Last month I went to Rome with my mum to celebrate my birthday. She had never been in Rome before. I did, years ago, when I was 17 years old. So we spend most of the time to see all the famous ancient highlights of Rome. I will not bore you with these highlights because you can find much better information on these online. I will just share the things I liked most in Rome besides all these must see monuments.
1. Stroll among the labyrinthine alleys of Trastevere
Stroll among the labyrinthine alleys of Trastevere or just sit down at the lovely Piazza Santa Maria, the heart of Trastevere. It’s a true Roman square – by day crowded by mothers with strollers, chatting locals and guidebook-toting tourists, by night with artisans selling their craft work, musicians, artists and the young Romans looking for a good time. In this area you find plenty of restaurants for lunch or dinner.
2 and 3. Visit one of the Romans foodmarkets
Rome’s markets are a food lover’s paradise. Markets can be found in every district of Rome and are called mercati rionali. Campo de’ Fiori is one of Rome’s most famous, but much of this has to do with its location in the center of Rome. A better market to go to is the indoor market near the ancient Circus Maximus. Here you find some of the most locally grown products in Rome. Great vegetables, olive oils, cheeses, pasta, you name it, they got it!
4. Eat ice cream at Gelateria Valentino
In the center of Rome you will find a gelatarie in every street, but the place that you really should go to is Gelateria Valentino (near the Fountain di Trevi). They don’t have outrageous flavours, or a large selection, but what Gelateria Valentino offers is authentic ice cream with classic Italian flavours.
5. Drink coffee like the Italian at Sant’Eustachio Ill Caffé
When I think of drinking coffee, I think of sitting down and relax to enjoy my coffee. In Italy espresso needs to be made expressly for you, but it also needs to be drunk very quickly. You need to drink it while the crema is still on top. So that’s why Italian coffee lovers never order coffee at the table, but at the bar instead. One of the best places to go to is Sant’Eustachio Ill Caffé. This is an ancient coffee shop and roaster that dates back to the thirties. By making its own blend of the best Arabica beans, this coffee shop became an everyday choice for many gourmets of the black gold. Another great thing about this caffé is that you can buy some roasted beans to take home.