When in Rome – Part 1

So I recently went to Rome for a few days and thought it might be interesting to share my thoughts on what was worth my money and time and what wasn’t.

All in all I really enjoyed Rome. It was very sunny while I was there and it is by far the most interesting city I’ve ever been to. You literally can’t walk for more then a few minutes without finding another little historic treasure.

When we arrived late in the evening we took the Metro to the Spanish Steps and had a lovely dinner at Palatium. I took the chance to try Cacio e Pepe, a traditional roman pasta dish made with a sauce from Pecorino and pepper. It was delicious and we followed up with what I think is the best Gelato in Rome at Ciampini.

On the first day at 7 am we started by doing a very special guided tour through the Vatican museums, the Sistine Chapel and the St Peters Basilica. Our tour guide was called Camille and it was organized by the Walks of Italy company. The tour enabled us to be the first people in the Vatican museums, which we rushed through at the beginning to get to the Sistine Chapel while it was still quiet and peaceful. The tour was called the Pristine Sistine tour because of precisely that. After the chapel we had another, closer look at some of the best artworks in the museums and ended the tour in St Peters Basilica. While the tour was quite expensive it was worth every cent. Being a quite anxious person around large crowds, I loved that we were able to start the day off without the rush that starts later on.

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When you’re visiting Rome remember to take your time and slow things down whenever you get the chance because you are going to be doing a lot of walking no matter what. For lunch we went to the infamous Pizzarium, which unfortunately I didn’t like as much as I wanted to. While the pizza slices were pretty yummy, they were very expensive as well (they are priced by kilo) and I had better pizza later on.

After a lot of walking in the Vatican we were actually planning on taking it slow for the rest of the day by just strolling through the streets. On our mission to find the Pantheon we got lost and even though we did manage to find it in the end it got dark by the time we got there. But don’t get me wrong: Even being lost in Rome is a beautiful adventure. The Pantheon was a very atmospheric experience but sadly very crowded as well. I recommend coming early in the morning or late in the evening to catch the beautiful lighting.

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Unfortunately Armando al Pantheon was booked out, so we walked further south to find a nice place to eat. Following this mission we ended up in front of the Colosseum pretty late in the evening (and way further south than we wanted to be) and sat down at a very touristy place because we where so hungry. I can’t even remember the name so it was clearly not worth sharing.

After three days in Rome I think I’ve developed what you could call a rule of thumb for where to eat:

  • Don’t eat when there is a waiter standing outside trying to get you in
  • Be careful if it’s near a touristy place (but there are definitely exceptions!)
  • Do eat where the locals eat
  • Do your research

Concerning the last point: At least that’s what I did and all went well! I will let you know where to find the best recommendations next week or so.

Part 2 & 3 of When in Rome are going up next week and the week after that and they will include Villa Borghese, the Colosseum and the best Tiramisu on the planet! Stay tuned 🙂

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