ROME IN A DAY
Although we only had little over 24 hours in Rome, we weren’t going to waste it - and so we took on the challenge of cramming what felt like a week’s worth of tourist activities into the space of a day.
We were lucky enough to stay in a gorgeous Airbnb apartment about 600m from the Trevi Fountain, and unlike a lot of other cities, Rome is fantastic in that many of it’s most famous monuments and architectural masterpieces are spaced within reasonable walking distance from each other. After all the walking we’d already done previously on the trip, this wasn’t an issue - despite being somewhat detached from reality due to lack of sleep, we managed the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, Spanish Steps, a few basilicas and piazzas, the Altare della Patria war memorial, and more that I would have forgotten in my delirious daze. Is this perhaps why Rome felt like a dream? And no Italy trip is complete without a visit to the Vatican and the breathtaking Sistine Chapel - but take it from me, wasting three hours in a line to Vatican City is on no one’s bucket list, so book tickets online the day before. That’s 29 euros you won’t regret spending. Oh, and when you’re trying to take sneaky photos in the Sistine Chapel, make sure you keep it on the super-super-down-low lest you get kicked out.
Of course, there were three main food criteria we wanted to fill in the short time we had in La Città Eterna - pizza, pasta and gelato, duh. For authentic, cheap and local pizza we went to Bonci which was located in the Vatican City area. Purchased by the kilo, these delicious slices are best eaten on the benches outside by the store, so that you can absorb as much local Italian babble on the streets around you as possible. #Authentic, am I right? Gelato is pretty much everywhere near the main tourist spots in Rome, but to avoid tourist traps, don’t bother paying more than two euro for a cone - and if you don’t order something super Italiano like Stracciatella and go for a boring flavour like Vanilla, I’ll be way disappointed in you. Pasta is certainly one of those things that you want to splurge on when you’re holidaying in Rome - adorable dinner dates are best for this, and we had ours at riverside restaurant Tiberino. Prosecco, prawns and pecorino accompanying handmade pasta and ricotta seemed to highlight how Italy should best be enjoyed.
Whether you buy or whether you window shop, Via della Corso must absolutely not be missed. It’s super close to the Spanish Steps, so you have no excuse to miss it. Recharge with an Italian coffee nearby (double points if it’s served to you in a martini glass) and browse everything from the high end (Gucci, Fendi, Valentino, Louis, you name it) to the slightly more affordable (H&M and Zara).
Rome is the kind of city where at every turn a stunning building, monument, or hanging vine decorates the winding streets and ensures you feel more like a fairytale character than a tourist. The gorgeous Italian language fills your ears like syrup, the sun sinks into your skin as you gaze at the beauty all around you, and it begins to dawn quickly on you that a mere 24 hours in Italy is nowhere near enough.