Having never been to Italy, Rome was a pretty obvious choice for me. The epitome of art and history I was drawn to the city – I also didn’t realize how many people can fit into one place.
We stayed quite far from where everything was happening, on the last stop on the metro, which was a bit of a fail from our side. Our flat that we rented via AirBnB was amazing, but unfortunately the area didn’t lend itself for much nighttime walking and entertainment. We were okay with it though – staying away from the city center forces you to see more because you’re constantly moving back and forth between where you stay and what you want to see. After being in Barcelona we realised this and kind of accepted it when in Rome.
We tried not to plan too much but made sure we went to see the Vatican, Pantheon, Colosseum, Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain (which was being renovated so couldn’t get the full experience). We had a (very short in height) guide taking us through the Vatican which I would recommend so that you can actually understand what you are seeing. With about 25 000 people going through there in a day it gets really cramped, so be prepared to be pushed around a bit – but it’s totally worth it!
After the Vatican we had lunch at a little café off Borgna Pio called Fafami. I had a spelt salad with grilled veg, ham and mozzarella, and Ross and I each a arancina (fried risotto ball). We just had to share their yoghurt tart with Digestive crust and berry coulis – it was pretty amazing. I am a big lover of stumbling upon places and impulsively deciding to go in – which was what we did pretty much every meal on our entire trip. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it SO wrong (like our first night in Rome), but this time was definitely a winner.
We drank a ton of Prosecco and if we got to a bar early enough were treated to some appertivos but having your own space to go back to at night was a huge plus for us. Being able to make dinner at ‘home’ was awesome, and after a long day of walking around was all we wanted to do. There were so many deli’s and fresh food shops that making food at home was such a pleasure. I can highly recommend a visit to Gusto and Bar Num (near Campo di Fiori market) for a tipple though!
We did so much walking, my favourite bits being through the Villa Borghese and the area around the Spanish Steps. We needed to do that much walking if you consider how much gelato we ate throughout Italy! Besides for amazing gelato, I do think you need to treat yourself to the roasted chestnuts sold all around the city – it’s something I’ve never had before and was blown away by the sweet-potato like goodness that is the chestnut!
Because we ate on the go and at the flat quite a lot I haven’t got many restaurant names to drop. I really believe that everyone should make an experience their own and not take what anyone says to do or not to do to heart. We all have different opinions, tastes and frames of reference, what I enjoy might be different to what you enjoy Be open to not having the best meal you have ever encountered but having an unforgettable experience and hope that the next meal is better!
I enjoyed Rome but don’t think it would be on the top of my list to rush back to. I’m so glad I was fortunate enough to see it and get up close with things I have merely heard of though. But, like I said, we all have our favourites 😉
Up next: Florence!