Are you taking advantage of Europe being on sale these days? I know many readers are heading over the pond. If Italy is in your plans, either now or sometime in the next year or so, be sure to read this post. After all, who doesn’t plan on visiting Italy sooner or later. I’ve got four Italian destinations for you, so let’s get started. In Part 1, I talked about Venice and Milan; in Part 2, I talked about Florence, and what to see/do/eat in those cities. In this post, I’ll share tips with you about Rome, so let’s dig in.
ROMA (Rome, Italy)
To begin, let me talk about taking the train from Florence to Rome. Usually, I use Trenitalia train service, which is owned by the Italian government. I heard about Italotreno which is a competitor and offers relatively new high speed train service. I had heard that the main advantage was that it cost less. However, that’s only if you buy your ticket ahead of time, so beware of this. I did decide to give them a try, even if the cost was the same as Trenitalia. Their trains were late and there was insufficient storage for luggage. So sure, the savings might be worth it, but if you don’t buy your train ticket ahead of time, I still prefer Trenitalia. Actually, I think next time I’ll try BlaBlaCar, the long distance carpooling service!
For lodging, I stayed at Hotel Mozart which was recommended to me by my cousins. The hotel is near the Spanish Steps on Via Condotti, which if you’re at all familiar with Rome, you’ll know is a busy part of Rome. Do make sure to ask for a quiet room. My cousins warned me about asking for a quiet room, so I did just that and didn’t have any issues with noise. The room was lovely, the concierge Rosella was very helpful, and Alex at the front desk had a great sense of humor! The breakfast spread is included with the price of the room and it was everything and more that you could want. There’s a music conservatory on the same street, so I enjoyed hearing opera being sung when I was in my room during the day. The hotel is priced on the high side, but like Hotel La Scaletta in Florence, if you use your Citi Prestige Credit Card 4th night free benefit, the cost is offset.
My favorite restaurant in that part of Rome is AquaSalata Fish Restaurant. If you’ve been reading this series on Italy, you’ll know by now I’m partial to fish, and this place has it all. We ate here a few times and really enjoyed it. The salads were excellent too, if you feel like a lighter meal. One night, I even ordered a whole fish, and it was heavenly! I rarely get to do that in the states.
For gelato in Rome, I’m partial to Grom. There are a few of them scattered throughout Rome and well worth the walk from whatever part of town you’re in. I got hooked on the pistachio and chocolate hazelnut combo!
Sant’Eustachio Caffe is not for the faint of heart, so be prepared. It’s a MUST, though. The crowds are thick and you’ll stand arm to arm drinking your espresso with people you don’t know. But don’t let the crowd deter you. Go inside, order an espresso, and you’ll see how their crazy system works. And go with a sense of humor and enjoy the scene. I’m guessing you’ll go back more than once! Don’t forget to buy some of their goodies to take home. They make great gifts.
I know you’ll see all the major sites when in Rome and you should. One of my favorite sites to explore is the park up the hill and behind the Spanish Steps called the Villa Borghese Gardens and Park. It’s huge, filled with lovely areas for strolling, museums and garden sculptures, incredible views of Rome, and you could easily spend the whole day there with a picnic lunch. It’s a gorgeous time-out place from all the heavily touristed sites, so please don’t miss it.
I hope this gives you some fresh ideas for when you’re in Rome. Who doesn’t love Italy, right? It’s a wonderful country filled with great people, amazing history, fantastic food, and one of my two favorite gelato places in the world.
If you have any questions, or anything to add that’s not usually on all the lists of what to do and see in Rome, please comment below. Arrivederchi everyone, and thank you for following along with this Italia series of posts.