Living la dolce vita – 72 hours in Rome!
Fly to: Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport
Flight time: 12 hours
Living la dolce vita is only a direct flight away from us here in the 852 and even the shortest of visits to iconic Roma is guaranteed to have you bringing back a little bit of the Italian life. When in Rome there is simply so much to enjoy and be inspired by, be it the delicious pastas or the beautifully crafted shoes. The Italians just know how to live right, they eat, they drink, they are mostly merry and they do it all in their signature style.
Here are some suggestions for experiencing that famed Italian lifestyle in ways that you can most definitely bring back to Hong Kong so we can all live a little more…magnificamente (beautifully).
Where to stay:
Location is crucial in Roma if you are serious about experiencing true Italian lifestyle. The great thing is in such a historic and old city you pretty much can’t walk more than a block without stumbling on a world famous church, monument or fountain. On that note, if you pack anything make sure it’s walking shoes – cobblestones and stilettos are not friends.
My suggestion is to choose two or three monuments or places of interest then park yourself smack bang in the middle of them.
For me it’s all about Campo di Fiori, Fontana di Trevi and the Pantheon. I have my coffee spot (Obica), bakery (Antico Forno, my lord, heaven) and spritz stop (Scampo, see Daniele) all within footsteps of my favourite apartment on Vicollo Sugarelli. In the spirit of living like a local there is no better way to do that than in a local’s apartment. See the boys (Alex and Dimitri) at Pompei Rentals Rome for both advice on where to stay and some of the most stylish apartments in Rome.
The hotel scene in Rome lacked lustre for me for many years however recent openings of The Eden and De Ricci have me planning my next stay ASAP.
Where to Eat and Drink:
Spritzing is a given — this is where spritzing began (Aperol Spritz rose to fame in 1950’s Italy, becoming a popular post war drink amongst the youth) and snacking a necessity as you’ll be on the move daily. Schedule your pit stops for these two essential parts of an Italian’s day. The art is in not over spritzing or snacking as you still need room for your main meals and the famous vino… this is an art I am yet to master.
Recommended stylish snack spots:
– Da Francesco
Recommended stylish spritz stops:
– Bar del Fico
– Raphael Hotel Rooftop
And this being Rome, at all of these locations you’ll be able to linger on and stay for lunch or even stay from lunch into dinner!
What to Do:
With all this eating and drinking I personally like (read: must) schedule daily workouts in order to prevent having to purchase new jeans upon my return home. What I love about Rome is that morning runs can double as your sightseeing missions. Bonus is you beat the heat in summer and crowds all year round.
Here are some of my favourite early morning runs, my kind of sightseeing!
– Through the Villa Borghese gardens… laps if you’re game!
– Gallery to gallery…Crypt to Vatican to Centrale Museo.
– Fontana di Trevi, along the Tiber onto Tiber Isola and back.
Another fabulous ‘take away’ from your Roman holiday, aside from your increasingly full suitcase, is a cooking class. This is my hands down top tip for anyone who wants to understand the Italian way of life. Many of the schools start with a market shop, then onto a gorgeous location to get cooking and finished by savouring your meal with a glass of vino.
The team at Fabioluso are simply amazing and I can’t recommend this class enough… on my last trip alone I learnt to reinvent my potatoes with a sprinkle of Parmesan and how to whip up a ravioli from scratch. The classes are held on an island near by to the Jewish Ghetto so the walk there doubles as a scenic and education experience. Its simply a MUST!
Where to Shop:
There is no shortage of shopping in Roma and the locals will have you contemplating a new look upon landing. They are, if anything, a stylish bunch. You will note classic styles, quality accessories and tailoring. The tailoring is simply something else. Rarely will you see a Roman sporting anything ill fitting. Rather than starting from scratch I like to pick up a few signatures when in Rome…
– A ballet slipper from Ballerette in suede or leather or one of each! Baby soft, they feel like you are walking on a cloud.
– A pair of espadrilles from any of the stores on Via Argentina, despite being the shoe of the Spanish the Italians do a mean pair too.
– Something statement from Stefanel. I have items that I purchased here as a teen that seem to still be in fashion!
– Yet another pair of Superga’s because in Italy they have all the latest colours and styles of this cult shoe.
– A pair of Ray Ban sunglasses because they are cheapest to purchase here.
– And for a splurge, a Missoni shift or something Valentino always feels appropriate.
Just 72 hours will suffice for a truly delicious Roman adventure however I will say I don’t think the word ‘suffice’ and anything Italian go together. Like stilettos and cobblestones…the point is there is so much more than the tourist traps to be enjoyed in this iconic European city and it’s just a direct flight away! Tack it onto your next big trip or pop over for a short break; one never regrets a trip to Rome. It’s simply good for the soul!
Ciao for now x
Featured image credited to lovelypepa, sourced via Pinterest, image #1 via Amee Evans, image #2 courtest of pompeirentalsrome.com, image #3 courtesy of Baccano, image #4 courtesy of Pierluigi, image #5 credited to polkadotpassport.com via Pinterest, image #6 credited to Amee Evans, image #7 courtesy of Ballerette