Recently, my husband and I took a 3 week trip to visit his Dad’s side of the family in Kerala, India (gorgeous) and a one year wedding anniversary trip to Abu Dhabi, Dubai (amazing) and Italy. We had 10 days in Italy and went to Rome, Venice, Florence, Tuscany, Naples, Pompeii, Positano and Capri (yes, we packed all of that into just 10 days)! I’ll say more on all of those places later, but this post is dedicated to my favorite- Ahh Roma!
My Top 10 On ‘When In Rome’… (Side-note: Click on the snaps to view them in a larger size).
First: If you have not seen Audrey Hepburn’s Roman Holiday, then it should be on the top of your list to truly understand my fascination with Rome! (Yes, there’s a Roman Holiday tour- along with Angels and Demons you can take in Rome as well)!
Second: The Spanish Steps are iconic for many reasons. Sitting on the same steps as many famous people did while gazing at the crowds of people rushing in and out of high-end designer stores is absolutely thrilling!
Third: Walking on the busy streets of Via Condotti, home to the most fashionable stores such as Tiffany & Co., Prada, Chanel, Versace, Valentino and Jimmy Choo to name just a few, made me feel like a superstar and brought me to nostalgic feelings of walking 5th avenue in NYC. An added bonus for my name brand shopaholics– the items in these high-end stores are hundreds of dollars cheaper than the U.S. since most things are made in Italy and we get a tax break (the same item in Dubai is twice as much)! Jibin and I definitely took advantage of this huge discount in Rome!
Fourth: Just behind Via Condotti are the hidden treasures of the Villa Borghese gardens (my favorite place in Rome, thanks to my sister, Sweeti, for telling me about it). It was simply amazing how a busy city like Rome could also have such a serene and comforting area with such breathtaking scerey (so similar to Central Park in NYC it was scary)!
Fifth: The best gelato I had in Italy was a place called Giolitti by the Pantheon (thanks Sweeti and Manpreet). My favorite was pink grapefruit, vanilla/yogurt, panna cotta, nutella and stracciatella!
Sixth: The second best pizza (the first best was at this restaurant that invented pizza in Naples called Pizzeria Brandi– thanks Sweeti) we had in Italy was at a restaurant called Est, Est, Est (Thanks Parita) along with the best house wine I had ever tasted. I will never forget the taste of the blended cheeses and the softest saltiest crust ever! Yes, I ate the entire pizza on my own and Jibin finished every last bit of his as well!
Seventh: The history. Jibin and I could not wrap our heads around the fact that a city had so much history from the gladiators who fought at the colosseum, the huge Trevi Fountain (unfortunately, it was still under construction), the Sistine Chapel at the thrilling Vatican City, the breathtaking Victor Emmanuel Monument, the people who prayed at the Pantheon and Santa Maria della Vittoria, the very cool Capuchin Crypt (Bone Church) to the many piazza’s (Piazza Navona was my favorite- thanks Sweeti and Sumita) which were full of history themselves. We did take a couple of guided tours: The VIP Colosseum Underground Tour With Roman Forum & Palatine Hill and Pristine Sistine, but did the rest on our own.
Eighth: On the day of our actual anniversary, October 4th, 2015, we took a cooking class at the restaurant where fettuccine alfredo was invented- Alfredo alla Scrofa (thanks Sweeti). One of the most exciting parts was the “Wall of Fame” where they had pictures of all the celebs who had wined and dined at their restaurant (from Audrey to Julia Roberts). After the cooking class, they gave us a delicious feast with champagne and wine, the best mozzarella ball I’ve ever had, a cheese and vegetable plate, a meat plate, fettuccine of course and tiramisu.
Ninth: Hotel Hassler. This magnificent hotel crowns the top of the Spanish Steps and has the best French decor. It houses a gorgeous panoramic view of the city. Many celebs are known to have stayed here which definitely makes you feel A-list!
Tenth: Last, but not least- on a small street off of Via Condotti on Via Borgognona, Rome houses my favorite macaron place- Laduree. I’ve been to 5 different locations around the world and this one was by far the best one. It was the biggest one I had seen and it also had Laduree ice cream (the best vanilla ice cream I’ve ever had) which I had never tried before and Laduree perfume! The scent I got was called Rose and had a very similar smell to Chanel No. 5. My favorite macaron flavors were vanille, praline, fleur d’Oranger and caramel a la Fleur de Sel.
Bonus: Another thing I loved about Rome was the amount of walking we did! Italy in general involved a lot of walking, but Rome was the biggest city we went to and did the most walking. It was great admiring all of the scenery, but also great that I got to eat as much as I wanted and didn’t gain a single pound! My early morning runs were also the best in Rome! I could definitely live in Rome one day!
It was extremely difficult to just narrow my list down to 10 reasons on why Rome was my favorite, but if I hadn’t limited myself, then my post would have been pages long! Yes, it was exhausting with an itinerary I made from 5am till 10pm daily, but well worth it!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a more detailed itinerary of what we did and where we ate!
However, my favorite times in Rome were the times when we just walked around aimlessly hand in hand in silence taking in the wondrous city of Rome without a plan in mind…