A long weekend in Rome, Italy
If you’ve been following my travels over the past few years, then you may have noticed a little gap in my Europe travel and that was Italy. You see, Italy was one of the only European countries I went to when I was growing up – we did it as a stop over on one of our trips back from NZ to the UK. We hit up Rome and even though it was over 15 years ago and I probably shouldn’t trust pre-teen Jasmin memories, I don’t remember loving it.
So when it came to booking trips, I kind of subconsciously avoided it for no real reason – spending more time in France, Spain and Portugal instead. But my dad was coming over for a conference (he did the same for Geneva last year) so we decided to pop over for a long weekend and see him!
Day 1 – A bike tour and a lot of pizza
We headed out on a Thursday which is a day before everyone else would arrive – my Grandma and Uncle coming across and Dad hurtling across from Australia all arriving late Friday / early Saturday. So that gave us a day to do some solo exploring.
I decided to surprise Paul with a bike tour – I wanted to do something which was easier just the two of us and allowed us to see a lot of the city. I really loved the architecture in Rome, everything was so interesting and there wasn’t a modern building in sight!
The tour took us through all the main tourist spots throughout the old town which were great to see. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend doing Rome on a bike just because the old town is quite thin and there were a LOT of tourists which could make it a little tricky to navigate, but it was a good way of seeing lots fast.
I don’t often travel in the peak summer when it’s tourist season and Rome is definitely a tourist hot spot so we didn’t go in many of the big sights. The queues outside of the Colosseum were enough to put me off within about 2 seconds! I did do them all when I was young so if you are going to Rome to go in the sights then either book online waaaay in advance or just come in the off season!
Of course the best thing about Rome was the food! We found a super cute little restaurant – Divin Ostilia tucked in behind the Colosseum for a late lunch where we feasted on pizza and pasta cacio e pepe – a Rome tradition. I also started on the prosecco obvs.
In the evening we took a looong walk across the city to Trastevere – an area known for good food! We tucked into delicious pizzas at Otello – taking some back for the rest of the fam to have when they arrived.
Day 2 – Wandering through the streets and a fancy meal
As day 2 arrived, my grandma and Uncle arrived so we decided to have another wander around the old town to see some of the sights. This time we took a little more time and popped into the Pantheon which was a stunning building! Of course we had gelato along the way, my fave ones in Rome were definitely Gelato Paolessi and Quinto Gelateria.
My dad soon arrived so the rest of the day mainly consisted of eating! He had a little rooftop bar on his hotel which was perfect to while away an afternoon with a glass of prosecco in the sunshine.
We had a big birthday to celebrate so in the evening we headed out for a tasting menu at Crispi 19 over by the Trevi fountain. Oh man it was so good! I do love a tasting menu and having it in Rome was perfect- I went for the seafood version and the pasta was just to die for. Highly recommend!
Day 3 – The Vatican and carbonara
On our final day we were flying out in the evening so decided to get the bus across town and have a wander round the Vatican. It was HOT, I mean it was hot all weekend but even hotter on the last day. I basically melted but we did enjoy having a wander. It’s a gorgeous place just to be outside of – again we avoided the queues to get inside – one for off season!
We rounded off our eating journey at Circo with some amazing pasta carbonara – I just love the italian version, al dente pasta with a creamy, eggy, cheesy sauce and crispy, juicy bacon tucked inside. Honestly, I want to go back to Italy just for that pasta!
Overall, we really enjoyed Rome – especially the food. I loved Italy and I definitely now have it on my list to do a lot more exploring. So many more places to go!
Have you been to Rome? What did you think? Where do you think I need to go in Italy next?