I know exactly when and how my love affair with Italy started. It was in 1998 when I was just 6 years old and I watched the film 'Sabrina in Rome' a dozen times. Then, five years later, The Lizzie McGuire Movie was set in Rome and it was after watching that movie that I realised I would never be happy until I visited Rome. Afterwards, as both myself and technology matured, I was able to learn things about the rest of Italy and fell in love with the whole countries history, culture and beauty. I dreamed of living in such a stunning and historically rich country, I wandered around Rome on Google street maps pretending to be a native and I watched countless other films set in Italy (some ridiculously rubbish) just to see more of my first true love. On the 19th September 2012 I flew to Rome, Italy with my then boyfriend to spend a week in the country I had loved since I was a little girl. Whilst I was incredibly excited to finally be going, I was also a little scared. It was like the saying 'never meet your idols' and I was so nervous that I was going to be hugely let down.
I wasn't. As soon as I stepped out of the airport, I felt like I was home.
The first day brought rain – and lots of it! After checking into our hotel and heading out into the warm Roman air we came to the Colosseum and, being two massive history buffs, could not put off for another second entering the world famous amphitheatre. It was truly spectacular being there, surrounded by so much history it was breath taking (although we kind of felt like that the whole time we was in Rome!) and you could imagine it being packed with Roman’s watching the gory ‘sport’ taking place in the centre. As the floor was missing you could see right down into the ‘backstage’ area where the gladiators would await their fate. Amazing. Then the rain struck and we decided to head back to our hotel. Unfortunately we had no idea where it was and couldn’t understand the directions given to us, so we found ourselves walking around the city getting absolutely drenched, hiding in doorways for a bit of a break from the unrelenting downpour with no money on us to jump into a taxi or even grab an umbrella. After about 16 hours we found our hotel and dried off, waiting for the rain to stop so we could go out once more and grab some food. We found a little café type restaurant right round the corner from where we were staying where we each got a pizza and a pasta carbonara to share, because you can’t go to Italy and your first meal not be pizza or/and pasta can you!? It was delicious.