our deck chairs on the “rocks” which was further along the beach and more secluded. Another hard day reading, lazing and swimming. Dinner was at il Capitano which was on a terrace overlooking the gorgeous view. We had some pasta to begin with then tried the fish which was just ok. We took more pics down along the beach and also got to check our emails at an internet café.

1st August 2009– We took a bus back to Sorrento and almost missed our train to Naples! From Naples we got a train straight to Florence via Rome. We decided that the hotel looked too far from the station so we hopped in a cab and hoped we weren’t going to be ripped off. We pulled up in from of the Grand Hotel Meditteraneo and thought we got it wrong. This place looked 5 star compared to Hostel Brikette in Positano! Needless to say we were excited that we had large white clean towels and MTV!

Once showered and rested we headed out along the river and walked up to the Ponte Vecchio and took snaps and browsed the jewellery shops wondering whether we should treat ourselves. We sauntered up to the Piazza Dei Pitti then back along the river on the other side. We stopped at a bar/restaurant called  Lung Arno 23, where we had a couple of champagne cocktails before they started serving dinner at 7pm. We had more yummy food, starting with anti-pasto followed by delicious big tubes of pasta filled with zucchini. Early night to rest before the next big day.

italy_positanoExquisite Positano!

2nd August 2009 – K’s half birthday! Got up and walked down to Ponte Alla Grazie to meet up for our bike tour. We met our guide, Steve, an American guy who was studying in Florence and had this job as a tour guide on the side. There was also a British couple and two American girls. We drove a bit out of Florence to the bike garage where we were fitted with our bikes and told of what we were to expect. When K and I discussed whether the ride would be difficult for us we agreed that they probably had to say that the ride was difficult as a disclaimer and it would be easy. How wrong we were! Talk about fucking hard work. We rode uphill for approx. 5 -6kms to Fiesole where we walked up a steep hill to get the best view of Florence. Lots of snaps and a well-deserved breather before heading back to the bikes and even further uphill to our next stop for lunch. The restaurant was called something like “trattoria del prosciutto” and it was THE yummiest food. We had different kinds of bruschetta to start. Then it was lemony ravioli and zucchini fettuccine which was divine. We also shared bottles of Chianti to drink which was lovely and also from the winery we were going to visit next.  Back on to our bikes which now was even harder after taking a break and my ass was getting a good battering. Thankfully it was downhill for the rest of the journey.

We stopped at the winery which was closed but Steve led us through to sample some house wine which was ok, but the highlight was taste-tasting the olive oil they make. So flavoursome! Back on the bikes for the last ride back which was steep and downhill. My hands had imprints from the handles, that was how hard I was braking. In all it was definitely tough work but sooooo worth it. We saw 25 kilometres of the most beautiful Tuscan countryside.

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Thanks for taking a flashback in time with me. Join me next Friday where we continue on to the Cinque Terre and Venice. Ciao bella and have a fabulous weekend!

 

29 replies »

  1. Aw, I love his, and can’t wait to read more. Such a beautiful country, and brings back so many wonderful memories for me too. I’m such a huge and unabashed Italophile, have been ever since I can remember. Great post babe. x.

  2. This was fucking amazing! I absolutely loved this and dream of going to Italy like you and your sister have done. Can’t wait for the next installment!

  3. Now I want pasta for lunch! Loved reading this and look forward to reading the next one! I’ll keep saving my dollars to get to Europe!

  4. OMFG I loved this! What a fab idea!! How will I live until next Friday? Sounded like such a divine trip- I am so coming on the next one! ♥ p.s. “I kill you slowly” #ICackled

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