At 4.45 on Saturday morning my alarm rang, it was the start of my Roman weekend! I got a night bus - seriously, I was amazed at how many people I saw on it - and jumped on the metro to Porta Garibaldi train station. On the way down to Rome the journey was with Italo, and I really appreciated the Casa Italo in the train station, a safe and warm place to wait. Much better than what I could say about Trenitalia who leave you waiting on your feet in the cold... After just over three hours I arrived in Roma Tiburtina, and navigated my way through the Roman underground to get to Termini train station.
I stayed at B&B Giovy, which is a couple of minutes walk from Termini. Luckily check-in was from 10am so I could leave my case in my room. I was so happy to find a double bed when I'd paid for a single room! After sorting out the makeup I'd somehow managed to apply at 5am and hair I went to find a bar in Termini train station for a cappuccino and then for a wander to the Spanish Steps.
For lunch I met up with the lovely Claire from Run Brit Chick Run who had very kindly offered to meet up during the weekend. She took me to Haus Garten Bagel Bar, where I had a delicious salmon bagel and some lovely pancakes for dessert! It was great meeting her and hearing about her new baby after getting to know her through Twitter!
After lunch me and my full belly rolled over to the Vatican to have a look around. There was a massive queue as the museums had been closed for a few hours, luckily I had no intention of visiting them because I was only down for the weekend!
After a short rest in the B&B I headed out to take some photos after dark. I got off the metro at Barberini to see the Trevi Fountain at night.
I then hit Via del Corso, which is the main shopping street in Rome, after Claire recommended that I went to see the Christmas lights at night. There were so many shops all dressed up for Christmas! That was just the start of my long walk, I also went to see the Vittorio Emanuele monument and a rather deserted Colosseo, before dragging my aching feet back to the B&B.
Sunday morning I was up bright and early and on a mission. I'd asked Laura Antonini, aka the loveliest woman in radio and my favourite presenter, if I could visit her at Radio Deejay's Roman studios. I was downstairs with my case by around 6.30, and the lady at reception very kindly showed me to the breakfast room where I could get a coffee, even though breakfast wasn't starting for another hour.
At 6.59 exactly I stepped off the bus, grinning to myself for making it to the radio a minute before the beginning of the show! It was great seeing Laura again and being in the studio with her, it's always so fascinating seeing what goes on when the microphone's switched off!
A second breakfast was very much needed once I got back into Rome city centre, before heading off on another day of touristing. My first stop was the Pantheon, which always manages to amaze me. Then it was off to the Christmas market in Piazza Navona which I'd heard so much about. There were so many stalls selling Christmas decorations and all sorts of food. I had a delicious pork sandwich for lunch which I wolfed down even after having a second breakfast!
One of the things on my must-do list was a stop at Pompi. That place does amazing tiramisu in different flavours. Back when I first visited there in March I had a strawberry tiramisu, this time my choice was chocolate and banana. Gorgeous!
Even though I was exhausted I still had some time to kill before my train so I decided to go and see the Collusseum during the day. Unfortunately at the moment a lot of work's being done on it which means lots of scaffolding... I had a walk around before going to a cafè I'd stumbled across during my last visit, called Cafè Cafè. I remembered their long list of teas, and a break with a hot drink in a relaxing atmosphere was just what I needed.
Then it was time to go back home. And in true Trenitalia style the highspeed Frecciarossa arrived in Milano Centrale 20 minutes late!