What’s not to fall in love with about Rome? It’s a city full of lively people, incredible food and so much history. After exploring the Almafi coast (see my Positano City Guide & Capri City Guide), we spent 5 days immersing ourselves in Roman culture. We visited in mid-October and I can’t recommend this time of year enough. Tourist season has died down and the weather is much cooler than in the summer months. Not to mention, you’ll find a lot more “off-season” accommodation prices.
Our primary goal for our time in Rome was to eat. And eat we did. I’m actually salivating while writing this post because the food we ate was that amazing. I was also pleasantly surprised by how colorful Rome’s streets were. Each building posed as a beautiful, paint-chipped color palette and I couldn’t snap enough pictures.
I loved everything about Rome – its people, culture, colors & FOOD. Of all the European cities we’ve been to, it’s the first I would return to for a second time.
Where to Stay
For us, location was everything. Unlike many other European cities, Rome’s public transportation is a little more limited. We stayed at Sonnino Suites in the Trastevere neighborhood and LOVED it. The location was surprisingly central and we were able to walk everywhere. We also loved how local and non-touristy the neighborhood felt. Not to mention the quaintest, most colorful streets, restaurants and shops at our fingertips.
What to do
Indulge in wine & charcuterie
This is a Rome must! Hop into any local proscuitteria and order a charcuterie board & bottle of wine. Our favorite place was Cantina Dei Papi in Trastevere. Details listed below!
I know this is a no-brainer. But I’m mentioning it because I’d suggest seeing it for the first time at night. Pure magic.
Again, another no-brainer Rome site. But it does take a little strategy to enjoy your time here. Buy your tickets ahead of time, skip the guided tour and download Rick Steve’s free audio guide. It’ll be the most enjoyable, tourist-saturated Vatican experience you can have.
Just across the river, this neighborhood is filled with colorful, paint-chipped buildings and so much personality. Get lost wandering through the streets, indulging on a scoop of gelato and pulling your camera out around every corner.
Campo Dei Fiori Square
This is an open-air market filled with Italian spices, cheese, cured meats, flowers, ceramics & fresh produce. It’s a fun place to browse on a sunny day.
Where to eat & drink
Vicolo del Bologna, 45, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Go here for some of the best pizza in Rome. Not to mention, they serve wine by the liter. They get quite busy and I would recommend getting there early or making a reservation.
Piazza di Pietra, 42, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Go here for a mid-afternoon pick me up. A beautifully designed watering hole, it’s the perfect place to grab a cocktail or smoothie.
Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 143, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Go here for a taste of Italian street food. You’ll find an incredible selection of Suppli (fried risotto balls). Order the Classico. We came here twice because we couldn’t get enough.
Via degli Uffici del Vicario, 40, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
No lie, THE BEST GELATO IN ITALY. Giolitti was recommended to us by a local and we went back for seconds immediately after finishing our first serving because it was that good.
Via di Porta Settimiana, 1, 00165 Roma RM, Italy
A perfect cafe & breakfast spot in the Trastevere neighborhood. We loved spending our mornings here, sipping cappuccinos and people watching.
Sant’ Eustachio Il Caffe
Piazza di S. Eustachio, 82, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Go here for the best coffee in Rome (at least, according to our taxi driver). This is one of Rome’s original, traditional cafes and is a fun Roman experience if you’re into coffee culture.
Cantina Dei Papi – Trastevere Proscuitteria
Via della Scala, 71, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
If you go to one place from my list, go here. You’ll find life-changing charcuterie boards for as little as 5 euro/person. We came here twice and ordered everything we could fit into our bellies.
Piazza di S. Egidio, 12-13, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
Go here for homemade pasta and a lively vibe. I’d definitely recommend this place for dinner over lunch. The place lights up at night, making it a magical meal.
Rome is a magical place and we weren’t ready to leave its charm. It’s everything you’d imagine and more.