This Easter weekend marked my first wedding anniversary. What a year! Wedding, new jobs, new homes. I feel like it’s flown by. My little blog didn’t exist when we got engaged and married so I thought it would be nice to document our little adventures and give you some great tips on places to eat! Today I’ll share Rome, next time I’ll give you the low-down on Indonesia.
18 months ago we visited Rome during a hot June for 3 nights. On the second evening D proposed (I said yes!) and so Rome will always hold a special place in my heart. It is such a romantic and beautiful city!
I love Rome, but it does hold many a tourist trap especially when it comes to food. It can be very overpriced for pretty crappy food. Below are some of our favourite places we ate and some tips whilst visiting. But my biggest piece of advice – avoid eating on any of the main piazza’s – the vast majority of restaurants are expensive and mediocre at best. Though do enjoy a cold drink and people watch to your hearts content!
Where to stay
Whenever I visit a European city I always use Airbnb. If you haven’t heard of it then check it out now! Local owners offer their private rooms and whole flat/houses all over the world. You can stay for as little as one night or months. It’s perfect for city breaks as it allows you to stay centrally without breaking the bank and I just love to stay somewhere that has character of the city I am visiting. I have had nothing but great experiences with Airbnb. There are photos and reviews to help make your decision on where to stay.
We stayed in Trastevere which is on the west bank of the Tiber, south of Vatican City. If you are visiting Rome this is the area you should stay. For me it ticks all the boxes: locals live here; you can walk to all the main sights; great bars and restaurants nearby and off the main tourist path. It’s a fun neighbourhood to be in.
Where to eat
Angelina a Trevi, Via poli 27
The trick with Rome is to find gems just off the tourist track but still close enough to the main sights so you are not walking miles out of your way! Angelina is about 300m from Trevi Fountain. This part of Rome feels very much like Leicester Square in London, very in your face touristy. But, if you walk for just a minute or two away from the fountain there are some great places to eat. Angelina is very shabby chic. The place is filled with metal tables and what look like garden chairs, white walls and lots of greenery. It looks different from a lot of the restaurants in Rome, which is why we stopped and looked. We had a wonderful carbonara with pigs cheek, it was deliciously creamy and salty. We also ordered the tuna steak – this was cooked perfectly, just seared with greens. This restaurant does traditional food well but also offers some contemporary dishes.
Trattoria Tritone, Via dei Maroniti 1
Also close to Trevi Fountain is Tritone. We walked past this restaurant during the day and were drawn in by the beautiful fuchsia pink trailing flowers lining the outside seating area. We couldn’t get in on our first night so we booked an outside table for Friday evening. There were a number of locals eating here which is always a good sign. Tritone offers very traditional Roman cooking, think Spaghetti cacio e pepe, il carciofo, abbacchio, filetti di baccalà fritti. Service is not the fastest but that didn’t bother us – we had wine and a beautiful setting. Tip – book a table outside.
Ristorante Lagana, Via dell’Orso 44
You definitely feel like a local eating here. A friend recommended we wander the area of Ponte and Campo Marzio because of all the places to eat. We were wandering back from the Vatican and came in here for lunch and were not disappointed. Simple Roman food done very well. Everyone that came in after we sat on our little outside table were locals, all getting a hand shake or nod from the owner. We had a mushroom pasta which was rich but not overly creamy and of course a good glass of red. There is a great atmosphere here. If you are a foodie you will love this area of Rome, it’s full of shops selling all sorts of delicacies and Via dell’Orso in particular has a number of great looking restaurants. This is an area to explore during the day, it is quite quiet after about 9pm.
La. Vi. – Latteria & Vineria, Via Tomacelli, 23
La. Vi. is positioned perfectly for a pit stop after a day of shopping around Via del Corso. It has a fab roof terrace and serves drinks and small bites throughout the day. They offer brunch and dinner, though I’ve heard mixed things about the food. But for a cold refreshing cocktail around the beautiful people, this is the place to go.
Percento – Via del Pellegrino 160
On our last full day in Rome we explored the area surrounding Campo di Fiori. This is a beautiful square to enjoy a drink on, but I would avoid it as a place to eat – lots of overpriced average food. We walked past Percento and decided to book a table for dinner. When we arrived there were only two other diners there and the chef personally came out to chat to us – we told him we’d got engaged the previous day and he said he would create a special 6 course taster menu for us. We really felt spoilt here from the minute we sat down. The menu here is contemporary Italian, very rare for Rome but well received by us after three days of rich Roman food. The food is delicious – the stand out dish for me was the almond and spinach gnocchi.
Ditirambo, Piazza della Cancelleria 74/75
We were flying out of Rome late on Sunday afternoon so we wanted somewhere we could have a long hearty lunch and savour the last of our Roman holiday. We booked a table here the day before – booking is a must as it’s popular with locals. We spent the last of our euros on possibly my favourite dish of the trip, rabbit ragu. The ragu/paradelle ratio was spot on. The depth of flavour in this dish – proper mamas cooking. The rest of the menu looked very inviting too, this is definitely somewhere I will return. We paired it with a bottle of chianti. What a great way to end a wonderful weekend.
I fell in love with Rome, it is full of beauty and you can spend hours getting lost among the meandering streets. I have just booked a three week trip for the in-laws around Italy which has made me even more determined to make it back to Italy very soon.