How much could be narrated about the magnificent Rome - la città eterna, the eternal city! Italy’s dignified capital has been a center of civilization for centuries, attracting everyone, from ancient history lovers to artists, to those picturing a romantic holiday in Roman style. But what if you wouldn’t have this time a week or more to spend there, just a few days to enjoy it all? How to capture even a touch of its charm in a nutshell – here are our recommendations for food and culture lover’s short getaway.
Rome and its morning glory
Even those who usually love to wake up late, like me, change that habit in Rome! You see the city waking up in its full glory, cafés getting their tables and chairs out, people walking to work, some earlybirds of tourists wandering around. Still quiet, still the hues of pink noticeable in the morning sky, making the famous architectural sites of the city clearly popping out. Have a little coffee and cornetto in one of the little bars or cafés, reading a few pages from a good book or just watching the people walking by. Breath in the city and plan your day.
Walks on the riverbanks of Tiber
Some of the most magnificent views on the city can be experienced while walking on the banks of the river Tiber, flowing through Rome. Coming from the city center, you can cross the Ponte Sant’Angelo, a bridge constructed by the Roman Emperor Hadrianus (Hadrian) in 134 AD, admiring the towering Castel Sant’Angelo, as well as the St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican City in the background. Right up to Trastevere, where we will make our next stop.
Charming Trastevere & Rome’s four traditional pastas
Picturesque Rome neighborhood with its boho vibe, medieval houses and narrow cobbled streets, is a lovely spot for wandering around and for really tasting the atmosphere of the ancient city. And it’s not the only taste you will get. Trastevere is also a perfect place to try one of the four Rome’s most characteristic pastas – cacio e pepe, amatriciana, alla gricia or carbonara. Each one being a variation of the other: alla gricia is cacio e pepe plus guanciale, carbonara is gricia plus eggs etc.
Trastevere is also a very lively place during evenings thanks to its many traditional trattorias, pizzerias and little cafés. When there, don’t miss a visit to the lovely medieval Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere, located right in the main square of the neighborhood, in its turn a place to be – a vibrant meeting spot for the trasteverini.
Aperitivo in Roman style
Many have their favorite apéritif places in Rome, for me it’s the area surrounding the celebrated piazza Navona, one of the Rome’s main squares built in the 1st century AD and having the Bernini’s famous Fountain of the Four Rivers as its centerpiece. Having a stop in the piazza itself is also a lovely experience, for example ordering a glass of local Frascati Superiore wine and watching the street artists work. However, if that has been done and one would like to have a quieter place, the little streets of the neighborhood are offering plenty of options for a nice apéritif, anything from spritz to wines, accompanied by a selection of bruschette, salumi or a piece of Roman pizza, for instance.
One of my places to go is the wine bar Mimi & Coco with its lovely atmosphere and friendly service in a most welcoming Roman style.
What about other famous sites?
Of course, as much as your time allows! However, as Rome is practically an open museum, worth visiting again and again, it’s close to impossible to see everything at once and then really enjoying it. At least I personally prefer to have some time for just wandering around the city, not having yet another site to visit in my calendar for each and every hour. Even the greatest history and culture lover gets overwhelmed at one point, so your attention fades and you are no longer giving the treasures of Rome the respect they deserve. Better to choose a few sites at a time and visit them properly, rather than running through everything.
Try to combine them according to location and your preferences, for instance: The Colosseum and the Roman Forum, or The City of Vatican with your visit to Trastevere, or then again, piazza Navona together with the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain being not far away, the Spanish Steps with the nearby shopping street via Condotti and so on.
It’s time to head to the airport and say arrivederci to the eternal city.
Grazie per la tua
ospitalità, la bellissima Roma. A presto!