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DISCOVER MY EXTENDED WEEKEND ITINERARY
In February 2018, I went spent President's Day weekend in Rome with my sister. Here's my itinerary with my recommendations:
Day 1 - Rome
Check into Yellow Hostel
After the nine hour flight, we jumped on the air train and made it in Rome. A quick walk from the termini later and we arrived at the Yellow Hostel.
Recommendation: Go for it! This hostel is perfect for
backpackers looking to make friends and dance through
the night! It’s got a great cafe in the lobby and offer a range
of activities. There’s also a restaurant/bar/dance club
attached and a hair salon.
We were starving and ate a quick meal at the hostel restaurant.
Recommendation: Skip it. I’d reserve these meals for late night necessity only status.
Walking Tour of Rome
After missing the Free Walking Tour by like 10 minutes, we cabbed back to the hostel and signed up for the tour provided by them. It was 17 euro and hit all the same spots as the other one.
Recommendation: Eh, if you have time. I always prefer a free walking tour because I like to pay per the guide. However, Mario did a great job with our walking tour and I’m glad it all worked out!
Dinner at Baffetto 2
We left our walking tour near Campo di Fiori and had dinner at one of my favorite spots in Rome. We split a pizza for our appetizer and I order the best four cheese gnocchi in Italy. :) Recommendation: Go for it! This place is centrally located and really tasty!
Drinks at the Hostel
After dinner, we headed back to the hostel for drinks and dancing. Did you know Romans were super obsessed with Elvis and 50s jukebox? Apparently, they are.
Recommendation: Go for it! We swiftly discovered that this spot was frequented by tourists and locals alike. There aren’t a whole lot of clubs in Rome that aren’t covered in American study abroad 19 year olds. So, we mostly hung out here.
Day 2 - Vatican
We took advantage of the 20 euro blow outs in the hostel's in house hair salon before starting our day. We sipped on excellent cappuccinos from the lobby and while someone else washed our hair and made us look fly for the pope.
Recommendation: Go for it! I can't resist a 20 euro blow out...
Blow Outs at CRH Hub
While waiting on our Vatican tour group, we stopped at this cafe for some mediocre sandwiches.
Recommendation: Skip it. This was just for convenience because we were pressed for time after getting our hair done.
Lunch at Crunch
We used the When in Rome Tours for our tour of the vatican. I would highly suggest using a tour group when you visit--the Vatican is big and getting inside was confusing. I was happy we had our guide to herd us like sheep. Luckily, because February is not a popular month to visit Rome, it wasn't too crowded. However, our tour guide, Mario, was quite subpar. He didn't provide as much interesting info as I would have liked and he was rather socially inept. Seeing the Sistine Chapel was crazy cool, but I will not visit the Vatican again.
Recommendation: Eh, if you have time. This isn't the coolest thing about Rome. It's beautiful inside, but if you don't have time I would do other things.
The Vatican and St. Peters Tour
After our tour, we stopped at this cafe for some gelato and much needed foot resting time.
Recommendation: Go for it! It was great and a fun spot to chill after a long walking tour of the Vatican.
Gelato at Caffe San Pietro
Once we were rested, we cabbed over to Trastevere to roam around and grab an early dinner. What a wonderful neighborhood to get lost in! This place is exactly what you imagine Rome is like. I highly recommend that you find an AirBnB or hotel in this neighborhood if you don't want to stay at a hostel. It's so lovely here.
Recommendation: Go for it! It doesn't get better than this.
Dinner at Enoteca
We stumbled into this restaurant while roaming
around Trastevere, and I'm pleased to say that I can now die because I've had the best lasagna of my life. Seriously though... life-changing lasagna. They also had wonderful bruscetta and gave us a tasty shot at the end of our meal.
Recommendation: Go for it! I will definitely be back next time I'm in Rome.
Drinks at the Hostel
Ended the night like we did before: drinks and dancing at the hostel. This place was popping, per usual.
Day 3 - Colosseum and the Roman Forum
Breakfast near Largo Gaetana Agnesi
Before our tour, we met our guide at this small square above the metro line. We grabbed a quick croissant at a cafe right there by the meeting spot (name of which, I can't remember). It was an excellent croissant and I would definitely go back for more.
