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Adventuring in Italy || Part 1: Rome || Destination Elopement Photographer

It’s been over a year since my honeymoon. John and I spent two weeks traveling around Italy, and so far it stands as the greatest trip of my life. Rome is probably my favorite city in the world, and I hope to go back again soon. But I have a seriously embarrassing admission. I took – literally – thousands of photographs on our trip, and have only post processed maybe… 20. Tops. And I never actually wrote about any of our adventures here. High speed train rides; navigating the Italian highway; how we climbed a giant, winding staircase in a garden in Florence in the rain – assuming we’d be rewarded with a spectacular view or some amazing Italian artwork and found… nothing; gelato for breakfast; the time I thought we ran over a WOMAN’S CHILD in Siena. (It turned out to be an empty shopping cart, but it was the scariest ten seconds of my life.)

So last night I dug the unedited photographs off my external harddrive, and decided it was time for them to see the light of day. I spent the evening wrapped up in them, editing and reliving those perfect two weeks. Thinking of chocolate gelato, drinking wine in Tuscany, long walks back to our hotel after dinner at night, and Italian coffee (when I taste good Italian coffee at a restaurant now… sometimes I cry. Seriously. John gets really embarassed.)

I was afraid of never writing any of them down, of the photographs languishing on my harddrive. Of the whole trip disappearing into the fog. So this is late. A year and three months late. But better late than never.

Photographs interspersed with stories of our trip. So I never forget. First up… Rome.

We stayed at the top of the Spanish Steps. The hotel had the tiniest elevator ever; I held my breath every time we took it to our room on the fifth floor. The hotel had at the greatest coffee in the world, and I kind of couldn’t wait to get out of bed everyday and run downstairs for a pot.

The Spanish Steps were always packed with people. Tourists and men handing out roses for change. They kept pressing the roses into my hand, and I kept pressing them back. “No, no, no.” I did not want to trade a euro for a rose. It was a lesson I’d learned the hard way at Sacre Coeur in Paris two years earlier. We would walk out of the hotel, buy gelato from a cart at the top of the steps, and find a place to sit on the stairs, eat our gelato, and people watch. Watch the tourists fight a losing battle with the rose men.

I think it was our second day. The jet lag was starting to come down like a hammer. We were wandering around, and found ourselves in Piazza Navona. We found a table at a cafe and spent the rest of the day eating pasta, drinking wine, and watching the street performers. An escape artist, a seemingly homeless man with a boom box who lip-synced opera, a quartet of old men musicians, a young kid with a guitar. We sat and talked and it was one of my favorite days.

We visited the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Circus Maximus, threw a coin in Trevi Fountain, and looked through the Knights of Malta keyhole to see St. Peter’s Basilica. The history nerd in me freaked out. It was surreal, and all much larger than I’d expected for some reason.

I liked the sometimes narrow, winding streets. Little secrets tucked away. I did not like feeling like I was going to be run over by a scooter every time I crossed the street there. Rome was smaller then I imagined it to be, and easily walkable.

On our fifth day we took a train to Florence. My second time on a high speed train. I went to the bathroom and accidentally dropped my sunglasses in the toilet. Obviously I left them there.

Next week… photos from Florence!

 

  • oh, i am so excited to see all your photos. they may actually inspire me to get off my ass and write about our own italian honeymoon. it’s only been a few months but i’m already guilt-stricken about ignoring it. there are trip advisor reviews to be written.

    these are all beautiful. but this one, the top right, made me tear up. http://www.katiejanephoto.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/destination_elopement_photographer_134.jpg

    it’s the light, i kept saying to s, when we got to rome at the end of our trip and were exhausted and ready to go home, it’s the light that makes italy special. even when there are a million tourists and you’re worn out by the chaos, that perfect moment, with the sun glancing off the buildings like it has for centuries, makes it worth it.

  • Thank you! You are so right about the light in Italy. John and I always dropped whatever we were doing when the sun began to set, and went and found a good place to sit and watch it. I don’t know what it is, but the sunsets there are just… magic. The light is not like everywhere else in the world. I have about 500 photographs of our very last sunset in Italy; I was so sad that evening.

    I really want to hear about your honeymoon and see the pictures, since you went to the part of Italy we want to go to next! (You did go to Amalfi, right? I didn’t make that up in my head, did I? haha.)

  • These pictures are beautiful Katie Jane. Holy wow.

  • Ahhh! I want to go to Italy SO BADLY but it’s on James’ last list of places he wants to go… or basically he says he will not go. :-( I’ll have to find another travel companion because I want to go – badly! These are beautiful. I especially love the black & white of the silhouette of the statue to the right of the frame. Gorgeous.

  • […] you missed part 1 & 2, you can read about our trip (and why I’m writing this series) here: PART 1 & PART […]

  • […] If you missed part 1, you can read about our trip to Rome (and why I’m writing this series): HERE. […]