Need to Knows / Customs
Rome was a trip of a lifetime! I went with a friend as a part of a larger group trip that we met up with in Rome + Napoli before heading off to sail around the Amalfi Coast (next blog post!). Italy is beautiful country with lots of things to see. The first thing is to plan your trip during the right time of year. Avoid planning to visit in August, as most of the shops and attractions are closed since this is a heavy vacation time for Italians. Summer is an amazing time to visit as its warm, people are out and about and it’s a perfect time to take sailing trips around the coasts.
One of the biggest facets of Italian culture is family + food, so a lot of the activity involves eating with friends and family and enjoying leisure time. One solid recommendation I have is to eat away from the tourist attractions, as the prices will normal out a few blocks away from hot spots. Be very aware of pickpockets in the heart of the city! I wore a cute crossbody purse the whole time so that it couldn’t be snatched from me. Be warned, it’s a very well known part of visiting Rome (and any well-traveled city) that there are thieves waiting for distracted tourists, so stay smart. Being robbed is not a cute look and one that I was not willing to experience, so I stayed alert.
Rome and Italy in general are culturally known for being fun and flirty places. If you’re single, its a great spot to have a blast and have fun getting into the easy going vibe of Italian flirting. I was happy that that’s where it stopped- fun, casual flirting and zero incidents of being touched or harassed.
One maj thing I wish someone had told me is that it’s way better to withdraw money from the ATMs rather than convert at a money facility. I paid a premium price for the conversion of a few hundred dollars ($100 cost), but only a minor fee each time I used my American bank card or withdrew.
For more tips and customs, check out Pinterest posts like this, which have a great list of what to do and not do in the city!
We ended up staying at the super chic Vittorio Veneto, which is apart of the NH Collection, found worldwide. The location was perfect. Tucked away in a luxe part of town, our hotel was close to other destination hotels, lovely little restaurants and the Villa Borghese Gardens. Being centrally located, or close to the attractions you want to see is key wherever you’re traveling. We were walking distance to the fountains, nightlife, shopping, and places like The Vatican.
On our return from Amalfi (next post!) we stayed at Le Meridien Visconti Rome, which is located in the beautiful and historic district of Prati. An SPG and Marriott Rewards partner, Le Meridien was the perfect stop before heading back stateside, as it has the same aesthetic their collections have become known for.
Rome has so many cute places to check out and immerse yourself in. Museums, historical sites, rooftop restaurants, outdoor bars, parks, etc. My friend and I traipsed around the city while checking out the scenery, stopping by random shops and cafes to quench our cappuccino thirsts and enjoy local moments. We split our time pretty evenly but had an aggressive plan to be able to take in as much as we could during our short time in Rome. Day 1 consisted of us landing, parking our stuff at our hotel, freshening up and changing and then hitting the town at 9 in the morning, local time. Landing so early let us really walk around parts of the city and check out places like Trevi Fountain (which I recomend seeing at night as well), The Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and cute rooftop scenes like the one at Minerva Roof Garden, which had live jazz while the sun set over Rome.
The nightlife scene in Rome was so much fun! There are plenty of beautiful, Instagram-worthy hotel bars to check out, such as Hotel Eden and Hotel Indigo Rome. These places are perfect for a light happy hour cocktail and small bites before your night gets started! We enjoyed the luxe vibe at Zuma (same as Miami and Vegas) with our friends as a perfect meet up spot before bar hopping. We also had a fun time at Voodoo Bar which gave me total VIP Coachella Rose Garden vibes, so chic! It sits right next door to a club so if you’re into it, just slip through the bushes and head next door – but actually don’t really because they yelled at us for that, so maybe just walk through the door like regular people! During the day, they have guided meditations + crystal soundbaths, while at night it becomes a paaaaarty! So choose your own adventure!
Other cute spots we checked out were Hotel Butterfly, in the Guido Reni Distrcit (GRD), where live art/entertainment, music and food/drinks play out in a private garden and hotel venue that also includes a salon, tattoo artist and … mimes!
You’re in Rome… they’ve written books about how good the food is. So where do you go first?? Well, I can’t tell you every spot to check out, but I can tell you about the places I imbibed and ate at so you can be sure to bookmark them and lavish in la dolce vita (the good life) too! As aforementioned, Zuma is also a super Gucci eating spot for a beautiful local scene of vibey music, gorgeous people and delicious food + drink.
Among our unofficial Italian restaurant tour, we added Trattoria Monti to our list, which by all means is a low key do not miss. But don’t just take my word for it! See why Conde Nast Traveller and Travel + Leisure also suggest this Michelin Star restaurant as a must-visit spot in Rome!
Don’t sleep on local restaurants either! Most of the places we stopped to grab a quick bite had quality dishes that left us happily satisfied. For some quality recommendations, check out Eater’s famous 38 Essential Rome Restaurants list.
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Depending on what time of year you visit Rome, there are different activities to check out. If you’re there during warmer months, grab a bite to eat outside and people watch from one of the many rooftop restaurants, public parks and squares, or sidewalk cafes. I highly recommend grabbing tickets and visiting The Vatican. Be careful to dress appropriately and remember they are killer about taking pictures and even talking inside the Sistine Chapel – trust me.
I wouldn’t be a proper fashion blogger if I didn’t mention the amazing shopping that’s available in the heart of Rome. We’re talking Valentino, Ferrragamo, Fendi, and my favourite Gucci, of course. The shopping district is home to all of the great stores your heart desires and wallet fears! We walked around and looked at all of the newest collections available and tried our hardest to figure out how to stuff even more into our already packed luggage. WORTH it! Also, make sure to capitalize on their VAT system so you can purchase for even better prices while you’re traveling!
One of my favourite parts about discovering Rome was actually walking around with to go cups of Prosecco (it’s legal to walk around with alcohol) and enjoying the tourist attractions at night, such as the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Four Rivers Fountain) and Trevi Fountain.
The amazing thing about Rome is that there’s no one way to enjoy it! So plan out your trip, bookmark the must-sees and get into the vibe of the Eternal City!!