Rome is like a menu, and on every page you are destined to find something that will whet your appetite and leave you with a satisfied palate. She will entice you one way or another. There is so much to see that you would have to break her down into bite sized musings on what to do and where to go, dependent on your mood.
Primi – Pantheon, Colosseum and Vatican Museums. Need I say more? Cryptics and diptychs galore.
Secondi – Pincio, Palazzo Valentini, Chiostro del Bramante and Ara Pacis.
Dolci – Fluid, Etabli, Teatro Arciliuto Bar Longue or Hotel Raphael Rooftop Terrace Bar.
Day One : You have just begun.
As good a place as any to start is perhaps the best buildings in Rome:
The Pantheon. A delicious layer of BC brickwork, topped with a hole in the roof to view the ancient Gods.
Palazzo Valentini. Don your best archaeologist attire and visit underneath a Domus Romana (an ancient Roman house), complete with ancient Roman roads and mosaics.
Via del Governo Vecchio – The divine street full of vintage boutiques and art galleries. Watch the local faces come to life as they re-open their shops post siesta. Here is a perfect place for an aperitivo – a typical happy hour tradition in Italy where you enjoy a drink like a glass of Prosecco and are served complimentary tapas or nibbles while people watching. I recommend Fluid at number 46 for an ‘Api Hour’, where mixologist Mattia will serve you up alcoholic treats as you perch on ice cube seats. Generous happy hour includes a complimentary buffet, with their (secret) homemade recipe hummus.
Day Two: Start anew. I’d wake up early if I were you.
Pincio – A brisk morning stroll overlooking the breathtaking, wide angle perfect shot, of Rome’s domes and dames. There is a boating lake framed by weeping willows and ancient Roman temples. A little brunch time beauty never hurt anybody. ‘Picnic spot alert’, grab your lunch to go in advance, getting plastic cutlery and glasses too, from the gourmet food store Castroni on via Cola di Rienzo.
Chiostro del Bramante– Peace. Coffee. Wifi. All of this in a beautiful historic building complete with an art gallery and a beautiful courtyard. Via Arco delle Pace 5.
The Roof Terrace at the Raphael Hotel in Largo Febo 2 has views over Rome’s magnificent rooftops. You feel as if you are sitting on top of the world. Well, you are.
Etabli Wine bar on Vicolo delle Vacche 9, Piazza Navona area.
Ara Pacis adds a 2007 slick lick of white paint to Rome’s architectural spectrum. Cool, funky, historical, and right on Lungotevere in Augusta beside the mausoleum of Augustus (follow with lunch at Gusto on via delle Frezza 16).
It’s often hard to plan anything in this city, as spontaneity flows through Roma’s veins. So, the more relaxed an attitude you take with you on your Roman Holiday experience, the more you’ll flow with the rhythm of the city.
Try a bitter bronze ‘amaro’ digestive drink to round it all off. The only bitter part about it, is leaving Rome behind.