A Magical Trip to Rome
Stroll around the Eternal city
Rome is a fascinating and charming city that has inspired people to visit it through the centuries. With its fantastic buildings and architecture, great history, incredible works of art, and suberb cuisine, the Eternal city is worth a visit at least once.
You may like that classical ruins stand next to renaissance palazzos, you may like the great neighbourhood trattorias, or even the mild mediterranean climate, but for me the main draw is the magical energy of a place which lives life as a form of a cinematographic movie.
What to see / visit
Vatican. Apart from being the world’s smallest independent state, is the home base of the Roman Catholic Church and the Pope and houses the world’s most important collection of classical sculptures and Renaissance art including the great treasure of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel.
The Colosseum is a great symbol of Rome. It is an imposing construction that, with almost 2,000 years of history, will bring you back in time to discover the way of the Roman life.
The Pantheon (Piazza della Rotonda) is the most complete ancient building in Rome and one of the city's most extraordinary sights.
Fontana di Trevi is the most beautiful and most spectacular fountain in Rome. Have you been told to throw a coin into the Fontana di Trevi? Do you know what happens next? If you throw: one coin, you will return to Rome, two coins, you will fall in love with an attractive Italian, three coins, you will marry the person that you met. In order to achieve this, you have to throw the coin with your right hand over your left shoulder.
The catacombs (San Sebastiano, San Callisto, Domitilla, Priscilla, and Sant’Agnese). They are subterranean passageways that were used as place of burial for a number of centuries.
Rome has some of Europe's most beautiful parks. Most tourists end up in Villa Borghese, which is, indeed, worth visiting, especially during the afternoon. The view of the city from there, is spectacular. Nevertheless, most locals prefer Villa Doria Pamphilj (Via di San Pancrazio). which is 10 minutes outside central Rome. This park has huge green space, its own renaissance villa and astonishing places to walk and cycle.
Castel Sant’Angelo (Lungotevere Castello, 50), is a monument which truly encompasses the essence of the city’s transformation throughout the centuries. Known as Hadrian's Tomb, the Castel Sant'Angelo, became a mausoleum, a fortress, a hideaway and a museum.
Do you like Caravaggio? If so, you'll want to visit the San Luigi dei Francesi (Piazza di San Luigi de' Francesi, 5). Inside this church in Piazza Navona are three of the unique artist's works, including the "The Calling of St. Matthew", "Saint Matthew and the Angel" and "The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew."
Il Mercato Centrale (Piazza dei Cinquecento). Well, if you're a foodie but you don't like to walk, there is a place for you. In Central Market of Rome, near railway, stands a stunning, three-storey food market where you can find everything from arancini to newly baked bread.
Do you like street art? In Rome the urban culture of street art is strong and gathers some of the best graffiti in Europe. Disuse areas has transformed to a living gallery, boasting work from some of the best street artists. Ostiense, Pigneto, Tor Pignattara, Tor Marancia, Ouadraro, are districts full of exquisite pieces. Wander to the Wall Of Fame on Via dei Magazzini Generali (Ostiense District), where you can see the faces of artist JBRock's favourite celebrities, from Elvis to Frida Kahlo and many more.
Little London (Via Bernardo Celentano) or Piccola Londra in Italian, is the perfect spot for a retreat from the crowded city centre. An oasis of pastel coloured houses, Victorian street lamps and tiny gardens. This paradise for tea-lovers is situated on Via Bernardo Celentano, between Via Guido Reni and Viale del Vignola in the heart of the Flaminio neighborhood and it is one of the best-kept secrets in Rome.
If you want a look at the real Rome, you should visit Trastevere. With charming medieval alleyways, artisan workshops, and a thriving nightlife, there’s always something to do in Trastevere.
On the other hand if you like an italian culinary experience you have to visit Testaccio. It is home to some of the Capital’s best eateries.
What to eat/drink
Sant’ Eustachio Cafe (Piazza dei Caprettari 82), is reckoned by many to serve the best coffee in town. Their standard cappuccino is spoon-whipped with a tiny bit of sugar before being served. The result is slightly sweeter, and with more air in the foam.
Pompi (Via della Croce 98). Since 1962 the patisserie Pompi specializes in the art of Tiramisu. Although i don't like to visit touristic spots and restaurants, this is extraordinary, worth of tasting. Tiramisu is one of my all time treats, and i definitely say that Pompi is the palace of it.
For a true gelateria experience head to Fassi (Via Principe Eugenio, 65), which has been family-run since 1880 and still serves up some of the best scoops in the city.
Antico Forno Roscioli (Via dei Chiavari, 34,) is always packed with locals picking up a slice of pizza for the road or sharing fresh foccacia at one of their tables.
Antica Trattoria da Pietro al Pantheon (Via dei Pastini 11) In this small tradional antique restaurant, you can find one of the best meals in Rome. The dishes are all seasonal and irresistible and you can't leave without trying a plate of homemade pasta. Try the house wine too.
- Speaking about coffee:
a) For Italians, cappuccino is a breakfast drink, and espresso is what you take to finish a meal.
b) Order a drink “al bar”, standing at the bar as most locals do, and the cost of a cappuccino, is cheaper.
- If you're after great pizza in Rome, don't look for it in a restaurant. Real Romans like their pizza on the go, from bakeries which have been serving up sheets of delicious dough for generations.