From Rome With Love is actually a good analogy for what I have lived there. I would say that it’s just what you would expect from a trip to Rome: fun all the way. You may get lost at some point, you may find the romans quite… romans, you may even crave for leaving. But in the end, it comes down to the unwritten details: ancient ruins laying around, “belle donne” passing by, amazing beers in… snazzy bars and – of course – churches.
It was my first time there. I didn’t know what to expect coming from one of the world’s oldest cities, capital of what once was one of the greatest empires of all and home for some of my favorite dishes. From the airport FIUMICINO, I took the bus [5 euros] down to Termini, the central station of the Italian capital.
I stayed in a hotel that isn’t worth to mention. Later on I have changed to a hostel that wasn’t so bad, but I would try to look for something better. But after all, accommodation isn’t thaaat important, believe me. Unless you’re in a couple or something like that, you shouldn’t bother that much with the place that you’re going to sleep. It’s not hard to find something “acceptable”, lots of hotels for 30 euros the double bed room and hostels for decent prices as well. The thing is to find something recommendable.
Lots of walking. Book yourself something near Termini or near a subway station and walk until your feet disappear, and when they do, use your hands. Really. And Rome probably isn’t one of the best to do so, but still… lots to see, lots to eat, and therefore lots to walk. Oh and don’t be angry if you heard about any “sciopero” and the subway and/or bus services gets limited. That means that service and the people that work on that are on strike. Sometimes for real and sometimes just for fun, probably.
You should drink wine. Italian wines may not be as worldly known as french ones and they may not be as interesting as those but sweet-baby-jesus: you go to a restaurant and pay 5 euros for 1 liter on some decent wine?! You just gotta go for that!! Or, try to hunt some beer bars at night. There are LOTS of Italian craft beers that don’t get to other countries, so try to go to “4:20” bar, “Luppolo 12” and other bars alike. Can’t miss it.
Eating is a serious business here. I usually ate 4 times a day, 3 small meals and a large one (usually diner). Lots of places that you can eat decent pizzas with that perfect tomato sauce and burratta (sort of a distant relative to mozzarella di buffala), some olives and a beer or a glass of wine, and other simple stuff that are sold everywhere and that are usually cheap.
Avoid – more than ever – restaurants in touristic places in a- let’s say – two block radius from the Sistine Chapel, the Colosseo, and many others for they usually are more expensive but, interestingly enough, not worse. In your “big” meals, try to eat pasta or some really traditional dish such as “ossobuco” and stuff alike – almost every restaurant makes their own pasta or they buy from the guy next door, and it tastes perfectly good.
Also you should try espressos and tiramisus in every place that you think it’s worth it. If you have a nice critical sense, probably you’re going to have lots of fun trying different espressos in different cafés. Tiramisu is one of my favorite desserts and I have never ate one as good as this one in the photo… awesome.
I fell in love with the city. If you wanna enjoy it to the fullest, I strongly advise you to do two things:
– Go during late fall/early winter time. The city gets almost empty in comparison to other months along the year. Especially during summer. Don’t go in the summer. Really. Honestly.
– Live there for a month or so. At least that is what I would do.
Well, hopefully that will convince you to go there and see for yourself what I’m talking about. Just go, not for me, but for everything that I have mentioned here. You won’t regret, probably.
So, as they say: