It’s true: the most affordable, simple, and delicious pasta is found here.
It’s true: the Colosseum is grand and impressive.
Other than that, though, my husband and I did not think we needed as much time as we did in Rome and wished we would have made time for a smaller city visit, like Portofino or Lake Como. We literally had no idea that Rome was a massive city. When we pictured Rome, we saw like fields and greenery and water and quaint streets. When we got off the bullet train we took from Venice to here, we felt like we walked into NYC. Not a bad thing, just not what we expected! On our second and third day in Rome, we did venture out from the city and found that those more local spots exist, but still was different than what we thought!
I will also say, prepare to bring your imagination. You’ll hear a lot “this used to be”, because literally if something wasn’t converted into a church (like the Pantheon), then it was destroyed. That’s why there’s literally ruins everywhere. Things like where the emperor used to live (Palatine Hill) are so heartbreaking, because all you see on the tours are a few walls, but you know it was so epic before! Alex and I definitely would like to invest in an Augmented Reality Rome tour to be developed haha!
While on our guided tour of the Colosseum, we again heard the name Trastevere, which we had heard of many times after watching Rome vlogs. We had a friend who used to work as a chef at Olive Garden’s headquarters and he recommended a restaurant in this same area. To get there, we took Lime scooters across the Tiber and found a much more Rome-feeling town hahaha. It definitely made us love this city more. And it was at Otello’s Restaurant in Trastevere that we had the best pasta ever! The best way I can describe Rome’s pasta is that it’s simple. Their sauces don’t have a lot of spices and “clutter in them”. Their pasta is homemade and usually al dente. And I truly, truly love it!! Same with their popular cacio e pepe. Literally cheese and pepper, but absolutely delicious!
Places we recommend:
Hotel Mercure Centro Colosseo. We paid a little less than $300 a night. Super close to the main attractions. Rooftop pool and bar. Free waters every morning. Clean and cute!
Otello’s Restaurant in Trastevere. You have to try tiramisu here. Absolutely amazing, and I usually hate it in the US!!
Tried our first Michelin star restaurant for lunch, Marco Martini. Super cute area and felt like more locals were around.
Giolitti for gelato
Venchi for gelato and chocolate. This place was SO cute!
We were honestly going to skip the Trevi Fountain but I’m happy we did. It’s much bigger in person!
A friend who used to live here recommended Rosciolo Salumeria con Cucina and we would’ve gone if we had one more night. Also Santa Maria Osteria Ristorante