Rome for the weekend
If you’re reading this in Australia, I don’t mean to rub it in, but working for lastminute.com.au from Naples really does give me some ridiculously good options when it comes to quick getaways.
A cool city escape that I really recommend is Rome. I went there with my best friend for a weekend and we had one of the best short breaks ever. Here are my top tips for a whirlwind trip to Rome…
Where to stay
We stayed at La Griffe Roma MGallery, a beautiful modern five-star hotel located on the Corso Nazionale. They have a restaurant on the top roof called “La Luna” with a panoramic terrace and a unique view of Rome.
If you don’t want to splash out on a five-star hotel, a great B&B to set up temporary home is B&B Campo dei Fiori’. Located in a beautiful old building with views over the Piazza – this is the perfect place to come and unwind after a long day.
Another favourite of mine is Trilussa Palace Hotel, a fantastic four-star hotel that should definitely be on your list of ‘possible hotels’ when planning your visit to Rome.
If your primary purpose is to ‘shop-‘til-you-drop’, you might want to consider staying at the Piazza di Spagna Suites: beautiful designer accommodation with all the mod-cons overlooking Rome’s most romantic square.
Where to eat
Trastevere is not just about culture. As one of the main Roman nightlife districts, it’s also rich in pubs, restaurants and clubs. Whether you would like to sit in the piazza and catch up with friends, listen to live music or go to a bar, there is never a shortage of things to do.
If you can, visit the restaurant ‘Osteria Zi Mberto’ for one of your evening meals. There are few restaurants that rival the famous Checco er Carretiere; but Osteria Zi Mberto is definitely one of them.
Where to go on a night out
Another area to put on your research list is the Lungo Tevere. If you happen to be visiting in the summer, be sure to come here for a night out. It is basically a long walk next to the Tevere river alongside many events and exhibitions. You will find live music, beautiful local food cooked under pavilions, many stalls and more. The atmosphere is just amazing. It was unforgettable! And of course I can’t talk about Rome’s night life without mentioning Testaccio.
Testaccio is a cool area to go out in, with lots of restaurants and bars. Behind this area there is a street called Viale dei Monti di Testaccio, full of clubs and discos for all tastes. Remember this little bit of advice, the discos do not open until after mightnight! So get ready for one LONG night!
Where to get your culture fix
I could write 10 blog posts and not even get close to covering the culture of Rome. It’s difficult to walk along any street in Rome without stumbling into some historical landmark of significance, and walking around Trastevere is no exception, history is everywhere. For example, hidden just a short distance from the river on ‘Via di San Michele’ is the amazing church of Santa Cecilia, an absolute must-see. Close by (10 minutes walking) you can also visit Santa Maria in Trastevere one of the oldest churches in Rome.
Where to see something a little different
An amazing sight that cannot be missed is on the Aventine Hill. In the small Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta , if you peek through the key hole in the door something stunning is revealed: you are looking through three countries. In fact you are standing on the independent territory of the Sovereign Order of the Knights of Malta, looking across Rome (Italia) and looking at St Peter’s Dome which is inside the Vatican City. How cool is that?!
If you fancy a little of the macabre, be sure to head down to Piazza della Bocca della Verità. Standing against the left wall of the portico of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church sits the ominous ‘Mouth of Truth’. A large marble disk with a mouth carved into the centre, it was believed that the mouth would close on your hand if you told a lie, losing that hand in the process! It was even used as a trial by ordeal where the accused would have to swear their innocence under oath, and then put their hand in the mouth…..little did they know an executioner was hidden behind the disk waiting to strike regardless of whether they were innocent or not. Be sure to visit and test YOUR honesty. 🙂
Where to shop
Of course you can’t leave this majestic city without a little bit of shopping or at least window shopping! An amazing area to shop and grab those designer items is on Via Condotti near to the famous Spanish steps. Make sure you save up first though.
If markets are more your thing (or budget!), the open market of Campo dei Fiori – the oldest market in the city and the most beautiful- are located in the heart of Rome and are easily one of the best. It is the only market to open in Rome every day excluding Sundays. The market sells everything from fruit, vegetables, nuts, meat and fresh fish to kitchen utensils and children’s toys.
|Hot tip: Get to the markets early – they open at 6.30am and wrap up at 2pm. The early bird catches the best bargains 😉|
Our short break in Rome was an unforgettable experience and is a city I cannot recommend highly enough. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, snap it up in a heartbeat, you will not regret it! 🙂
What are your top travel tips for Rome?