The Eternal City: Rome Travel Guide

IMG_2494.JPGOk, so I have completely fallen in love with the city of Rome. By far my favourite city I’ve visited to date. It’s just SO beautiful. From seriously incredible architecture, deliciously authentic food, and utterly charming rustic traditions that completely fascinated me, I couldn’t recommend a visit to The Eternal City more!

There’s something so alluring about that old world feel in Rome – the architecture, history, decor and overall vibe in the city exudes an enchanting charm that made me never want to leave. It was hard to say goodbye to the pizza and pasta, too. If only I were strolling around those cobbled streets, listening to talented guitar players whilst eating white chocolate and pistachio gelato right now. When in Rome!IMG_4764IMG_1947IMG_4770IMG_4766IMG_4769IMG_4768We stayed in a charming area called Piazza Di Spagna which was just perfect as it’s right in the heart of the city, is the realm of shopping, and right on the Spanish steps. The Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona are also just a few steps away making it a super pleasant walk around the main attractions. Chanel, Gucci, Valentino and more are located in the beautiful Piazza Di Spagna square, but also Zara, H&M and many restaurants along the side streets, too.

Here’s a little breakdown of things to do (apart from trying many of the thousands of little side street restaurants, drinking copious amounts of wine)…

The ColosseumIMG_4642IMG_4635IMG_4636IMG_4641IMG_4637IMG_4639So incredible to see, I was genuinely amazed when I walked out of the metro to see the Colosseum right in front of me, it kinda feels surreal – it’s so much bigger than you imagine! I’d recommend you doing a tour as I found it really interesting and it’s surprising how much you learn. They’re also not on for long either, (roughly about 35/ 40 minutes followed by a tour of the Roman Forum) you can then just go off on your own and explore the Colosseum further, with some newfound knowledge behind you.

There are so many tour companies around the Colosseum so there’s no need to book in advance at all, super reasonable priced at only £30 each, too. You’ll find yourself stroll to the Altare della Patria from the Colosseum, too, which is a huge all-white marble monument that’s definitely worth a stroll up for amazing views of Rome.

Trevi Fountain
IMG_4712IMG_4732IMG_4730IMG_4726IMG_4728IMG_4733IMG_4731Probably the first thing you envision when you think of Rome? It exceeds all expectations. We hadn’t planned on going to the Trevi Fountain until our second day but we happened to find ourselves there when wandering back from the colosseum at sunset. What better way to first see the Trevi Fountain other than at night, all lit up? It’s truly captivating and SO big!

No matter what time you go, prepare to struggle securing a space to take the obligatory photo of you making a wish – the chaos doesn’t take away from the beauty, though! There are divine gelaterias surrounding the fountain, I loved nothing more than chilling here with my triple scoop gelato cone. The dream. Don’t forget to make a wish, or three!

Sistine Chapel and The VaticanIMG_4741IMG_4721IMG_4722IMG_4723IMG_4736IMG_4743IMG_4740IMG_4738IMG_4737IMG_4717IMG_4742First of all, do not just turn up to the Vatican without booking a tour – you will be waiting for hours and hours on end. I seriously haven’t seen a queue of people so long; I honestly don’t think most of those people queuing would have gotten in! I advise booking in advance because tours do fill up fairly quickly and you don’t want to miss out. It costs £40 each depending which tour company you go too, as prices will of course vary but again, reasonably priced.

I was completely in my element walking through those incredibly long museums and being a tapestry lover, of course my favourite was the gallery of tapestries. So, so beautiful! I was so happy to see the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michaelangelo in real it’s so incredible! (Talk about ceiling goals!). There’s something so eerie about Sistine Chapel, it really is unbelievable to see and experience.

St Peter’s BasicilaIMG_4720IMG_4715IMG_4719IMG_4716IMG_4724IMG_4735IMG_4725IMG_4727No other word than spectacular to describe St Peter’s Basicila. The incredibly intricate and ornate detailing was just insane, don’t even get me started on the beauty of those colourful marble floors – heavenly. Now that’s what you call detail! I’m so glad I got to experience the beauty of this place. You definitely have to visit here once you leave the Vatican Museums. You will exit onto St Peter’s square where the atmosphere is just as wonderful.

PantheonIMG_4649IMG_4648IMG_4714IMG_4647The best preserved ancient roman wonder that Michaelangelo said looks more like the work of angels, not humans. You definitely have to visit here. The architecture is unreal and even more unreal at night when eating at one of the restaurants in the Pantheons Piazza della Rotonda square. I couldn’t help but just stare at it!

There was such a lovely, elegant vibe here – guitarists and lots of authentic restaurants sat around the pantheon fountain and the majestic pantheon itself. This beautiful cobbled square might have been my favourite place in Rome!

Spanish StepsIMG_1946IMG_4739IMG_4761IMG_4763IMG_4762A chic place to chill in the sunshine surrounded by beautiful boutique designer stores with the Fontana della Barcaccia fountain at the foot of the Spanish Steps. It’s also the best place ever to people watch! There’s an adorable flower stall in the Piazza Di Spagna square, too – of course I spent a good 15 minutes looking at all the gorgeous flowers. It gets SO busy here as it’s one of Rome’s renowned squares but I’m sure you’ll find a spot on one of the 135 steps!

Trastevere IMG_4775IMG_4778IMG_4776IMG_4779IMG_4772IMG_4773IMG_4771IMG_4781Across the Tiber River is a charismatic gothic neighbourhood where you’ll find hidden treasures of Rome such as antique jewellery shops (obviously the main reason why I wanted to go here), cute crumbling cafes and authentic restaurants. The Piazza di Santa Maria square is home to one of the oldest churches in Rome were you’ll see locals chatting and painting – there’s such a vibrant atmosphere here. My favourite part about Trastevere was those quiet cobblestoned side streets covered with colourful but timeworn paintwork and vines draped from building to building. A lovely place to spend an afternoon in Rome.IMG_4783IMG_4782Ok, so when it comes to where to eat, it’s not that hard! You’re bound to find some amazing restaurants located along side streets and in squares – you’ll know what should be good by just looking at places. If it looks too ‘touristy’ and not that authentic then you know its a no-go. The less swanky places are the best for authentic Italian food. Apart from Aroma that is – literally the best restaurant I’ve ate at, and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever beat it!

Aroma is a Michelin star rooftop restaurant serving creative Mediterranean cuisines offering the most beautiful, surreal views of the Colosseum and Emperor Nero’s Gardens. I cannot wait to go back here and experience more of those utterly exceptional dishes. The stylish, contemporary interior was to die for, too.IMG_2618

There’s a lot more I’d love to do in Rome and I can’t wait to book another trip here! Pop back soon for a post on my Rome style diary…

Lucie xo

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