Spell Saab

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For our second day in Rome, I arranged for a Best of Rome tour. Our guide, Daniel, picked us up with a car at 8AM. We learned that a typical Italian breakfast would be a croissant and a coffee so we grabbed some before leaving.

Look at that huge doggy

Look at that huge doggy

Our first stop was the Pantheon, the best ancient monument that’s still in continuous use up to this day. It’s been around since 127 A.D.

The exterior was being renovated as were most famous structures in Rome because of the coming Jubilee Year next year

The exterior was being renovated just like other famous structures in Rome because of the coming Jubilee Year next year

Once we stepped inside, the oculus flooded the place with sunlight.

Once we stepped inside, the oculus flooded the place with sunlight.

The Oculus is the Pantheon’s only source of light and there is no glass whatsoever up there. I was puzzled and I asked what happens when it rains? Simple: the rain comes in and for that reason there is an ancient drain right beneath the oculus.

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This is where former queen of Italy is buried. Her name is Margherita and yes, the pizza flavor is named after her.

This is where a former queen of Italy is buried. Her name is Margherita and yes, the pizza flavor is named after her.

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As almost everything was under renovation and closed off for cleaning, we couldn’t go up the Spanish Steps. Daniel took us to what he claimed was the best view of the city up on Pincian Hill. We were not disappointed.

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The Spanish Steps from below. Hi, James Bond!

Renovations cost a lot so they have to accept sponsors

Renovations cost a lot so they have to accept sponsors

We went to The Colosseum, and Jim was beside himself with excitement.

The Arch of Constantine

The Arch of Constantine

It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine I’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. Dedicated in 315, and the latest existing triumphal arches in Rome, it was also the only one to extensively reuse major sculpture from earlier monuments. The Arch of Constantine is also the biggest triumphal arch. The arch spans the Via triumphalis, the way taken by the emperors when they entered the city in triumph. (via Wikipedia)

Actual gladiators walked upon these cobblestones

Actual gladiators walked upon these cobblestones

Sadly, I haven’t seen the movie Gladiator but Jim filled me in on what he picked up from the film and others similar to it. He said the emperors had gladiators fight so that his people would be entertained and forget that they were starving. They didn’t have noontime shows and teleseryes back then.

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You can see the underground tunnels where slaves/prisoners-turned-gladiators would walk before fighting to the death.

You can see the underground tunnels where slaves/prisoners-turned-gladiators would walk before fighting to the death.

They would go up through a trap door

They would go up through a trap door

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Sometimes the gladiators would fight each other or face off against a wild animal

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Even with its brutal past, this is where the Pope leads the Stations of the Cross every Good Friday.

In hindsight, being all lovey dovey in a place where a lot of people died may have been inappropriate ?

In hindsight, being all lovey dovey in a place where a lot of people died may have been inappropriate ?

Although, it’s nice to know that the Colosseum is now a symbol of the global campaign against capital punishment.

As a gesture against the death penalty, the local authorities of Rome change the color of the Colosseum’s night time illumination from white to gold whenever a person condemned to the death penalty anywhere in the world gets their sentence commuted or is released, or if a jurisdiction abolishes the death penalty. Most recently, the Colosseum was illuminated in gold in November 2012 following the abolishment of capital punishment in the American state of Connecticut in April 2012. (via Wikipedia)

All of the marble on the walls and gold on the statue were stolen during medieval times

All of the marble on the walls and gold on the statue were stolen during medieval times

House of Augustus, Palatine Hill

House of Augustus, Palatine Hill

Circus Maximus - used for chariot racing

Circus Maximus – used for chariot racing

Our tour guide taught us that these small faucets are for drinking. He said the water is VERY clean.

Daniel taught us that these small faucets are for drinking. He said the water is VERY clean.

So we had to try it ourselves. It was cold, refreshing water!

So we had to try it ourselves. It was cold, refreshing water!

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Then it was time for lunch. We went to La Soffita Renovatio and the food was DELICIOUS!!

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Margherita pizza

Margherita pizza

Gnocchi

Gnocchi

We went straight to The Vatican after eating and we couldn’t wait to walk off all the carbs.

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Fontana della Pigna (that huge pine cone sculpture)

Fontana della Pigna (that huge pine cone sculpture)

Cortile del Belvedere or Belvedere Courtyard

Cortile del Belvedere or Belvedere Courtyard

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These are just flat paintings on the ceiling that that look 3D. Amazing, right?

These are just flat paintings on the ceiling that look 3D. Amazing, right? The technique is called trompe l’oeil.

We visited the Sistine Chapel as well but as everybody knows, photography is not allowed. And if you talk louder than a whisper, you will be shushed by the guards.

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This is where the Pope says mass

This is where the Pope says mass

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We missed him by a day, actually. We were there on a Thursday and apparently there’s mass every Wednesday. You can click here to check his schedule in case you plan to go.

