Rome, the home of beautiful buildings, perfect pasta and pints of prosecco! A few years ago we started an unintentional, costly tradition that means that our birthday presents to each other are a trip somewhere. So last year when I struck lucky with the Ryanair sale and found flights to Rome for £30 return, it would have been rude not to treat Jonny to the delights of the Italian capital.
Now, I did want to embrace an Airbnb in Rome but I just couldn’t get my head around some of the Italian interior design choices. Instead I opted for a swish hotel which was extremely cheap as we were visiting in January. Look how fancy it is… Mama’s Home Rome All in all the trip cost £100 each!!! I KNOW! How cheap is that?
We had 2 nights and 3 full days in the city which was more than enough to see all the big sights and still have time for a couple of lie ins following wine fuelled evenings.
Here are my top tips for Rome:
- Gelataria Romana I was extremely happy that we had such mild weather in Rome, it meant that I could have an ice cream every day without getting frost bite. I must confess, I’ve tried my fair share of gelato in Italy (Grom in Florence was a particular highlight) but in Rome my gelataria of choice was La Romana. If you like creamy ice cream with chunky pieces and whipped cream on top (who doesn’t?!) then you need to hunt one out, there are 3 in the city so find the one closest to you and make it part of your trip. My favourite flavour was Biscotta della Nonna.
- Solo This tiny Italian eatery is just off the famous Piazza Navona but it doesn’t charge the sky high prices of those restaurants on the square. The staff are charming and the drinks measures are large! It’s particularly well known for its Aperol Spritz which is effectively made in a fish bowl and filled with fruity prosecco. Book in to ensure you get a table and opt for a sharing platter to start, then wash all that booze down with a couple of plates of pasta, we tried the cannelloni and the lasagne – bliss!
- Meccanismo Rome We stumbled across this gem after dinner one evening, it’s on the outskirts of the Tratesvere area of Rome (a great area for bars and restaurants) and we were enticed in by the live music. There was an acoustic duo playing and whilst they won’t be releasing any top selling albums soon, they were perfect for a laid back Monday evening in January. There’s a different act on every week at Meccanismoroma and live music is only on a Monday but if you’re in the city on the right day, I’d highly recommend it.
- St Peter’s Basilica Cupola I know, I know, it seems like I love climbing high buildings. The truth of the matter is that I actually get jelly legs at the top and rarely stand close to the edge, but it’s all worth it to get a birds perspective of the city. One of my favourite things about the walk to the top of the dome (cupola) is getting up close to the beautiful mosaics at the top. You can only go to the top at certain times of the day so check those before you arrive and it’s 6 euros for the pleasure, the ticket office isn’t particularly obvious but turn right at the doors into St Peter’s and you’ll find it.