Amore a prima vista; love at first sight, it was for sure when I started to roam the streets of Rome. It was the first city I visited as a solo traveler. The overwhelming terracotta colored beauty of this city did hit me straight in the heart and I can’t forget about her ever since.
I was thrilled to find you guys the not well-known places to eat your pizza & pasta, where to recover from your food coma’s and where to escape to, away from the full packed touristic streets. Sure I can tell you about all the spectacular sights I visited but you can find them on any regular blog about Rome. So let’s focus on the E-S-Z (eatsleepzen) gems that will make your trip to Rome a blast!
After a 40-minute train ride from the airport Fiumicino, I arrived in the heart of Rome. Ready for one week of fun! Andiamo!
Where to sleep?
The Yellow hostel popped up quite quickly online. I always check the Instagram accounts of hostels, to get a quick impression of the vibe and accommodation. This hostel looked cosy, safe and like a lot of fun 😉
The Yellow is run by amazingly talented people who can fully empathize with what we, as backpackers, need to have a great holiday. They offer pretty, clean and comfortable rooms (dorms and private) and great facilities. I mention their own barber shop, rooftop yoga classes or their typical Italian food classes (your authentic Italian pasta at home; do I need to say more?) These guys even help you out when it comes to taking the most amazing pictures during their creative guided tours throughout the city. Plus they got their own bar with cool band nights and sexy dance performances. (Fallo Tonica!) It is directed next to the hostel, which I like because this granny likes to roll into her bed a.s.a.p. after several drinks. Your holiday won’t be boring if you let these guys take care of you.
Where to eat/drink?
Charming houses, lush gelateria’s (try Del Teatro and Fata Morgana) and cool odd shops are what Monti is about. The first cute looking restaurant I bumped into was Urbana 47. Beautiful (hipster) interior, nice little menu and a great shot of caffeine. I ordered Gnocchi with shrimps which turned out to be not that special, but fine for my first dish. They sell some great local products as well, so you can cheer up the people who couldn’t join you on this trip. Oh and don’t forget to visit the cool vintage market Mercatomonti on Saturday’s (hidden gem you bet).
After visiting the pantheon you could walk a few steps further to crash into The. Best. Coffee. Ever. Tazza D’oro is an authentic Roman coffee bar. You buy a ticket at the bar and get in line to get your piece of heaven espresso, cappuccino or latte macchiato. I promise you, you won’t ever forget this. Next best thing: you can buy those heavenly beans and take it home with ya.
Near the Trevi fountain you have the chance to start your evening with a splendid pasta and admire the sealing paintings at Taberna patricii et plebei. Try the pasta con vongole and be the one that is licking their fingers.
Testaccio During this week I met Rosalie, a Dutch girl who lived here during the time I visited Rome. Together with Liselotte (another Dutchie) they run their tour guide company with a passionate heart about food, history and culture. I Dolci Passi offers tours throughout several neighbourhoods, based on these passions and I decided to hop on her private Testaccio Food tour. Rosalie attended the rich history of the area with all of its legends and traditions. She brought us to places I would never find on my own and provided a delicious lunch which we ate outside. Especially the food halls caught my eye (and mouth yes). The vendors were so kind and we were allowed to taste many beautiful (biological) products. A lot of the products are grown locally , which always makes me very happy!
Another great Dutchie is Jesse Marinus, an impassioned tour guide who loves to tell you everything about the rich history of the eternal city. His time is limited, but you might be lucky! Just send him an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, he makes the best chicken in town, ask him all about it.
Trastevere Before you enter Trastevere by crossing one of the bridges, don’t forget to visit the area of Ponte. Bar Del Fico is one of the coolest bars in Rome. Here you’ll find the young locals having their city gossip over an ice cold Aperol Spritz.
In my opinion Trastevere is the most beautiful and cosy part of Rome. Here you’ll find the greatest bars, restaurants and gelaterias. Enter Trastevere by using the Ponte Sisto bridge and you bump into another nice bar/bistrot. Meccanismo Friends is puuurfect to start your night with Aperols and bruschetta.
Alright, is your hunger enough rekindled? Get yourself ready for some amazing Pizza. Hurry up to Dar Poeta. Not the cosiest interior you could think of but hey, do you see that line in front of the resto? It tells you that this is the place to score the best Pizza you’ve ever tasted. (No, I haven’t visited Naples yet) Now get in line!
To complete your food coma, go to Fior die Luna, for some….yes, heavenly ice-cream
Where to Zen?
In Rome it is quite easy to find spots to retreat. I need to restore my energy during traveling to keep up with all the sightseeing, making new friends, eating and not enough exercising. So here’s to tranquillity during your city trip 😉
I joined a yoga class at RYOGA. They have three locations throughout Rome and offer many different types of Yoga classes. It was a treat to be a part of the early rise class by Sarah. It is easy to drop in for a single class or several. Just write them an e-mail and you’ll get there.
I’m always in need of some green to complete a perfect city trip. Therefore I spend many hours in the Villa Borghese park reading, meditating and sleeping. You just walk up the Spanish stairs and there you’ll find the big green oasis. Especially on Sunday mornings it is like a fairy-tale. Treat yourself to coffee and cake at Casina del Lago and watch the world slowly go by. To end your easy-going day, snap a spectacular panorama sunset picture at the Pincio viewpoint.
So, it seemed like I wasn’t able to find anything that I didn’t like about Rome. I was one happy gal. No overcooked pasta or dirty dorms for me this time. Only love, love, love for this city and her extraordinary gems.
Missing something quite important in this blog about Rome? Yes indeed, of course I did visit the Vatican and indeed it is splendor, goldish and beautiful. But I prefer to stay within those little terracotta streets, where the money is spent on coffee and jolly street artists instead on this wealthy place. Amen.
Thanks for reading!