Summer in Rome, Italy

Me and Lindsay sipping our first coffee in Rome. 
"Be slow to fall into friendship; but when thou art in, 
continue firm and constant." - Socrates

My dear friend Lindsay is one of those precious, constant, and irreplaceable souls. She cares deeply about people and protects that which she loves with fierce intensity. For seven years, Lindsay's been one of my closest confidants and she's never opposed to sharing a bottle of malbec or pinot noir. After all, isn't that a true test of friendship?

Lindsay introduced me to Chris, she has always spoken the truth even when the truth hurt, she's hosted several birthday parties for me, played an important role when Chris' proposed to me, and she supported me as my Matron of Honor when I married the man of my dreams.

You can imagine my excitement when Lindsay announced that her and her Hubby would spend the entire month of July in Europe. Lindsay and Evan managed to take a month off of work, and since it had been Lindsay's dream to see Italy, that is exactly where they planned on spending the duration of their European vacation.

At the beginning of July, I booked a $40 round trip Ryan Air flight from Budapest to Rome, and the three of us spent two days seeing the sights, drinking coffee and sharing pizza in the ancient city.

Here are a few "Know Before You Go" tips from my trip to Rome:

- First off, the city of Rome is magical! It is a part of history that everyone must experience at least once!

- Some 7-10 million tourists visit Rome every single year, and I think most of them were there at the beginning of July. If you go in the summer, prepare for crowded metros, expensive lodging, and 2-hour lines to get into main attractions.

- If you want to avoid lines (and save time and money) for - say the Colosseum or Vatican Museums, plan ahead and book your tickets online.

- The metro is easy to use, so in order to save money on lodging, book outside of the city center but make sure you are within walking distance of a metro stop.

- That being said, there are numerous summer strikes that halt the transportation system. Ask your hotel if they know of any planned strikes while you're visiting so that you can plan your trip accordingly. When we were in Rome, there was a strike on the Friday we were trying to leave the city. That Friday, the city demanded that everyone must be able to get to and from work, so the trains, busses, and metro ran until 8:30am, shut down, and then started running again at 5pm for the evening commute.

- My friends, Jacob and Heather, showed us around the Trastevere neighborhood and that quickly became my favorite part of Rome. The metro does not run into Trastevere, but the busses do. It is worth a trip - trust me!

- It was ridiculously hot at the beginning of July (some people said we visited in the middle of a heat wave), so next time I visit Rome, I will avoid July and August. It should be comfortable (and less crowded) to tour Rome in the months of May and October.

- You will see ancient water fountains all around Rome - DRINK THE WATER! The water is clean and very refreshing! If you visit in the hot summer months, you will begin searching for those little fountains from heaven!

Enjoy a few pictures from our quick trip through Rome:

Look at all the people trying to get into the Pantheon! 
The Pantheon is 2000 years old and still has the largest, unreinforced concrete dome in the world!
Thanks for the suggestion Heather! Cafe Thzza D'Oro's iced coffee and cream near the Pantheon. 
These fountains become your best friends in Rome! Drink up!
A flower picture for my Grandma, Joyce. Rome, Italy. 
Posing in front of St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City. 

At the top of the Spanish Steps looking out on Rome. 
We met up with my college friend, Ben, at an awesome place called EATALY.  
Amazing seafood pasta at EATALY. Seriously, check this place out!
Summer bars and live music along the Tiber River in the Trastevere neighborhood. 

Enjoying the night life on our last evening in Rome. 
Farewell Rome! Hope to see you soon . . . once you cool down a bit!