Our trip to Rome already feels like a lifetime ago but in reality its only been a couple of months. I wanted to create a little city guide to document some of our highlights and make some recommendations on what to do if you’re thinking of visiting.
Before I start rambling on about where to go and what to do in Italy, let me start with the one piece of advice that I wished I had been told at the beginning of our stay: USE THE METRO. The Metro is the Underground of Rome and it wasn’t until the fourth day (of five) that I put my foot down and refused to walk YET ANOTHER six miles so that we could get to one of the restaurants. I cannot tell you how much more relaxing the whole trip would have been if we had just done our research beforehand. We would have saved ourself miles and miles and taken hours off of our travel time. The only saving grace is that we burnt off all of that amazing Italian food!
Where To Stay:
We stayed at the Raddison Blu, a 5* hotel with a gorgeous rooftop pool. Let me start off with the bad news, this is definitely not the place to go if you’re with anyone you’re not really REALLY comfortable with, the shower is literally in your bedroom, with a different room only for the toilet. Another con is that the hotel isn’t in the ‘friendliest’ of locations, although it is gated and there is security, I didn’t feel as safe as I would have liked when we got outside the hotel. These aren’t deal breakers though and like I mentioned, there is an amazing rooftop pool with a nice bar and friendly staff, so I guess it just depends on what you’re after in a hotel.
Where & What To Eat:
Ad Hoc: We visited Rome over my birthday week. For the evening of my birthday, Jamie had booked a food and wine tasting experience at a restaurant called Ad Hoc. Although it was fairly pricey, it was definitely something that I’m really glad we did. It was by far the most romantic meal of the trip and the food was delicious.
Pastifico Guerra: Eating your own weight in pasta is an unspoken rule when in Italy. If you’re looking for the best and most authentic then look no further. Pastifico Guerra is a pasta shop which serves its own fresh pasta during lunch and dinner hours. I can’t speak highly enough of it. It serves the locals but isn’t a restaurant, so don’t expect sit-down service. Your pasta will be handed over in a plastic container. There isn’t any seating but they make up for this by only charging four euros per portion. Its well situated right near the Spanish Steps, so if you’re hitting the tourist spots I’d definitely recommend you give it a go. Just remember that you’re not allowed to eat on the Spanish Steps. We found a little wall to perch on in the square nearby.
McDonalds: No, it’s not your authentic Italian food. We have a tradition now of finding McDonalds abroad. The menus are always completely different abroad and we find it interesting! It’s also a great spot to grab a quick and cheap ‘safe-bet’ meal. Rome has the best McCafe menu which features gorgeous desserts.
Gelato: I cannot stress enough, how much gelato we ate in Rome. There is a different store around every corner and each has so many different and unique flavours. My favourites were tiramisu and kinder bueno, but there really was something for everyone. It’s also a really tasty way of cooling down. My favourite store was Geletaria Valentino.
What To Do:
Play Tourist: Of course on our first visit to Rome we had to visit the typical Roman tourist attractions. The Spanish Steps, the Colosseum and the Vatican were all amazing and have now been ticked off my bucket list. We didn’t book any of these things and were glad we didn’t. The queues weren’t half as bad as they looked. We also got into the Colosseum for much less than anticipated as they offer EU and age discounts.
One of my personal favourite spots was the Trevi Fountain. There is so much culture and history in Rome and I’d advise taking advantage of as much as possible. A lot of our holidays are more beach or typical fun-filled ones rather than anything remotely educational, so it made a nice change. We really enjoyed taking our time and wandering around just taking it all in. We also enjoyed spending the last day relaxing and sunbathing by the pool. It was much hotter than I had anticipated so I even got to tan (read: I definitely burned, don’t forget lotion!).
Shop: Like any City, Rome has a great selection of designer stores. I could have easily spent all my money in these alone, but instead I sensibly stuck to window shopping. When it came to actually spending money there were your typical high street stores, but also some lovely little boutiques. Jamie spotted a limited edition Italy flag Pandora charm which he treated me to on my birthday. We both bought a few little other bits and pieces out there. Italy also has Sephora stores which I spent far too much time and money in.
Rome makes the perfect short city break away. It was an altogether different holiday to what I’m used to but I had the best time. I can’t wait to explore more of Italy- Venice and Milan are at the top of my list.
For more inspiration on what to do in Rome, check out Jas’ 4 Day Itinerary over on Jet Set With Jas.