Rome is where our vacation in Italy began and ended. I’ve been to Italy a few times however, I’ve never been to Rome so it was fun to explore with my fiance. Rome is one of his favorite cities and he knows so much of the history about the roman empire, so he was like my own personal tour guide.
My fiance suggested that we stay in the Trastevere neighborhood of Rome which I absolutely fell in love with! Its the neighborhood that has the most nightlife, so all the locals and tourists hang out in the streets drinking with friends until the early hours of the morning. We stayed at an airbnb apartment which was located right on the Piazza Trilussa and had beautiful views of the Tiber river. I would highly suggest looking at apartments or hotels in this area since it has more of a relaxed vibe compared to some of the other touristy areas of Rome.
When we first arrived in Rome, we had booked so many tours and activities in advance to fill the first 3 days we were staying in the city. After our red eye flight landed in Rome we unpacked at the apartment, cleaned up, and then headed straight to the Vatican and spent hours just exploring.
On our second day in Rome we took a 4 hour sightseeing bike tour with Topbike. This tour was such a fun way to see the outer edges of Rome and fit in some history on Aqueducts park, old Appian way, and other areas around town that you wouldn’t otherwise learn about. I highly recommend the electric assist bikes because the tour is pretty challenging riding over bumpy unpaved roads and dodging traffic.
After the bike tour we went on an interactive tour of Domus Romane, which is an underground ancient roman villa. This is incredible for people who like history or are interested in Ancient Rome. The visit includes not only ruins and artifacts, but also multimedia reenactments to show what the rooms would have actually been like.
On our last day we had made reservations for Galleria Borghesi, and unfortunately we missed the reservations so I can’t tell you much about it other the fact that it has a wonderful collection of sculpture and paintings. Since we missed our tour, we went over to the Colosseum and the Roman forum instead and spent the rest of the day just getting lost in the city.
Roman food was some of the best Italian food we had in Italy! Good food truly is around every corner but you should listen to your instincts and avoid the tourist trap restaurants close to big attractions and never eat at a place with pictures displayed in front of the restaurant or on the menu.
Our favorite restaurants we ate at were Colline Emailiane and Sette Oche. After visiting Trevi Fountain we walked about 5 minutes to Colline Emailiane and tried their homemade pasta which did not disappoint! We ordered the tagliatelle alla bolognese, Tagiolini con culatello, and the braised beef entree which I’m still dreaming about.
Sette Oche was a restaurant in Trastevere and we had the perfect Italian dinner there. We ate outside and ordered a liter of the house wine (this is one of the things I miss most about Italy!), the house wine is served in a jug and is very cheap at 9 euro for a whole liter! Then we had the la stracciata pizza and the rigatoni alla carbonara (both were amazing!)
Some of the other great places to try pizza are Dar Poeta (loved the house wine and inexpensive pizza) , Li Rioni (great to eat outside and a couple blocks from the Colosseum), and Forno la renella (come for the focaccia pizza)
Of course you can find great gelato all over Rome, but the best we had in Rome was at Punto Gelato. It was one of the only places I could find my chocolate grand marnier orange gelato which I craved the entire trip! Some of the other artisan gelato shops worth trying are Giolitti, Frigidarium, and Fatamorgana.
One of the other fun things to do while roaming around the streets before dinner was grabbing a drink outside around one of the local fountains. This is such a Roman thing to do after work or for happy hour. I did try my first negroni and was not impressed, turns out I’m not a gin fan! lol
One of the things I wish I taken more into consideration when packing for this trip was breakfast. Im a big breakfast girl and the Italian morning espresso and croissant just didn’t do it for me. I was going to bring my favorite protein cookies to eat in the mornings but they didn’t arrive in time for the trip and I kinda suffered because of it. When your walking 8 + miles everyday, its important to keep your energy up and not be hangry when trying to enjoy your vacation. For those first few days in Rome we were going from one tour to the next without much of a break in between. Also, another reason you may want to bring some low carb protein snacks is the fact that your likely only going to be eating bread, pasta, and pizza for most meals. When you do order something with meat, for us it was always served in a very small amount. My favorite quick low carb/high protein snacks are Know cookies and Quest bars.