Our Blogger: Ilaria Ilaria, born and bred Venetian, introduces us…
If youâ€™re just passing through Rome on your big tour of Europe, or taking a long weekend off and only have a couple of days to enjoy one of the most beautiful cities of the world, the question is: what to do, where to go, what to see and what to miss. Well, here are some suggestions!
If youâ€™re on a really tight time schedule, I suggest you skip the Vatican Museums and just go and see the Saint Peterâ€™s Church and the famous round Piazza in front of it. Also, while youâ€™re in the area, walk to the river and see the round fortress Castel Santâ€™Angelo, constructed as the tomb of the emperor Hadrian but ended up as a hiding place of the popes in the tumultuous middle ages. From there itâ€™s just a stones throw to the Navona Square, famous for itâ€™s huge fountains and street artists thatâ€™ll paint your portrait in an instant.
By now, youâ€™ll probably be tired and starving, and thatâ€™s just as well, as the surroundings of the Navona Square are a perfect spot for a nice little lunch. Better to stay a bit out of the actual square, since the prices of the restaurant go by address in the city center, and if you have the good sense to go even just around the corner from the tourist attractions, you can save a lot of money! After lunch, donâ€™t forget that some of Romeâ€™s more famous ice-cream bars, such as the Giolitti, are in the area, and you simply must have a go!
Now a quick look at the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain, both located at a short walking distance from Navona Square. And donâ€™t forget to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain to make sure youâ€™ll get to come back one day! Then to the hotel to have a rest and change into something nice for dinner!
If you only have a couple of days, for dinner you simply must go to Trastevere, one of the oldest, and most Roman, neighbourhoods. Trastevere comes from the Latin words meaning â€™on the other side of the Tiberâ€™, and that is exactly where it is. This is where the locals go out for dinner: as a matter of fact the area is crowded with small and cosy tipical Roman restaurant, trattorias and pizzerias, just take your pick. And after dinner the custom is to have a drink in one of the small and crowded bars, so go with the flowâ€¦
Better get home early though, since the second morning you need to get up early for your Roman shopping experience: try the markets. If it happens to be a Sunday, head for the famous Porta Portese flea market, and on any other day the best address is the Via Sannio market at Porta San Giovanni, so that after shopping you can also take a look at the Rome second most famous Church, after Saint Peters that is.
Then for lunch to the Campo deâ€™ Fiori in the heart of the historical center. After that, if you have the time and the nerves, take a walk on the Roman Forum before jumping on a bus on the Venice Square to make your way to the Gianicolo hill, where you â€™can admire the entire cityâ€™, quoting an ancient epigramâ€¦ The view is from the hill top awesome, and the place itself is beautiful, perfect for a romantic walk hand-in-hand. In the neighbourhood thereâ€™s also the huge and wonderful Doria Pamfili park.
By now thereâ€™s not much left of your two days, so just some suggestions for the last few hours you might have: thereâ€™s the beautiful Santa Maria in Trastevere Church at the foot of the Gianicolo hill, and just over the river the ancient church of Santa Sabina, next to the piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta, where you can see Saint Peterâ€™s through a famous key-hole… And on your way back to your hotel, donâ€™t forget to stop at the Colosseum, which is located conveniently on the line B of the underground.
The important thing, of course, when you have little time at your disposal, is to choose a centrally located hotel with good connections, such as the new, classy Yes Hotel at the Termini station, or the budget options Carlitoâ€™s Way or Nice Hotel. Both are located close to the Termini station, which is the main station of the city, and has a huge number of bus and metro lines crossing there, so the location is perfect to take the most out of your stay in the eternal city!