Last Summer I celebrated my 21st birthday and I was so lucky that my parents said they’d pay for a holiday for me and my boyfriend. I really struggled to pick a destination. I considered so many: Paris, Berlin, Amsterdam, Prague, Krakow… After a lot of consideration and asking almost everyone I know for recommendations, I picked Rome! I have only spoken to one person who has been to Rome and did not fall head over heels in love with the city. My auntie and my cousin, who was proposed to in Rome, both said it was their number one recommendation for a European city break.
My mum and I sat one night booking flights and trying to pick a hotel. I landed so lucky when a gorgeous 4-Star hotel in the heart of Spagna popped up on booking.com as their daily value deal so we saved quite a bit of money! (I can’t remember exactly how much but it was a couple hundred pounds). Hotel Mozart was our lucky find and I cannot recommend it enough. I would definitely stay here again and pay the full price if it wasn’t on offer. The hotel has gorgeous décor and interior, it’s very traditional which I loved. The hotel hosted an incredible continental breakfast buffet each morning included in the price of your stay. I’m talking cereals, pastries, cakes, fruit, ham and cheeses… More than you can ever imagine eating, although I gave it a good go during my 5-night stay! The hotel also has a stunning roof terrace bar, we went one evening and the drinks were great but fairly pricey!
The location of the hotel was a huge selling point, on foot it’s just 6 minutes to the Spanish Steps; 13 minutes to the Pantheon; 14 minutes to the Trevi Fountain; and 29 minutes to the Colosseum. If walking isn’t your thing there is a metro station just next to the Spanish Steps where the trains run frequently and are reasonably priced. You can buy a ticket valid for 24 hours for €7 or if you’re there for longer, a 7-day ticket is just €24.
Rome itself is breath-taking. I’ve heard people say this so many times but didn’t fully appreciate it until I was there taking in the sights for myself. My boyfriend and I did all the ‘usual touristy’ things… The Pantheon; Vatican; Colosseum; Trevi Fountain; Sightseeing Bus Tour; and of course, popping into almost every gelateria that we passed! I’m not going to bother recommending any because every place we went into had an amazing selection of flavours, I am certain that anywhere you go for gelato in Rome will exceed your expectations.
The area around our hotel had lots of little side streets with cute looking eateries but we had come armed with a recommendation to take a trip to Trastevere to find good restaurants for our evening meals. Although this was a 30-minute walk, it was well worth it! A glass of prosecco before leaving the hotel and the sun-setting as we walked through one of the most gorgeous cities in the world, what more could we ask for on the quest for great food? I loved every restaurant we went to but I really want to mention two fantastic restaurants in Trastevere, Grazia & Graziella, and Tonnarello. These restaurants are actually right next to each other and both have lovely outdoor seating areas. Something I love taking advantage of when I’m somewhere hot enough to do so! One thing I will say, both restaurants were popular and very busy so we did have to wait for a table. I can’t really complain though considering Grazia and Graziella were handing out free prosecco as you waited! The food was seriously heavenly and it didn’t break the bank. We averaged approximately €40 for two courses each and a bottle of wine. Trust me, the 30-minute walk back to the hotel was a God-send after filling up on hearty Italian food.
My highlight of Rome was the Trevi Fountain, or Fontana di Trevi, seriously The Lizzie McGuire Movie does not do this place justice! If I’m honest, neither do my pictures. It was so close to our hotel that we walked past daily because I was so in love with it!
I’ve been lucky enough to go to a fair few places in Europe growing up and Rome is definitely my favourite European city. I urge anyone to go there and explore it for themselves! I could talk/write about Rome all day so please get in touch if you want to know any more details! If money was no object, I’d return to Rome tomorrow. We didn’t manage to go to the top of the Dome at the Vatican, although we were there the day the Pope declared Mother Teresa a Saint! How many other people can say they were in St Peter’s Square and saw the Pope giving a live address? We also didn’t do an underground tour of the Colosseum so on the next visit, we’d put these on the agenda.
Have you been to Rome? Are you planning to go? Let me know!