First of all, sorry not sorry for the hideous title. It was unavoidable.
I solemnly swear that I am
up to no good going to visit more European cities this year. I’m 24 – it is the age of the city breaks. I didn’t really understand them when I was younger, like, give me a beach so I can spend an entire week doing my best impression of a whale. But now I am older and wiser – well, maybe not wiser, but slightly more appreciative of culture, city breaks are the one!
I feel like loads of Brits take Europe for granted because it’s right on our doorstep. Whenever I get the chance to go away I head pretty much as far as I can get! But as I say, time for that to change! (Especially with this bloody Brexit nonsense.)
At the beginning of the year I had a little Italy trip! (side note, read about my most horrendous journey EVER here, trust me, you’ll find joy in my misery). Anyway, here’s my favourite things I enjoyed in Rome! Besides from the obvious tourist things that is.
Before I crack on though I will say – WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. I don’t mean to sound like your mum, and I know we all want to dress nice for those Insta worthy photos of our City break, but trust me, you will do so much walking in Rome, especially if you’re a time limit. We pretty much managed to conquer Rome in a day, but I wore boots and my feet were paying for it by the end – we had a little party at the hostel we were staying at that evening and I spent most of the night working on my chair dance moves, standing for too long wasn’t gonna happen.
I arrived in Rome by train from Florence (see my post on all things Florence here!). It is so easy to get the trains, everything at the station is converted in to English. I would recommend booking quite far in advance if you know your travel plans to save money on tickets! Just type it in to google and you’ll be directed to some good sites.
SO, back to topic, hidden gems in Rome! First and foremost – food:
Lost Food Factory
When rushing around visiting all the tourist spots, sometimes you only want something light to eat. This family owned panini place is perfect for just that! It’s tiny (so you’d be lucky to get a seat) BUT it’s perfect for a grab and go. They have a huge range of fillings and also offer vegan/ vegetarian options. Plus, it’s easy on the pockets, a huge panini or sandwich crammed with delicious fillings only costs you around 6 Euros (exceptionally cheap compared to the other stuff around!). The owners are lovely, super friendly and they even let you sample things before you buy! It’s tucked away by the Pantheon (which I will get on to later.)
Gelateria Della Palma
Only a hop, skip and a jump away from Lost Food Factory is Gelateria Della Palma. It is the only place to go in Rome for gelato. Why? I hear you ask. Because. They serve over 150 FLAVOURS. Yes you read that correctly. 3 scoops in a cup will cost you a mere 4 Euros! It was actually a very difficult place for me to be because I am the most indecisive person ever! I chose Salted Peanut, Dulce De Leche and Pistachio. Every bite was like a dream.
While we are on the subject of food, in my opinion, I think you should try avoid the few restaurants that surround the Colosseum. The food was overpriced and underwhelming. I was starving and so keen for a proper Italian pizza and I- well, I don’t even want to talk about it, the disappointment still hurts. However, having a beautiful view of the Colosseum was a bonus (as my boyfriend so gently reminded me as I began to sulk and descend in to a world blinded by hanger).
The Capuchin Crypt
This is going to sound morbid and may not be everyones cuppa tea (or cappuccino should I say…- I’ll explain that later) but I was really fascinated by this crypt – a monument of human bones and corpses of Capuchin Friars. Stop wriggling your nose in disgust – it was oddly captivating! The museums decoration is bones – it’s really clever! You just have to see past the fact that these are real life bones to appreciate it. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it but fair enough if old dead bodies ain’t your thing.
Fun fact – the cappuccino’s we drink as our morning saviours are actually named after these guys. Cappuccino in Italian means ‘little hood’, and apparently these Friars with their shaved heads and little brown point hoods were the human resemblance of the frothy milk and the darker coffee rim of the drink. So really, you owe it a visit if you’re a coffee fan.
This place – ughhhhh it just left me in awe. It’s a huge beautiful domed church with a hole in the middle of the ceiling. You stand beneath it and just think ‘how in the world, all those years ago, did they manage to build this?’. All I can say is go because – it’s just so amazing!
And there you have it, my little extras that I think you definitely need to visit when you are in Rome! Keep an eye out for my Venice faves which will be coming shortly!
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