We watched Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover: Rome” before leaving on our trip. While we weren’t overly impressed with the food stops on this particular episode, the biggest take away was Bourdain’s advice to: “Visit Rome slowly. You sit, you stroll, you take it slow and as it comes. You don’t go to see stuff, you let it slip up on you — one piazza, one fountain, one amazing structure at a time.” And, that is exactly what we did. It was the best-case scenario for such a short stay.
Hotel Raphael: This sophisticated, ivy-covered hotel is located in our favorite neighborhood (and less than a 15-minute walk to the Trevi Fountain). Beautiful, quiet and quaint. Artists painting on the streets, old men playing chess outside of charming local coffee shops and beautiful storefronts around every corner. Book far in advance to get the best rates. While breakfast is included, skip it. Breakfast: quite possibly the only thing Europeans don’t do well!
Hotel de Russie: a friend put it perfectly, the hotel is “f*ck off beautiful”. We visited this hotel for a drink in the garden — a green oasis right in the center of Rome and only 5 minutes from the Spanish Steps.
SEE/ DO (besides the obvious choices):
Galleria Borghese: if you only have time to visit one art gallery in Rome, this is it. It’s been referred to as “the queen of all private art collections”. Also, the grounds are spectacular and worth a stroll.
Palazzo Doria Pamphilij: one of those places that popped up on us and totally worth a visit even if you skip the art.
Daniela’s Cooking School: specializing in Roman and Neapolitan dishes.
Every and any church: A hotel guest at Hotel Santa Caterina told us: “if you pass a church, go inside”. The best advice as well as a nice break from the intense July heat.
Next up: Rome eats!