BLOG_City BreaksI must, first of all, apologise for my silence last week. I had a particularly heavy teaching schedule that left me with hardly any time to think let alone write a post. Unlike many people, August is always a very busy teaching month for me. I always get fully booked with my full immersion intensive courses as many dedicated people use their holiday to attend an English Language course in London. I take my hat off to them for their commitment. Although August is busy, I find it very enjoyable and rewarding. This year was no exception. I met and taught some lovely clients in August. Thank you to Andrea, Renata, Franco and Clara.

When September arrives and most people are preparing themselves for the return to work and the start of a new academic year, I go on holiday. By the way, last year I wrote a blog post about what the start of the month of September means to both children and adults in terms of starting school and returning to work.

This year my husband and I have booked to go on a 5-day city break to Rome. We leave tomorrow at the ungodly hour of 4am. We’ve decided to drive to the airport and use the airport car parking facilities. I checked online to compare the prices between booking a taxi and using the airport parking and found the latter to be cheaper. So, the alarm will be set for 3am and we will make our way to the airport at 4am in time for our check-in at 4:50am. I might have to supply my husband with some strong Espresso (coffee) to keep him awake!

We arrive in Rome at 10:20am. We have to catch the shuttle service from the airport to Rome’s main train station. From there, it’s a short taxi ride (or walk) to the hotel. Providing we’re not too exhausted, we plan to get our walking shoes on and head off out to explore this gorgeous city as soon as we have checked in and unpacked our bag.

BLOG_City Breaks_the touristI’m really looking forward to showing my husband around city. He has never been to Rome.

I don’t know about you, but what I love most about city breaks is walking around the city, taking in the sights, watching the people go about their business, taking lots of photos and sampling the local food. If there are local markets, I will make a beeline for them. I particularly like arts and crafts markets.


I am not terribly fond of visiting museums, especially if I am on a short city break. I’d much rather walk around and see the buildings from the outside. Of course, I will make an exception this time as I must visit the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.

BLOG_City break_are we lost?We’ve downloaded a map of Rome. There is a great app (application) called Ulmon CityMaps2Go that my client, Sabrina introduced us to. It’s fantastic.

It gives you some super tips and it’s so easy to use. Armed with this map, each evening we will plan the following day’s itinerary while enjoying a glass of prosecco and watching the sunset! Bliss.

We plan to visit the main tourist attractions. We shall set out early in the morning with comfortable walking shoes, a ruck sack or travel bag, a bottle of water and our map. We may take a city bus tour to give us a general idea of the whole city and the main landmarks. I like those bus tours that allow you to hop on and hop off. I did that once in Barcelona and find it an excellent way of visiting the city particularly for those who are on a short city break, for example 2 or 3-day break. It saves on all that walking.

La Bella Roma Photo by Lazy Desperados

La Bella Roma
Photo by Lazy Desperados

My husband will want to stop at a few bars to sample the beers along the way. He says that these stops are for medicinal purposes and to re-charge the batteries! Yeah right! I’m looking forward to tasting some fabulous Italian food. We like to try out different restaurants that are off the beaten track and not so well known to the tourists. My husband says that as I am half-Italian and speak the language fluently, we should have no problem finding some excellent restaurants. I’m flattered by his confidence.

I haven’t been to Rome since 2002 and I’m really looking forward to seeing what changes the city has undergone in the last 12 years.

What do you like to do when you’re on a city break?

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Ciao for now


Key to the colours
The expressions in blue relate to city break vocabulary and the phrases in pink are expressions you can use anytime. The expressions in orange are idiomatic expressions with a link to explain what they mean.