Every one soon or late comes round by Rome: these are the words by the English poet Robert Browning, so I think is useful to read a travel guide before to come in the Eternal City.
Rome is the biggest city in Italy and many tourists have only a couple of days available, so I picked some of the best spots and I designed a unique itinerary including popular places, breathtaking views, tasty breaks and nice walks.
I have to thanks the staff of Wonder Where To Stay, specialized in selecting the finest vacation homes in Rome for demanding tourists, for their help about the most peculiar venues to visit in 48 hours.
Going for a stroll on Capitoline Hill
Rome is also the city of the Seven Hills and the most important is the Capitoline Hill. The meaning of this name is “dominant height” and it was the citadel of the earliest Romans.
Now on the top of Capitoline Hill there is a square, Piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo between 1536 and 1546, and here there are the official buildings of Rome’s civic government and the Capitoline Museums, that consists of three main buildings.
If you like archaeology and classical sculptures the Capitoline are a must-see. Furthermore, the Capitoline are the world’s oldest public museums. At the end of your visit, I suggest to going to Vittoriano, also known as the Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland), located very close to Capitoline Hill.
Nevertheless, I think this isn’t one of the best monuments in Rome, in fact the people call it Il Vittoriano “the wedding cake”, with reference to its pomposity. But from its terraces you can enjoy the best view over the historical center, so when you arrive, take the glass lift and go to the panoramic terrace.The opening hours are 9:30 am to 7:30 pm and the ticket costs 7 €: in my opinion, this is the best spot where to see the most popular monuments of the Eternal City from above, such as Colosseum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Imperial Fora.
Where to have a break in the center of Rome
For lunch I preferred a quick and tasty meal within a walking distance from Piazza Venezia. I like organic street food, so I was amazed by All Bi One, specialized in meat balls (the Romans call it “ il polpettaro”).
All Bi One, located at Largo Corrado Ricci 34, offers 14 different kinds of meat balls to eat at table or take away.
Why visit Villa Medici, the house of French Academy in RomeI think that the most stunning places in Rome are the villas surrounded by gardens. For this reason I recommend a visit to Villa Medici, located next to Trinità dei Monti, close to Spanish Steps.
The Villa is the seat of the French Academy, hosts temporary exhibitions and is surrounded by 7 hectares of gardens, designed in a XVI century style, elected as the most beautiful garden of Italy in 2015. I went there in the afternoon and I suggest booking a guided tour to discover the history of the palace and the many works of art housed here, dating back to Renaissance era.
The contemporary side of the Eternal City
My second day in Rome was dedicated to contemporary side of the city; in fact I decided to visit MAXXI, the National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, situated in the Flaminio district and highly recommended to modern design lovers. The museum was designed by the prestigious archi-star Zaha Hadid and now hosts art installations, workshops, photo exhibitions, movie festivals and concerts.
To be updated and plan a visit of MAXXI check the official website, the museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday: www.fondazionemaxxi.it/en/.
This venue proves that contemporary art in Rome is important as well as the archaeological sites; in a couple of days you can discover both the sides of this unique place in the world.
Where to find the best delis
In Rome there are a lot of restaurants, trattoria and bars, but this is also the city of grocery stores, where to find delis that will treat your palate.
One of the most popular is Roscioli, located in the heart of the center, at via dei Chiavari, 34. The quality of food is very high and you can eat traditional Italian dishes at lunch or dinner, buy some cheese or salumi, or sip an aperitivo with nibbles from the salumeria selection.
If you don’t know the typical Roma food, ask advice to the Roscioli staff, they will be pleased to help you!
At the end of this itinerary you’ll be convinced that Rome has many sides worth to be explored, organize your trip well in advance to enjoy the city to the utmost.