CITIES | TRAVEL
When in Rome, do as the triplets do! We’re kidding when we say this, but we’re serious in wanting to share a few tips and reflect on our experience in Rome from September 2017. While we are yet to explore many corners of the world, all three of us felt a special connection to Rome that placed it very high on our list of favorite cities.
We were not prepared for the visual feast that Rome was despite all the years of cultural exposure through movies, magazines and photos. Every corner was a photo-worthy architectural masterpiece -- from warm orange walls covered in luscious ivy to spectacular churches and cathedrals that sprung where you least expected. All of that was bathed in golden light that reminded us a bit of LA, though even warmer and more glowy. We were caught at Altare della Patria which overlooks Piazza Venezia right before dusk, where we witnessed the most magical sunset (see pictures below). All of Rome’s piazzas were beautiful universes of their own, but Piazza di Spagna may have been our favorite. Trastevere, a hip, artsy neighborhood sprinkled with little boutiques and buzzy bars, was an ideal strolling venue both during daylight and at night.
Rome was nearly the last stop on our two-week trip through Italy and by the time we had reached it, we felt we couldn’t handle any more pasta. Yet, here we were rushing to try the renowned lobster spaghetti at Le Mani in Pasta. This traditional Roman place in Trastevere, with tables set closely together and the staff incredibly friendly, is an absolute must, with the lobster spaghetti and grilled porcini one of our favorite meals throughout our whole trip. We loved starting our day by visiting one of the typical Roman cafés where Italians quickly down their espressos on foot and satiate their hunger with a few bottoncini -- mini sliders with fresh meats and cheeses. We fell in love with Roscioli in particular, located in the center of the city, close to the major landmarks. Great dessert was everywhere, but we were particularly smitten with Gelateria la Romana in Trastevere.
At night, we opted for the delicious cocktails and artsy, vintage ambiance of Black Market, a cocktail lounge in Monti, one of the young and hip neighborhoods frequented by locals. Alternatively, we indulged in the traditional Italian way of going out by drinking aperitivos in piazzas among multiple groups of partygoers. Our favorite location was Bar del Fico in the fun Piazza del Fico.
As far as where to stay, we relied on Airbnb as per usual, but we also splurged on the stunning boutique hotel G-Rough for a night (thanks SPG points!). Prior to converting this former residential building to a hotel, the owner invited friends to a demolition party that turned into an art installation of sorts. The walls were stripped of centuries of paint and paper, leaving them raw and bare, and party members made their own marks, some of which remain to date. When we first walked into the hotel, which is squeezed in between other buildings and difficult to spot amid the maze of tiny cobblestone streets, we stumbled into a tasteful lounge flanked by a beautiful bar. We were immediately greeted by the hotel manager, who personally welcomes every single guest and tells them the genesis story of the hotel. Complimentary campari spritzes magically materialized. Our room was tastefully designed to the last detail, with the TV thoughtfully camouflaged with fabric (we’ve always felt that TVs ruin interior design). We would say we will be back, but we first need to replenish our SPG points :).