A Trip to Rome

A relaxing trip it was not. Rome is a fantastic place for culture, art and fabulous food, but my recent trip to the city was far from this ideal, instead comprising of a three day booze cruise of sorts with some old friend.

The main reason for my trip was to join some old university friends on a trip to see England play in the RBS six nations rugby tournament, however we had some doubts the game would even happen due to the unforeseen snow and ice that fell on the city. Being Italy, they were totally unprepared for the awful weather and the city pretty much shut down on the day of the big game.

We struggled for 30 minutes to find a taxi on the streets, until we jumped into a random taxi drivers clapped out banger. It was a tight squeeze getting 6 grown men into three seats, but we got from the centre of town to the Stadio Olimpico io for a measly 10EUR.

The match itself was between England and Italy, with the English favorites due to their good form in the previous six nations matches. The Italians however had a good advantage in the wet, slow conditions that were before us due to their heavier, stronger team that would favor the slower play.

There were murmurs floating around the ground that the game may be cancelled due to a frozen pitch, but we hoped for the best and get into the spirit with a few rounds of Mexican wave.

The game itself was pretty tense, with the Italian team sneaking into an early lead following two converted penalties from England. Italy then scored a try to bring the scores to 6-5, and another with a conversion taking them to 12-6 ahead. We managed to win the game 19-15 in the end, but certainly wasn’t one for the faint of heart..

The absolute cold was very distracting throughout the game, the cold concrete pavilions sending a chill through our soaked, inappropriate shoes. Luckily a friendly group of Italians were happy to share their warming whisky and chocolate treats throughout the entire game.

With a win for England under our belt we took to the town for some food, stopping off at the wonderfully named Campo di Fiori, a small cobbled square lined with restaurants and bars. Our favorite pizza restaurant, which we visited the previous night served huge pizzas among other tasty treats, such as salt crust baked fish and a selection of other local favorites. Of course, we decided to order the biggest thing they had on the menu, a 6 person pizza with a selection of toppings:

A pizza for six, with 4 different sections of toppings – from a small pizzeria in the Campo Di Fiori

We did manage to squeeze in a little culture on our last day, including a roundup of the local tourist sites including the Vatican, Colosseum and Vittorio Emanuele II monument, rounding off a fantastic few days in the Italian capital.

The Vatican in the heart of Rome as seen on a very miserable day.

Next time, i am hoping to catch more culture and go there when a ski jacket isn’t needed. It makes you realize that sometimes traveling doesn’t always involve life improving experiences just plenty of drinking!