Is there such a thing as a perfect destination? I believe there is! And it’s called Rome! 🙂 The capital of Italy has it all: Heavenly food, picturesque streets, extraordinary landmarks, scenic views and the most romantic sunset you’ll ever see. So you can imagine how thrilled I was from the second my boyfriend surprised me with this romantic getaway (isn’t he the best?!). And from that moment on it only got better and better! It all started when this lucky vixen got a window seat. And after merely 2 hours and 15 minutes looking at the scenery out of my airplane window, our pilot announced that we were ready for landing at Fiumicino Airport.
The following five days were filled with daily walks through history, strolls through rose filled gardens, sunlit afternoons, flamboyant palazzo’s , posing with renaissance art, cappuccino filled mornings , hours-long meals, a million flavours of gelato and most of all dreaming away while drenched in La dolce vita.
If you’re visiting Rome for the first time it can be absolutely overwhelming. Since there’s so much to see, it’ll make you wonder what to see first (In all honesty, pretty much everything is worth seeing!). But since most people don’t have weeks to spare, there are choices to be made. So if you’re looking for recommendations, I put together a list with my ultimate Rome hotspots! But I warn you, you will end up falling in love with the ”Eternal City”. 😉
TAKE A STROLL THROUGH THE RUINS AT THE FORUM ROMANUM There isn’t a site in the world that’s so filled with history as The Forum Romanum, where, for many centuries the fate of Europe was decided. And I can only imagine how majestic it must have looked like in the ancient world with its marble columns, temples, triumphal arches, bath houses, fountains and glorious buildings. Although the surviving remains only give a glimpse of the past, it’s still an impressive sight to behold. And if you get a ticket for the Forum Romanum, it’ll also get you into The Colosseum and palatino. So put on those comfortable shoes, because you’ll be walking a lot! And if you get thirsty or hungry (I certainly did lol), there are many fountains and eating joints to enjoy from!
FEEL AT HOME AT PALAZZO DORIA PAMPHILJIf you’re interested in a different facet of Roman history, I highly recommend a visit to this charming Palazzo. Palazzo Doria Pampilj has been the stately home of princes, princesses, nobles and popes since the 16th century. The oldest parts of the palazzo dates all the way back to 1435. It houses a marvelous collections of paintings and sculptures from Rafael, Caravaggio, bernini, Velázquez and many many others! You’re free to wander freely in the stately rooms, with or without an audio tour. I can only imagine how life must have been here in the Renaissance *daydreaming*.
EXPLORE THE WONDERS INSIDE THE VATICAN MUSEUMWith it’s 54 different galleries and various courtyards, The Vatican is an art lovers dream. Paintings, sculptures, richly decorated furniture, ornaments and tapestry collected by centuries of popes decorate the many galleries. If this doesn’t make your heart flutter, nothing will! A few of my personal highlights are The Gallery of Maps, The Stanza della Segnatura, The Garden of Eden, The School of Athens and of course The Sistine Chapel. So you can imagine I almost fainted from excitement seeing my favourite masterpieces! 🙂 And since it’s impossible to see everything, I recommend to do a little research beforehand. Also it’s advisable to buy your tickets online since the waiting lines can be brutally long.
WATCH IN AWE INSIDE THE SISTINE CHAPEL
One could hardly imagine the beauty and grandiosity found inside the walls of the Sistine Chapel. It took Michelangelo nearly 4 years to finish his ceiling fresco masterpiece commissioned by the late Pope Julius II. It’s one of the most iconic pieces of art in the world! I even dare to say it’s fundamental to visit the Hope Diamond of the art world (that’s how I call it :)) when visiting Rome. You’ll have to get through hordes of tourists to get there, but it’s totally worth it. Once there, Don’t forget to look up! 😉
PICKNICK AT THE GIARDINO DEGLI ARANCIIf you want to see a different side of Rome, far away from the crowded centre and the long waiting lines, there’s The Giardino Degli Aranci (‘The Orange Garden”). This beautiful garden is the perfect hidden treasure if you need to unwind after a long day of sightseeing. The stately stone pine trees, live violon music, orange trees, dreamy view and beautiful flowers are one of the reasons for its magical atmosphere. My favourite way to enjoy the park? A picnic blanket, a bottle of wine, little sandwiches and your loved one! Another hidden gem near the garden is the secret keyhole, once you look through it you can see The St. Peter’s Basilica.
EAT GELATO AT THE FAMED GELATERIA ”GIOLITTI”You haven’t been in Italy if you haven’t tried Gelato. Gelato is typically flavoured with fresh fruit, cocoa and/or nuts. That’s what makes the flavours so intensely delicious! And I don’t exaggerate when I say that you can find the best gelato at Giolitti. Since 1890 Giolitti has nurtured a taste for perfection, it’s one of the oldest en most renowned ice-cream parlors in Rome (as stated on their website) . And since it’s near the Fontana di Trevi, it immediately becomes a kill two birds with one stone situation. 😉 There’s a slender chance you have to wait in line though. But once you tasted the holy goodness, you’ll say it’s definitely worth it! And while you’re at it, try the walnut flavoured gelato, it’s heaven on earth! 🙂
GO FOR A WALK ALONG THE RIVER TEVERE Imagine this: An astonishing sunset, a sapphire sky, the noise of small waves hitting the stone walls, a soft breeze rushing against your skin and a silence you can only dream of in a city like this. I’m talking about the peaceful setting along the banks of the river Tevere. It’s accessible via steps near any of the bridges that crosses the river. It’s the perfect way to discover Rome from another point of view. And if you’re looking to propose to your partner, this is the place.
INDULGE IN A SHOPPING SPREE AT VIA DEI CONDOTTI
Are you looking for somewhere to shop till you drop? Are you as obsessed with luxury brands as I am? Than is the Via Dei Condotti just for you (I start to sounds like a commercial lol)! Brands like Gucci, Chanel, Hermes, Cartier, Dolce&Gabbana and Fendi are just one of the many luxury brands that are housed in this particular street. And if you’re done damaging your credit card, you can unwind on the Spanish Steps, they’re only one block away!
Enjoy your day, XOXO, Gianni