Sana here, Rome was the second stop on our honeymoon. First was Barcelona- you can read about it here. As mentioned previously it was hubbys and I’s first time in Europe and we were really looking forward to Rome. We had done our fair share of research but even then there were some things we wish we knew prior to going. Check it out…
Trestevere: This is an old and charming neighborhood, it’s the best place to go for those of you are looking to eat, eat and eat. And let’s be real if you are going to Italy, food is probably your number 1 priority:P just kidding. It also has a lot of great bars but its best known for its restaurants.We stayed in Tresterve without even knowing what it was but we were really glad we did because every time we asked someone where is a good place to eat they would always point us in that direction and it definitely validated our choice. The area itself is very hipster and live, the alleys are crowded and there a lot of young people. We usually spent most of our nights in Treserve not only because our Airbnb was there but it seemed like the liveliest place to be.
Campo De Fiori, Pantheon, Piazza Navona: This is central Rome! These are actually considered 3 separate neighbourhoods but I like to think of them as one because in just 15-20 minutes you can get to all the neighbourhoods. The area is very lively, its full of cobblestone alleys and every little corner has its beauty & secrets. There are a lot of candle lit restaurants and cafes and souvenir shops. That being said it’s very crowded and touristic so it may not be the ideal place to eat. Also when you walk through the area you may stumble upon the Trevi Fountain too.
Spanish Steps: This is the main shopping district, picture walking down 5th Ave in New York City. Designer shopping galore!
Airbnb- We went with Airbnb because we knew that there is so much to see and do in Rome that we are going to be out and about most of the time. No point breaking the bank to stay at a nice hotel when we will barely get time in it right? However I did look at some hotels prior to booking and I found the Airbnb’s to be nicer so that was a plus point! Our Airbnb was located in Trestevere which wasn’t the most central place to be but was great for food and nightlife. Its a short cab ride to most of the major attractions or a 20 minute walk, we mostly walked unless it was the end of the night actually no we still always ended up walking home. We actually walked about 25 thousand steps everyday!
Our host Simone was amazing, he was so friendly had a map and restaurant recommendations ready to go for us. Also had a bottle of wine waiting for us when we arrived. The place it self was a vintage studio apartment and was very trendy. P.S he has 4 different places up on Airbnb so if you don’t like this location check out the others.
ITALY = FOOD HAVEN
Faisal and I are foodies at heart and man oh man did we love Rome! It did not disappoint. As mentioned above Tresterve is the food hub so I wont repeat my self again but here are a few restaurants we recommend! P.S check out Trip Advisor for more options.
- Dar Poeta ( Pizza )
- Grazie e Graziella
- Da Hotello
- Osteria da Zi Umberto ( Only roman plates , carbonara , Amatriciana)
- Brusco- La Strabuono – this was our midnight snack every night 😀
For those of you with a sweet tooth there is no shortage of dessert. There is an abundance of pastries, from cannolies to tiramisu there are honestly way too many options! We filled our days nibbling on something or another just so we could try as many things as possible. lol. and I can’t finish talking about the food scene without mentioning GELATO! I don’t think anything much needs to be said here but here are some tips I pulled up from Travel Dudes.com to tell the real gelato apart from the fake. You can thank me later:)
- Evaluate the Color: Natural ingredients are not neon colored. Neither is real gelato. Look for soft, muted colors, especially in the Pistachio, Mint, and Banana flavors. Pistachio should be an earthy green, Mint should be white, and Banana should be whitish-grey. And do not be fooled by the fruit they put on top. It may look pretty, but it doesn’t mean any actual fruit was used in the making.
- Look at the shape: If the gelato is arranged in huge mounds above the top of the metal tubs, then it is fake. The reason it can hold this shape is that it has a much higher percentage of air, made possible using chemical stabilizers. So if you want a richer, more flavorful experience, and don’t want to pay for air (which you can get anywhere else for free) then go for something less globular.
- Observe the Ingredients List: Roman food shops are required by law to display their ingredients list, so it is a red flag if you can’t find one or have to search for it.
See & Do
- Take a guided tour of the Coliseum
- Check out the Vatican
- Take out sufficient time to just roam through the alleys of Rome, every nook and crannie has something beautiful to see
- Check out Piazza Navona, Camp du Furi. In fact there are tons of piazzas (squares) where you can enjoy street music, souvenir shops and have a good time
- Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain
- Admire the ancient ruins at the Roman Forum & Palantine Hill
- Enjoy some gelato at the Spanish steps & do some window shopping
- Explore Trestevere and stuff yourself with all the delicious food
- Check out tons of churches
- Drink Espresso
Honestly the list can go on forever and ever, there is so much to do in Rome. It depends how long you are there for because you sure cant fit everything in one trip. I just listed a few of the things that we did in our 5 day trip (actually 4 days because one day we took a day trip to Venice).
- If you can upload your route on to Google Maps while you have wifi that way when you are in the cab there are less chances of the cab driver taking you for a ride the long way to make more money, this actually happens often.
- Book the coliseum underground ticket in advance because it’s always sold out.
- Check out the Trevi Fountain early morning to avoid crowds especially if you want to take some great pics
- Be careful about indulging in fake gelato, if you are in Italy you want to make sure you try the good stuff
- We actually do this for every city so it’s not just for Rome, you can pre load trip advisor for the city you are going to visit and this will help you find restaurants and sites even when you don’t have wifi.
- Check out the Gladiator Guide– he is amazing! He is by far the best tour guide we have ever had, also he knows a lot about the history not just the mainstream stuff that you here. We went on a ‘secret’ walking tour with him – very recommended.
- If you are close to Termini Station then take the airbus rather than a cab because 1/10th of the price but make sure to give yourself enough time
- If you are in Rome for a long time its worth taking a day trip via train to either Venice or Coast of Amalfi
- Remember to keep receipts for purchases over $150 euros because you can get tax back at the airport
- Arrived in the afternoon, had some food and napped
- Spent the evening exploring Camp Du Fuori , Piazza Novana and Trevi Fountain
- Enjoyed the nightlife in Trestevere and did some souvenir shopping
- Checked out the Coliseum, Palantine Hill & Roman Forum
- In the evening, we did a secret guided tour
- Had dinner and relaxed at a shisha lounge -There are only 2 shisha lounges close by to the main attractions so make sure you look for this prior to going:)
- Took the train to Venice for hubbys birthday!!!
- The day was spent at the the Vatican
- Evening was spent window shopping by the Spanish Steps
If you have any questions or need more info, send us a message.