Rhodes might not have been on the top of your list of islands to visit in Greece, but it is a very unique and interesting place to experience. There is a sense of culture that seems as if it hasn’t quite caught up with modern times, but in the best way possible. The style, the architecture, and the lifestyle is like traveling back in time. If you venture off to visit one of the many rocky beaches, you will feel as if you are in the eighties. It is difficult to put into words, but definitely quite extraordinary. You will find this image in many European towns, but Rhodes being an island, it has its own magical time traveling charm.
Outside of our hotel, we had a view of Turkey in the near distance, which I found fascinating. Istanbul was my grandmother’s favorite city in the world, so seeing Turkey from our hotel balcony reminded me that we are going to make a point to visit Istanbul in the near future. Our hotel was nice, located right by the sea with private beach chairs, umbrellas, and the soft white sand beach that made the location perfect. The golden hour lighting in Greece is stunning, providing perfect opportunities for Instagram photos, if that’s your thing (especially if you have Ashley with you as a photographer).
We were lucky enough to find a charming little family owned restaurant just a few minutes from our hotel, Keep It Simple. Here, you will feel like part of the family. We got to know the owners quite well, being that we would visit daily for their gyros and cocktails. They are a delightful couple that runs their beachfront restaurant together, doing the cooking and specialty drinks themselves.
We were staying about ten minutes by car from Old town Rhodes, which is a very special place to visit. The little town is enchanting and as I mentioned before, gives you the sensation of a different time. You can easily get lost walking through the alleys and exploring the little shops and restaurants, it is so endearing that you might not want to find your way back.
Roma is the capital of beautiful Italia. There is an abundance of sites and historic locations to visit during your stay in Rome. It is one of the oldest colonized cities in Europe, making it undeniably full of history and famous architecture. Some of the most popular spots are of course the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Trevi Fountain. Something interesting about the Vatican that some people may not know, is that it is in fact its own territory, the smallest sovereign state in the world. In Vatican City, you will find St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum, and the Sistine Chapel. The art that is housed throughout Vatican City is remarkable and definitely something to put on your bucket list. The history will take your breath away as you walk through the museum and finally, at the end of your journey through the art (that even includes modern art pieces), you will get to witness the famous Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s legendary artwork. Pictures are not allowed, although you will see many tourists taking photos, it is considered disrespectful to take photos in this prominent place of worship.
One helpful tip we have for visiting the Renaissance style St. Peter’s Basilica is to go first thing in the morning, as the sun is rising. Tourists will have not yet arrived and you will have the opportunity to experience its beauty as if it is only you and the church, one of the most peaceful feelings we have yet to find in this world. Regardless of your religious background or beliefs, this experience is truly extraordinary and unforgettable. I have a particular fond memory of eating peaches, sharing with the birds as they started to chirp in the morning (which may or may not be frowned upon), as I watched the sun rising by the Fountain of St. Peter’s Square.
History and architecture aren’t the only thing Rome has to offer. It can be quite lively at night and without a doubt, the city to indulge in some of the best food in Italy. Our favorite restaurant in Rome would have to be Dal Bolognese. It is a world famous spot with dishes that you will long for after you leave the city. The nightlife in Rome can be exciting as well. After dinner, we visited a charming and lively nightclub where we met up with a few friends also traveling in Rome at the time, it was a nice break from the common activities of Rome. We ordered cocktails, danced our way through the night, and were gifted roses by handsome Italian boys. Rome is an overall exciting city no matter where your interests lie.