It’s hard to believe that this time last month, I was finishing up two weeks spent in Italy. Swoon. I had the most unbelievable time, and have been meaning to sit down and write a full re-cap for y’all ever since returning!
I have so much to share and say about the two places we visited… the huge, historic city of Rome and the ancient, Tuscan town of Cortona… so after some thought, I’ve decided to break up this trip recap into two parts. First, we’ll cover the few days I spent in Rome, and I’ll soon follow up with a look at my absolute favorite city in Italy, Cortona!
Today, let’s dive into the three days my family spent in Rome. We stayed in an Airbnb during our entire visit, so below, I’ll be focusing on food and attractions. (The best stuff anyways, right?) At the end of this post, I’ll be sharing all of the photos I took during my time in Rome!
One important thing I’d like to note before we jump in is that since this was my family’s second time in Rome, we spent this trip visiting the more obscure places we didn’t make it to on our first adventure. So that being said, you won’t find “must see” destinations like Coliseum tours, etc. on this post… simply because we’d already done them! But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth doing. Just keep that in mind if you’re planning on visiting Rome for the first time!
When it comes to dining in Rome, I definitely recommend booking reservations in advance. Simply call the restaurant (you can always find the number online) and when a hostess answers, say “Reservation.” They’ll almost always connect you with someone who speaks English.
- De Armando al Pantheon
- Let me start off by saying this. You need to make a reservation a *month* in advance. No, this restaurant isn’t especially ritzy (although you can see the Pantheon literally right outside of the front door) it’s just THAT good. My mom called for reservations two weeks ahead of time, and all they had available was a spot for lunch. This was absolutely the best pasta I had the entire trip. We all ordered different things on the menu, and were all blown away!
- Nonna Betta
- We ended up loving this little spot so much that we ate here twice for dinner! The thing you absolutely can’t miss? The Jewish artichoke. We each got one for ourselves and talked about them the entire trip. It’s not especially fancy, but it is delicious.
- Angelino Ai Fori dal 1947
- This was one of the few restaurants we didn’t have a reservation for. After touring Palatine Hill, we walked past it and decided to give it a try. The pizza ended up being delicious. Perfect lunch spot!
- La Casa del Caffe Tazza d Oro
- When you’re by the Pantheon, you must stop into this spot for coffee! They’re famous for it, and rightly so! I ordered the frozen coffee (I can’t remember the Italian name) and oh my word… it was genuinely a highlight of my trip!
TOURS / ATTRACTIONS
Like I mentioned above, since this was my family’s second time in Rome we chose tours we didn’t get the chance to go on first time around. So don’t forget… this list doesn’t include a few “must see” spots like the Coliseum!
- Borghese Gallery Tour
- We spent a full morning at the Borghese Gallery and the Borghese Gardens! The gallery is a must. Be sure you buy tickets in advance! A ticket gives you a two-hour window of time to wander through the gorgeous building. We ended up opting for the tour, and loved it! (P.S. This is where my sister and I ran into Anna Popplewell!)
- Borghese Gardens
- After a morning tour through the Borghese Gallery, my family and I decided to… wait for it… rent Segways and ride through the gardens! Y’all… THIS is the way to see the garden. It is absolutely massive, and the Segways allowed us to see a lot of it in a fun, fast way. We rented ours for a full hour and had the best time!
- Appian Way Electic Bike Tour
- This bike tour through the Appian Way was one of our absolute favorite things we did! We had an incredible tour guide, Bram, who guided us to the Roman aqueducts, along the Appian Way and to the catacombs. We chose the 6-hour bike ride, and let me tell you… using the electric assist bikes was the way to go. So fun! This really was an amazing way to see so much of Rome that you otherwise wouldn’t. I highly recommend if you have a day for it!
- Palatine Hill Tour
- To put it simply, my family and I are Roman Empire nerds. My sister and I studied Latin and Latin culture extensively throughout elementary and middle school and even into high school, so needless to say Palatine Hill holds a ton of interest for us! That’s why we decided to take a 4-hour private tour of Palatine Hill, where we got to see the homes of Emporer Augustus and his wife, Livia. (Both have just been recently opened to the public and are only viewable via tour.) Since we had already toured the Coliseum on our previous trip, we were excited for a more in-depth visit of Palatine Hill. If you’re not incredibly interested in Roman history, this might be more than you’re looking for… but we found it fascinating!
There you have it, friends, the places we loved visiting and eating at during our 3 full days in Rome! I know what you’re thinking… 3 days is entirely too short to soak in Rome, but the little town of Cortona was our final destination, so we really were just making a pit stop!
I can’t wait to share my Cortona travel guide with you next. It’s such an undiscovered jewel of a city, and there’s so much I’m dying to show you! In the meantime, if you have any questions about my Italy trip (from what I packed to… I don’t know… if I saw Paulo and Isabella) leave them in the comments! I think I’m going to do an Italy Q&A!
Now, here are some more of the images (and outfit details) from my time in Italy. Keep scrolling to the very end for a collage of 16 things I packed for the trip!
The Roman Aqueducts
the tiber river
lunch near palatine hill
Loved getting to relive this trip with y’all via this post! Don’t forget to leave me any questions you have about it for my Italy Q&A!
Love from Texas,