I have traveled the world for over 30 years and to this day, I still find myself comparing other cities to Rome! Rome has it all and her history is unmatched! Although a large city, you can escape the hustle and bustle at any of the cafes in Piazza Navona, near the Pantheon, or any of the streets leading to the Trevi fountain. Sure, it’s touristy but the ambiance can change the worst day or make the best day better. In Piazza Navona, grab a glass of wine, people watch, listen to the waters in the Fontana dei Fiumi. Take in the architecture of the Cathedral Sant’Agnese in Agone and slip into the cafe culture that makes Europe so unique.
EAT—I have seen some recent reviews about the ‘quality’ falling some over the years and yes, COVID did take its toll on this once thriving trattoria. However, I still find the food delicious and Trattoria Der Pallaro in Campo Fiorno is still the MOST authentic local food, wine and Roman experience you can get. I was brought here years ago by my fiend and local, Donato. Paula, in her 90s, still makes the dinner set each day——no frills, no menu, you get what is cooked and in my experience it is ALWAYS good. I never go to Rome without a stop!
Osteria dell’Anima is another favorite and Donato still works there on the weekends. Tell him Richard sent you.
STAY—-There are many Air BnB’s in this area but my favorite boutique hotel has always been Hotel Teatro Pace. The small, quaint hotel a few streets away from Piazza Navona make it the perfect location for your Rome adventures and the character and charm have kept me coming back. The bonus is you get out of the main square for a more authentic stay, yet, great restaurants and shopping just are just a few blocks away! Several smaller, less touristy restaurants exist along the streets and I encourage you to try as many as you can.
DESSERT—Yes, you can find gelato on just about every corner and much of the tiramisu is homemade but this is where I learned about pistachio cannolis! Elisa Gelateria is best location to attain such a prized treat and for some reason, if you take it outside to the steps of the Obelisco del Pantheon, it tastes even better.
Okay…I won’t go into details on the obvious stops because they are obvious locations that you will research. Here are a few recommendations.
1) ALWAYS pay extra at sites like Viator or GetYourGuide and ‘Skip the Line.’ The extra 10 euros per ticket is well worth your time and fight you and your family are sure to have!
2) Roman Forum: purchase the ticket that allows you to see the inside of the church on Palentine hill so you can see the mosaic of The Madonna.
(3) Colosseum. The underground tour is worth the money and time and is a unique look at just how many people it took to put on such a display.
(4) Vatican Museum. The catacombs of the popes is missed by many!—Don’t make that mistake!
Rome is one of the most walkable cities in all of Europe and in my opinion, the most packed with history! My advice is to plan one or two trips per day but don’t try to cram several tours in one day! Rome should be enjoyed and soaked in at a slow pace. Remember, you are on vacation and there is always Una Mas glass of wine to drink!