Bonjourno, and happy almost Friday everyone. Last week my friend Eimear and I escaped the chilly turn in UK weather, and headed off to the ever-enchanting city of Rome for a few days of carb-loading and sightseeing. I have lots to report back, so this is post one of three from my time in Rome. In this post I will be sharing the many (many) pictures and goings on from our trip, the second will be my recommendations of the ‘top things to do’ in the eternal city and the third will be dedicated to an incredible morning of horse riding through ancient Rome.
I briefly visited Rome for the first time last year whilst spending three weeks touring Italy with my boyfriend. We spent two days hitting the main tourist spots; exploring the central ancient ruins, visiting The Vatican and generally, just a LOT of walking around in awe, mouth wide open, trying to take everything in. There is so much to see that it’s simply impossible to cover it all off in a matter of days.
This time around Eimear and I opted to avoid the tourist heavy sights that we’d both seen before and instead spent three days discovering new areas of the city, indulging in the deeelish cuisine (aka eating all the carbs) and generally just enjoying La Dolce Vita.
It was a bloody lovely trip and although we experienced an all-mighty downpour on the first day, the sun otherwise kept his hat on and temperatures soured into the mid-twenties, which was very nice indeed. October is actually a great time of year to visit. The seasons are transitioning and whilst the city remains bathed in golden sunshine, it’s strewn with a beautiful array of autumnal colours.
The heavens opened pretty much as soon as our feet hit Italian soil. Avoiding the rain we made a beeline for a taxi and headed straight to our apartment. The cosy Airbnb was situated on Via Del Boschetto, right in the heart of the Monti district. Monti is definitely the place to stay if you fancy living like a local for a few days. Sans tourists, the creative/bohemian area is brimming with gourmet restaurants, street food, independent boutiques, vintage shops and lively bars.
The apartment itself was très lovely; beautifully decorated with ornate Italian furniture and plenty of room for the two of us to potter around in. There were some really cute touches, such as an adorable colander light shade that gave a comedic nod to the country’s love of food. We felt very much at home straight away.
The rain continued to pour down, so naturally, after a little chill time in the apartment the rest of the day revolved mostly around food (when is Rome and all). We spent the afternoon reacquainting ourselves with the city; huddled under umbrellas we leisurely coasted through the familiar streets, taking shelter when the rain became a little too heavy. These pit stops involved lots of eating, laughing, eating some more and prepping an itinerary for the days ahead, all over a glass of wine (or three, or four).
Our first stop was L’asino D’oro, a quaint restaurant in Monti, with a four course set menu for lunch that alternates on a daily basis. From a starter of mini gnocci smothered in a tangy tomato sauce, to a luxurious chocolate mousse dessert (and eeeverything else in between), it was absolute food heaven. Traditional flavours, friendly staff and all for the incredible value of €18 for the meal and a glass of local wine, it really was a treat for the belly and the bank balance.
I absolutely adore the Stone Pine trees peppered throughout the Capital – aka umbrella trees… Ironically.
One of my favourite things about Rome is turning onto a deserted side-street; such a serene, momentary escape from the thick of it.
The morning of day two, we spent horse riding along Appia Antica (Appian Way) – one of the earliest, longest and most important Roman roads, as it connected Rome with the South. It was a total dream but I’ll rein it in for now (pun intended) as I’ll be covering the whole experience in another post next week. Stay tuned.
Next on the agenda were the Catacombs of Saint Sebastian. These ancient tombs were built as a final resting place for the early Christians and Popes of the day. I had imagined them to be similar to the catacombs of Paris but all tombs open to the public have actually been exhumed, so it’s a much less haunting experience.
We ventured out before sunrise on the final day to catch some sights before the crowds descended – which, oh boy, believe me, after copious glasses (goblets) of wine the night before, was not an easy feat but utterly worthwhile. The streets were almost empty, other than the locals setting up shop, it felt like we had the whole city to ourselves.
First up, the Trevi Fountain. I’d actually seen it on my previous trip but it had been covered in scaffolding and absolutely swarming with people – selfie sticks and all. Thankfully, this time I got to see it in full glory, with only a handful of other early risers. I would definitely recommend an early start to anyone ticking off the tourist bucket list.
Following that, we made our way to the Spanish steps and up to Villa Borghese, a beautiful park with incredible panoramic views stretching right across Rome and the Vatican City.
Gazing out at sunny, shiny, magical Rome.
Beautiful views along The Tiber river.
For our last supper, we sought out popular restaurant Naumchia – I’d recommend pre-booking as this place can get very busy. For good reason too as the food really is incredible.
Laughs over dinner on our last night at Naumachia.
They say ‘all roads lead to Rome.’ Hopefully it won’t be too long before mine leads back -arrivederci.