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The Last Days of Rome | Day 2 ~ Part 2 of 2

We hit up all the touristy hotspots in the area, including the famous Trevi fountain, which had tourists overflowing from every crevice which was enough to send a girl running, and the Pantheon, which, although was packed with tourists too, was pretty damn amazing. The Pantheon is apparently the most preserved and influential building of ancient Rome, being a temple dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. The architecture is just extraordinary. Truly slap-you-in-the-face-fantastic. The front facade is like tour typical temple, build with large stone columns supporting a triangular top (sorry, I’m not much of an architectural-writer). As you walk through, a drum-like interior (the rotunda) engulfs you, the dome of which having a hole at the centre casting a beam of white daylight into itself. This dome, if it were to flipped upside down, would actually fit perfectly inside the rotunda. Luckily it’s free to enter and it’s incredible detail and design forgives the flocks of tourists that come to visit its interior.

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Pantheon…

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By this time I began to freak out with my phones 4% battery life, having to skip a famous, apparently very good, espresso bar nearby and making a freak decision to run back to the hotel to get some (battery) juice. As the Roman gods would have it, we thankfully stumbled upon a cafe with plugs, which by the way was the fanciest cafe I’ve ever been in. In fact, I don’t even know if it was a cafe at all.

Inside, there was a large fish sculpture, ornately painted and detailed, spouting water from its mouth into a fountain at its tail fin. Surrounding it, artisanal pastries and deserts sat inside illuminated cabinets and fancy jewellery, trinkets, perfumes and room-incense was on display. Of course, there was a counter serving coffee, cakes and sandwiches and the usual but all the while I was fairly confused. Even in the area to sip your purchased beverages were ornate oil paintings and other exquisite decorations. Hey, all I was looking for was a plug, but I’ll take it.

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The espresso bar by the Pantheon I wanted to check out (apparently it’s very good).

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Cute bookstore.

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The fanciest cafe…

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Panic over, with enough battery to use Google maps till the end of the day, we paid a visit to Giardino di Palazzo Venezia – a stunning secluded garden right next to the famous Piazza Venezia and Altare della Patria. The sweet yet acidic perfume of oranges wafted through the square, tall and elegant palms soared above the beautiful arched walls that enclosed the area and a fountain rippled clear water into a pool in the centre of it all. It was a mini paradise right in the madness of the city centre.

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Right next to the garden…

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The sky began to become blanketed with a dark blue hue, slowly turning purple, then a dark magenta. To catch a sunset view of the city we went back to where we started, at Terrazza del Pincio by the Villa Borghese gardens, and we were not disappointed; the setting sun turned the sky into a rich cocktail of rosey-purple tones and as the orange orb hid below the horizon, amber and white lights of the buildings comprising the landscape twinkled on and illuminated the darkness. Flocks of Starlings began to create astonishing patterns across the sky, something called ‘murmuration’ which is apparently a phenomenon that is lucky to be seen for any of those who manage to witness it.  Several groups flew across the skyline, ebbing and flowing, almost pulsating as a group and creating the incredible shapes and patterns. This was really an astonishing sight to see.

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The murmurations ^

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For dinner, we hit up an incredible place called ‘Pane e Salame’ – literally ‘Bread and Salami’. A common activity for Italians is to grab some antipasti with drinks before dinner; this is often a selection of cold cut meats and cheese alongside an alcoholic beverage such as wine, prosecco or spritz. So at this place, before me arrived a massive wooden board with a mouth-watering selection of regional meats, cheeses and condiments arrived and entered my belly before I could say ‘Buon Appetito’. We also sampled two excellent bottles of wine, a red and a white, being some of the best priced I found in the city – both Organic and coming to only €10. The panini sandwiches here are also to die for… we tried the sandwich with mortadella ham, pesto, smoked cheese and aubergine. Oh my.

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To end the night we grabbed some more drinks, including an Aperol Spritz of course, and some gelato. We meandered the dark streets of the city, perching in Piazza Navona for a while and soaked in the last of Rome before we hit the hay and said goodbye to the wonderful city. Two days is not nearly enough time to fully explore such a wondrous place like Rome, but if anything this was just a taster of more trips to come…

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A Pinocchio workshop!

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Some amazing views on the way home on the plane…

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For more Italian stories head here!

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