Italy Rome

Everything you need for your Roman Holiday

“Rome, by all means Rome”, says Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday when asked which city was her favorite. You don’t have to be a princess of a country or Hollywood royalty to enjoy Rome. You can spend entire days just aimlessly wandering and not caring two hoots about schedules and sight-seeing checklists. Entire boulevards with trees laden with oranges, a cross road with four fountains, a church with a secret that changed the human understanding of our universe are all waiting for you to be discovered. Rome certainly wasn’t built in a day and it will take you several days to even scratch the surface of this fascinating city. Read our complete blog on what we did here and about secret Rome tour here.


Best Time to go to Rome

All round the year except peak summer months of June-August as it can be quite hot and busy


Where to stay

Pooja had shortlisted two properties that looked stunning but were perhaps not the most centrally located. With our success with Priceline, we decided to roll the dice again. But with gambling – you win some you lose some. While not particularly bad Hotel Gambrinus wasn’t the promised 4* stay nor was the location central.

We would recommend staying close to Trevi fountain or the Spanish steps, in the heart of Rome where the action is or maybe closer to Colosseum in the historic district. If you are travelling to other cities in Italy or Europe, consider close to Termini as it is very well connected.


How to get around

The best way to explore Rome is to walk; you never know what treasure you would find at the next corner. The city is very well connected with metro and buses, but save that for when the feet totally give up.


Where to eat

I consider myself something of a pizza aficionado and I can honestly say I haven’t eaten a better pizza outside Rome. Made with the freshest of ingredients and served with a hearty dose of the familial Italian hospitality, you really cannot go wrong here. You can walk into any restaurant and be sure that you will find something that will meet even the strictest of dietary restrictions and have you hand gesturing “Bellissimo!

Tucci at Piazza Novana, dining al-fresco, sat across from Bernini’s masterpiece and enjoying the hustle and bustle of the main square with its tourists and touts, is perfection.

Mama! Eat at Trastevere, boasted a gluten free and veggie friendly menu and buzzing with locals and their friendly banter. While Pooja wasn’t impressed with her pumpkin sauce pasta being al‑dente, I was slowly slipping into a food-coma with their scrumptious quarto formaggi pizza. We were joined by Tsung Wei Tsai (Peter) an exchange student from Taiwan who we met at Vatican and we were quickly swapping travel tales. We both were vicariously living through his stories of being 21 and travelling solo!

Eat gelato at every possible opportunity. I can still taste the caramelized fig and roasted walnut gelato from Giolitti.

Our breakfast staple was an assortment of mini pizza with toppings like zucchini, potato, roast vegetables and tomatoes at La Gioia del Pane a local bakery across our hotel. Hey if it’s loaded with veggies it’s healthy!



Day 1 – Colosseum and the Roman Forum. Take in a bird’s eye view from Altare della Patria – the big wedding cake building opposite Piazza Venezia. Entrance is free to first floor but wasn’t crowded at all. Book in advance and join Alex for a thrilling off-the-beaten path Secret Rome tour – it last around 3 hours but you’ll wish it was longer!

Day 2 – Start your day with a leisurely stroll of Villa Borghese, make it a picnic lunch around the lush gardens, rent a bike or a boat or just sway to the sounds of the mandolin. Make your way to the Spanish steps and partake in some luxury shopping, window or otherwise. Drop a penny in Trevi and head to Piazza Navona for dinner.

Day 3 – Vatican City deserves the better part of your day. Start with the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peters Basilica and the cupola. End the evening with a stroll in Trastevere and dinner at any of its lovely restaurants. Come back to take in the night view of the many bridges along the Tiber river and the reflections of St. Peters Basilica lit up like a jewel. Best views from Ponte Sant’Angelo the bridge leading to Castel Sant’Angelo.

Day 4 – A quick visit to Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Rome is not all churches and ruins, visit a pyramid or a neighborhood with massive graffiti, all in the Ostiense area, also known for its vibrant night life. Or we would recommend a day trip to the nearby Tivoli Gardens.


Travel Hacks

  • Check the opening time/schedule of St. Peter’s Basilica and give yourself two shots at visiting it because the Pope tends to shut down the Basilica to public to hold prayer massesEntry to the Colosseum is free on the first Sunday of every month and to the Vatican Museum is free on the last Sunday of every month
  • Book the tickets in advance to skip the queues and if you decide to join a guided tour the tickets will still work – just talk to the tour agent.
  • As much as we love bargaining there is a certain comfort in knowing that you are not being taken for a ride. The prices with the tour guides are fixed.

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