I am going to make a big statement here. Now that I’m finished with all of my abroad trips, I have to say that Rome was my favorite city I visited. I could go on and on about it (and trust me, I will), but I think it comes down to the vast history, the charming winding streets, the welcoming people, the gorgeous weather, and the out of this world food!! Visiting Rome was one of the most magical weekends of my life. So of course I am so excited to share where I stayed and all that I did and ATE!
WHERE I STAYED
We decided to stay at the Britannia for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s a four star hotel and gets amazing reviews (I’m kind of a TripAdvisor freak, so this is very important to me ha). It was a great price, included breakfast, and was in a decent location. It is about a 20 minute walk to the Colosseum and about 20-30 minute walk to many of the dinner places we went to, which amounted to only about a 5-7 minute cab ride which we took when we were extra full from all the carbs. 🙂
The concierge was beyond helpful, and made all of our reservations ahead of time for us. The rooms were charming and very clean– I would definitely recommend this hotel in the future, especially if you’re an abroad student and looking for a little luxury without spending a whole lot!
WHAT I DID
We went to the Colosseum twice because it was that good. It is right next to the Roman Forum so you can easily do both in an afternoon!
We walked by this piazza a few times each day since it’s so centrally located. One afternoon, we climbed the steps, looked at the guards, and just took it all in. Definitely a fun way to spend a half an hour or so!
I surprisingly fell in love with this little open air market! The pasta, flowers, fruit, and leather bags (!!) were all so authentic Italian!
We waked through this piazza after our visit to Campo de’ Fiore and it was absolutely beautiful. Fountains, statues, overflowing window boxes (see below), and darling cafes line the piazza. Definitely a must-see!
We meandered around the Trevi Fountain for a bit, which is conveniently within walking distance of Piazza Navona, and it truly lived up to its hype. Luckily, by coincidence the construction that the Trevi Fountain was under ended the week before we got to Rome! So it was in pristine and glistening condition.
We made our way to the Pantheon after the Trevi Fountain and immediately felt immersed in its history. I really can’t think of any other time I’ve been in a building that old, immaculately intact, and stunning!
We made a last minute decision and went to the Roman Forum the morning of our last day in Rome and were blown away! Definitely walk around the gardens that overlook the forum and take in the beautiful skyline and ancient forum ruins! The history buffs out there will freak.
So our biggest activity of the trip was touring Vatican City. We got a private tour guide who was beyond knowledgeable. She purchased all of the tickets/passes we needed beforehand so we didn’t wait in a single line and had a completely personalized experience of the Vatican museums, the Raphael Rooms, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter’s Basilica and square. I honesty wouldn’t have done it any other way. There are just so so many things to see and learn about in Vatican City and we were completely in awe with the history and beauty of it all. I don’t know how I will ever be impressed with another church after seeing St. Peter’s Basilica! ha! (email me if you want the info our our fab tour guide!!).
Before we visited all of these sites (besides Vatican City), I took a screen shot of the history of each one, so that I could pull it up on my phone without wifi and read it at each site. I really loved Italyguides.it for their brief history descriptions. It was such a helpful way to do a self-guided tour at our own pace and still get all of the basic facts about what we were seeing!
WHERE I ATE
Stop by here if you are by Campo De’ Fiore and Piazza Navona. It has the best gourmet cheese and meat boards, complete with seasonal wine! So fresh and delish– a relaxing pit stop during a day of sightseeing!
I hate to be boring, but pizza is honestly one of my favorite foods. I have even eaten it for breakfast (#guilty), therefore I had very high expectations of the Italian pizza in Rome. I learned about Dar Poeta from one of my girlfriends who is living in Rome (she recommended a lot of these restaurants to me, btw– girl has good taste!), and it completely blew away all of my pizza-craving expectations. Fresh, phenom, gourmet pizzas, in a little bistro located in the darling area of Trastevere!
Guess what! More pizza! We walked to this little hole-in-the-wall pizza joint for lunch after the Vatican. The pizza was a bit different than what I’m used too (a bit more cheesy), but it was so so yummy. The people who ran it were so friendly and nice as well! This was rated the #1 pizza place on Trip Advisor at the time we went so it was definitely worth checking out.
Friends. This may have been my best meal of my abroad experience. Truffle ravioli. Gorgonzola gnocchi. Bread. Olive Oil. Croquettes. Wine. Limoncello. We sat outside at night at a table with red checkered tablecloths in the cutest little bustling side street and it was perfect. And then we couldn’t walk home because GNOCCI.
This was definitely a fancier meal and is a great option if you are looking for some seafood to break up all of the Italian! But, of course I got the linguini with clams because I just had to have more pasta. Honestly.
This is one of the oldest gelato cafes in Rome and it exudes Italian charm. I learned about it on the travel app, “With Love from Kat,” which was created by one of my favorite travel bloggers. I’d highly recommend ordering a LARGE and layering up three different flavors. Hey, when in Rome!!
Scenes from Rome…
“Ciao!” This chick heads to Italy and can’t help but wear a Ciao sweater… Can you blame me?!
We caught our first glimpse of the Colosseum right as the sun was setting on our first night there. Magical, just magical.
A lone palm tree and a pink building. This is when I knew that this city was calling my name.
I swear I could have cheese and olives for every meal and be a very satisfied human. (at Fresco Coronari)
The colorful markets at Campo de’ Fiore. Their dried fruit was surprisingly amazing.
The crisp blue sky agains the gorgeous architecture of Piazza Navona.
Yes, I would like those to be my shutters and my window boxes, thank you.
The cobblestone side streets though!! I mean… so romantic
Two pizzas and a liter of wine later… Dar Poeta does a belly (and soul) GOOD.
We made a wish Lizzie McGuire style at the Trevi Fountain (anyone else grow up loving her too?!)
We could not get over how enormous and simply stunning Piazza Venezia was!
The ruins of the Roman Forum absolutely blew my mind.
Honestly. So darn good. We literally had gelato twice a day (still working it off, nbd).
This handsome guy and I outside the Vatican:)
I would love to hear your adventures in Rome if you’ve been before as well!! I am already scheming up a way to go back soon! Someone’s got to go take care of all of the cheese and bread there, and I right??! Ciao!