12 Things I Loved Most About Rome
1. Coffee: Let’s face it. Italy has the best coffee. I drank at least three cafe latte’s a day. Three!!! And that was me holding back. I found out that one of my favorite coffee spots in Rome actually ships their beans to a cafe in San Diego! Now I know where to get a good cup of espresso when I need one. There is just something special about drinking coffee in Italy, can’t really explain it. If you’ve done it you know, if not, then I suggest you experience it.
Where to go: Ciampini and/or sant’Eustachio il Caffe
2. Food: Do I really need to go into detail here? Everything is so fresh! It kinda bums me out how much processing goes into American foods. A tomato in Italy does not taste like a tomato in America. I didn’t eat one thing that wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Each meal seemed to get more and more delicious. Can I tell you a secret? I don’t even like Italian food that much, at least not in the states, but I LOVED every bite of it in Italy.
Where to go: Pinsere Roma, Lo Zozzone, and Pizzeria Da Baffetto
3. Breakfast with the Pantheon: This was one of my favorite moments in Rome. I woke up earlier than my friend, whom I was staying with, and ventured out by myself. I was really wanting to spend time at the Pantheon but there were too many tourist for my liking every time we went. On this early morning I headed to the plaza in which the Pantheon called home. I grabbed a table at Ristorante Di Rienzo, ordered a cafe latte, croissant, and an orange juice. I sat there sipping my coffee as the sun was rising over the building tops, slowing bathing my face with is warmth. The Pantheon was still closed and I was able to walk in just as they opened the doors. So worth being up early. With only a handful of people in there I was able to snag some photos without any people in them.
Where to go: Ristorante Di Rienzo
4. Riding around on a Moped: Driving in Rome is crazy. Plus there are restrictions on when you can drive a car in the center of the city… but if you have a moped… you have the golden ticket. Thank goodness my friend had one. It was so easy to get around town (especially during high traffic times), find parking and it was a great way to see the city. I don’t think I could have driven a moped, but I am grateful to have been with someone who is used to and knows the traffic.
Where to go: All around Rome, just remember to pass on the left!
5. Fresh Water: It’s everywhere! They have fresh water fountains on every street like San Diego has yoga studios. There is no need to buy water in Rome, unless you wanted mineral water. Bring a water bottle to refill and rest assured you will always have access to fresh water.
Where to go: Just look for the fresh fountains all around the city.
6. The History: Rome is over 2500 years old. My mind can’t even comprehend the amount of foot steps that have walked those streets. Apart from the obvious must see’s such as the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Trevi Fountain, I love that there are still the same cobblestone streets, buildings built around old columns, and the original brick from Roman times seen throughout all of Rome. Standing in the middle of the Roman Forum, I closed my eyes and imagined being back in that time. No electronics, no airplanes, no social networking. People gathered to eat, drink, bath and talk of Roman things. So much energy in that place.
Where to go: I recommend booking a tour of the Colosseum, Forum and Plantine to really get the full story of these ancient grounds.
7. Gelato: I ate gelato EVERY.DAMN.DAY. No lie. I really loved the “yogurt” flavor mixed with another flavor combo. I experienced oreo & yogurt, strawberry & yogurt (twice), mango & yogurt, raspberry & yogurt, watermelon & yogurt, and dark chocolate & vanilla. Mango & yogurt was the winning combination in my book. I could never eat that much gelato back in the states but when in Rome…
Where to go: Giolitti
8. The Night Life: Although I did not get to experience Rome’s night life as much as I would of liked, I still fell in love with the energy buzz that was felt on the streets at night. I ended up getting sick which sent me to bed early most nights. I loved the late dinners, outdoor seating, the laughter, chimes of glasses and the hum of music down every street we turned. Next time I visit Rome, I will make sure to experience the night life in more depth.
9. The Cobblestone Streets after Fresh Rain: Ahhhh this was one of my favorites! There was a few thunder storms while I was in Rome and after the fresh rain smell delighted my nose. The reflection of the historical buildings being reflected in the puddles and everything feeling a little ‘refreshed’ made my heart a happy heart.
10. Old Traditions: Maybe it’s because there is just so much more history in Rome than there is in America or maybe the American traditions are a bit boring to me (I can’t even think of one to be specific right now), but I love how the Italians hold on to old ways in many ways. At different points in my visit I felt as if I had traveled back in time. One example was a cafe we were having a coffee at (the same one Hemmingway used to frequent) and there were two older ladies enjoying gelato and I swear I was in an old time movie scene. The way they were dressed, the cups the gelato was served in, the music… everything… it was pretty amazing.
11. Nap Time: I wish America would adapt this tradition. From the hours of 2 to 4 the city practically shuts down. Everyone is napping. At first I didn’t want to nap, thinking I was going to miss something, but what else was there to do?! Lot’s of napping and yet I don’t feel like I missed anything. Plus it gave me a bit more energy to stay up later.
12. Every Turn Holds Something New: I enjoyed walking down the streets and turning a corner only to find a massive church, or a tiny cafe packed with people, the stereotypical Italian couple arguing with each other, an extravagant fountain, some old crazy Roman structure just kicking it in the middle of a plaza, or the hidden away pizza place. There was never a dull moment in Rome. I could of roamed around that city for hours and had always had an eye full.