(Insert sarcasm here.)
This past year, I really came to understand the reason why. Why? Because, it’s all there. The streets are dripping with history, and it has everything the western world could desire. I have been coming to Rome for over ten years now. And, every time I leave, I get that reaffirming feeling that one day I might not leave. There are few cities in the world that beg you to set up shop and attempt to survive, or better yet, thrive amongst its people and culture.
There are many reasons people stop off in Rome…
- The Vatican
- The Colosseum
- The Piazza Navona
- The Mouth of Truth
- The Pantheon
- The Treve Fountain
- The Roman Forum
- The museums
- The history
And the list goes on.
Those things are all great, and a must see if you have never been before. However, the list of things that secured Rome on my bucket list is slightly different. These are things that most travelers would never find unless otherwise stumbled across them. This is how I spend a day in Rome – sort of a compilation of over ten years of traveling in and around the city.
- Volepetti’s is always my first stop. This gourmet cheese and meats shop features the best selection of artisan products in the city. They have cheeses, salamis, wines, side dishes, breads, olives, and much more. It’s said, Sophia Lauren still frequents this neighborhood shop. Click here to visit their website.
- Bici& Baci is the best scooter (or Vespa) rental company in Rome – located a few blocks from Termini station. For those savvy divers who want to try their hand at navigating the streets of Rome, this is the way to do it. There is nothing like it! It’s an absolute rush, and a truly unique way to experience this city. Each scooter is very well priced, and the guys who run the shop are very accommodating. You can rent by the hour, or by the day. They also have a wide selection of scooters – Vespa, Piaggio, Yamaha, Honda, Peugeot, and they come in a wide range of CCs, for those of you who want more power. Driver license and a credit card are required to rent a scooter – so come prepared. Click here to view their website.
- Panella is quickly becoming one of my favorite bakeries in Rome. Well, it’s not just a bakery, it’s more. I would classify it more as a tavola calda (a place where you can get a variety of lunch specials, or side dishes, for a quick bite) without being too much of an actual bakery, or cafe. It’s uniquely Italian. As of late, my favorite item on the menu is a tomato stuffed with sauce, Italian spices, and prosciutto. It’s to die for! The shop itself is the definition of modern class. Anymore, I can’t make a pit stop in Rome without stopping by. Click here to view the website.
- Mamma Angela’s Trattoria is one of those places that sneaks up on you. Why, because the food is absolutely amazing – and by solely looking outside, you might just pass it by! A friend suggested we eat there one evening this past summer. I was skeptical, but I was willing to give it a shot. I was blown away! Everything was in order, perfectly, in order. The pasta as amazing. The wine was incredible, and the wine list itself offered an excellent variety. The appetizers (or antipasti in Italian) were perfect! The deserts weren’t too rich, and complimented everything we ordered. We couldn’t go wrong. Everything we ordered was a hit with everyone at our table. Click here to view their website.
- Campo de fiori is the best square in the city. Period. It’s more famous than not, but as of late, I feel like most people, and guidebooks over look it. Each restaurant along the boarder is a great places to grab a drink, or an appetizer, as you enjoy a late afternoon, or evening. The market in the center of the square is loaded with great vendors who sell their Italian specialties. Don’t over look this square as you make your plans.
- The Villa Borghese Gardens will give you a great walk away from the tourist crowds. It’s an understated park that sits a top the city, and places you in the middle of Roman life. The park has several cafes sprinkled throughout, and is a great place to find peace and quit from the city below. It’s a great place to go for a morning walk or run.
- Canova is one of the ritziest cafes in Rome. It borders the Piazza del Popolo, and provides an extremely classy place to spend the evening. It’s fine roman luxury, bordering on the exuberant. Because it’s in Rome, it’s more than just a café. It’s a restaurant, cafeteria, bar (in the Italian sense of the word), offering specialties of every kind – many things you might not expect to be sold at an establishment like this. The tables outside the cafe are a great spot for taking in the city, and meeting locals. Click here to view their website.
These are places I often visit when I’m in Rome, and are taken directly from my travel notes. If you have a favorite place you would like to recommend, please leave it in the comment section below.
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