Rome City Guide
Rome is one of the most charming cities I’ve been to. Old, historical, vibrant, young, magical. Absolutely magical. However, Rome being one of the most popular cities amongst tourists worldwide, houses an awful lot of tourist traps to watch out for – if you’re looking to discover the real Rome, that is. And trust me, the real Rome is a lot better than the tourist-trap one. So here are a couple of my best tips to the city:
View of the city: Giardino degli Aranci
Just across the Tiber from Trastevere you’ll find the beautiful garden and viewpoint Giardino degli Aranci (also known as Parc Savello) located on the Aventine Hill – one of the seven hills on which ancient Rome was built. The garden is often referred to as one of the most romantic gardens, and it certainly tops my list of romantic parks (‘cause I keep a list like that, for sure) 😉 Nevertheless, bring your boy-/girl-friend/mom/best friend and sit down in this ridiculously idyllic park overlooking gorgeous Rome.
Museum: the one around you
Seriously though, Rome itself is quite an open-air museum with all its ancient ruins and breathtaking architecture. Then, of course, there are the “must-do’s” such as the Vatican museum, etc. But really, if you’re not the museum type, don’t worry, just walking the streets of Rome will be enough of a museum-like experience (and you’ll love it!)
Market: Campo dei Fiori
This one is quite touristy, however locals go here, too, and the surrounding restaurants shop their ingredients here. And it really is an experience. We brought home the most delicious oranges, but you can also shop fresh pasta, pesto and other delicious things!
Best pizza: Pizzeria ai Marmi
Warning: In two seconds or so you’ll be craving pizza big-time (if you keep on reading, that is). ‘Cause when you’re in Rome, you’re a fool if you don’t sit down for a pizza in one of the amazing restaurants the city is home to. And the very best (in my opinion) – although, regrettably, I haven’t tried ‘em all – is Pizzeria ai Marmi, which you can read more about in my previous post.
Local espresso bar: Café 67
Being a true coffee-entusiast, Rome was obviously a mekka for me. Coffee is so cheap in the many espresso bars – and it’s good, (almost) no matter where you go. A cappuccino is something like 1,20 euros everywhere, which is a great excuse to consume ridiculous amounts of (good!) coffee. And so we did, my mom and I. One of my favorite places was Café 67, which is a very local espresso bar in Trastevere. We came here three times or so, and didn’t meet any other tourists while there. The owner is quite the barista (though not the young, bearded one we’re familiar with in cities like Copenhagen) and will make you one of the best cappuccinos you’ve ever tasted – promise!
From the movie: Ristorante Santa Lucia
If you’re a fan of the movie “Eat, Pray, Love”, and let’s face it, who isn’t? – Ooor, if you’re a fan of Julia Roberts, then you’ll be happy to find this restaurant, tucked away behind the busy Navona square, where she sat while filming this very movie. Starstruck much? Anyway, I wrote a post about the restaurant here.
Where to stay?
We stayed at an AirBnb in Trastevere, which we both loved. It felt so local and authentic, and we could pass by our favorite little espresso bar every morning before heading out to explore the city! Hotels are expensive (of course), but whether you prefer hotel or AirBnb, definitely consider staying in Trastevere, which is a little cheaper, and also just absolutely lovely – definitely my favorite neighborhood of the city!
When to go?
I’d say avoid Easter and summer. Visiting cities when they’re most crowded is never very fun. Our AirBnb host suggested October and May.
How to get around?
I think we used the public transport (bus, tram) once or twice, ‘cause Rome really is easy to get around by foot. Renting a bike or scooter could be fun, too, I’m sure!
(I’ll add on to this guide later on, but I hope this has been helpful so far!)