Wondering where to head on your next break? Make it the Italian capitol.
While it’s not exactly off the beaten track, there’s a reason Rome is a top tourist destination. Aside form the usual tourist traps there’s plenty to do to make the city your own. Bags of culture, a foodie paradise and amazing weather, what’s not to love?
Most major airlines fly direct to Rome a few times a week and if you keep an eye out on sales you can pick up flights pretty cheap. There’s two airports in Rome though, Aer Lingus flies to Leonardo da Vinci 32km outside the city, whereas budget airlines (including Ryanair!) fly to the further out Ciampino so bear that in mind when adding up additional travel costs.
WHERE TO STAY
Don’t be put off by the name – The Generator Hostel is leading the way when it comes to delivering high end results with smaller budgets. It looks and feels like a cool boutique hotel, but prices start at €40. Most of the rooms are private en suites though so no need to worry about bunking up with strangers. With power showers, high end toiletries and s;sick rooms you’ll forget you’re in a hostel at all. Add a super cool bar manned with a DJ, a cafe donned with local art and a super convenient location and you’ll be set for whatever the weekend throws at you.
Rome is quite simply foodie heaven. You can stumble into literally any place and you’ll experience Italian food unlike anything you’ve ever sampled at home. But if you need a head start there’s few places of note worth a visit. Il Market Central Roma is a food market like no other. Set over three floors, they cater to every taste and budget. The ground floor is packed with artisan stalls offering traditional Italian dishes. You can walk around and pick and choose, grab a seat and it will all be brought to you. It gets more high end as you move up floors and is a can’t miss it affair. For a local flavour make sure you try some cache e pepe, which is basically just pasta, cheese and pepper but somehow is the tastiest dish on earth. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Rome unless you indulge in some gelato, just sayin’.
For something different check out Jerry Thomas bar (thejerrythomasproject.it). The speakeasy bar doesn’t make it easy – you have to call and make reservations, you’re then told the location and password, but it’s worth it, we promise. And if craft beer is your thing Birra is worth a visit (birrapiu.it). But you can’t leave Rome without visiting BlackMarket. A cosy, vintage style cocktail bar come art gallery that attracts the hippest locals. We’re willing to bet they do the best cocktails in the world. They take a while but all the best things do!
OFF THE GRID
If you fancy catching a birds eye view of the entire city you have to take yourself off to the the Aventine Hill, where through a secret keyhole you get a glimpse at the entire city. It’s a bit of an uphill trek but totally worth it.
Rome is obviously steeped in history, but nothing can quite prepare you for the sheer scale of the famous monuments just casually dotted around the city. Reminders of times gone past are literally around every corner, from The Colosseum to The Pantheon. Everything seems almost too beautiful and it’s easy to get jaded after a while with the volume of things to check out, so figure out what you really want to see and plan around that a s queues can be intense. Little tip – Take a tour of Palentine Hill and you’ll get direct access to the Colosseum afterwards.
Need further convincing? Watch the Audrey Hepburn classic Roman Holiday for some serious outfit inspo. The catch up with The Talented Mr Ripley, Matt Damon in Rome, enough said.