Buongiorno a tutti! :) Those of you who follow me on Instagram (can't be that many, haha) already know that I've spent 4 incredible days in the Italian capital two weeks ago and it was just
A M A Z I N G !
As usual, I would like to share my experiences with you guys, give you some travel tips and hope that you'll enjoy today's blogpost! So let's get started!
Back in October I found this incredible cheap flight from Vienna to Rome for about 90€ via Austrian Airlines and thought- Seriously? I need to do this. I just have to. So I did. I booked the flight, shortly after the hotel and on November 9th I was off to Rome! I arrived there at about 4 in the afternoon, so on the first day I only took a quick spin through the city to get a first impression but went to bed quite early that day. The next morning I woke up to about 20degrees, sunshine - and an amazing breakfast of course, which for me mainly consisted of scrambled eggs and yogurt. When in Rome, you know ...
Right at the beginning of my morning stroll I stumbled upon the church Santa Maria Maddalena which is located on the Via della Maddalena. I've honestly never heard of it before and was surprised by its beauty! What I loved the most about it was the little patio right next to it that you can easily reach trough a back door on the side. It's like a little secret garden with columns, palm trees and even fish swimming in a small pond.
This is me sitting on some steps at the Piazza del Popolo, a beautifully designed square which lies at the end of the Via del Corso, a high class shopping street.
T H E B O R G H E S E G A R D E N S
From Piazza del Popolo you can easily reach one of Rome's biggest and most beautiful gardens, the Villa Borghese Garden. It's basically a park housing a number of buildings, museums (such as the Galleria Borghese) and other attractions.
From up there you can enjoy a spectacular view over Rome, especially the Vatican! I could have spent a whole day or even longer in this giant garden, however, 2 hours or so where already long enough to realize just how lovely the complex is!
G A L L E R I A N A Z I O N A L E
D' A R T E M O D E R N A
One of the big perks of being an art history student is to get free access to any art museum in the city, which is why it was very hard for me to choose wich museums to go to, as I didn't want to spend too much time indoors. Since I've already been to Rome once, I knew that I had to go to the galleria nazionale d'arte moderna once again, since it was so amazing! So even if you're not getting a free ticket be sure to check out this amazing place which is situated right outside the park.
After having enjoyed so many great pieces of art I went back to Piazza del Popolo and from there just wandered around the city. It's really great to not rely on public transportation all the time and to just walk around as much as you can. That way you'll be amazed just how connected the city actually is and how easy it is to get from one place to another. With that in mind I only bought myself 10 single tickets which can be used for buses, metro and even trains and one ticket is valid for 100 minutes after validation.
P I A Z Z A G I U S E P P E G A R I B A L D I
As you can see, I made my way to Castel Sant'Angelo and the Vatican that day, however I tried not to stay there too long due to the touristy people everywhere and pushy vendors who can ruin your mood pretty quickly. So I fled from the masses to a place called Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi which is situated on a hill right next to Tiber river overlooking the city. The neighborhood there turned out to be so lovely, I felt like I was surrounded by real Italians and probably actually was.
T R A S T E V E R E
After having enjoyed the sun set over the roman rooftops I went back down to the shore of the Tiber and decided to finally visit the must-see neighborhood in Rome that is known for its delicious and non-expensive food - Trastevere. (Fun Fact: Didn't know 'till a few weeks ago that "tras tevere" literally means "beyond the Tiber. Fascinating, isn't it?)
I didn't take me too long to find a place for dinner, so I chose this lovely restaurant of which I don't know the name anymore - but believe me,- there are so many nice restaurants in that region, you'll definitely find something similar or even lovelier, I'm sure. :) I gotta say, it was my first time ordering seafood risotto and I was seriously peeing my pants shortly after I had ordered. However, the meal turned out to be so extremely delicious that I'd even say it was the best meal I've had when I was in Rome. After biting the heads off of all those innocent little fellas (I really kind of felt bad afterwards) I headed back to the other side of the Tiber and went to next bus station that brought me back to my hotel.
T H E H O T E L
I just realized, I haven't mentioned the place yet where I was staying at.- The hotel's called Hotel Villa Torlonia and is situated right next to a Villa with the same name. The neighborhood in which the Hotel is situated in is really calm, charming and colourful, so even at night I felt totally at ease walking around alone. The room, for which I paid 120€ or so (for 4 nights) was very comfy and modern, the bathroom was very chic as well! I'd definitely recommend it to anyone coming to Rome, alone or as a couple!
