A few weeks ago I hopped on a plane to Rome for a few days of eating, drinking and exploring the city. I visited Rome for the first time about four years ago and did most of the toursity bits then, so this trip was more about discovering local neighbourhoods and soaking up the culture. We still took a trip to the Roman Forum though, mainly because it's so steeped in history and full of hidden gems that we couldn't resist.
We stayed in an airbnb apartment in Trastevere - a neighbourhood that sits on the edge of the river. Traditionally a working class area, it's so different to the rest of Rome with its grand buildings and wide sweeping streets; think narrow, (very uneven) cobbled streets and lots of old buildings in all shades of terracotta. It was great to see this side to Rome though - it wasn't like anything I saw last time and I got more of a sense of 'normal' Roman life.
Full of bars (one of my favourite activities during our stay was sitting outside with a cold glass of prosecco and accompanying aperitivo - a small plate of canape-like nibbles) and incredible restaurants, Trastevere is the place a lot of Romans go to eat. Simple, traditional Italian food rules here - no pomp or anything over the top - just great food like Nonna used to make. We ate in the area every night because there was just so much on offer and it meant only having to walk a few minutes back to the apartment. All of the meals I ate were incredible but the best one was probably at Osteria Ponte Sisto - a local restaurant complete with red checked tablecloths, homemade food, great service and an impeccable wine list. I went for ravioli with a nutmeg, cream and pancetta sauce and hand down, it was the best ravioli I've ever eaten - and I like to think of myself as a bit of a pasta connoisseur.
Travelling with men and only taking hand luggage meant I didn't do too much shopping. Of course, Rome houses all the great Italian (and international) designers in the streets off the Piazza di Spagna but for something more budget-friendly, the streets around Campo de' Fiori have great little independent boutiques. Via della Lungaretta in Trastevere does too (I'm still dreaming of the handmade, soft leather lace up pumps I spotted in one of the shops), plus some lovely little cafes for a spot of lunch or coffee.
All in all, a wonderful trip. Rome has become one of my favourite cities and I feel like there is still so much to explore. Until next time...