Location: Rome, Italy
I went to Rome for the first time back in 2011, but all I saw was the Vatican City and the Pope, because we had just a few hours there. However, I still loved the atmosphere of this city and knew I should come back with my other half. In fact, Ron and I were about to visit in May 2014, but had to cancel as I got pregnant and had rough first months of pregnancy. Well, this year we finally got to visit Rome together.
Now that we know more about The Eternal City, I am sharing my Rome Travel Guide with everything that impressed us after literally walking out the whole city on foot. Do consider that Ron and I are not the museum type of travellers. We love to feel the atmosphere of a city, to experience it emotionally. Streets, restaurants, cafés, sightseeings, views… Sometimes I feel like I was an Italian in my previous life! :)
Rione Monti is one of the nicest districts of Rome. This is where we stayed and we’d definitely recommend it. Central, lively, authenthic, artistic and also titled Rome’s hipster spot. Apart from hosting the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and many more, it has this nice street called Via Urbana. There we’d recommend restaurant Urbana 47 – nice interior with contemporary attitude to food. La Casetta is close by and a must-see, too.
It’s a good idea to go and see Piazza Della Madonna dei Monti to feel the district’s atmosphere. If you want to buy her flowers, got to Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II – as recommended by locals.
Piazza Navona is the unique Italian experience – music, fountains, artists, paintings, restaurants. One of my most favorite spots in Rome. Ron and I would sit there and ejoy this magic for hours if we had the time. And it’s worth seeing it both during day and night. Many authenthic restaurants are found in the area. We tried La Scaletta degli Artisti. They call it “a gastronomic bijou” in the heart of Rome, which dates back to the 40s. Not far away is one of Rome’s best gelato shops – Gelateria del Teatro. The gelato there is divine, even though it is in no way hard to find good gelato in Italy.
The Pantheon is just around the corner and inspires with its size. It features a huge opening at the dome – the eye of the Pantheon. Interestingly, rain rarely enters inside.
The famous Spanish Steps are also wonderful to see, but bare in mind they are very crowded with tourists. Also, they are surrounded by numerous designer boutiques. There I found a 3-floor Furla store and I’m still thinking of it.
The Villa Borghese gardens is a large city park, hosting different places of interest, museums and is great for walks and picnics. If we lived in Rome, Ron and I would be there every weekend. There’s also a lake where you can hire a boat for as little as 3 euro per person and enjoy the view of “Temple of Asclepius” from different angles.
Rione Trevi and the Trevi Fountain is another favorite stop in Rome. The fountain is truly breathtaking and fully restored now. The only minus is the crowd. How nice it would be if there were not as many people around! To follow the tradition, each of us threw a coin in the fountain. It is said that whoever does it, will come back to Rome one day. By the way, you can have a delicious gelato just around the corner at Gelateria Valentino.
In the area, heading towards the Colosseum, you will encounter the impressive Nationa Monument of Vittorio Emanuelle II. It’s free to enter. One can go up to the “roof” taking the elevator and watch the sunset. This would cost 5 or 10 euro each. The view over Piazza Venezia is also much enjoyable!
Trastevere on the other hand is a wonderful excape from crowds and tourists. It’s a district of Rome characterised by an authenthic atmosphere, pavements, Italians, a botanical garden and the Gianicolo hill. The latter is a must-stop – it opens a view over the entire city and is very romantic for couples.
Last but truly not the least, you should absolutely go to the Vatican city. Do climb up the stairs to the top of St. Peter’s Dome. You will not regret the view and the experience.
- Order pizza Romana – thin, crisp and with the traditional for Roman cuisine anchovies.
- Experience the oldest Café in Rome – Antico Caffè Greco. It is believed that only Florian Café in Venice is older. It’ expensive, though. But that’s the case with Rome in general.
- Book a Food Tour. We didn’t have the time to do this, but surely will next time. EATaly is all about food experience, after all.
Probably there are a thousand more things that are worth experiencing in Rome. Do share and comment. It is a city I would definitely consider re-visitting!