What made you decide to take this trip?
My husband and I (sadly) had never been to Italy. He’s a huge history buff and especially into Ancient Roman History, so Italy was at the top of our travel list.
Will you go back again?
We absolutely want to go back! Florence and Rome were our favorites and we’d also like to explore the coast.
Where did you stay?
We stayed at the Hotel Palazzo Manfredi. It’s literally steps away from the Coliseum and Forum, which make the views incredible. The terrace restaurant, Aroma, is a must even if you’re not staying at the hotel. The views are to die for and the food is just as scrumptious. It was a perfect hotel for our trip to Rome.
What surprised you most about Rome?
The amount of Basilicas the city has and the rich history that each carries. Whether it was the only gothic church in Rome or the first Jesuit Church, they all had an unique and very significant addition to history.
What was the best treasure you discovered while in Rome?
Agneau de pre-sale while dining at Aroma. It’s lamb from areas in Normandy and Brittany that have fed on grasses often drenched with seawater and salty winds from the ocean. This results in a meat that’s incredibly tender and juicy. We loved it and will always remember our first agneau de pre-sale!
What aspect of Rome could you do without?
The huge tour buses and massive crowds!
Any tips for people traveling to Rome?
Wear comfy shoes and purchase tickets in advance!Also, strongly consider a reputable tour guide. We used a tour company called Walks of Italy. They took care of our tickets so we didn’t have to wait in line and they were super easy to work with. Walks of Italy specializes in small group or private tours, which allows you to customize the tour both in content and speed. I couldn’t help but see other larger tour groups and cringe at the thought of spending the day like that.Lastly, we found Rome to be the least crowded on Saturday mornings, so we would recommend touring the main sites during that time.
Hand sanitizer, comfy shoes, tickets purchased in advance, a city map and with any out-of-country trip, the iPhone app, Viber.
Do you collect something special from every destination you visit?
We always collect corks from the wine we have at dinners…and ok…sometimes lunch. Then we bring it home and place in a special dish in our dining room. Seeing the dish filled with corks reminds us of the wonderful experiences we’ve had. We’re also fans of local art, so we always try to bring home something local to hang on our walls.
What’s next on your travel itinerary?
Australia/New Zealand are in the plans for 2012, and in addition we’re hoping for Africa.
Read more about The Petersons trip to Italy at A few of our favorite things…in Italy
If you would like to take Traveling Olive on your next trip drop me a line @TravelingOlive or Shannon@TravelingOlive.com