Last Minute Trip To Italy

Booking a last minute trip to Italy is pretty much my definition of fun.
Well. Booking trips, in general, is my idea of fun—but last minute trips are that much more exciting and spontaneous. They can sometimes leave you in a bit of a tizzle if you don’t leave more than a few hours between booking a trip and having to leave for the airport… But they’re generally pretty up there.

Booking a last minute trip to Italy however, was on a whole other level.

If you follow me on Instagram (please do) or life (please stop) then you will know that carbs are my greatest love. Forget flowers and romance tales as old as time, the way to this girl’s heart is fresh, flavoursome and full of calories.

I’ve wanted to eat my way around Italy for as long as I can remember, but never quite got around to it. This is the problem when you want to go everywhere, it’s hard to pick where to go next. But thanks to British Airways (not sponsored – I just have a lot of love for them for reasons you can read in this post) it was finally happening. S and I found flights and hotels in Italy for around £600 each—which was awesome considering it was the Easter holidays and every other website and travel agent came back quoting us £1000++ each. Suckers. Everyone knows that less money spent on flights = more money to spend on food.

The plan was this:
Step One: Fly to Italy and eat all the carbs.
Step Two: Do some sightseeing whilst waiting to get hungry again.
Step Three: Eat more carbs.

The moment the booking confirmation landed in my inbox, I began daydreaming.
I was spaghetti-deep in planning a food bucket list when S snapped me out of my reverie with the realisation that the currency exchange kiosk would be closing soon. Which meant that if we didn’t nip out to get Euros ASAP, we’d be stuck with the crappy airport exchange rate, which would mean less money to spend on carbs – and I was not having that.

Luckily, we live just a short drive away so with a quick dash to TESCO and a swipe of the bank card, my purse was soon filled with carb currency. After that, it was literally a case of booking travel insurance, getting some shuteye, and embarking on a game of ‘ready, set, pack!’ when I awoke. Mainly because I find it pointless packing everything the night before because I’ll only need to get my toiletries etc out again in the morning. It drives S mad but honestly, packing once is bad enough – so really, why pack twice?

A few hours later and Russ was outside waiting to take us to the airport. Russ gets an honorary mention in this blog post because not only did he go through McDonald’s drive-through on a quest to get me a toffee latte – twice, but he was taking S and me to the airport when he only had a few hours notice the night before. That’s some friendship points right there.

A short while later and we were up in the air, wondering what we would eat first and how easy it would be to find our way to the hotel. It was my first time in Italy so I had exactly zero idea of what to expect when it came to getting around. I wasn’t quite prepared for just how easy it would actually be.

After disembarking from the plane and collecting our luggage it was as simple as walking to the ticket kiosk and purchasing a train ticket. From there, we walked down some stairs and boarded the train which took us directly to Termini train station.

It was that easy to navigate that during the train journey, S asked three times if we were on the right train. It all felt just a little too easy. But we were, and after pulling into the train station it was just a ten-minute walk to the hotel. Ten minutes along cobbled paths, which when you’re wheeling a suitcase is kind of annoying.

My first impression of Rome, was that it would be much nicer if the buildings had a quick jet wash. The buildings were decorated with city sludge. You know the type – the dirty drip lines that have splattered and spread with each downpour of rain, decorating buildings in a way that only a heavily populated city can. But beneath the dirt stood towering buildings with grand doorways. The type of doors that are so thick you just know that they’d be perfect in the zombie apocalypse.

A short walk later and we were at our hotel. We stayed at the Gambrinus Hotel as it was one of the hotels which came without an added cost on the BA Holidays website. Plus it wasn’t too far from the areas we wanted to explore. The lobby of the hotel was bright modern and had the most amazing smelling oils. I don’t know what it was called but imagine Jo Malone, and then magnify that x1000. Unfortunately, the lobby was as modern as the building was because our room, looked nothing like the ones pictured on the website. We took a rather slow lift up to our room, walked through the dated corridor and walked into an incredibly dark room. The walls were lined with fabric – like wallpaper but material based, rather than paper. There weren’t any windows in our room, just a narrow door which opened if you yanked it, and overlooked another side of a building with a water tank below.

The room left much to be desired, but the only other option they had available at that time was a suite, and we were on the budget tour so that wasn’t an option. But to be honest, with it being a last minute trip to Italy, I didn’t really care that much about the hotel, I was just happy to be in the same postcode as gelato. So with that, we flung our belongings down in our room, freshened up and ventured out in search of food.

But more on that in my next post!

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Have you ever booked a last-minute trip to Italy, or anywhere else?
If so where did you go? Let me know in the comments!