After hearing numerous wonderful things from multiple friends on Rome, watching countless episodes on travel channel of phenomenal gastronomical experiences and of course watching all those romantic movies based in Italy, I couldn’t wait to be in Rome. I was ready for it to blow me away and surprise me in every possible way. Surprised I was but not with the feeling of awe but more so due to the hype. Don’t get me wrong, Rome was beautiful it’s just that I realized that other parts of Italy (like the Amalfi coast) have so much more to offer that if we had to do it again, I would not have spent more than 3 days in the city. That being said, I love how Rome has retained its history and architecture through centuries.
My biggest complaint with major cities in United States as well as Asia has been that there is no defined architecture to reflect history. Major cities in Europe like Rome have done a fabulous job of preserving them. Seeing the Colosseum, Pantheon, Trevi fountain (to name a few) makes you appreciate the grandiosity and detail with which all the structures were built. It almost transports you back in time to imagine what life in Rome was like a few centuries ago.
HOTELS: Since we stayed one night as a transit to Amalfi coast and then 3 nights after coming back from Amalfi coast, we stayed at two different hotels.
Casa Santa Sofia: We stayed here for three nights and I had a pretty pleasant surprise. What seemed like initial shock turned out to be a good story in the end. Read full story and review here
Eurostars International Palace: We stayed here for 1 night. Check out full review here
Things to not miss in Rome:
1. The Colosseum.
2. Trevi fountain.
3. The Spanish steps
4. Piazza Navona
5. People watching around any piazza or fountain
6. Visit Vatican City: A short train/bus or walk away depending on which part of Rome you are staying in. Please refer to The Vatican City page for a more detailed review.
Places to eat/things to eat:
One thing which threw me off during our travels in Italy was, as much as I love Italian food, my body could not take the carbohydrate overload after a few days. I had to start going easy on all the seafood pasta and pizza.
1. Ai Tre Scalini bar/restaurant
2. Eat with Federica and Barbara: Eat with is a fabulous start up that has involved local people to host visitors and welcome them with home-made food, we had the most fantastic evening with ours hosts and meeting new people. Check out the full review here.
3. That’s Amore restaurant
4. Da Francesco restaurant. Full review here
These are the 3 out of thousands of restaurants in the city that stood out to us. Regardless of where you eat and depending on where you travel in Italy make sure to eat lots of gelato, cannolis, bruschetta, lasagna, tortellini, pasta, pizza, millefoglie and so much more. More than anything make sure to try limoncello unless you are heading to Amalfi coast (because they have the best!)
One thing Sunny and I regret not doing in Italy or hopefully will do in future is taking a pizza or pasta cooking class. It’s just something that sounded fun and a great experience.