I am back home after a terrific long weekend in Rome and loved, loved, loved it!
The city is crammed full of art, history, fashion and food – la dolce vita! We stayed in a fantastic apartment, close to the Vatican, which we booked through airbnb. If you haven’t used airbnb before, you should give it a try. Staying in a real apartment gives you a great feeling of living like a local, that you don’t get from a hotel. Our apartment in Rome was owned by a lovely girl, Valentina, who was super helpful and gave us lots of insider tips.
It rained on the first day we were there but if that’s not an excuse to have an Aperol Spritz and a hearty bowl of pasta, I don’t know what is! We ate in a great little restaurant called Roma Sparita and ordered Cacio e Pepe – a pasta dish with cheese and pepper. It sounds so simple but it is the tastiest bowl of pasta I have ever had (with the exception of my Nonna’s!) and I’m still thinking about it! The secret is in the maturity of the cheese used, according to a local expert.
Anthony Bourdain visited this restaurant a couple of years ago and I had heard mixed reviews about it recently, however we weren’t disappointed – the food and service were excellent. I also thought it was a good sign that we were the only non-Italians in the place.
Continuing on the food front… the best coffee we had was at Sant Eustachio – seriously good espresso with the most amazing crema. I have no idea how they do it but it’s good. We also visited Pizzarium, which was conveniently located next (read: dangerously close) to our apartment. This place really knows how to do pizza! There were lots of creative toppings on offer and everything is charged by weight – a great way to sample lots of different options.
Another highlight was the Mercato Trionfale (near the Vatican). It was full to the brim with food stalls – cheese, meats, fruit and vegetables. Be warned – don’t go on an empty stomach!
After a day of heavy rain, the sun came out and we spent the day walking about and soaking up the atmosphere. Rome is a really easy place to get around and there’s really no need to use public transport or taxis. We walked everywhere and some of the best places we found were off little cobbled side streets, tucked away from the hustle and bustle of tourists.
Finally, here a few shots of some interesting things I spotted whilst walking around. Some cool signage, the best (and smallest?) removal van in the world and a gorgeous brass buzzer system.
More travel adventures to follow soon…