Rome. The eighth stop on my trip and the city I’ve been anxiously awaiting to write about! While I want to avoid saying one city was my favorite and another city was my least favorite because they all had their special qualities about them, Rome definitely has a special place in my heart. It could be because of their amazing food (bruschetta salads, pasta, pizza, wine and gelato – can’t go wrong amiright?!) or the fact that it’s a perfect blend of old and new or that they simply put something in the air to make you fall in love but whatever it is, I’m not denying it.
While we spent 7 nights in Italy, only 4 of them were spent in Rome (Naples + our day trips will be in another post :)). Arriving on Thursday, I was welcomed by the most beautiful of views from our little balcony (good find, Kel!).
My first goal was to find food. Specifically pasta with some wine and then gelato for dessert. I found a nearby place: great homemade pasta, 2 free glasses of Champagne, got hit on by the waiter (hence the free Champagne) and then hopped out of there REAL FAST. Right onto the best gelato spot in the entire world, Frigidarium. I still don’t know how to say it correctly but I do know that their Frigidarium flavor is heaven. A mix of what I think is French vanilla, chocolate, cake batter, caramel and cookie bites, I literally had it every day while in Rome and as I’m writing this weeks later, am still dreaming about it. So if you only take one thing from this entire post, it’s that if you go to Rome, you must go to Frigidarium and get their house flavor. You won’t be sorry.
Other honorable mentions in the gelato department are as follows:
Pizza and homemade pasta were also must-haves. I got SO many suggestions and unfortunately was only able to try a limited amount but my favorites are the following:
Other suggestions included:
- da Francesco (for pasta)
- Baffeto (for pizza)
- Il Ciociaro (for pasta)
- Osteria da Fortunata (for pasta)
- Su e Giù (for fried artichokes – recommended by Antoni of Queer Eye, I tried to get them but they apparently aren’t in season so they weren’t making them… TEAR)
- Gracchi for gelato
If you haven’t been able to tell by now, food was the number one thing on my “to-do list” while in Italy. But I also got to see some really great sights. I spent my entire first full day in the city wandering around – hitting up Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain (try to get here as early in the day as possible – it’s RIDICULOUSLY crowded at all other times, including late at night), the Spanish Steps (really just a good place to bring your lunch and sit for a minute), Villa Borghese (cute park with great views of the city), Piazza del Popolo, attempted to eat at Su e Giù, Piazza San Pietro and then tried to figure out Vatican City, and then wandered through the Trastevere neighborhood.
Clearly, I got a lot of steps in but I think it was one of the most memorable days on my entire trip. Not because anything crazy happened but because I felt like I was exactly where I needed to be in that moment.
Another thing I really love about Rome is that it’s really a great hub to get anywhere else in Italy. We were able to hop on a bus and get to Tuscany within a couple of hours. Which if you are anywhere near Tuscany, you absolutely must go. The rolling hills, the incredible wine and the overall atmosphere is not something you want to miss out on. We decided to do a guided tour so that they took care of all of the arrangements (which, although my knees were SO cramped, it was a good decision because I have no idea how we would have chosen where to go with all of the options).
First we got to the visit the city of Montepulciano then we had the chance to taste several different wines and have a full course Italian meal at La Fiorita in Montalcino. Then we visited the Abbazia di Sant’Antimo and finished off our day in Pienza. If you are looking to do any of this yourself rather than a self-guided tour, definitely go to Montepulciano as they had some really cute stores. Pienza was smaller and didn’t have as much shopping however, they had an amazing gelato place called Buon Gusto Gelateria. They grow everything in their garden so the gelato is REAL FRESH.
The melon and lemon were on point but I unfortunately lost my gelato and went back for the lemon because it was that good.
More Pictures In case that wasn’t enough yet
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