Planning a trip can be a tad bit stressful, especially if you’re heading to a place where there is so much to see. How can you fit it all in your itinerary? Well, if you are planning a Eurotrip soon and have Italy in your itinerary then we have a couple of things for you to try when you hit up their capital—Roma.
Rome is a mixture of modern and historical, think cobblestone streets that lead to modern highways, or even sites like the Spanish Steps surrounded by the best fashion labels you can ever imagine. Everything in this city is well integrated and thought of—even the vandalism on the streets look like art!
Below you’ll find activities and must-tries if you want to get to know this glorious city—because there is more to it than just pizza!
1. Rent a Vespa and tour the city on wheels.
Yes, you can walk, take a cab, or even Uber, but there is no better way to get your hands dirty and tour the city than to ride a Vespa! You've seen Roman Holiday and The Lizzie McGuire Movie, right? So you get the idea! It will immediately make you feel like a local (at least once you get a hold of their traffic rules!) as you go in and out of tiny streets and main roads and head to touristy stops like the Colosseo and a whole lot of piazzas.
We suggest you rent a Vespa in Bici y Baci, they are pretty known for rentals and tours. Just make sure you have your international license ready!
2. Visit a contemporary museum for some inspiration.
It’s one thing to see historical sights when travelling to a new city, but contemporary art is a whole other experience—get a dose of both by stopping by a few art museums while you're in the Eternal City. They are easy access as they are found in the city center and would only charge a minimal fee for entrance. You won’t regret it, just allow yourself to open your eyes to other perspectives.
Visit Maxxi, the National Museum of the 21st Century arts (there is a must-try gelateria right outside called Neve de Latte), and also MACRO also known as the Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome—they have permanent installations as well as seasonal exhibits so be sure to check it out!
3. Eat famous local cuisine—cacio e pepe, pizza, gelato, and more!
Filipinos are very familiar with Italian cuisine given that there are a lot of Italian restaurants in the metro, but to be able to try authentic Italian food is a whole other experience for your taste buds. Try out different versions of their signature dishes and try to research on restaurants in the city as most of them are known for specializing on one certain dish.
Craving for pizza? You should not miss Bonci Pizzarium! They have a wide range of toppings that vary depending on the season and we promise, each one is mind blowing! For pasta, head straight to Roma Sparita in Trastevere (an area known for good food!), they apparently serve the best cacio y pepe according to Anthony Bourdain. Another good place to try is Roscioli—they serve a variety of Italian dishes that will suit your fancy!
Finally, some dessert. There are a lot of gelaterias around, but be sure to try San Crispino near the Trevi Fountain as they are the oldest gelateria in the city and offer a smorgasbord of flavors!
4. Stand by the bar and have some coffee and pastries.
We Filipinos like to enjoy our coffee sitting down, but in Italy, most of the people are always on the go and would just drop by a café for a shot of espresso. Do the same and order an espresso, cappuccino or a Marocchino with any kind of pastry, though we suggest you try their Sicilian cannoli or a cornetto (their own take on the croissant). Lip smacking, I tell you!
Editor’s tip: Standing by the bar instead of sitting down will save you a few Euros as they won’t charge you for service.
5. Visit The Vatican—a country found in the heart of Rome.
Last but definitely not the least—be sure to include The Vatican in your itinerary. Not only is it considered as a separate country, but the architecture, the art, the history, and of course, The Pope can be found inside those glorious gates! Go see the museum, Saint Peter’s Basilica, and of course, The Sistine Chapel! It’s insanely amazing to stand there and be able to see all the works of art consigned and given to The Vatican.
To save up on time and to soak up on all the details, stat, we suggest you go sign up for a Vatican Tour. It will only take you half a day to go through everything and it is packed with stories and history. You can even use your free time after to roam around and discover more of the place by yourself!
BONUS: If you want to attend the Papal Mass, be sure to get passes in advance—ask your tour guide prior to the trip, get them online, or check the schedules and line up when you get there!
Photos by RG Medestomas
Main image from Martin Child, Getty