When In Rome: Where to Eat, Sightsee, Shop and How To Meet the Pope
They say Rome wasn’t built in a day—but what to do if you only have a little more than, say, a day or two to explore it? With so much to see and do and such a rich, overwhelming amount of culture, art, and history to soak in, that could definitely be a challenge. It helps to set your priorities so you can plan your itinerary accordingly. Would you rather shop? Eat? Sightsee? Here is a quick roundup of suggestions and recommendations, with tips from locals since, as another popular saying goes: When in Rome…
The good news about Rome is that it’s food heaven—virtually anywhere you go you will have a good meal. That
Trattoria da Danilo (Via Petrarca, 13)
No trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to an authentic Italian trattoria. This one is a favorite among local food bloggers, and everybody knows that when it comes to food, you can never go wrong by listening to the locals. The carbonara is a must-try—a frame hanging on the wall proudly proclaims that Danilo’s made it to Italian food magazine Gambero Rosso’s top 10 list.
Regoli Pasticceria (Via
This pastry shop is just a couple years shy of celebrating its 100th anniversary, so you know it must be doing something right. Popular choices are
Your first impression upon seeing the crusts covered with heaping toppings lined up against the counter window will most likely be: “Is there anything they can’t put on a pizza?” Whether it’s chunks of potatoes, slices of prosciutto, or huge scoops of cheese, everything is fair game for the man known as “the Michelangelo of Pizza,” founder Gabriele Bonci.
Sant’Eustachio Il Caffé (Piazza di Sant’Eustachio, 82)
The smell of coffee alone should already be enough to jolt you, but if a genuine caffeine fix is in order, a cappuccino or espresso should do the trick. If you’d rather get it on ice, go for a granita di caffé—with a topping of whipped cream if you’re feeling extra naughty.
Taverna Trilussa (Via del Politeama, 23/25)
It’s said that this place has the best pasta amatriciana in the city, served to you in the still-warm pan it was cooked in so there can be no doubt of its freshness (and so you can soak up the sauce down to the last bit). The ravioli mimosa comes highly recommended, too.
In the mood to swipe your credit card and burn some euros? Do it in the most time-efficient way possible by heading to these shopping strips.
If you’re looking for something in a more accessible price range, keep on walking until you get to Via del Corso. You’ll find a range of high street boutiques, but it would be a crime not to pop into some of the smaller stores so you can sample the local merchandise—keep an eye out especially for bags and shoes made out of genuine Italian leather.
Take a stroll down Via del Condotti, where you can easily get your designer fix. Armani, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Prada, and more are all within reach. You’ll also find the flagship store of Bulgari, along with just about every other major luxury name worth knowing.
Looking to shop for presents to take home? Go to Via Cola
Whether you want to bow your head in solemn prayer or marvel at structures that have been standing for centuries, there is simply no shortage of places to visit… the only difficulty will be in choosing which ones to go to, really.
Of course, the Vatican is a must-see. If you are looking to catch a glimpse of the Pope when he is in town (and don’t mind sharing him with a huge crowd), join the assembly in St. Peter’s Square at noon every Sunday so you can hear him recite the Angelus and wave to him from his perch at his apartment window.
Still not done with your
Don’t forget to set aside time to take in a little bit of Roman history. For that, you must head to the Colosseum, site of ancient gladiatorial fights and the world’s largest
Also include a visit to a
Before bidding the city goodbye, make a wish at the Fontana di Trevi. Tradition dictates that, with your back to the fountain, you throw in a coin using your right hand over your left shoulder… your wish, of course, being that you would like to return to Rome again one day. And after this day or two spent exploring, you will absolutely need to—in order to make room for still more things to see, eat, and do on your next trip.
WANT TO SEE THE POPE IN PERSON?
WEDNESDAY PAPAL AUDIENCE AT 10:30 A.M.
The Pope gives teachings and readings in various languages, prays the Our Father in Latin, and issues an Apostolic Blessing. Tickets can be picked up
If your visit happens to fall on a Sunday, follow the crowd assembling at St. Peter’s Square
EASTER OR CHRISTMAS MASS
If you’re celebrating these special occasions in Rome, try booking tickets at least two to six months in advance—the
This article originally appeared in Our Pope magazine, published by Summit Media.