“All Roads Lead to Rome” – A Travel Guide.

Two weeks ago, we headed off to Italy for a week’s holiday. I was celebrating the end of my exams and Shane was celebrating starting a new job so I knew it was going to be a “treat yourself” affair. We’re talking eating out three times a day and more Prosecco than should be consumed on an annual basis. I was posting pictures on my Instagram during the trip and I had a few questions on what I would recommend food/drink and activity wise. So, I decided that the easiest thing to do was put it all into a blog post.

Getting There:

We flew Ryanair from Dublin to Rome Ciampino (€50 per person, one way). The airport isn’t centrally located but there are good transport links. We took the bus to Rome Termini (bus station) in the city centre for less than €5 each. The journey took approximately 30 mins.

Where We Stayed:

We stayed in the “Pantheon Iconic Rome Hotel” which is a 5 Star hotel, located a very short walk from the Pantheon. The hotel was modern and luxurious – I slept like a baby every single night because the bed was so comfortable. Our room was nice and spacious and the bathroom was stocked with Aqua di Parma. I’m entirely predictable so yes, the luxury toiletries were a high point for me. Although, my favourite part of the hotel was the rooftop terrace where they served breakfast in the morning and drinks/snacks in the evening. The view was unbelievable and the cocktails were even better so even if you’re not staying in the hotel, I recommend dropping by for awhile, after a trip to the Pantheon, for a drink on the roof.

What We Saw:

Let’s just say that we got our 10,000 steps in everyday – and then some! The standard of public transport is poor so the easiest way to get around Rome is on foot. It’s worth mentioning that the city is filled with cobble stones and steps so I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who has difficulty walking. It’s definitely not a wheelchair friendly city, which is very frustrating to see in this day and age.

We spent most of our time in Rome wandering about, seeing the usual tourist sights. We walked around the Vatican, the Traveste area and visited the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps at night. I highly recommend taking the time to visit both the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps in the dark as they’re particularly breathtaking when they’re lit up.

We opted to take a guided tour of the Pantheon, as well as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. We both agreed that this was the best way to see the sights because the tour guides were knowledgeable and filled us in on little facts that we never would have learned, had we simply been walking around by ourselves. Choosing to pay for the guided tour also meant that we got to skip the queues at the Colosseum, which was definitely worth the extra few euro. If you’re thinking of booking a tour, I recommend checking out Viator to book in advance.

Where we Ate:

Most of the people who sent me a DM on Instagram during my trip, were asking me for restaurant recommendations. Of course, the best part about a trip to Italy is the food. We visited so many restaurants and found a few gems along the way. My top picks are listed below.

Lión Restaurant:

Lión is a newly opened restaurant/bar and is located just a five minute walk from where we were staying in Rome. The staff at our hotel recommended that we eat here on our first night in Rome and we were absolutely delighted that we did. We had some cocktails to start, which were divine. The drinks were served with delicious aperitifs, free of charge. I was in my element. We both had mains – Shane had a delicious pasta alla Amatriciana and I had a salad. Obviously, the carbs were the better choice and his dish was delicious. Mine was nice and fresh but it’s safe to say I didn’t choose salad over pasta or pizza for the rest of my stay. Who was I kidding?

Anyway, we both highly recommend Lión if you’re looking for some cocktails and dinner. We sat outside for the heaters and watched the world go by as we ate – absolute bliss.

Ristorante Pizzeria Pasquino:

Shane and I are both in agreement that this place served the best pizza that we tried in Rome. Admittedly, we were starving when we arrived but the pizza that we order was so delicious, it disappeared almost as soon as the plate landed on the table. We also shared a cheeseboard that was the best we had during our trip (and we ate A LOT of cheese). This restaurant also runs pasta making classes, which seems to be of interest to a lot of followers who are planning a trip to Rome. Maybe that’s something for our list, when we return.

Mimi e Coco:

We’ve thought long and hard about our favourite meal in Rome and I think we’re both in agreement that Mimi e Coco was a little step above the rest. I had the best lasagne of my life in this place. It’s also very, very affordable and we paid €40 for a starter to share, two mains, two shots of limoncello and two glasses of wine. One thing that is worth pointing out is that Mimi e Coco don’t take bookings in advance so its best to arrive before 7pm, if you want a table.

