European Reminiscing – Rome, Italy

A year isn’t too late to write about an amazing experience is it? Didn’t think so.

I’d like to blame so many things on my procrastination when it comes to writing about my trip to Europe last August – selling everything to move to Brazil being one of them- but the truth is that I got lazy.

As I think back on one of the most amazing trips of my life (with one of my best friends, Stacy) I realize that it’s certainly worth sharing even if it’s to reminisce. So over the next two weeks I’ll be writing about my super, wonderful, awesome European trip in installments.

Here’s the beginning:

One year ago today I woke up to the first day of my vacation in Rome, Italy. To be fair, it was about 1:30 in the afternoon because the trip there was ciaos.

Stacy and I were taking the trip with a tour company called Cosmos. I am a big proponent of independent travel but it was nice to have everything pre-planned with nothing more to do than enjoy the sites and sounds of a new city.

We stayed at the Parco Tirreno hotel just outside to the city center. The hotel was nice but the best part was the outdoor terrace where we spent all of our available time drinking wine and eating what may have been the best seafood risotto I have ever had.

My first morning in Rome after a long night’s sleep.

Later in the day we met our tour guide, Giuseppe (I know! Can you get anymore cliche?) as well as the rest of our group. It’s amazing how spending two weeks on a bus together can create such a bond but we really were with a great set of people. From families to newlyweds, our group had it all.

Here was our itinerary while in Rome:

Day 1 – August 15, 2011

In the evening we all met, some of us went into Rome to visit the Trevi Fountain and the Piazza di Spagna which is home to the Spanish Steps. NOTE: If you visiting on your own both of these attractions are free.

Stacy and I in front of the Trevi Fountain.

Afterwards we had dinner and made a quick stop to see St. Peter’s Basilica, which is absolutely beautiful at night.

My view from the Spanish Steps.

Day 2 – August 16, 2011

This day was very hot and only got hotter once we met our tour guide for the evening, Simon. He was an Italian version of John Krasinski and had the undivided attention of every female in the group, young and old alike.

Everyone’s favorite Italian tour guide, Simon.


This is the day that we got to explore Vatican City. One will never understand the beauty of this place until they’ve made the visit in person. The traffic in St. Peter’s Square is electric as people excitedly hurry off in every direction to see a new, amazing piece of history.

St. Peter’s Basilica is a must see but remember to get there early as there tends to be long lines. Also, wear long shorts and bring something to cover your shoulders or you will not be allowed in.

A view of St. Peter’s Square


Our next stop was the Roman Forum which was once the city’s hub. It was so  fun to picture the hustle and bustle that must have occurred here thousands of years ago as you walk along the ancient streets. Everyone from shoppers and  merchants to philosopher’s all converged in this one area each day to conduct their daily routines.

I think we were all pretty exhausted from the already extensive activities of the day but I was brought to attention when I got my first glimpse of the inside of the Colosseum. I had seen it in movies and on travel shows but nothing compares to real life. It’s amazing the things that went on inside this arena over the years.

The inside of the Colosseum.


This too gets very packed with long lines so arrive early and dress comfortably. There’s no modern conveniences such as air conditioning and not many places to sit once inside.

So there you have it, my first two days in Italy. I was so excited with what I had already seen and couldn’t wait to see what the rest of our trip had in store.

By the end of my second day I knew two things for certain 1) It was going to be an amazing trip 2) I was going to be exhausted every night. I was right about both.

My best memories from these days:

– Finally seeing Stacy after the longest day ever!

– Laughing until we cried during our first dinner in Rome

– Successfully taking a picture of Simon’s ass while he wasn’t looking

– Stacy and I wishing we had the sense to pack bottled water as we explored the Roman Forum











Published by Ashley Zoerner

I'm originally from New Orleans, LA and grew up in the nearby town of Waveland, MS. I graduated from Georgia State University with a communications degree in 2010. Since then I've traveled the country and world meeting the most interesting people. My dream is to tell people's stories and share my passions with the world.

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