St. Peter's Basilica

St. Peter’s Basilica

Michelangelo's Pietà

Michelangelo’s Pietà

The Holy Door

The Holy Door

The Holy Door is sealed with mortar and cement from inside. It is opened every 25 years and next year it will be opened for the Jubilee year of Mercy. Everyone who passes through the Holy Door will be “cleansed and forgiven.”

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St. Ignatius Loyola

St. Ignatius Loyola

The great Gian Lorenzo Bernini created the Baldacchino which stands above the altar. It's believed to be the largest piece of bronze in the world.

The great Gian Lorenzo Bernini created the Baldacchino which stands above the altar. It’s believed to be the largest piece of bronze in the world.

Bernini's "Cathedra Petri" (Throne of St. Peter) and "Gloria"

Bernini’s “Cathedra Petri” (Throne of St. Peter) and “Gloria”

Vatican guards

Vatican guards

Fontana dell'Acqua Paola on Janiculum Hill

Fontana dell’Acqua Paola on Janiculum Hill

The tour was done so we headed back to our place to rest a bit before having dinner. We ate at Rossopommodoro recommended by friends.

Pinoy waiter! Yay!

Pinoy waiter! Yay!

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We halfed a Verace pizza. It's a Margherita pizza with extras: buffalo mozzarella and penisola sorrentina extra virgin olive oil

We halfed a Verace pizza. It’s a Margherita pizza with extras: buffalo mozzarella and penisola sorrentina extra virgin olive oil

Both ingredients had “DOP” beside their names on the menu. This means Denominazione di Origine Protetta (literally “Protected Designation of Origin”). The ingredients are locally grown and packaged.

Fresh spaghetti

Fresh spaghetti

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Walked back home and passed by a complex in Torre Argentina, where Julius Caesar was famously stabbed to death.

See that black cat?

See that black cat?

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Stopped for some gelato of course

Stopped for some gelato of course

Reggae performer

Walking back to Trastevere, we spotted a Reggae performer singing his heart out. Only a few people were watching him when we got there. But in just a few minutes, the place was packed, and people were dancing. Some of them even joined him on the mic to sing a few Bob Marley classics.

It's definitely a highlight of our stay in Rome.

It’s definitely a highlight of our stay in Rome.

The following day, after exercising (Jim jogged and I couldn’t take the cold so I just did yoga indoors… Masabi lang na nag-exercise lelz), we walked back to the area of The Colosseum to visit the Roman Forum.

Along the way we passed by the place where Julius Caesar was assasinated once again. You can read more about the ides of March here.

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Walking around Rome was so lovely

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It's a monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.

Altare della Patria – a monument built in honor of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy.

Spotted another bride!

Spotted another bride!

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Forum of Caesar

Forum of Caesar

Pinay and her Italian partner wearing a Philippine jacket

Pinay and her Italian partner wearing a Philippine jacket

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So we meet again

So we meet again

This guy was playing this UFO-looking instrument and he was amazing!!! It's called a HANG. Look it up, ang galing.

This guy was playing this UFO-looking instrument and he was amazing!!! It’s called a HANG. Look it up, ang galing.

Entering the Roman Forum

Entering the Roman Forum

Obligatory jump shot

Obligatory jump shot

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And another one

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Never a dull moment

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We were so hungry so we went to a nearby restaurant called Gustando Roma. Jim ordered 2 medium beers and they turned out to be bigger than we expected haha

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Lasagna

Lasagna

Carbonara

Carbonara

We stayed and talked for 2 hours before going around to get lost in Rome

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We ended up walking for 4 hours straight but we didn’t even notice because of the buzz from the beer and the perfect company.

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♥Ciao Bella,
Saab

November 25, 2015

Saab

38 Comments

  1. Reply

    jazel

    November 18, 2015

    your photos look lovely! I hope to get to meet the “JIM” of my life and get to visit Rome too. Happy Marriage indeed :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 19, 2015

      Thank you xx :) Good luck!!

  2. Reply

    Kristina

    November 19, 2015

    Beautiful pictures as always! There are some really helpful tips for my future trip to Italy ;) I’ve definitely taken some notes!

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 19, 2015

      Thank you!!

  3. Reply

    Janine

    November 19, 2015

    Para na rin akong nanggaling sa Euro trip cos of your blog posts!! <3

    Saab, what time start ng show nyo sa Route 196 this Saturday (Nov. 21)? Sana you'll entertain this question. Wanna see Cheats sooo bad. Thank you!! :*

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 19, 2015

      I think we might be on at midnight or later because I’m coming from the Sam Smith concert!!

  4. Reply

    Gail

    November 19, 2015

    Hi Saab! Lovely photos! Where did you get your cute leather jacket? Thanks!

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 19, 2015

      It’s from Zara!:) Borrowed from Maxx hehe

  5. Reply

    Jae

    November 19, 2015

    More than anything, I think cute ‘yung matchy-matchy kayo ng outfit :D

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 19, 2015

      Sobrang unplanned yun ha hahahaha

  6. Reply

    barby simbajon

    November 19, 2015

    Definitely on my bucket list! To visit Rome with someone special! ???

