On our second day in Rome, we awoke to a gorgeous sunny morning and after wishing each other a happy first wedding anniversary we headed out to wander the sights of Rome; stopping by the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain (unfortunately covered in scaffolding due to off season restoration work), Piazza Navona, and the Spanish Steps (also covered in scaffolding) before spending the afternoon admiring the art and the uncrowded galleries of the Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica and stepping foot into the unassuming Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli which houses Michelangelo’s statue of Moses.
I should have known the gorgeous weather wouldn’t hold up and by early evening a steady cold rain was coming down, ruining the start of what I had hoped to become our wedding anniversary tradition of us getting dressed up in the same simple dress and suit we had gotten married, finding a picturesque point in whatever corner of the world we were celebrating our anniversary in, and privately reciting new vows we had written for that next year of marriage.
Though we never ended up getting back into our wedding clothes to recite our new vows and take pics at a later point in our trip we did find a quiet moment after we returned home to London to share our vows with each other. So I suppose the most essential and important element of the tradition was established at least!
Anyways, I digress. Back to Rome! We made our way back to Ristorante Spirito Divino that evening for our special anniversary dinner, made even more special by the fact that we had the restaurant to ourselves as no other diners came in until closer to 8pm as the locals tend to eat dinner at a much later hour. The restaurant serves ancient Roman recipes originated by Julius Caesar’s cook Gaius Matius and we tucked into a braised pork shoulder recipe with apple, onion, honey, vinegar, red wine and spices favored by Julius himself. At least the rain stopped long enough for me to capture a few night time pictures of the Colosseum.
For our last few hours in Rome before our afternoon train up to Florence, we made our way to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum/Palatine Hill. Such an overwhelming amount of things to see that we sadly ran short of time and weren’t able to fully traverse the Roman Forum as much as I would have liked. A full day at the Forum is highly recommended as well as buying advanced tickets to the Colosseum so that you can skip the queue which can grow quite long even in the off season. You can see the majority of the Colosseum without going on a guided tour like we did as there are a number of signs and plaques with detailed historical information, however, the public areas can get quite crowded and Dan and I felt like we were missing out on a richer more behind the scenes experience that a tour could have provided.
Rome was a dream come true for a history lover such as myself! I only lament that we didn’t allow ourselves enough time to fully explore the many ancient ruins and museums in the city, which only warrants a good excuse to come back am I right? That and the fact that a majority of the main sights we had wanted to photograph were under scaffolding so be mindful when planning the timing of your trip as the tourist off-season is prime time for restoration work. Arrivederci Rome, we are off to Florence!