all roads lead to rome
Like every other Italian city, the country’s capital doesn’t cease(r) to impress. Sure, there are lots of metropolitan cities attractive enough to make your eyes go wide at every turn. But, how many major metropolitan cities have once-building-blocks-of-an-empire turned ancient ruins in the middle of them?
Rome has a famous historical monument, fountain, or chiesa on every other corner—enough to make even a seasoned traveler feel overwhelmed. This was my third time back in the city, so I wasn’t about to stand, yet again, in line behind one million people waiting to enter The Vatican. Not unless Jude Law was inside filming the Young Pope (he wasn’t). Though I checked off the main attractions off my list years ago, I still needed my touristy fix. With only 48 hours in a city this historically dense I did my best to choose the best of the best...while leaving room for a superb culinary experience.
Read my picks below:
The home of the Gladiator. If you don’t visit this wonder of the world at least once, I’d wonder what’s wrong with you. A ticket to the Colosseum can also include entry to Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum (see below), which are all next to each other.
An outside museum housing monuments—palaces, churches, gardens— to every major Roman era.
A collection of architectural fragments from ancient government buildings. Quite literally, it’s (or was) a “meeting place”.
If you only have time to do one thing in Rome, head straight to the Borghese Gallery—make sure you buy tickets a few weeks in advance, as it has limited space and books up quickly. I can honestly say I actually gasped as I tilted my head to stare at the jaw-dropping frescos on the ceilings of this beautiful villa built in the 1600s. You’ll find the masterpieces of Caravaggio, Raphael, Titian, and numerous Bernini sculptures—each of which relates to the tale of a Roman God.
Fontana di Trevi
Probably the most beautiful place to make a wish on a penny. Shoutout to Fendi for funding its restoration.
Piazza di Spagna
Insanely crowded and touristy, but the Spanish Steps are iconic for good reason. Equip yourself with a bottle of wine and a slice of pizza, while sitting down to ogle the beauty that this world has blessed us with.
Grab some gelato and walk through an endless array of high-end boutiques. If window shopping doesn’t do it for you, eat fast. The stores are far too fubuluxe to allow food inside.
The most pleasant area to walk around in, getting lost in tiny alleyways. It’s filled with a plethora of charming restaurants, bars, and shops.
I know what you’re thinking. These world-famous sites are super important, but so is wining and dining. Without further ado, let me appease your appetite:
If you’re in the mood for a Michelin-like dining experience…
Per Me; Ad Hoc
Upscale, but not over the top…
Dal Bolognese—a celeb hotspot off of the Piazza Navona;
Al Moro—the wine list is as thick as a book and all hand-written!
Charming, special, and insanely delicious/to die for/mouth-watering goodness…
Rosciolo—a restaurant inside of a fresh deli complete with a wine bar;
Nonna Betta—kosher spot (don’t let that throw you off, the food is heavenly) inside of the Jewish quarter with Jerusalem artichoke so good it’ll leave you speechless
Fontana di Trevi