After island sunsets over the Mediterranean, castles in Barcelona and glasses of wine in front of a cozy fire, we thought our trip had been romantic enough. But the last stop was Rome, and nothing could prepare us for the savory meals, cobblestone streets, picturesque architecture and mesmerizing history.
Our two month trip was culminating into a last three days in Rome, so our entire trip we were told to prepare: Rome was dirty, and your wallet was going to be stolen. Chris laughed it off, trying to picture men snatching our luggage as soon as we got off the train (which we were told would happen). And I wasn't worried about a little grit, given that I lived in New York City so long.
It turns out we had nothing to worry about. Every city has its areas that are less than perfect, but with a history that goes back one of the furthest in Europe, there's always some beauty to appreciate. Here is a perfected itinerary of our three days in the Eternal City.
Day 1: The obvious first afternoon
You can't walk through Rome without spotting the Colosseum, or the many cafes that provide front row views to its mesmerizing beauty. So even if you don't want to go in on your first day, there are plenty of places to grab a coffee and gaze at the Colosseum, Arch of Constantine and the Roman Forum. Afterwards, there is a beautiful park nearby where Nero, the hated emperor's castle is preserved. Walking hand in hand, it's a beautiful way to take in the hustle and bustle of a city blending through and around ancient history.
Day 2: Hitting the pavement
Just walking around Rome you will inevitably run into ancient thermal baths, old fish markets, and maybe even a Pantheon. This is not the time to wear heels. Before you go, star places in your Google Maps account that you'd like to see--like the Trevi Fountain or the Vatican. Then go on your way! Make sure your aware of opening and closing times for museums, because places like the Altare della Patria stay open late but the Roman Forum closes early. Save the Trevi Fountain until later, for instance, because of its dazzling lights--a great place to kiss and make a wish at the end of a perfect day. In the square and the streets nearby many bars and restaurants spill tables and chairs onto the cobblestones and make for a romantic dinner under the moon.
Day 3: Diving in deep
Not normally a fan of tours, we were by the end of our Italian trip DONE with all things bread, cheese, and sugar (read: croissants they consider "breakfast"). But we were in Italy, and knew there had to be amazing food just out of our reach. So we went to the locals: Eating Italy. While I'm sure all their tours have something great to offer, the Taste of Testaccio Tour had everything we wanted: history, literature, mozzarella cheese, prosciutto, different types of pastas, wine and craft beer. Even a pyramid! It was in a neighborhood that we wouldn't have gone to otherwise, but contained amazing history from Roman times, to Keats, to the industrial revolution to today's neighborhood vibes. Doing a tour like this, or just making a point to escape the tourist city-center will leave you with a lasting impression on why generations of people have flocked to and fell in love with Rome.