  7. Reply

    Al06

    November 19, 2015

    Hi Saab! This may sound cheezy or what but the first thing that i thought by the time i heard about the Paris bombing was, you. I was like,”thank God Saab and Jim wasn’t there anymore.” Such a relief. (Yes,im a lil bit outdated with all the news bec of nights shifts)
    Please post some answers na for ask saab. :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 19, 2015

      Definitely not cheesy at all. Thank you very much for the concern :)

  8. Reply

    jie fuentes-van eeckaute

    November 19, 2015

    Lovely photos Saab :) Italy indeed is such a romantic place for couples, of course second to Paris. thank you for the info that you’ve shared as well. I am looking for ward to visit these places in Europe hopefully next year :)

    PS: Miss your Spell Saab Book Club na, :)

    jie <3

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 19, 2015

      Thank you :) Hehehe yes, I miss it too!!

  9. Reply

    Gaga

    November 19, 2015

    Reading this makes me wanna file my leave application today, and hop on plane bound to Rome tomorrow! Have you been to the Middle East, Saab? We’ve longing to see you here in Doha! Xoxo ♥

  10. Reply

    Ley S.

    November 19, 2015

    “We stayed and talked for 2 hours before going around to get lost in Rome” – Perfect. <3 Haha. Loving all the posts, Saab! :)

  11. Reply

    Jewel

    November 20, 2015

    Awwww! <3 Parang nag tour na rin ako sa Rome :) I like Jim's jumpshots! naka ilang take kaya yun? :O You guys are lovely. xx

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 20, 2015

      Mga 3 each lang naman hahaha

  12. Reply

    Jane

    November 20, 2015

    Entertaining and informative read, as always. :)
    I make sure to click those links you provide and read up on them.
    Thank you for sharing Saab! :)

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 20, 2015

      No problem, glad to help!:)

  13. Reply

    Coi

    November 20, 2015

    Awww such lovely couple! Thank you for sharing these beautiful photos!! <3

  14. Reply

    sweetspice95

    November 21, 2015

    love your ‘naiinitan’ poses! hahahaha! please tell us naman how you planned the trip, did you go by train from paris to rome? and tell us your travel budget tips please!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️ love love love your blog! keep it up ????

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 26, 2015

      Took a plane from Paris to Rome!!:)

  15. Reply

    Iya

    November 22, 2015

    Saab!!!! I’d love to know what camera you’ve used for all these shots?

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 26, 2015

      Sony A6000 :)

  16. Reply

    Rox

    November 22, 2015

    Hi Saab.

    Sorry to pry but I wanted to ask how much did the entire Eurotrip cost you? Reading your posts makes want to finally save up to travel to Europe. Thanks so much Saab. Love your blog forever. Hehe. :)

  17. Reply

    eloisa

    November 22, 2015

    I have been busy for some time and was surprised on how you’re blog has become! Have you been a fashion blogger lately touring Europe? Love you saab and wish all the best for you and Jim <3

  18. Reply

    Grems

    November 23, 2015

    Ugh so jelly of your Eurotrip!! Rome is so lively despite it being sacred since the Vatican is there and it doesn’t even look “creepy” (when i see statues kasi or mascots i freak out hahaha). Rome will always remind me of The Lizzy McGuire Movie.

    Your photos are also so fucking beaut. <3<3 Do you edit them pa or straight from your camera? I've been so curious. All your Euro photos looks like they were taken with a film camera. Haha! Hope you and Jim can visit Sydney soon (5k roundtrip ticket lang!!) I hope I hope into you there!! Lol

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 26, 2015

      Hehehe thank you! I color graded using Adobe Lightroom!:) Yes, we’re booked for Sydney next year!!

      • Reply

        Grems

        November 27, 2015

        YAY!!! So excited for you!! Heehee. If you can try Harry’s Cafe de Wheels you’ll love it!! :D

  19. Reply

    janine

    November 23, 2015

    It’s your birthdayyyyyyyyyy today!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY Saab! Haven’t I told you how much I look up to you? Uhh love you! Thanks for being an inspiration. xx

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 26, 2015

      Thank you!!!!!

  20. Reply

    Dre

    November 24, 2015

    You are making me want a Sony a6000 for myself too!! Your photos are gorgeous and make reading your beautiful writing even more wonderful. Did you do any photo editing (filters, etc.) prior to posting them?

    • Reply

      Saab

      November 26, 2015

      Hi Dre! Yes, I used VSCO filters thru Adobe Lightroom :) Thank you!

  21. Reply

    Pat A

    December 3, 2015

    Last photo of the Ciao Bella bags with Jim in the background is my favorite of all. Second is you reaching for the camera while eating spaghetti. Cute niyo!!

    • Reply

      Saab

      December 3, 2015

      Hihihi thank you!!

  22. Reply

    Christine

    December 11, 2015

    Trastevere is my fave area in Rome. I stayed there too! I loved all the restaurants there. Delicious food and good prices!

    -Christine
    http://www.christinelovestotravel.com

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