When I woke up the next day I was greeted by another sunny day and approximately 24 degrees. Don't forget, it's November. Crazy! After breakfast I went to the nearest bus station (Via Nomenata) that takes you right into the center of the city. I always got off at the Trevi fountain station and then made my way through the city from there.
F O R O R O M A N O
Since the day turned out to be so incredibly beautiful, I decided to take a good friend's advice and go to the Roman Forum, which is a square surrounded by the ruins of several imporant ancient government buildings at the center of Rome. I honestly have to say that I've always refused to go there as I didn't want to do such typical touristy things, but my friend insisted that I'd take a look, so I did. And I have to say, it turned out to be the highlight of my entire trip.
For centuries, the Roman Forum was the center of public life. It was the site of triumphal processions and elections, the venue for public speeches, criminal trials, shopping and gladiatorial matches. The Forum is located in the small valley between the Palatine and Capitoline Hills and houses the oldest and most important structures of the ancient city.
Seriously, just looking at those pictures, I immediately want to go there again. It was my absolute favourite part of the whole trip, I cannot repeat myself enough! :) After having seen such beauty I couldn't help myself but think about something quite similarly beautiful shortly after. Food, of course. Which is why I took out my map and headed to the Pantheon, where there was supposed to be this lovely restaurant I looked up on a blog. And who would have thought it - I actually found it.
S A N T' E U S T A C H I O I L C A F F È
The restaurant is called Sant' Eustachio il Caffè and is situated near the Pantheon. I'm so glad I found that place since I from now on went to this caffè every single day of my remaining trip. What I love about it so much, besides the incredible food, is the view you get from your table (you can watch people passing by, it's very calm and relaxing), the service (the waiters aren't pushy or anything, they're actually quite funny and humorous and take good care of their customers) and it's really not that expensive.
C A S T E L S A N T' A N G E L O
After Lunch and a long coffee break it was already 4 in the afternoon, so I decided to go to the top of Castel Sant' Angelo to enjoy the beautiful sunset.- And guys, brace yourselves, the upcoming pictures are too good to be true. Phishing for compliments?- Maybe.
Do I need to say anything? Yeah, didn't think so. A picture's worth a thousands words,- cheesy, but true. After it went dark I went back to the Colosseum Metro Station from where I only had two stops 'till reaching the Policlinico Station, which was also very near to my hotel.
S A N T A M A R I N E L L A
On my last real day here in Rome I decided to get up early and go on a little adventure. I wanted to see the beach,- and anyone who knows me knows that I'm ridiculously stubborn, so when I want to do something, no matter how stupid it might seem, I'll do it. Luckily my master plan turned out to be a real success, so after I had boarded the train to Santa Marinella,- a tiny town located about an hour away from Rome, I couldn't believe my eyes (and nose) when I got out.
That feeling you get at the beach is priceless, isn't it? Even if you can't swim it's still so incredibly beautiful and calming... The town itself is really very tiny and sleepy, most people entered the streets at about 11am. (Yes, I know that because I'm a stalker.)
(As a stalker I also know that Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini had a villa here. At least according to Wikipedia. Haha!)
After strolling around the town with its cute little markets and impressive harbour I went back to Rome shortly after midday where I got myself some lunch at ...- do I need to say it?
This Caffè, I'm telling you ...
Well, after lunch I went to another really cool place also situated near the Pantheon called "Giolitti". It's a well-known coffee house and pastry shop and the oldest ice cream parlor in Rome. The place is most famous for its ice cream, which comes in many different flavours produced according to secret recipes. Since I was completely overwhelmed by the huge variety I didn't know what to do and picked strawberry and chocolate. I know, boring right? I don't even like strawberry but I was too stressed out, the only word I could think of was "fragola" when the old, white haired vendor yelled at me to finally make a decision. But it's okay, I really loved the taste!
M A X X I M U S E U M
(or as I like to call it - P A R A D I S E)
I wanted to end my trip and my last night here in Rome with a visit to a museum that I've heard about in one of my art history seminars. A colleague of mine is writing her master thesis on modern museum architecture and once mentioned the MAXXI (Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo) which is a national museum of contemporary art and architecture in the Flaminio quarter designed by Zaha Hadid, an Iraqi-British architect who also designed the Library & Learning Center of the WU campus in Vienna. Without further ado, here are some impressions of the museum- I strongly recommend you once go there when you're in Rome,- if not for the art then at least for the architecture.
Congratulations! You've made it! :) You've reached the end of the blogpost. I know, if rambling on was an art, I'd be the master. But I just wanted to share my experience with you guys and give helpful tips on where to go and what to do if you're planning on visiting this marvelous city any time soon. :)
P.S.: As usual, there'll be a video of my trip as well, stay tuned!