There’s always a comedown period after getting back from holiday when you look fondly back at pictures and you still have foreign money and ticket stubs in your bag.
On your break to the Italian capital, you definitely followed the mantra “when in Rome” – be it stopping for gelato on a daily basis (OK, twice daily basis), eating starters in one place and then switching it up for the mains, and generally grabbing a coffee any time you didn’t have one in hand.
So, in an effort to combat the post-holiday blues as you get back to the everyday, we’ve come up with a list of things you can do to keep the vacation vibe going – well after the passport is back in its designated safe place.
1. Visit British cities with a Roman history
Roman ruins are everywhere in Rome. On your pre-holiday checklist you had vague thoughts about “seeing the Colosseum” but ended up wandering around the Palatine Gardens and Roman Forum in awe. Seriously there’s so many ruins it’s surprising that there’s space for anything new.
But you can still feel that awe, and put what you see into a whole heap of newly-found Roman knowledge and context, by visiting British cities with a Roman past. Top of our list is Chester and York.
Chester boasts the most complete city walls as well as the largest Roman Amphitheatre in Britain while York has the remains of a Roman Bathhouse in the Roman Bath Museum – and more besides.
2. Venture underground to see London’s own Amphitheatre
Rome’s Colosseum is undoubtedly spectacular – from the outside and within – because it’s so well preserved. Restoration work taking place in 2016 makes it even more special.
Once back in Blighty, appreciate more of London’s role in the Roman empire, by visiting London’s own Roman Amphitheatre. What? You didn’t know it had one? Well it does.
Londinium’s offering is not quite in the same shape as its Roman counterpart but still the ruins are quite something. They were discovered in the late 20th century, during buildings work for the Guildhall Art Gallery.
If you’re short on time, paving on the Guildhall Yard marks out the perimeter of the amphitheatre. Head inside Guildhall Art Gallery and downstairs to see what would have been the entrance to the 7,000 seat arena.
3. Watch La Dolce Vita
Classic Italian film La Dolce Vita was filmed on location in Rome and is still commended for its artistry. If you spent any time near Villa Borghese then you’ll have possibly walked along Via Vittorio Veneto and spied Harry’s Bar which was featured in the film by celebrated director Federico Fellini.
Watching the film helps you revisit more sites include the Trevi Fountain, although you’ll wonder how the female star Sylvia (Anita Ekberg) managed to find it so quiet, when the crowds you experienced even at off-peak times, were three or four deep.
4. Go out for gelato
Gelato houses on every corner made for an ice cream lover’s paradise. You were only ever metres away from flavours and ornate toppings to match any mood.
To relive that authentic Italian experience, try Gelato Village in St Martin’s Square, Leicester. Not only does it have a five-star rating on Trip Advisor, it’s also the best place to eat in Leicester and one of the top 10 ice cream places in the UK. Sweet? You bet.
The owners hail from Turin, Italy, and dish up artisan gelato and sorbetto. Their products are produced in-house using traditional Italian methods with flavours updated daily. It’s open till late, every day but Sunday, so you can really get your fix, Italian style.
5. Re-read/watch Angels and Demons
Dan Brown might have come under fire for some of his writings but Rome is front and centre of his first Robert Langdon book (that’s Tom Hanks if you’re thinking of the film). Try to pick up a later edition for better Italian phrasing.
If your trip took in the Vatican City, and you must have visited even if you only saw the queues turned around and then visited St Peter’s Square, then you’ll recognise the descriptions. The final scenes were shot at the nearby Castel Sant Angelo – or the Illuminati Lair in fictionville.
6. Try some other Italian fiction
Definitely one to read when you’re home and not about to go to Italy is 2011 thriller The Whisperer by Donato Carrisi. It’s been widely translated from Italian and picking up rave reviews since publication.
It’s a pacey thriller, following young police officer Mia Vasquez, but just reading it will put you back into the Italian vibe, with a healthy dose of Italian lingo thrown in so you don’t forget to say
“Buongiorno” and “grazie” just yet. The topic doesn’t necessarily sit at ease with keeping your holiday “alive” though.