My third time visiting Italy, I was very excited to finally visit its capital city. After being to Lake Garda and Venice as a teenager, I feel deeply in love with this country and wanted to visit each and every part of it.
Fast forward a few years and I spent four days in 2021 visiting Milan and Lake Como. Then, a few months later and it’s May 2022 and I find myself back in Italy visiting Rome.
After these visits to Italy and starting to work for an Italian fashion brand, I’ve started to learn Italian on Duolingo and have been doing this for the past 125 days without fail.
Italy holds a very special place in my heart and I’m still eager to explore even more of the country and I’d love to visit Florence, Verona and Sicily next.
You can watch our trip to Rome on my YouTube channel below, or find some inspiration in the rest of this blog post:
Where we stayed
A short twenty minute walk from the Trevi Fountain, we stayed at Hotel Giotto Flavia in quite a central area of Rome. Nestled in the cobbled streets, it was hard to find at first but a rickety little elevator took us up to our quaint hotel with a larger-than-expected hotel room.
It was the perfect location to walk absolutely everywhere around Rome and the staff were extremely attentive and pleasant.
Our flight to Rome was due to leave London in the evening but a very last minute change from EasyJet put us on a 9am flight instead which gave us an extra day to explore the city.
We took the train from the airport into the city centre where our hotel was a 14 minute walk away and left our luggage with the concierge until we could check in later.
Our first stop was a slice of pizza from a restaurant next to the hotel before heading straight for the Trevi Fountain to see it in person for the first time. On approach, the area can seem insanely busy and chaotic but a lot of people gather at the top of the steps, making it appear busier than it is. However, once you make your way down the steps of the fountain you can quickly find a gap to throw a coin in for good luck.
Although I have heard that the Trevi Fountain area is very popular with pick-pockets, so make sure you keep an eye on your belongings at all times in this area.
The Trevi Fountain is stunning and I took a few minutes to take it in and appreciate the architecture as the city keep it so clean and in pristine condition. We came back to see it a few times during our stay in Rome and it was breathtaking each and every time. Plus, we witnessed a marriage proposal on one occasion too which I’ve heard is quite popular (and can also be a distraction to enable pick-pockets a perfect opportunity to strike, so again – beware!)
After visiting the Trevi Fountain, it was time to do some walking. We firstly grabbed a soupli which my boyfriend has never stopped talking about so I had to sample. It’s basically a deep fried rice ball with cheese and tomato inside – simply delicious.
After some walking and because it was a scorcher of a day, we stopped off for our first aperol spritz of the trip – is there anywhere better to have an aperol spritz than in Italy? – and they were served in goblets the size of my head, so we were parked for a little while.
We then walked along via dei Condotti to window shop all of the luxury fashion stores including Gucci, Prada, Fendi and more to which the end of this street brings you face to face with the Spanish Steps.
After much more walking around the beautiful Roman streets, it was time for dinner. We had been recommended Osteria da Fortunata and managed to get a seat before the queue to eat started to wrap around the street corner – it’s a very popular spot! We both had pasta and aperol spritz and I’m still dreaming about how good the pasta was.
A night cap
To end the night, we headed to Jerry Thomas Speakeasy which is located down a dark side-street and you need to have the password to be able to enter (you can find the password on their website each day). The building was a little house and very dark and romantic inside. You could take photos/videos but weren’t allowed to use flash. A very cool spot to bring friends/your other half if in Rome!
We headed back to our hotel and something I love about Rome is the amazing structures that are located within the small streets of the city. We wandered back to our hotel passing by the Pantheon which is incredible to see in person but in a central area of the city meaning like the Trevi Fountain, we walked past quite a few times.
Our first morning in Rome started with creme puffs from the famous Roscioli Caffe Pasticceria, before grabbing a breakfast platter of pizza – when in Rome as they say!
The beauty of Italy is that they sell pizza by the size that you ask for and charge by weight. So whether you’re after a small square or a large slice, you can have whatever you’re hungry for.
Our first platter of pizza was from the famous bakery and pizzeria, Antico Forno Roscioli. You’ll want to watch my YouTube vlog to see the different pizza slices we got because you’ll be craving pizza as soon as you see it.