Mr 100 Tiramisu:

I had researched places to eat in Rome, long before we made the trip. I’ve got a serious sweet tooth so this particular place stood out. As the name suggests, Mr 100 Tiramisu serves 100 different kinds of tiramisu. My idea of heaven. We popped into this restaurant on a rainy day during our trip and sat for a few hours. We had lunch which consisted of a selection of crostini, meats and cheese. I can’t even describe how tasty it was and the lovely staff working in Mr 100 Tiramisu were really knowledgeable about the food they were serving so it made for a lovely dining experience. It’s worth pointing out that the wine selection available in Mr 100 Tiramisu was not only extensive, but affordable. And, the highlight? Definitely the Snickers flavored tiramisu. Overall, this restaurant is a great little place to relax and spend a few hours gorging on local Italian produce.

And there you have it, a quick summary of my trip to Rome. If you have any questions, please let me know. Also, if you try any of my recommendations, I would absolutely love to hear what you think.

Rouge x

Skincare Travel Essentials for Summer ’16.

“I haven’t been everywhere but it’s on my list”. – Susan Sontag.

 

So, anyone who follows Rouge Writing Hood on social media will already know that I’m currently in New York on an extended holiday. I’m here for a month so I’m sure you can imagine that my suitcase for flying out literally weighed more than I do – which seemed like a fabulous idea until I had to haul it from JFK to Grand Central Station.

Given that I carried so many outfits, shoes and handbags over with me; I really had to cut down on my skincare and make up collection. So, I thought I’d show you how to do the same. These are my skincare essentials for long haul trips:

 

ESPA “Purifying Micellar Cleanser” (available here):

 

 

ESPA Micellar Cleanser

Now, I’ve tried every micellar water under the sun and this one is by far my favourite. Unlike other formulas that I’ve tried, it isn’t drying or harsh on skin. Instead, the ingredients such as organic rosewater, chamomile and witch hazel sooth skin whilst removing make up quickly. This formula eliminates the need for eye make up remover as it removes even the most stubborn of waterproof mascara.

Moogoo “Ground Oatmeal Cleansing Bar” (available here):

Moogoo Oatmeal Cleansing Soap

In an effort to avoid carrying too many liquid products, I always bring this solid cleanser from MooGoo on holidays with me. The formula is an all-natural one and is nice and gentle on skin. This is a great multi-tasking product because it can be used to wash your face, body, make up brushes and tanning gloves. If you don’t have one of these cleansing bars, you definitely need one!

PHYT’s “Crème Hydra Riche” (available here):

PHYTs Moisturiser

I’m a huge fan of PHYT’s skincare and this formula is my must-have moisturiser. This formula is quite rich but it absorbs quickly. I have normal/dehydrated skin so I use this one morning and night. The great thing about this moisturiser is that, because it’s made from all-natural and organic ingredients, it can also be used as eye cream. That’s one product less for your suitcase.

Dermalogica “Solar Defense Booster SPF 50” (available here):

Dermalogica SPF

Of course, I landed in NYC in the middle of a heatwave and being a ginja ninja, I definitely need all of the SPF that I can get. The problem with SPF is that often, it can be oily and sticky – yuck! But, not this one. Dermalogica have formulated the perfect facial SPF and it may be pricey, but it’s worth every single cent. This formula absorbs really quickly and make up sits perfectly over it.

Dermalogica “Protection 50 Sport SPF 50” (available here):

Dermalogica Sun Protection

Since I loved the facial SPF from Dermalogica, I had high hopes for the full body version. And, it didn’t disappoint. Again this formula is non-greasy and fast absorbing. I haven’t gotten even a patch of sunburn yet (which is remarkable for a redhead) so I’m pretty sure that the formula is really effective.

ESPA “Nourishing Lip Treatment” (available here):

ESPA Nourishing Lip Treatment

Extremely warm weather combined with air conditioning always leads to really chapped lips. It’s really difficult to actually find a lip product that works but this one from ESPA is great. The formula has an oil-like texture which is light and can act as a primer for matte lip products. A tiny bit goes a long way so the product is great value for money and should last for ages.

And that’s it folks. Every skincare product that I brought to NYC with me. What do you think? Have you tried any of these products? Or, do you have your own travel favourites? Let us know in the comments.

Rouge x