two people who love planning go to rome and nothing goes according to plan, or, a weekend in rome

The weekend before Core Course Week, my friend and I went to Rome.

Core Course Week was a month ago, so our trip was even longer ago than that.  But it was either write this blog post today and be done with it or not write it at all, so here we are.


Robyn and I at the Trevi Fountain

While I’ve been to Rome before, this trip was exciting for a few reasons: 1) I went with a friend from my sorority at Wake and 2) This was the first weekend trip I did out of the country here.  Part of the allure of studying abroad in Europe is this idea that you have an entire continent you can explore relatively easily on weekends—and we certainly did that!

This trip was also exciting in the other meaning of the word, meaning that almost absolutely nothing went according to plan.  My friend Robyn and I love planning, so you can imagine how we fared…🙃

Four delayed flights—but zero missed flights—later we were back in Copenhagen, only to leave less than twelve hours later, me for Hamburg and her for academic visits here in Copenhagen.

We did all the “classic” Rome must-see’s: Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Square,  Pantheon, and the Colosseum.  We made an ambitious schedule (and I literally do mean schedule, see the part about us loving to plan things) and stuck to it as best as we could.  The entire weekend was kind of a case of “making the best of the situation when absolutely nothing goes right.”

So in that spirit, here’s an addendum to my earlier post about essentials for a weekend trip:

  1. A good portable charger you can use multiple times since your hostel probably won’t have enough outlets
  2. An adapter so when it does have enough outlets but you realize you forgot an adapter you don’t have to attempt to plug five things into the adapter, which works until it overheats which is usually pretty soon when you’re trying to charge five things off of it
  3. Walking shoes that can get wet when you get stuck in a torrential downpour at the Colosseum and have to walk through streets flooded up to your calves
  4. A really good raincoat (see #1)
  5. A sense of humor and no shame about buying one of the ridiculously overpriced, terrible quality ponchos that they sell everywhere the second it starts raining (gotta keep the camera dry at all costs, including my dignity)
  6. An empty stomach — so. much. gelato.
  7. A willingness to wake up early to see the sites—we got to the Trevi Fountain just before 8am, so there were very few people there and some beautiful morning light on the stone!
  8. An activity tracker so you can see how many miles you walked in a day (we walked just over 25 miles over the course of the weekend—almost 14 on Saturday alone!)
  9. A carry-on suitcase or duffel so you don’t have to worry about your bags not making it when (all of) your flights are delayed (multiple times)
  10. A friend who is as easily stressed as you so you can make lots of plans
  11. A friend who isn’t as easily stressed as you so someone can calm you down in the airport
  12. A realization that even and especially when you love planning, plans don’t always work out

We had some awesome ideas of things to do that weekend that we just didn’t get to do because our flights were delayed or we were tired or we couldn’t find them.  It was—I’m not going to lie—a stressful weekend.  (Just ask my parents about the many frantic texts I sent them over the course of those three days…) But I got to explore a beautiful city and make amazing memories with someone who quickly became an even closer friend than she was before.  And studying abroad is all about taking advantage of opportunities you wouldn’t have, right?

Since I haven’t shared these before either, here’s some pictures from our weekend…

6 thoughts on “two people who love planning go to rome and nothing goes according to plan, or, a weekend in rome

  1. Hi Jennifer! I like your blog…I just spend 8 days in Rome and loved it! I think your ideas on traveling were great. The Metro was a easy and cheap way to get around but we walked miles every day…and loved it! Keep exploring Europe! Lucky you!!


    • Thank you so much for your lovely & kind words, Mr. Cano!! I’m so happy to hear you’re reading my blog—I hope all is well with you 🙂 You’re so right—Rome is definitely a city where you can walk many miles each day!!!


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