Roaming Rome: My Birthday Weekend Report.


I just flew back from a wonderful long weekend in Rome with my parents where I celebrated my 27th birthday. Clearly I had a great time. Okay not clearly, but I did and I will tell you all about it.

You know how I roll for travel reports, don’t you? That’s right. Bulletpoints. Andiamo.





  • We get up at an unspeakable early hour, sit in a plane for two hours and land on Italian soil at 11 in the morning.
  • We take an airport shuttle into Rome.
  • As we are driving, I get that loved up feeling I got last time I visited Rome. What other people have with London, New York or Paris, I think I have with Rome. (It’s the pasta and all of the old crap lying around. I love me some Romans.)
  • We have lunch at a random little place before checking in. We share a bottle of prosecco, because day drinking on a Thursday is TOTALLY okay when you’re in Rome a.k.a. not at work.
  • I have a pasta with zucchini and pumpkin, my mom has a fetuccini with fish and my dad has these delicious stuffed ravioli thingies in a creamy cheese. Because I’m a bad blogger and so focused on chatting with my ‘rents and looking at Rome, I forget to take food pictures.
  • We get gelato, the first of many.
  • We visit a church. Because Rome has a few of those.
  • We check in at the lobby of Roma Resort, we have to take a bus to our apartment, which is an interesting (and wobbly) experience with a very uninterested bus driver.
  • We walk four flights of stairs, but our apartment is spacious and lovely with good beds, a nice kitchen and a clean bathroom, so worth the extra work-out on the way up.
  • We nap. Because we can.
  • We go outside, stroll around a few bridges, Piazza Navona and have delicious stuffed pizza crusts at Lo Zozonne. If you ever go, order the gorgonzola one. HEAVEN.






(The I’m-having-a-shit-time-photo face became a running joke during the rest of the weekend)

  • I go for a run in the morning, because in 2 months I have to run a half marathon without permanent damage to either my body or my ego.
  • I run 5K, past the Saint Angelo fort, Piazza di Popula, Villa Bhorghese, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi fountain. I get really pissed off about the shitty Feyenoord hooligans, but Google later tells me these are just renovations and not due to idiots from my hometown. Those idiots destroyed a different fountain, apparently. Whatever. I still WEEP.
  • I run by the supermarket across from our apartment for breakfast.
  • After a shower we have coffee (Americanos and cappuccino) and we walk to the St Peter church. Basically everything is within walking distance of our apartment. It’s great.
  • We look over the plaza and it is just beautiful. Also, big line to go into St Peter Basilica, snaking all around the piazza.
  • We make our way to the Vatican City museums. I pre-booked tickets to enter all the museums and the Sistine Chapel, so no line for us and we can walk straight on. I get a piece of shit audio guide.
  • I make a bunch of dumb pictures (see he first picture of the blog). I yelled “we should totally stab Ceasar” to a variety of statues and busts. Worrying looks and a few snorts of people who had actually seen Mean Girls.
  • We spend almost four hours in all the museums and strain our necks looking at the Sistine Chapel. This is my favorite part about the Michelangelo ‘Creation of Man’ in the middle.
  • We get gelato, and chill in the park near the St Angelo for about an hour. The sun is lovely.
  • We go have dinner at a small piazza near our apartment that has these gorgeous blossoming trees draped all over it.
  • More prosecco and pasta happens. I have fried zucchini flowers with anchovy and gorgonzola pasta (blue cheese fanatic), my mom has pasta with zucchini and bacon, my dad has the salmon.
  • I actually drink the limoncello shot because the owner is so nice to us.









