Our Roman Holiday
Rome was the first place I touched foot in Italy (which is now my favorite country, hands down). It was also the first place I felt Chris and I really got to take a breath and let everything sink in as newlywed husband and wife.
We flew in from LAX to Rome and Chris picked the perfect flight in my opinion. We landed at about 8:30am in Italy and because we were able to sleep a decent amount on the plane, we hit the ground running and got lots done on our first day.
One of the things I love most about Italy are the people and how hospitable they are. Our first encounter was just one of many examples of this as we were picked up from the airport at arrivals and escorted back to our hotel.
After checking in and admiring the gorgeous views from our room, we headed out to explore as much of the city center as possible! Wear comfortable walking shoes and you can easily trek to the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona in a half day. We got caught in a bit of midday rain, which was also the perfect excuse to pull up under some cafe awnings and share a pizza and caprese salad.
We went back to our hotel for a quick nap and to freshen up, then headed back out for aperitivo on a nearby rooftop bar. We quickly realized that aperitivo means complimentary snacks with the purchase of drinks, so this became an almost daily tradition throughout the rest of our trip!
We started off with breakfast on our hotel’s rooftop and then headed out for another day full of walking. We walked around the Vatican for a bit and ended up towards the city center again. Chris found tickets online for a ‘Walks of Italy’ walking tour of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum and it was honestly nice to have a tour guide show us around. I also felt I appreciated the areas more getting to learn about them from a local person, rather than looking things up on my phone.
Of course we were pretty hungry after all that walking, so we found another rooftop bar and had our aperitivo before heading to our next adventure, dinner. We were still hungry and hadn’t decided where to eat for the night. After our walking tour, we were still pretty far south as far as Rome goes, so we decided to find somewhere to eat that would be on our way back to the hotel. We relied on recommendations from friends and a few blogs for things to do on our trip, which helped us decide on Dar Poeta, bringing us to the cute neighborhood of Trastavere. The dinner we had was incredible and I’ll never forget doodling out the rest of our trip’s plans on the paper tablecloth at our table.
Our morning started with another continental breakfast on the rooftop at our hotel, accompanied by more cloudy skies and rain. Luckily things cleared up around midday as we were headed to the Vatican for a tour of the museum and Sistine Chapel. I can’t even begin to describe how beautiful everything was and how impressive the details and craftsmanship are of these places.
We were walking back from the tour and had a late lunch at the cutest corner bistro. Chris got his favorite, lasagna, and my first cacio e pepe dish was out of this world! The clouds were starting to roll back in, so we went to the hotel for our afternoon siesta and napped through the short thunderstorm.
We loved the Trastavere neighborhood so much that we decided to go back for a second night there. We started with a few cocktails at this really cool bar, Freni e Frizioni. From there we moved to Meccanismo Roma and had the craziest best appetizer board of my life. It ended up being so much food that we didn’t even want dinner for the evening. So we decided to skip it and grab a gelato for the walk back instead. We also stopped at a local market on the way back for a bottle of Chianti and some chocolate biscuits to enjoy while we packed up and got ready for the next leg of our trip.
Trianon Borgo Pio - This hotel has a great location central to both Rome’s city center as well as Vatican City.
Hotel Atlante - Visit their rooftop garden bar at sunset for an incredible view of Rome and The Vatican.
Gelateria Fatamorgana - My favorite gelato shop in Rome; we stopped here for dessert on our way back from Trastavere.
Trastavere - Highly recommend spending some time exploring this neighborhood. Tons of great places to eat or stop for a drink, get lost in the streets and have fun!