Recommendation: Go for it! If you're using the same tour group as we did, you can't miss it!
Tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum
We used City Wonders for our guided tour through the
Colosseum and the Roman Forum. I think a guided tour is
great for these types of excursions because of all the small
details you don't know about. Our guide was a fountain of
knowledge and despite the rain, it was a wonderful tour of ancient
city of Rome.
Recommendation: Go for it! The Colosseum and the Roman Forum are a must do in Rome. It's amazing to see such ancient history so well preserved!
Lunch at Voglia do Pizza
After our tour, we ducked into a nearby shop to grab lunch. We were cold and wet from the rain so we did not choose wisely. I had the Caccio e Pepe (a Roman staple), but was not blown away by it.
Recommendation: Skip it. Stick to small mom and pop type places for meals and you won't be disappointed.
After drying off from the rain, we walked around a
bit to shop and roam. We ended up back at the
Pantheon which was great to see during the day.
(Our walking tour was at night.) It's such a beautiful
structure and truly and lovely square to chill and
Recommendation: Go for it! It's a lovely area and there
are a lot of fun shops nearby.
Gelato at Della Palma
Close to the Pantheon is the famous Della Palma! It's known for the hundreds of gelato flavors and this place does not disappoint. Although a tad crowded, it's got tons of seating and wifi, so it's a great place to relax and grab a treat.
Recommendation: Go for it!
Piazza Del Popolo - R&R at the Hostel
We walked back to the hostel slowly enjoying the river and Piazza
del Popeo. At
the hostel, we
got a quick
got ready for
the evening. We cabbed it back to Trastevere for a dinner recommendation from an Italian friend we made the night before.
Drinks at Bali
While waiting on a table, we popped into this unique place for a drink. This was a really neat and cozy spot with a very clear theme. If you like Hookah Lounges or chilling on elaborate pillows this is the place for you.
Recommendation: Go for it! I can't help myself, I love a good theme. And it was fun to change up the pace from the traditional Italian to a little funky Balinese.
Finally we got a table at this small mom and pop spot; it did not disappoint. I ate a ton of bread and salad and pasta and of course, wine! This place was a great recommendation and it's definitely off the beaten path, so plan accordingly. Recommendation: Go for it! This was exactly what you want--great food and super authentic atmosphere.
trip to the Colosseum
After returning to the hostel for some drinks, we met up with some hostel friends and decided to go for a night time 2am stroll to the Colosseum. The city is lovely and so quiet at night--the lights from the Colosseum shine brightly. It was a memorable last night in Rome indeed!
Recommendation: Go for it! Why not?
Day 4 - Trevy Fountain and the Spanish Steps
Breakfast at Caffe Pasticceria U. Giuliani
We had a nice half day before our flight left in the afternoon, so we grabbed breakfast at a cafe near our hostel. This was a very authentic experience as the neighborhood is not full of tourists. We had some tasty croissants and cappuccinos are we were on our way.
Recommendation: Eh, if you have time. If you're staying at the Yellow Hostel, I would check it out. But don't go out of your way to find this place.
Shopping near the Spanish Steps and Trevvy Fountain
We walked through the Spanish steps and toward the Trevy Fountain for some last minute shopping. We each found some fun goodies like truffle balsamic vinaigrette and homemade pasta. Then we randomly ran into a couple friends from the previous night so we found a spot for lunch.
Recommendation: Go for it! Gotta get some souvies to bring home. Personally, I like to bring home things you can eat.
Lunch at Il Chianti Vineria
A general rule for finding restaurants is to stay away from tourist attractions. But, since we were pressed for time and wanted to be able to sit down for one last meal, we grabbed a table at the closest restaurant. We had a great time with our New Zealand friend Taylor and his hostel buddy Matt, but the food was quite mediocre. Recommendation: Skip it. I'm telling you, if you're not in Trastevere... the food's just not as good.
We got back on the airtrain and made it to the airport for our flight back to New York. A wonderful extended weekend it was!
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