Rome is one of those places you feel like youâ€™ve been even if you have never visited. The cityâ€™s landmarks, history and culture pervade our history books, education and our consciousness like few other places.
Rome and the powerful empire that once extended from the city has alwaysÂ held a certain fascination for me. I remember vividly, borrowing textbooks from the school library that explained the Roman Empire and the battles it fought. I studied ancient history at high school and even took classics subjects at university where I studied ancient Roman texts. In fact, such was my devotion that I may be the only Asterix and Obelix fan that wanted the powerful Romans to overcome those pesky Gauls.
Whilst my passion has been replaced by other things in more recent times, there was still no way that I was going to end my time living in Europe without visiting Roma. And the city didnâ€™t let me down.
It was a flying visit, but we still managed to take in the landmark sites:
The Colosseum â€“ like you didnâ€™t knowâ€¦
St Peterâ€™s Basilica
The Forum and ancient Rome
But we also did all those clichĂ©d tourist things you simply have to do when visiting. Like:
Laughing at the men in their silly pantaloons
We strolled around Villa Borghese, Trastevere and spent time in the many beautiful piazzas.
And of course we ate handsomely. Enjoying meals at Cul de Sac (the cityâ€™s oldest wine bar), Trattoria (thanks Matt Muir), Gusto, Pizza Remo, Obika (there is one of these at Selfridges in London) and had amazing espresso coffee at too many places to mention.
So that was Roma. Our last European city break before embarking on our trip back home. It didnâ€™t hold too many surprises (well beyond the quake), as I said at the start, we all know it too well for it to do that, but that made it no less amazing.
Check out all our photos here.