Rome was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to…
I’ve always found something so romantic about countries like Italy and Spain; I imagine their whole lives to be like a non-stop version of Madonna’s ‘La Isla Bonito’ video. This, along with the fact I’m secretly a massive geek at heart and obsessed with anything to do with Roman Gladiators – meant that the Collosseum was right up my street.
After spending the whole day swotting at the ruins on a tour with, what can only be described as, one of the most mental women I have ever met (who, I’m 90% sure, made up the majority of the facts she told us) we had a drink overlooking the Collosseum.
It was beautiful, the sun was cracking the flags even though it was November, I had a drink in my hand and they kept giving us free bread with green sticky crap on it which, to this day, I have no idea what it was. The day was perfect, I could have just left it there, but of course I insisted that I wanted to go for a romantic meal overlooking the ruins that night. I wasn’t fussy; I just wanted to find a “well cute” restaurant, which left us with a covered patio area of an Italian where, even in the daytime, we could see fairy lights glittering through the vines.
After getting lost for 45 minutes (obviously, it wouldn’t be a holiday if we didn’t get completely lost, argue, and end up walking in single file a foot away from each other for the rest of the journey) we finally go to the restaurant. The Collosseum looks incredible lit up at night, and it looked like it was going to be as romantic as I expected… until we sat down.
You know sometimes things can look beautiful in the day, but of a night everything seems dark and creepy… well replace the words ‘dark and creepy’ with ‘badly scatty’ and this was one of those occasions. The beautiful patio with glittering fairy lights turned out to be a rusty gazebo with old, broken Christmas lights left up, no table cloths and plastic knives and forks….
I’m obviously lying about the plastic knives and forks, I just want to paint a picture about exactly how skanky it was because I think it was one of them ‘you have to be there’ situations. When our meals (which we couldn’t change at all from the menu because they “just needed heating up”) finally came my pasta shells were rock solid and Jon’s lasagne has a worryingly green puddle forming in the centre. I’m not the type complain in restaurants but when they refused to exchange our meals for ones that weren’t going to kill us I was fuming.
The following kick off with the manager pretty much resulted in us being told we wouldn’t be getting ANY food but would still be charged for the meals we didn’t eat.
I would have just told them we weren’t paying and walked out but 1) there was wine on the table and it would have been rude not to finish it and 2) I was pretty certain the owner was a member of the mafia. Anyway we ended up only paying for the wine, three quarters of which I downed because “well we’ve fucking paid for it so it’s getting drank”, but because of the language gap we weren’t 100% certain we weren’t about to get ‘whacked’ so ended up literally running away from the restaurant; not an easy job in 5inch heels on cobbles.
Luckily we ended up having a lovely meal (this is of course an assumption as, by the time I had finished it I was over a bottle of wine down) in a place called ‘That’s Amore’ that looked like somewhere straight out of Lady and the Tramp. So alls well that ends well, but once again it taught me to roll with the punches, and never, ever try and force romance!