  • It’s my birthday. Another year closer to death.
  • Yay.
  • (Kidding.)
  • The weather is glorious. Thank you, Italian weather God.
  • We have coffee and then on our Sightseeing Menu: Forum Romanum and the Coloseum.
  • But on our way there I navigate us to the St Ignatio church first: I love the ceiling that is painted as if you are looking into the heavens. It’s beautiful.
  • After getting our ticket and getting onto the Forum Romanum, we saunter around the old ruins of Ancient Rome for a while. I try not to look at how dusty my black Nikes are getting.
  • My dad sees a lizard and spends 10 minutes taking pictures of it. I’d make a joke, but I’ve been known to do the exact same thing for longer periods of time to much less interesting animals.
  • We go into the Coloseum.
  • I yell out “ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED” as my mom is taking a picture of me, and get worrying looks from other tourists. It’s the Vatican all over again.
  • We get gelato (#everydamnday) and go lie in the sun in the park nearby. I get a tan. Sorry about it.









  • I’m having a wonderful, sunny day, but I don’t really feel like it is my birthday. That changes when we have dinner at Obica, a mozzarella bar at Campo di Fiore. This was a tip by Annefleur on my Instagram.
  • My birthday dinner is SPECTACULAR. The mozzarella here is to die for, and so is everything else. We first order some of the little bites, then have actual pizzas. I’m in heaven.
  • We walk back, all blissed out from the wonderful food.




  • I make my way to Via del Aurelia to take a yoga class at Bikram Yoga Roma. Studio review soon!
  • The class is lovely, I am super relaxed and energised after.
  • Walking back I pass the St Peter Basilicia and it is insanely crowded. I hear an old person speaking through speakers and then I see the massive screens with a grey little dude on it: The pope is doing a mass. Cool.
  • I’m thirsty as hell after 90 minutes in the hot room, so I buy two bottles of ice-cold water and guzzle them down in 2 minutes flat.
  • I meet my parents at the entrance of the St Angelo fort, which we enter for a visit. Spectacular old crap, and another spectacular view.



  • I’m ravenous at this point (the yoga will do that), and now we go to Susannah‘s recommendation for lunch: Orso ’80 on Via d’Orso. You should also read the Rome blog she wrote as she’s on a field trip with her students at the moment, brave soul.
  • I order the antipasti misti as she instructed. It is absolutely fantastic.
  • In the mean time, to my great discomfort and my parent’s amusement, the Italian waiter is flirting with me. It does get me an extra side dish, so hey.





  • After lunch we go the Spanish Steps. I honestly don’t get what the big deal is. EVERYBODY is sitting on it, but do we really know why we’re doing it? No.
  • Then we go to the park surrounding Villa Borghese. It is beautiful, and filled with skaters, skelters, tourists and locals.
  • I have to pee really badly but there is only ONE public bathroom. I end up having to wait 35 minutes. #thereallife
  • We walk down to Piazza de Populo and accidentally end up surrounded by Italian high schoolers on a field trip.
  • When we walk down a flight of stairs one of the teenagers slips and almost falls. I save him from embarrassment and plummeting to his death. Okay, that’s a slight overstatement, but the steps WERE really steep.
  • On the Piazza de Populo, some random dude with a guitar is playing Nirvana’s Teen Spirit. Yes, that is the only song I know by Nirvana. AND I CAN ROCK OUT TO IT.
  • We go get ice-cream at St Crispino’s. Because ICECREAM. I get grapefruit and lemon.
  • Then we walk back to our street, but stop for pasta and pizza at Campo di Fiori.
  • All three of us are completely beat at this point, and we have plans to visit the St Peter Basilica bright and early on our final morning in Rome. We go to bed at 10.





Dad: “Hey look a pillar! Let’s take a picture!”

Me: “Dad. There is literally dog shit everywhere. I am unable to make any other face right now.”

Mom: “She’s right.”




