Where I have been so far – 2017

Saying that travelling is one of my favourite hobbies is an understatement. I have been to five continents and visited twenty-two countries, so far. Not bad for a thirty-years-old, but I am aiming to do better!

Hopefully, I will add at least one other country to the list by the end of the year (Portugal or Iceland I think), but in the meantime, here is where I have been so far!

Claire Imaginarium Travel map 2017
Source

Europe

  • France (born and raised!)
  • The UK (London, Cornwall, Norfolk, the Lake District, and Scotland)
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Luxembourg
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Switzerland
  • Italy (Rome part 1 & part 2, Puglia, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast)
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • Turkey ( a little guide on Turkish food)
  • The Vatican

Asia

Africa

  • The Seychelles
  • South Africa

South America

  • Brazil

North America

  • The USA (my favourite NYC rooftop, Boston, California, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Missouri)

Now the real question is, where should I go next? I am open to suggestions!

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A weekend in Rome – part 2

On the second day of a long weekend in Rome, head to the Vatican. A true architectural wonder and a place filled with masterpieces.

Vatican Basilica St PietroVatican Basilica St PietroVatican Basilica St Pietro

The Vatican’s queue is notoriously long and bad, so make sure to beat it by ordering your tickets online. I got ours there and we walked pass the 500-meters long queue and went straight in there with very little wait at security.

Swiss guard Vatican

The Vatican is huge and filled with pieces you probably first saw in your history books at school.

Vatican museumVatican museumVatican museum

‘Ohhhhh’ and ‘Ahhhh’ in the Sistine chapel (but don’t take any pictures, you’ll be told off! Trust me, I tried!).

Vatican museumVatican museumVatican museum

Wander for a couple of hours and end your visit in the huge Basilica St Pietro.

Basilica St Pietro

Once out, head toward Piazza del Popolo, on the way you will find plenty of delis and bakeries where you can find delicious sandwiches.

Piazza del Popolo

On Piazza del Popolo grab a gelato and people watch.

Piazza del Popolo

Rome is a very lively city and Piazza del Popolo a great place to see it happen.

Done with your gelato? Good! Now let’s walk it off! Head uphill to the Villa Borghese park, wander along the cypress trees alleys and enjoy the views of Rome’s roofs.

Villa Borghese parkVilla Borghese parkVilla Borghese park

Have a siesta on the grass and when it gets closer to ‘Aperol o’clock’ head down back into the city via the Spanish Steps and take a sit at a terrace for an aperitivo and more people watching.

End the day with a dish of pasta or a delicious pizza and go to bed for some sun filled dreams.

Take me there!

Here are parts 1 and 3 of our weekend in Rome!

A weekend in Rome – part 1

Rome… Ahhhhhh, Rome… I love you so much! You are like a summer fling – seducing, warm, interesting and beautiful. I have been to Rome several times and I just fall in love more and more each time. It always delivers!

The great thing with Rome is that it is only a short flight away from almost everywhere in Europe so going for a long weekend is fairly easy!

Alps flight to Rome

A quick flight across the Alps and you will be there for dinner on a Friday. Find a nice little restaurant not far from where you are staying and unwind to the sound of Italian voices.

On Saturday, head to the Colosseum.

Colosseum Rome

Yes, it is a touristic cliché, but it really is worth visiting. You will feel like Russell Crowe in Gladiator for a couple of hours. Note that it is important to buy your tickets in advance to beat the queue.

Colosseum RomeColosseum Rome

Rome offers also plenty of touristy photo opportunities. So go on, be a tourist and proud of it!

Colosseum Rome

Now is a good time to grab a late lunch. All places around there will be quite touristy so don’t desperately look for something special, just pick between panini and pasta. Or even better, pack a sandwich from a local baker, so you can enjoy it at our next stop, the Roman Forum!

From the Colosseum, just head to the other side of the street and enter the Roman Forum. The site is mainly in ruin, but it gives you a great idea of how the Ancient Rome must have looked like. You can imagine the little food markets, the shops, the temples and all the activities going on in the very old streets.

Roman ForumRoman ForumRoman ForumRoman Forum

From the Forum, head uphill to what used to be the ‘posh’ neighbourhood of the Ancient Rome. The Palatine Hill is where the emperors and the cool-kids used to live. I did Latin for 2 years, I don’t remember any of the derivatives but I do remember this! My parents would be proud…

Palatine HillPalatine Hill

The views of Rome’s roofs are wonderful from there.

Palatine HillPalatine Hill

At the top of the hill, you will find Emperor Augustus palace. You will also see on the other side of the hill what remains of the Circus Maximus (drop movie reference here: Ben-Hur)

Emperor Augustus palace

After the Palatine hill, head toward the Piazza del Campidoglio, where you will find the famous Capitoline wolf statue. You can then head downhill to the Piazza Venezia and the high street area.

By now it should be late afternoon, perfect time for a gelato or an Aperol spritz! When in Rome…

Take me there!

Here are part 2 and 3 of our weekend in Rome!