Rome was our first stop this holiday adventure. We had purposely booked our holiday to start in Rome to coincide with a family celebration down in the south of Italy and also because we wanted to experience Rome in the spring time.
A glorious two weeks have been based in Rome with a few trips taking us down to Calabria and back and then the other to the coast of San Felice Circeo for a weekend by the beach. Along the way we have been discussing the top highlights of Rome. To everyones surprise, they have not been the classic attractions.
Of course whilst in Rome, we did some typical tourist activities like visit the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, Vatican City and Trevi Fountain, however, our favourite experiences were those you have to hunt for that aren’t so popular. Did you know that the average time a family spends in Rome is about 3-4 days? So with two weeks up our sleeve, we felt we really did see and absorb a lot. It meant we could set a slower pace, which was great forhigh that first week when we were all adjusting to jet lag.
Rome is a great city. There is so much to see and do.
So what has been our top 3 highlights of Rome
Did you know that each region of Italy has its own special signature dishes? In Rome, their dishes include: Pasta Armatiricana – a tomato based sauce with guanciale and pecorino cheese. Spaghetti Carbonara (the classic bacon, egg and cheese sauce) and Suppli (fried rice balls with differing flavours, usually stuffed with mozzarella inside. Bruchetta is also a popular roman appetiser and of course who could forget gelato! You can’t go to Italy without experiencing gelato.
We were fortunate to discover some amazing local restaurants serving these authentic dishes and during a private foodie tour, we also found some new places as well.
If you are visiting Rome try these places.
For Suppli try – Suppilizio (Cibo di Strada)
For Spaghetti Carbonara try – Ragno D’Oro
For Brushetta try – Amalifi Resturant
For gelato get to Gelateria del Teatro
For Tiramisu head to Tiramisu Zum
Private tour of the Roman Forum
One “touristy” activity that we had not got around to experiencing during our past visits to Rome was a visit to the Roman Forum, however we put it off in the past given it’s vastness and inability to comprehend how we would manage to gain any insight whilst aimlessly walking around this historic precinct. The answer most certainly was to get a private tour of the Roman Forum! Claudia – our guide who runs her own touring business Touring Roma, was fabulous. We started at the base of the Colosseum and walked through the Roman Ruins whilst getting an insight and knowledge about the times in Roman times when these ruins were in fact the centre of Rome and how the buildings were used and even looked.
Exploring the back streets
I think the best part of our visit to Rome this time was that it was not oppressively hot. The temptation to travel in the European summer does has its advantages I know, however in a city like Rome, summer is intense and can really affect your ability to walk around. Spring in Rome is delightful (unless you suffer from hayfever!).
We took the opportunity to explore the back streets of Rome, marvelling at the artisan shops and street facades of beauty all around us. For a great part of Rome to explore, head over the river from Castel Sant Angelo towards Piazza Novana. Take all the small streets and here you will find great artisan shops and great cafe’s
Our time in Roma was simply magical. I hope you enjoyed our top 3 highlights of Rome and can use our experiences for next time you travel to this wonderful city!