  • Holy Roman balls, it’s early.
  • We arrive at the Basilica at 7 in the morning, and it looks GLORIOUS in the morning sun.
  • There is a teeny, tiny line, but we’re in the church within 10 minutes.
  • Being in that church with early morning light coming in, with only a few other people and quiet, respectful masses going on at the altars? An absolutely amazing experience. The church and the art inside is breath taking.
  • We have coffee near our apartment, check out and take the bus to store our luggage for the last hours we have in Rome.
  • We go to the park near the Colloseum for more coffee and then visit the St Clemente church.
  • To quote my dad: “Everything after the St Peter’s kinda looks like crap.” .
  • We have a so-so pizza at a so-so restaurant near there, then walk around some more.
  • I find this gorgeous secluded park on a hill, where we chill in the sun for a while. There’s parakeets in the trees over our heads and we keep spotting them as they dart in and out of their nests.
  • We go back to the lobby of the Roma Resort apartments and get picked up by the airport shuttle.
  • After an hour delay, Easyjet delivers us home. I’m not impressed with Easyjet.


 “We should totally just stab Ceasar.

Oh wait, you probably are Ceasar.

Did I say ‘stab’?”


  • The reason I was taking ridiculous pictures all over Rome, with the Gladiator and the Mean Girls quote? I was doing a scavenger hunt for my birthday present.
  • It included the pictures, a row of number, unlocking my final clue at an (im)partial third party and the location of my gift hidden in the email that had started the whole thing. For the grand finale he was waiting for me with my present where we had our first date.
  • Excuse me while I FUCKING SWOON.


I had such an amazing time this weekend.

Not only in the most beautiful city, but to spend this much uninterrupted quality time with my parents was absolutely priceless to me. I love that we had the opportunity to share this trip with each other.


  • Going to St Peter’s church on early Monday morning.
  • Usng the Ulmon Citymaps2go app to navigate myself and parents through the city.
  • Antipasti Misti at Orso 80.
  • Bikram Yoga class in ITALIAN. <3
  • Taking pictures like you’re having a terrible time.
  • Obica at Campo di Fiori.
  • That secluded park on the hill near the colosseum.
  • Dating someone who is awesome and has seen Mean Girls as more often than you have.

Whoops. 1800 words. Bye.

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  1. HA! I like your “i’m having a really bad time”-face pictures.. I usually like to do an awkward pose.. So I just stand somewhere let my shoulders hang, hunch like a basic quasimodo and stare blankly in to the camera.. This is especially funny when you do it among people who are smiling like their mommy just baked them fresh chocolate chip cookies!

    Anyway, don’t know why I’m babbling.. Rome looks awesome, you look awesome, swoon swoon for the scavenger hunt and hey I already congratulated you for you birthday! 😀 OK. BYE! 😀

  2. Je kent heus wel meer liedjes van Nirvana, je weet het alleen niet. Maar als je het hoort, herken je het wel.
    Laf de foto’s. Mn lievelings is die van jou tussen de Aziatische toeristen. En die waar je je moeder photobombed en alles waar je chagrijnig kijkt.

  3. That last picture of you and your dad (after your birthday dinner I guess?) is so bright! And I remember reading about your mom on your old blog (whoops, I go way back..). It’s so nice to see her! Sorry if I sound like an internet weirdo now 😉

    Happy belated birthday Lianne! 😀

  4. This sounds like an absolute horrible get-away! Hahah. NOT. How wonderful you were able to have such a beautiful time with your parents!! And I see where you get your ehm, you-ness from 😀 Love it!

    Looks like you definitely spent some good time on/infused by Italian ”soul” – and the new love sounds like a winner! <3 Happy new year!

  5. oh mijn god, ik wil NU naar Rome met pizza en zon, rollende Italiaanse accenten, duizelingwekkende plafondschilderingen en bored looking selfies!
    Wat een geweldig tripje met je ouders en wat een romantische lieverd ben je aan het daten..
    Makes me smile 🙂

  6. I cried actual tears due to “We should totally stab Ceasar”.
    Thank you for being equally Mean Girls Weird as me. I love you (but in a very platonic-I-know-you-only-by-blog-slash-instagram kind of way).