A day in Circo Massimo

At first glance, Circo Massimo might not be of any interest to any foreigners visiting the area. While its true that first thing that you would see is mainly a large and uneventful patch of land but I think that there is more that meets the eye.

Circo Massimo, Rome
Large plot of land where there used to be horse races

The first time I was here was with my friend Narima. We were walking towards the Circo Massimo subway when I noticed an area full of roses. I was intruiged. However, as Narima and her friends were in a hurry to return back to their dorms, I did not get a chance to admire the flowers.

Now that it’s spring, and flowers were appearing, I thought that it would be a good idea to visit the area again. Thus, last weekend, Cart and I headed to Circo Massimo.

Circo Massimo, Rome

It was a lovely and cool day in Rome. Circo Massimo felt peaceful and tranquil. Cart and I were fooling around the statues when we noticed a large group of priests and nuns. And then we walked towards the gardens.

Circo Massimo, Rome

The entire area was full of beautiful roses of a multitude of colours. It was breathtaking to see.

Circo Massimo, Rome

There were already a number of people were there, admiring the roses. Unfortunately for all of us, the gates were locked and we were not able to enter the gardens. We could only peer at the roses through the gates. It was only with closer examination that the gardens only be open on the 10th May.

Not wanting to leave so soon, Cart suggested to explore the area a little more. Initially, I was a little doubtful. What could possibly be anything interesting besides this? But I was game enough to explore and together, we walked towards an almost hidden small road beside the gardens where we found a very charming area.

Circo Massimo, Rome

We had a very tranquil and relaxing walk past regal looking buildings and I noticed a couple of people wearing formal clothes. There must be a wedding going on.

And finally I noticed the bride and groom. How romantic 🙂

Circo Massimo, Rome

As much as I wanted to gatecrash the wedding, Cart was feeling self conscious in his very casual clothes. Hence we continued walking where were saw something very curious.

What’s this? A queue? What could possibly be so interesting in the keyhole?

Circo Massimo, Rome

Circo Massimo, Rome
Poor Joan of Arc, she rescued France and yet got burned at the stake

After queuing up, I found out that inside the keyhole, was a long row of trees and in the foreground was the dome of San Pietro.

Circo Massimo, Rome

Too bad that it wasn’t picked up by my Ixus but It was still pretty cool to peek in anyways. This lady managed to take a better picture 🙂

We then entered the Santa Sabina Church nearby. What was interesting to me about it was that there were decorations on the floor. Cart tells me that they were tombs for the priests and we were careful not to step on top of it.

Circo Massimo, Rome

The inside of the church was large, with huge pillars and lights streaming in. It feels somewhat like Saint Peter.

Circo Massimo, Rome

Right at the far end of the church, I saw a small locked gate which lead down.

Circo Massimo, Rome

We then headed to Aventine Hill right next to the church where there were a bountiful of trees with bright oranges.

Circo Massimo, Rome

It was such a lovely day, almost like a Magritte painting.

There were people strolling along and when we reached one end, you could see Saint Peter and the Vittorio Emanuele monument in the distance.

Circo Massimo, Rome
In the background is the dome of Saint Peter

Circo Massimo, Rome
This dude is pointing to Vittorio Emanuele monument

And that pretty much concludes our exploration.

Probably seems very mundane, but it was such a lovely lovely day and we enjoyed ourselves. It was just something that you have to experience for yourself. Circo Massimo is an interesting place to explore, regardless of what some people might think.

Moreover I found a Porsche! Lets just pose and pretend that it was mine!

Circo Massimo, Rome

An Italian vacation finale

On Thursday, Cart and I went on a road trip from Rome to Sorrento, Cart said that the journey would approximately be about 4 – 5 hours of driving.

Road Trip Map

We left at about 5 pm and only reached Sorrento at about 10 pm. We would have reached there earlier but we misread the sign and turned to the A30 direction on the highway rather than the A3 and thus wasted some time. I was confused to see many different direction signs pointing to the same place.

By the time we reached the resort, we were both quite tired and hungry and we headed to Il Capanno, a restaurant which was recommended by the resort manager. In Italian, Il Capanno means ‘The hut’. Once inside, I was amused by their figurines there

Il Capano

Il Capano

Cartcart tells me that the pizza in this region was one of the best in Italy. You could tell it was a Napoli style pizza was made  here because the dough was thicker nearer the circumference, while thinner in the middle.


