Time of Year: Suggestions are from a visit in both December and March. Rome is true to their winter and spring seasons! Perks of winter is that everything is decorated for Xmas but you can encounter weird hours. Perks of spring is that you can get gorgeous sunny days and flowers are in bloom but you need to dress in layers for the variety of temperatures.
Must Bring: Leave your heels at home since you’ll need boots that are meant for walking on cobblestone streets, maybe a chunky heel if you must. For winter, bring all the things to keep you warm. For spring, be prepared to be cold in the morning, warm when the sun is at it’s highest and cold when the sun sets. Layers!
Ciao Tutti! Italy holds a special place in my heart (and my belly). I was born not far from Rome! Long story short, my families’ 9 month stint on the coastal town of Santa Severa left us with lovely memories of the country and the people in it. Everyone was so kind to us. Even though I’m not technically Italian, I like to think that I inherited some of their cooking skills and a certain admiration for Italian men (hur hur). I’m coming off of a total Italian food high and need a place to document all the amazing meals I had. I’m guessing if you’ve found yourself here, you’re either going to Rome or in the mood to read up an appetite.
Rome is one of those cities that has so many good places to eat that finding the super amazing ones that stand out among a sea of gems and tourist traps is a satisfying challenge. Here’s my list.
Il Corallo – I have eaten here a total of 4 times now. This is a lot for a non resident. I felt that this was one of the more Roman restaurants and noticed that it attracted a lot of local families. Food that keeps all generations happy means it’s the good stuff. You really can’t go wrong with your order but this was what we got! We ordered the Puntarelle Alla Romana, a Bresaola pizza, eggplant parm and a burratta.
Taverno Lucifero – Just go here. Make a reservation, spend a little more on dinner and go here. The food, oh the food, truffle gold mine! If you’re not into truffles that’s fine (is it though?) because literally everything on the menu tastes exceptional. It doesn’t sound exciting but we added two more orders of the grilled vegetables they were so delicious. A place that can turn grilled veggies from drab to fab- now that’s really impressive. Truffles and pasta and more truffles and pasta. It was a highlight of the trip.
Sapori Sardi – Stumbled into this Sardinian Restaurant after a long morning of sight seeing. We were quickly crossing the bridge from hungry to hangry. The seafood feast that awaited us was worth the wait. You must be a seafood lover to enjoy this spot – which is a nice little break after all the carbs and cheese in my opinion! Order the seafood mixture where you get to try a little bit of everything. Finish the meal off with some “Mirto” digestive (purple drank).
Taverna Angelica – Off the beaten path with no touristy feel. A complimentary glass of prosecco to start (i’m in!) and an entertaining, warm hearted conversation with the owners Mariella and Douglas was a perfect way to render our pallets ready for the unbelievable Mediterranean influenced Italian meal to come. Tasting menu is very reasonable. Great wine. This little shrimp kataifi appetizer thing I still dream about.
Taverna Agape – Nice outdoor seating at a small square with a fountain. The best bruschetta we had. Really nice vibes.
Old Bear – Popular reasonably priced restaurant. Portions were large and felt home cooked. I had the prime rib filet with green sauce. There wasn’t a drop left on my plate. I asked them why it was called Old Bear, she told me it was because her father is very big like a bear. That explanation alone will have me returning, that, and the cheesecake.
Vinaietto – Old Winery – Absolutely love this spot for a pre/post dinner buzz. Family run with awesome cheap wine. Even in the dead of winter people are standing outside with their glasses of vino and chatting. Huge selection inside to choose from.
Jerry Thomas Speakeasy – A nice mix of kitshy and cool. If you need a break from wine and are craving a cocktail this is the place to do it. You’ll have to fill in a membership card and hope there’s a seat for you. It’s dark, smokey and has some speakeasy-esque tunes playing. Expensive cocktais. I got the penicillin 😉
Salotto42– Trendy chic spot for your big night out in Rome. Great music, cozy and vibey.
Hotel de Russie – Hotel with a stunning serene garden. It’s worth peaking in to check it out but note that the drinks are comically expensive. So maybe just walk in and seem like you’re there for a drink, waiting for a friend, scoping out the venue for an event… just some ideas.
Roof Garden – Les Etoiles – We ended our food tour (mentioned below) at this roof top restaurant with 360 views. If you’re in the area definitely stop up for a spritz and a chill
I won’t be able to give a better breakdown of all the ruins and tourist attractions to see in Rome than any good old certified travel site/book. On my maps I have marked the main attractions and also some of the lesser known ones. Here are a couple of my favorites to visit once you’ve done the Rome staples.
Galleria Doria Pamphelij – A beautiful private villa right in the center of Rome. The family still lives here and keeps the first floor open as a museum to showcase the design and art work.
Baths Of Caracallas – I had not heard of this spot before my second visit to Rome. The Roman emperor Caracalla who has a rep for being horrible, basically built the first massive Equinox gym and here are the ruins. Just a bro who wanted to build a gym, classic. It was a great activity for a nice sunny day since it’s all outdoors with plenty of grounds to cover.
The Pantheon – If you’re coming to Rome your 1st or 5th time I always think a quick pop into the pantheon is a good idea. Especially if you are lucky enough to be nearby when it’s raining or snowing! You can see the weather come from the hole in the dome. If you see this please send me a photo 🙂
RomaEat Food Tour – We signed up for the RomaEat food tour that was such a unique way to see a less visited part of Rome on the other side of the Tiber River. The tour consisted of 6-7 stops where we had a taste of various kinds of roman food. We started with a cup of cappuccino (of course) and went on to the market where vendors had us taste different cheese, meat, tomatoes, olive oils and jams. Next we jaunted on to have pizza, see where local pasta is made, eat some street food and then end with some gelato. Our tour guide Erika was amazing, knowledgeable and full of life! **If you are interested, use my discount code “eskimoves” at check out for 5 euros off per person***
Obviously now everything is available worldwide but there’s nothing quite like getting a gift from someone who comes home from far away.
I always like going to a local grocery store and seeing what looks unique and tasty. I picked up some mixed spice bags for pasta that have parsley, garlic, and pepper. I also grabbed some dried porcinis – can’t wait to remake my mushroom soup (highlight saved on my instagram) with them.
As for clothing. I love grabbing some cashmere scarves in Italy. They’re great gifts, easy to pack and I actually think you can find higher quality at a much more reasonable price here. If it was the season for them you can also grab some leather gloves – who doesn’t love Italian gloves!