6 minutes reading time Italy
A few years ago, I would say it is my favorite city in the whole wide world. I may not say that anymore, but it is my favorite city in Europe: Rome.
Rome has a special place in my heart, I went there 2 to 4 times a year for the past 10 years since my uncle moved and started a family there. It is so easy to travel by public transport, I fell in love with its people and its food, and it is so convenient that you have everything in one city: beach, nature, history, art and great places to have a drink.
So, Rome and I are in a very good relationship for a very long time and that is why I love returning there still. The excitement for me already starts at the airport, Ciampino. Arriving at this, what used the be a military, tiny airport feels like coming home to me, the smell of Italy, the Italians communicating loudly with each other, pizza being the first thing you can buy in a kiosk. While I watch most tourists getting into this way too expensive touring cars, I will walk a little bit further to pay 1,30 euro to go straight to station Ananigna by line bus. At Ananigna I will buy my metro tickets at a tabacchi, a small shop where they sell cigarettes, lottery tickets, small bites, coffee, and metro tickers. This bus might be a little less comfortable than the touring cars are, but the fact that it is more than fifteen euros cheaper and the whole experience make it worth it to me.
Although you cannot get to Trastevere by metro, I still would recommend it as one of the nicest areas to stay in when you are going to Rome. Trastevere means across (tras) the Tiber (Tevere) and it is a lively, young neighborhood where a lot of students are situated. It has a nice, cute little church, some great ice cream (gelato) places, and a bunch of lovely craft shops, cafés, and restaurants. Also, my favorite bar, where you can buy super cheap half a litter of beers, is situated in this area. I would highly recommend you to spend at least a day or two strolling around in Trastevere; have breakfast with a small sweet like a croissant (cornetto) combined with a coffee while standing at a bar just like the Italians do, do some shopping, have a nice long Italian lunch, walk along the Tiber, enjoy your dinner and have some wine or cocktails while the street is getting livelier the later it gets with street musicians and people that are there seeking for a nice night out.
Campo di Fiori
One of my other favorite places in Rome is Campo di Fiori, another place that is not easily reachable by metro. But then, I recommend you to do a lot of walking in this beautiful city anyways because it will constantly surprise you with its beauty. Campo di Fiore is a cute little square where there is a market every day. The food isn’t always that great of quality, especially not for the prices you have to pay, but if you go and sit there in the sun, it will even feel like summer in January. And to me, that is worth a lot. If it doesn’t fit your budget, I recommend you to go to the pizza shop at one of the corners of the square and buy some pizza slices and eat it while sitting at the edge of a fountain or a little further away, while walking along the Tiber. I promise you; it will be the best pizza you have ever had. After a nice lunch at Campo di Fiore, I advise you to stroll around the area a little bit as you can find a lot of cute boutiques over there. But you are also near some amazing touristy sights like The Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
A perfect day in Rome
From Campo di Fiori it is a 15-minute walk to Via del Corso; a shopping street where you can find all the bigger shops you are already familiar with back at home. One of the side streets of Via del Corso is Via dei Condotti. I do not know about your budget, but for me, this street is just fun to walk through and be amazed; in this street, you will find luxurious shops like Dolce & Gabbana, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Dior, and so on. At the end of the street, there is a treasure that is accessible for all of us: The Spanish Stairs. Personally, I never really got the greatness of this site, but try and see for yourself. Now you are at the Spanish stairs you are not far away from the Trevi Fountain. But you could also go the other way to the famous square: Piazza del Popolo. I like to just sit down there for a while and watch all the kids running after pigeons, all the street artists and couples that are in love with each other and with Rome. For me, a perfect end over the afternoon is to buy some beers and go to Villa Borghese, an enormous park that is easily accessible from Piazza del Popolo. There, you can enjoy the afternoon sun while lying in the grass, watch the sunset from one of the many viewing points before going back to your hotel room to prepare for another amazing Italian dinner.
Last but not least
Whatever your expectations are going to Rome, consider discovering the city by (E-)bike, there are lots of locals who give tours and will show you just those places you will not find by yourself. Besides that, an (E-)bike is a great way of exploring the city without getting too tired too soon. Because that is the last thing I like to add: take your time. Rome is big, with a tremendous number of sights, museums and history, lovely parks, restaurants, a beach, forest and so on. You cannot see everything in Rome in a week let alone on a weekend. Do not forget to enjoy, because in between all those high light moments of seeing the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain and I do not know what, in between all those things lies the beauty of Rome.