Ciao! It’s been a week since my Rome adventure with my little sister. We went away just for the weekend to explore a city we’ve both never been to before. I still get apprehensive about travelling to a new country, even though I travel a lot for my blog and work.
Italy has always been at the top of my list for a few reasons. I knew I wouldn’t have a problem with the food as Italian is pretty much all I eat. It not a long flight and easy to get to by various airlines. It’s got a lot of history, culture and famous buildings. Most importantly for me, it’s got several film locations I was excited to see in person.
There’s a few things I wished I knew before travelling to Rome as I wasn’t expecting a few things to rattle my anxiety until it was too late.
I was offered transfers to and from the airport which makes a massive change to my travel plans. Usually I just hope on the train or metro system to my accommodation. However, I was quite excited by someone picking me up at the airport with one of those signs with my name on it. Never again.
Rome’s traffic is insane!? They’re crazy on the roads and my driver was no exception. The speed and the risks he took completely shocked me. I couldn’t really just blame the driver as everyone on the road was just the same. Over taking, under taking, speeding, it was nuts!
I became really badly travel sick so an hour into this Mario Kart racing through the windy Italian streets of Rome and I ended up being sick into one of my sisters security bags for her 100ml liquids. Not a great start. If you get travel sick, get the Metro. I used the Metro and train for the rest of the trip and was completely fine.
PIZZA OR PASTA
I love going to countries with amazing food but also food that I know I’m going to eat. Nothing stresses me out more than worrying about what I’m going to eat when I’m away. I’m a fussy eater because of my Asperger’s and OCD. I struggle with particular textures and trying new things. However, this isn’t a problem in Italy as I’m a huge fan of Italian food at home anyway.
The only problem is I’m either eating pizza or pasta every night. It’s not the healthiest meals to have consistently but….when in Rome.
LEARNING THE LANGUAGE
When you go to a new country, it’s best to know a few key phrases to be polite. Fortunately for me and my fellow British travelers, English is an international language so quite a lot of people have English as their second language. You shouldn’t take this for granted though.
I like to learn a few phrases or just the key phrases like, Thank you, Hello, Goodbye, etc. The locals love the fact your trying and like to help you learn. It’s also something to take home and show people your new language skills, even if you only learn how to ask for a pint.
AVOIDING THE CROWDS
Crowds are my worst nightmare. I hate being in them, I don’t like strangers touching me. and I believe in personal space. However, when you are in a very touristy area they are quite unavoidable. If I want to travel to a popular destination, I usually like to go during off peak seasons (I went in October) and plan my itinerary wisely.
We went to the Colosseum first thing in the morning, to avoid the crowds and the long queues. We actually managed to get into the Colosseum with a group so we didn’t have to queue up at all and go straight through the group entrance. This was a lot quicker, only 9 Euros more and we also got a tour guide who gave us lots of information about history of the Colosseum.
If I did it again, I would do Vatican City first. Purely because you can do the group tour with the Colosseum anytime throughout the day and that isn’t an option with the Vatican. To get into the Basilica you need to queue up through St.Peter’s Square which took us about about 1-2 hours. I know I’m British and we love a good queue but I’m still impatient. Also, people were trying to push in…I wasn’t having any of it.
The most crowded attraction was the Trevi Fountain aka the Lizzie Maguire Fountain. It was horrendous. I was really anxious at one point, we spent most of our time at the side away from all the people after we got our crucial photos at the front and left shortly after.
DON’T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT
You need your passport for the flight (obviously), for the beer and wine (necessary) and to get into Vatican City (surprisingly). The Vatican is actually a city state surrounded by Rome. Yes, the Pope has his own country. Jammy. Just like any Country if you want to get in, you need your passport.
However, when we went to St. Peter’s Square they were only doing security checks to get into St.Peter’s Basilica. I’m not 100% where you get into the Vatican itself but I do know you need a passport to get in.
For more about my experience in Italy, check out my Rome vlog:
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Have you got any tips about travelling to Rome? Let me know in the comments below.
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Disclaimer: This blog post is not a paid advertisement or sponsored post. I won this holiday from entering a competition via IceLolly Holidays Twitter campaign “ShutTheCupUp”.