Guest post by SuperBreak’s Online Marketing Executive, Rebecca Birch…
A European must, be prepared to be amazed by culture, tradition & out of this world architecture! I visited Rome in September to avoid the dazzling Summer heat, but I still managed to catch a tan – so remember to pack light clothes! It’s also worth mentioning to ladies, always remember something to cover your shoulders and knees, because everywhere you go there’s a breath taking church or chapel you’ll be dying to explore!
After arriving in Rome, I was desperate to get a taste of the local cuisine, and I was spoilt for choice! I stayed near ‘Parco della Caffarella’ (about 1km from the Colosseum) and the area was jam packed full of affordable family-run Trattoria’s and Gelateria’s, my favourite was Trattoria Vecchia which offered a variety of dining options, I chose the Nepoli Pizza, and at €10 I just couldn’t resist! For those sweet-tooth’s, I highly recommend the Mascarpone, Pear & Walnut Gelato from ‘Gelateria Salaria Gelato d’autore’, with portions from as little as €2!
Don’t be fooled by reviews stating how expensive food is in Rome, there are some great restaurants a little bit out of the main city that won’t break the bank – I would advise you to research this before you go, as once you’re there, you’ll be distracted by so many appetising menu’s! I personally recommend ‘NOI Nuova Osteria Italiana’ about 1km south of the Colosseum where you can expect to pay about £25. It might be a little bit of the way, but the Carbonara & Tiramisu are to die for!
Now, I’m the first to admit, I’m a bit of geek – both for books and architecture! So after much persuasion, I dragged my family away to see all the iconic scenes from Dan Brown’s ‘Angels and Demons’, but they were not to be disappointed! From this I would definitely recommend seeing the Pizazza Navona and the Fountain of Four Rivers (the market here is particularly good), the Pantheon and of course, the iconic Castel Sant’Angelo – which impressed us beyond expectation. Of course, when in Rome you have to see the Spanish Steps & Trevi Fountain, both of these are close together and full of bustling tourists taking holiday snaps, but Trevi Fountain in particular in an archaeological masterpiece!
No trip to Rome would be complete without visiting the Vatican! A phenomenal place to visit, I was wowed immediately by the sheer size of Vatican City. St Peter’s Square is gorgeous on a sunny day, and I enjoyed my pack-up whilst looking over this timeless landmark. I went on a Thursday morning, a particularly quiet time – but if you want to see the Pope, make sure you’re there on a Wednesday morning and be prepared to queue! If you too, are a massive fan on panoramic views, then it’s worth paying an extra few euros to go to the top of St. Peters Basilica, the views across Rome are breathtaking. This was quite physically gruelling and very hot and crowded, so make sure you have plenty of water to hand, but it was without a doubt worth it.
The Colosseum is also another worldwide landmark I was desperate to visit, I would recommend visiting the Roman Forum beforehand, which was the genuine highlight of my trip! This is about 300m away from the Colosseum and you can use your ticket for both attractions, therefore allows you to skip the long queue at the Colosseum!
The last things I would highly recommend is visiting are the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument which has a glass elevator that looks over all of Rome, again another spectular view for panorama lovers! Make sure to grab the train for a few euros to the city of ancient Rome, Ostia. I was amazed by this city of historical ruins, but don’t make the mistake I did and note leave enough time, I would suggest about half a day and be prepared to do a lot of walking as the entire city has been restored!
I went to Rome for a week, and was slightly sceptical I’d run out of things to do, but as the end of my break drew to an end – I could have easily spent another week sightseeing and tasting local delicacies. If you haven’t been to Rome yet, you’re missing out on a life time experience!