After dancing our hearts out in the hills of Belgium, we hopped on a plane over to Italy! We learned a huge lesson from our first trip to Europe, taking a train is NOT the best transportation traveling from Belgium to Italy (19+ hour commute, YIKES!). Also, I definitely wanted to limit how many different planes and trains I had to drag my dress through, she was already A LOT of dress to carry through Europe with us as-is. The only airlines that allowed me to store my dress in the captains closet was our Delta flight from the United States to Paris (we love you Detla), all the European airlines didn’t have any additional storage space…so we just had to make it work.
Rule #1 if you are traveling internationally with your wedding dress…the dress does not leave your sight, EVER. That means you DO NOT check the dress in a bag, don’t even think about it. Especially in my case, if I checked my dress and it somehow got lost, I literally would not have a wedding dress for our actual wedding when we got home, so the dress stayed with me at all times. I learned my lesson really quick, the ONE time I let an Uber driver put my dress in the trunk of the car, instead of holding it in my lap, the trunk got STUCK CLOSED!! Yes, my wedding dress got stuck in the trunk of a car, I only had a mild panic attack. After that incident, I refused to let the dress leave my sight, it was either right next to me or locked in a hotel room.
Once we landed in Rome, the hotel arranged a driver to pick us up from the airport, lucky for us, our driver acted as our personal tour guide as he drove us into the city, telling stories and pointing out monuments along the way. We arrived at the Elizabeth Unique Hotel that afternoon and soaked in the magic of Rome! Rome is absolutely amazing and according to our driver, it has more monuments per square mile than any other place in the world. Everywhere you walk there is something to see, there is live music playing in the streets and of course, incredible food. If you’ve never been to Italy, the food is hands down the best part!
We chose our food wisely for our limited time in Rome and somehow stumbled upon the most amazing restaurant! Dilla ristorante, as they say in Italian, had THE MOST amazing pasta I’ve ever had in my entire life, here I am a year later and I still haven’t stopped thinking about it. Order the Aglio olio e peperoncino pasta, and the bruschetta (obviously) you will not be disappointed. If I can give you ONE recommendation of something you must do the next time you’re in Rome. GO. TO. DILLA. We only stayed in Rome for 2 nights, we ate at Dilla’s both nights we were in Rome. Yeah, it’s that good.
Our photoshoot was scheduled for 6AM the next day. Rome is the busiest tourist destination in the world with more than 100 million tourists each year, meaning if you don’t get up early you will have swarms of people crowding your photos. The photoshoot was the greatest thing we could have done in Rome simply because it got us outside exploring the city so early, there was hardly anyone outside and it truly felt like we were the only ones there. Irina Odoardi was an absolute dream to work with, I’ve had so many people reach out to me asking about my experience with her and I would work with her again 1000x over! I especially loved working with Irina because she told us incredible stories about each place we visited, my favorite being the story of the Trevi Fountain.
Legend has it if a couple drinks from the Trevi fountain they will be married forever. Naturally, we went back later that evening and drank from the Trevi fountain, our forever love was worth risking dying from any bacteria that was likely in the dirty water. Coincidence that we both woke up sick the next day…we’ll never know for sure. But what I do know is I still love him more than ever before, so I’d say it was 100% worth it.
The photoshoot was scheduled for 2 hours and consisted of us walking around Rome from site to site, it was a personal tour plus a magical photoshoot at the same time. We visited the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Ancient Rome and of course the Colosseum! By the end of our shoot it was mind blowing how many people had started to fill the streets, especially by the Collosuem. Each person we passed shouted at us in Italian, after several people kept passing us saying the same thing, the photographer explained they were all saying congratulations.
I couldn’t think of a more magical way to experience Rome, dancing in 1000 year old buildings in my princess dress, walking down the streets with my prince, and soaking in every moment without anyone else around. We went back and visited the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain that evening after our photoshoot and you truly don’t understand how many people pack the streets of Rome, until you see it without any people at all. If you ever visit Rome, my best advice is wake up super early and go explore at dawn, it truly an experience of a lifetime. Then don’t forget to go eat at Dilla’s for dinner, you won’t regret it. Perhaps my favorite thing about Rome is how it is a city full of stories, every person you came in contact with would tell you a story about the place you’re in or the food you’re eating and what makes special. Rome is definitely my favorite city I’ve visited in Italy so far, and most certainly will be going back. If for nothing else than to enjoy another meal at Dilla’s.
As Promised, here’s more magical moments we captured while we were in Rome. Huge thank you to Irina, I cherish every photo she captured. You can find more of her work on Instagram @irinaodoardi.photographer.