Our first sensation was of chaos since we had just spent an idyllic week in Positano, cooking, eating, drinking and hiking. The heat and noise of Rome felt overwhelming.
After we arrived at our hotel and paid the extra money for the air conditioning, we regrouped and planned the rest of our evening. We found a cafe, ordered some wine and settled in. We strolled after dinner, the ever popular passeggiata, and began to enjoy the sights and sounds of Rome in the evening.
We tried to figure out the right combination of planned activities and just wandering. To that end, we booked a Colosseum Tour with Walks of Italy for our first morning in Rome. We made the right call! The tour started early, included only 12 people and gave us information we never would have figured out on our own. And it ended just in time for lunch! Cavour 313 was just down the road from the Colosseum and had a great wine bar.
Trastavere, the neighborhood just across the Tiber was on our list and had so many great places to eat that it was difficult choosing one. We ended up at Dar Poeta Pizzeria for another terrific meal.
Our hotel was a short walk from Campo de Fiori, an open air market, so we arrived one morning shortly after it opened when the sunlight hitting the produce was incredible.
Just walking the city is a fascinating experience, the window displays are an art form. We made sure to get gelato every afternoon and a quick hit of espresso to fuel us through the evening.
We purchased tickets for the Borghese Gallery before we ever left home. We had a mid-day entrance time which was perfect since it allowed us to walk leisurely to the gallery. The 2 hour time allotment in the gallery was ideal since I tend to have a shorter attention span than my husband and it guaranteed that he couldn’t stay too long. The sculptures were beautiful and I have to admit that I could’ve stayed longer!
It didn’t take long for us to find Sant’Eustachio cafe and when we realized it was a five minute walk from our hotel, it became our first stop each morning. The only problem with how delicious the coffee is in Italy is that you just can’t recreate the taste at home! We almost bought a cappuccino machine when we returned but stopped ourselves just before actually purchasing it. We realized it is about so much more than the perfect foam on the cappuccino…it’s about vacation, it’s about sitting in a sidewalk cafe, it’s about house wine with lunch…and it’s about being in Italy! Sitting in our kitchen in Massachusetts some dreary November morning drinking cappuccino just wouldn’t be the same. So instead of the machine we will save the money to put towards another trip to Italy. Ciao!