All I wanted was a good slice of pizza.
I went to Rome many years ago, but it was during the summer and mostly I remember feeling too hot to enjoy it. So I was looking forward to mild March days this time around!
We left London Friday after work and got back first thing Monday morning, so we only had two days to explore. As it wasn’t my first time in the city, this was fine. But if you’re going to Rome for the first time you definitely need more than that!
I was really keen to explore the Roman Forum and take some nice photos. We took a tram to the beautiful Piazza del Popolo and headed towards Via del Corso.
This is a great area to wander around – there are many beautiful buildings and you can also see some highlights such as the Spanish Steps along the way. Don’t forget to stop at the Perugina shop to stock up on delicious chocolates!
We headed to the monument to Vittorio Emanuele II and stopped for lunch nearby. It’s a good idea to find restaurants in little streets to avoid the most touristy places.
The restaurant we visited was called Vinando, and it was a great choice. I had a delicious spaghetti with cheese and pepper, which I chose as it’s a Roman speciality. To drink we had a bottle of Pinot Grigio. Just perfect!
We then climbed up Capitoline Hill, to see the square which was designed by Michelangelo. Rome is truly amazing in that everywhere you turn there’s some incredible part of history right there.
We finally got into the Roman Forum, and spent an hour or so exploring the many ruins. It is an amazing site, full of temples and arches and other ancient monuments. Tickets cost 12€ per person and also include entrance to the Colosseum.
We then stopped at the Pantheon for a quick gelato break.
In the evening we went for dinner and beers at the Roma Beer Company, a nice bar with countless options of beers to choose from.
The next day we headed to the Capuchin Crypt. This is a unique site off the beaten track. Besides being a good museum with a nice Caravaggio, the main attraction is the crypt, with displays of bones arranged in many little chapels. It was really strange, but very interesting! Plus not many tourists go there, which is a rarity for Rome!
We stopped for lunch at a local place nearby, Gran Caffe Roma, where I finally had that pizza I was looking for. It was delicious!
We then hopped back on the metro for a walk around Villa Borghese. This is a very nice park, perfect for a sunny day like this, and you get beautiful views over the city.
Another gelato stop and that was the end of our little trip! A lovely weekend in a scenic city.
HOW TO DO IT:
- Go: There are lots of flights from London, with Easyjet usually being the best option. Flights take about 2h30. From the airport, you can get the Leonardo da Vinci Express to the city centre for 14€. But if you’re not alone, it’s probably better just hopping on a taxi instead – it costs around 55€.
- Transportation: Understanding the public transport in Rome is not very easy. Firstly, it can be a bit tricky to work everything out and sometimes it can be a bit difficult to buy tickets in advance. The main thing to remember is that you must validate your tickets before every trip! Buses and trams are normally a better option than the metro.
- Stay: I had my accommodation sorted, but there are lots of options of places to stay in Rome, so check Hostelworld and TripAdvisor. Book in advance to get the best deals.
- Food: Italian food is really the best, so just go for it! The basics, like pizza and pasta, are always a safe bet. For dessert, you must try gelato and tiramisu, which are really available everywhere. Also don’t forget to try a good mozzarella, which you can have as part of Caprese salad. There’s also a great selection of fruit, and I love that blood orange is so common there!
- Drink: The local wine is very good and the prices are great. Local beers such as Moretti and Nastro Azzurro are very good but not particularly cheap. Plus Italy is a paradise for coffee lovers.