I came to Rome from Seattle by way of London – where I stayed in the airport for about 9 hours – and Paris – where my boyfriend nestled us into the most cozy, vintage-style apartment in Saint-Ouen for a few days. (To answer your question – no, you cannot have him.) Aforementioned boyfriend had just spent the last month in Turkey, Egypt, Greece, and a host of other places, and was battling a nasty bout of food poisoning from some Parisian sushi for about a week and a half before we left for Italy.
Despite our exhaustion and le boyfriend’s compromised health, we were SO excited to get to Rome.
It was hot. Really, really hot. If you’re prone to heatstroke or general heat-induced grumpiness, do not go to Rome in the late summer. I am most miserable when I’m too hot. Even still, Rome was a magical experience.
This was my second time, but I got to see a much different side of the city. The first time around was a super-fun, now-extremely-sentimental trip with my grandmother, who, god bless her, was feverishly glued to her map, trying to keep her bearings. My second visit was with this freewheeling lover of mine, and we got to stay with friends, who – get this – actually LIVE there.
One of my favourite things about our visit was that our friends’ apartment (which is darling, by the way) was perched right above a fresh fruit and veggie market, and right across the street from some of the most delicious Indian food I’ve ever eaten (shoutout Ristorante Indiano Bombay). Also, little markets all around, and the cheapest GOOD wine you’ve ever seen.
My boyfriend and I both work remotely, which means we can take our work anywhere – a good thing or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. It was alright in Rome because our friends introduced us to this awesome, air conditioned (!!!!) cafe near their apartment. Amazing espresso, great treats, and strong wifi. Shoutout Necci.
We did all the things you’re supposed to do – we saw the Trevi and the Pantheon and the Colosseum. (We’d all seen ’em before, but you gotta go when in Roma, right?) Pro tip: There’s a tiny little dusty “park” across and up from the Colosseum that gives arguably better views of the famous Roman antiquity than you can pay to see inside.
Probably the best thing about any new place is all the new, delicious food you get to eat; and the calories don’t count because you’re abroad. (That’s how that works, right?) If you ever go to Roma, the first thing you do when you get off that plane – the FIRST thing…do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not stop to shower – you go to Mama Angela’s. I am telling you. Order one of everything; but order two plates of bruschetta and two plates of cacio e pepe and a basket of bread with oil and vinegar.
Okay, I’m salivating, which means this is my cue to stop talking about food.
But NOT until I tell you about the legendary gelato of Gelateria Frigidarium Roma. See pictures. It’s delicious.
Okay, now we’re done with food.
I know I keep saying, “THIS is the best thing…” “no, wait, THIS is the best thing…” but for real, I think the people are my favourite thing about Rome. The culture is so relaxed. (Relaxed enough to probably drive my speed-addled American mind crazy, if I lived there.) They are, largely, open-hearted and warm; fiery and kind. They laughed at my attempts to speak Italian, but they didn’t make me feel like they were looking down on me. We were just people, doing people things.
I love Rome.