Seeing the world is incredibly important to me. Always has been. Always will be. As our lives get busier, it seems that the opportunities to travel become fewer and farther between. But I will always try my hardest to make it a priority for us! So, mid-November, I decided that if we’re going to do it, we just have to go do it. We decided on Italy, and I booked plane tickets for three weeks later. And It.Was.Awesome. Amazing. Incredible. Wonderful. Flying-by-the-seat-of-our-pants-gloriousness! I quickly booked hotels in Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Parma & Bologna using Venere. And then, before I knew it, we were on a plane!
I’d spent a few days in Rome when I studied abroad in college, but this trip was so much different. A bit older, a bit wiser, seeing the city on the arm of my love… I couldn’t have asked for more!
As all of my vacations, I shot only film in Italy. My Contax is super heavy, and a bit of a pain to lug around, but the images that it produces are just so pretty… it was worth it!
Remember how I said my Contax is super heavy? I have the best husband ever for carrying my bright orange bag around all day.
A few Rome recommendations:
Hotel – Relais Piazza del Popolo I absolutely adore this hotel! It’s a teeny bed & breakfast, only seven rooms. The location was perfect, near the Piazza del Popolo and just about a block from the metro. It’s a little bit odd, on the fourth floor of an office type building. But, it made it incredibly quiet, so there’s a plus to the oddity! The woman at the front desk was absolutely wonderful, offered great advice and made a killer breakfast every morning. The rooms were modern, quiet, clean and nicely decorated. WiFi was great, free, but only accessible from the lobby and first four to five rooms (we just happened to be the last and couldn’t access it from the room.)
Food – We ate so much food in Rome. Because there were so many places I wanted to try, sometimes we ate two dinners. A first dinner at one restaurant to include an antipasti, a primi and a bottle of wine. Then maybe a little walk. Then a secondi, dolce and a bottle of wine at a second restaurant, followed by crashing into bed complaining about how full we were, only to do it all over again the next day. Food in Rome is good. Delicious. Heavenly. And worth every single calorie.
Il Posto Accanto – a teeny trattoria owned and operated by an eighty five year old woman who still visits the restaurant to oversee the kitchen nearly every night. It’s very traditional and one of the most oddly decorated restaurants I’d ever stepped into. If it hadn’t come highly recommended online, I probably would have walked out. I’m so glad we didn’t! We had an amazing meal, a fantastic wine and spent hours talking with the manager. He sat with us, shared our wine, brought over more wine, more grappa, dessert and gave us some great advice for our drive up to Florence.
Urbana 47 – I’d read about Urbana in either Food & Wine or Bon Appetit. It’s the head of the Zero Kilometer movement in Rome, everything is locally sourced, super fresh and absolutely incredible. The kitchen is dropped a bit below the floor of the restaurant and surrounded by glass so that you can see in. We requested one of the tables that looks over the kitchen and we were able to watch every dish head out. The food was wonderful! I can’t remember the name of the neighborhood, but it seems to be one of the newer and up-and-coming in Rome. I wish we’d had time to walk through during the day, the shopping looked amazing!
Bonci Pizzarium – This was a recommendation from Anthony Bourdains’ Layover and it was so tasty! It’s near Vatican City, so a great lunch stop after visiting St. Peters and the Vatican Museum. It’s a tiny hole in the wall, standing room only, with some of the most interesting pizza I’ve ever had. Amazing combinations and interesting toppings.
Sora Lella – This was another Layover recommendation. We actually didn’t mean to stop here, but passed it as we were walking and decided to stop for a snack. It turned into a bottle of wine and a meal! The meatballs are some of the best I’d ever had… so good that I placed a second order. The owners, brothers I think, were incredibly sweet! After telling them we saw the episode of Layover (which actually aired the week prior), they brought over a complimentary order of tripe. It was delicious!
Hassler – For drinks, you must go to the Hassler. It’s so old school, so European, just one of those places you must go to enjoy a cocktail.