When in Rome
Sorry guys, had to say it! When in Rome!
To be honest, Rome really took me by surprise! I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did. It’s grand, it’s beautiful and it’s not as expensive as I thought it would be for a major city in Europe!
We stayed a short 20 minute walk south of the Colosseum in the Monti neighbourhood. There was a metro station very close by which is how we made our way further into the city. It’s a very hipster part of Rome where the cool and young hang out, you will find awesome bars, great restaurants and vintage shops at every corner.
On the first day after we checked-in late in the afternoon we decided to walk towards the Colosseum to find a restaurant for dinner. We made it just before sunset and it was absolutely magical, it wasn’t too busy either for those of you that want to get a sunset pic! When it comes to finding a restaurant it’s never an easy decision, I normally seek one out on Instagram before hand or walk around forever. This night however, was the most perfect night, we all agreed that it was probably our favourite out of the 2 week holiday. We ate at Hysteria Al Gladiator it is perched right in front of the Colosseum and we managed to get the best table in the house. See photos below. The food was delicious and very reasonably priced! But overall it was the ambience and lovely staff that made it so special, oh and the sunset overlooking the Colosseum!
On our second day (first full day) we set off early and headed straight to The Spanish steps and from there we wandered everywhere! Like most cities I recommend getting to the touristy hot spots early to avoid the crazy crowds, there’s nothing I hate more than trying to take a photo or see a famous historical sight and some disrespectful tourist gets in your way (sorry rant over).
There is a beautiful view from the top of the Spanish steps, so I do recommend walking up them. Then looking out over the city turn to your left and make your way down the windy alley ways towards the Trevi Fountain. Another overly crowded place, but amazingly everyone seemed to be courteous and wait for one another take a quick photo and move on. Look below, you would think I had the whole fountain to myself!
From there we wandered towards to Pantheon, just taking our time and taking it all in. There are so many huge and beautiful buildings so make sure you stop and see if they were of any importance back in the day. We found a cute cafe in front of the Pantheon and had coffee and people watched for an hour, definitely try the iced coffee in Rome! From here we did a loop and walked towards the river and made our way to The Vatican City, we chose not to go in but it’s really easy to find if you have the Maps.Me app.
And F.Y.I all of the links I have provided are not affiliated. I am giving them to you as I love recommendations and just want to make things easier for you.
For lunch you can head to Piazza Navona, which is a huge square with sooo many restaurants. It’s also surrounded by gorgeous leafy green & cobbled stones streets for you bloggers out there! For the historians, this square was actually built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, which was built in the 1st century AD. The ancient Romans went there to watch the agones, and hence it was known as “circus agonalis” meaning “competition arena”. There is so much history in this city, it’s insane!
After lunch we did a spot of shopping, had some more wine and Aperol stops and headed back for dinner! We actually ended up back in the same area near the Colosseum for dinner because, well, the area speaks for itself!
Most of the restaurants are around the same price, you could get pizza & pasta for 10-14Euros and bottles of wine from 17Euros, plus complimentary bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Yummmm, drooling just thinking about it again.
Restaurants near The Colosseum to try. Home of the local nightlife and fusion cuisine.
Trattoria Luzzi - Amazing pizza!
Al Gladiatore - Amazing views, pasta & gnocchi
La Biga al Colosseo - Amazing views from a different angle, a nice spot for evening drinks!
Getting around the city.
Rome is a very accessible city to get around by foot or public transport. If you’re wanting to get the bus or Metro you have to pre purchase your tickets before you board. You can buy tickets from any tobacconist, bars or vending machines at metro stations and major bus stops.
Also download the City Mapper app as it makes navigating 10x easier!
Where to stay in Rome.
We opted for Air BnB as it turned out to be more affordable over hotels. We also like the opportunity to feel at home and buy breakfast and snacks.
Campo Dei Fiori - Also known as Navona Square, you will find the famous Fountain of Four Rivers here. It’s a very lively place at night.
Via Veneto - This is the historical centre near the Spanish steps. It’s known as quite the fancy area and has had many famous people like Audrey Hepburn walk these streets.
Monti - This is the area where we stayed, nice and close to the Colosseum. Gentrified in the 1930’s, you will still find the wall that separated Monti from Imperial Rome. This is the oldest area in Rome, it’s where the gladiators used to live!
Well I hope you enjoyed this post and you found it helpful. Over all Rome is a wonderful city to visit and I highly recommend you do so.