It was then time to head to the Colosseum, passing the incredible Altare della Patria building on the way. We had pre-booked tickets ahead of getting to Italy to be able to enter the Colosseum and Roman Forum. It’s advised to get tickets ahead of time as there are ticket sellers outside but they’re not often legitimate.
The Colosseum is amazing inside and though a short walk away, the Roman Forum is definitely worth seeing as well. Although not much of this is shaded so something to consider if it’s a really hot day or time of the year!
We headed back to the centre of Rome to walk inside the Pantheon. We had to queue for a little while and then you follow the crowd in a lap of the interior, mainly to see the circle hole in the ceiling.
And then as is the custom of Italy, we rested our feet and had an apertivo – aperol spritz and a mixture of crisps/ham/cheese/nibbles – to keep us going until dinner as it’s common to eat quite late in Italy.
Dinner in Trastevere
For dinner, we headed to the other side of Rome to an area called Trastevere as we wanted to try a popular restaurant. But when we got there the queue was incredibly long and we were quite hungry so hunted around for somewhere to eat (we did finally get to eat here, but more on that later).
We came across a place called Roma Spirata and had some lovely pasta before calling it a night and heading back to our hotel.
Our next morning started with another creme puff and coffee, this time from Sant’ Eustachio Il Caffe before we made our way to The Vatican City, another country visited during our time in Rome (bizarrely).
Like the Colosseum, we had pre-booked our tickets for the Vatican but had some time beforehand to visit a famous pizzeria called Bonci where again we grabbed a platter of pizza slices, trying the various toppings and bakes they had on offer.
Again, it’s really worth taking a watch of the vlog to see the pizza in all its glory!
The queue here was incredibly long but very much worth it. Something to know before you go, there is a ticket dispenser outside the store. Grab a ticket when you get there and they will call your number to take your order – don’t just join the queue as this will put you right at the back once you find out you need a ticket number.
And then it was time to head on our tour of the Vatican. As I said, we pre-booked our tickets online and then had to find the tour shop as directed on our tickets. From there, the tour guide escorts you to the Vatican and gets your tickets for you before leaving you to explore yourself.
I would highly recommend booking tickets in advance as the queues to purchase tickets on the day were hours long and in the scorching heat too.
Also a little tip – don’t get scammed like me! Outside the tour shops, there are men selling scarves that can wrap around your shoulders/legs. They tell you that you won’t get inside if you are showing your knees or shoulders. I had my knees on show so bought a scarf to be on the safe side. But it turns out it wasn’t need at all, so save yourself €10 and have those parts covered up anyway.
Dinner in the Trastevere area again
After soaking up the wealth and culture of The Vatican and surrounding buildings, and viewing Michaelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel, we headed towards Trastevere again to try our luck at the famous restaurant for the second time.
We firstly stopped off in an Irish bar to watch a Liverpool football game, before heading on to Ristorante de Enzo and we were met with a very large queue as expected. We had passed the restaurant at 5pm and there were already people in the queue ready for it to open at 6pm.
The great thing was that they served you drinks in the queue while you waited, so we were many aperol spritzes down by the time our table was ready an hour later.
I must say that the pasta was very much worth the wait and I would definitely recommend to anyone visiting Rome, but just expect to wait for a while to grab a table here.
Mouth of Truth
It was time for us to leave Rome and head back to London, but before we did we went to the Mouth of Truth, a famous landmark of a large circle stone in a wall that has a gap in the middle shaped like a mouth.
When here, you queue to place your hand in the mouth of the stone and tell it your worries/fears or ask for something that you need.
The last supper
After this, it was one final walk around the Trevi Fountain and one final meal before heading to the airport. I couldn’t stomach any more pasta or pizza so opted for an open sandwich from Klass, a restaurant just along a side street from the Trevi Fountain.
Rome is the most stunning and romantic city and we had the best time with such good weather too. We found three days to be enough to see the sites of the city, although I wish we had a little more time simply to be able to sample more pasta and pizza.
I hope it won’t be long before I’m back in Italy and make sure you check out the YouTube video to see everything visually.
Hopefully the above itinerary gives you some inspiration for your own trip to Rome and of course, if you have any questions at all about my trip, comment below or reach out to me on any of my social platforms linked on my blog.
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