It was delicious, but I still prefer Roma styled pizza though, as I like thin crust pizzas 😀


Seafood linguine

Cart had Gnocchi while I really enjoyed my seafood linguine. Yum!

rinaz and cart wearing green to sorrento :P

On our way back to the resort, Cartcart told me to be careful at where I stepped. And that was where I noticed this curious creature. Cart said that it was a snail, but I’ve never seen one without a shell before. Have you?


Early in the morning we left the resort to head to Capri. I admired the vast amount of colourful lemon trees that was lining all around the area.

Lemon tree in Sorrento

Beautiful isn’t it? The bright yellow against the blue sky? Cart tells me that the people in Sorrento are very proud of their lemons. It has been said that Sorrento lemons are one of the best quality and famed ones in Italy.

We took a mini-bus to get to the port of Capri. Cart and I were impressed at the driver who was able to drive at high speed in the narrow streets of Sorrento without hitting anyone! I also cannot help to notice that the driver was wearing a pair of Gucci sunglasses.

When we reached the port, I admired the charming view of the buildings, to the clear blue sea. The water was so clear that I can even see the floor. It’s probably not very clear in the video at the end of this post, but I could see the fishes swimming clearly. It was almost as clear as a swimming pool.

Port of Sorrento

Port of Sorrento

We paid for the tickets for the ferry ride. As we were on our journey, we were amused by a young man who was selling and calling out “Water, Coke, Coffee”, but in his thick Napoli accent, we heard “What the —-, Coffee” instead! I took some footage for posterity for you to hear it 🙂

Some minutes later we reached the Capri jetty.


My gosh, this was such a beautiful place. Places like these only existed in postcards and cable TV! I had to pinch myself to see if I was really awake or dreaming. We exited the ferry and walked towards the village and decided to have a tour around the island.


We took a slow boat ride and what I saw for the next 2 hours was like an interactive Geography text book. I am so in awe with the beauty of what was in front of me.




One of the most spectacular views was the one at the Blue Grotto where we went into an underground cave and you could see the sun’s illumination on the blue water.The colour is intensified by the white sands below. Do watch the video journal below to see the blue grotto in all its glory 🙂


Cart and I should have brought our swimming attire, for most of the times, I was really tempted to jump out of the boat and just splash into the water! By this time, we both have been quite tanned from a couple of hours we were in the open boat.


After the boat ride, we explored the island of Capri. The vibe of the area was very touristy. Being summer, there were a large number of tourists walking about. Things costs a lot more here. My heart felt a little pained to see Cart having to spend so much on just the boat rides alone. But being a gentleman, he insisted that we have a nice time and not to worry about anything.


We decided to stop for break.




I used to dislike rucola. To me, it was bitter and evil tasting. When I saw some in my caprese, I looked with disdain and pecked at it till I decided to just try and give it another chance. I actually liked it! When I had it in my salad, I gingerly tasted it again and found out that it was actually really good! It tastes so much better when it was in a combination with other foods.

And I find myself loving my dessert so much! Cart had the Torta Caprese which is made with thick chocolate.

Torta Caprese

While I had the Pastiera Napoletana. This cake is made of orange rinds, wheat grains and ricotta cheese. It’s a really refreshing treat, not cloying at all. I liked it better than the chocolate one even.

Pastiera Napoletana

We then went to Anacapri, which was a smaller island next to it, where cart got a bottle of perfume for his mum. I explored the shop and noticed loads of lemon related items there, such as the limoncello and lemon soaps. The place smelled delightfully of lemon scents

After we acquired the perfume, we headed up to the chair lift up to the peak of the mountain. Cart said that the view was spectacular there, but we reached there too late and they were already closed.

Cloudy in ana capri

We were a little disappointed. But I saw that the clouds were already rolling in, and I think it would be too cold for comfort should we be at the top.

Unwillingly, we left Capri in the late evening and said our goodbyes to Sorrento. We had a quick drive to Napoli to say our goodbyes to Fabrizio who was camping there with his family and have dinner before heading back to Rome. I looked amusedly at two adorable children in front of me, during dinner, playing some sort of kissing game and suddenly I felt very sad.

Saturday was my last day in Italy. I was calm for most part of the day, but when the last few hours, I just lost it. Its heartbreaking to do this again.

We dropped by his parents place to say our goodbyes and then we rushed off to the airport where I had only 15 mins left to board the plane.

I can still see him vividly, my last mental image of him, staring at me as he stood there, outside the checkpoint. I looked back, sadly, going up the escalator.

I cried in the plane again.


When I reached back to Singapore, everything was the same again. It was as if I have never left at all. But I know for sure, I’ve left my heart with someone very special.

rinaz and cart

We’ll work it out, dearest. We can do it.

A video journal of my last 3 days in Italy