After getting back from Punta Cana, we decided to head from Madrid to Rome. Both our first time in Italy, we decided to do first things first and start with the captivating capital. After reading countless articles on which neighborhoods to stay in, I finally got sold on Testaccio & Trastevere. The adjoining neighborhoods embodying exactly what I like, I looked for a cute place and found my happiness on Airbnb (as I always do). Italy here we go !
Flying from Madrid to Rome is the easiest. It’s a 2h30 flight, and we arrived on the middle of the afternoon, under a burning sun we totally weren’t expecting. Rome has two airports, the one we landed at was Ciampino, and you can buy shuffle tickets in the various desks outside the baggage claim at 8€ round trip. The ride to Termini; which is the main city transport station, is a little over half an hour. Once there, you’ll take a bus or cab (even Uber is working pretty well in Rome) to arrive at your destination.
We were staying at the most quaint and charming Airbnb in Testaccio. The host is an interior architect so it’s no wonder why the place looks so good. Initially I was aiming for renting an entire place to ourselves, but I was intent on staying at either Testaccio or Trastevere and the places I wanted were already booked (you gotta be a master of organization with Airbnb, the sooner you book, the better). But thank god they were, because otherwise I would’ve missed out on this little gem, and haven’t gotten to meet Pippa and Joel, two lovely Kiwis that were occupying the other bedroom at Simona’s place. Not even twenty and in the midst of their Eurotrip before ending their travel journey in South Africa. We very much enjoyed meeting up for dinner in Simona’s little kitchen at night to tell each other about what we visited during the day and just chatting about Moroccan and New Zealand’s cultures. We also talked food a lot. Food is a cultural thing after all isn’t it?
Anyway back to the flat, you’d need to push the olden wrought iron fence to get inside the building, there you’ll find the concierge office in a high ceiling alcove that leads up to the courtyard where Casa Dei Bambini is. Surrounded by plants and with a cute little blue door that led to the apartment, this was a serious immersion in the Roman lifestyle.
As soon as we unpacked, I asked my husband to whip out Foursquare (like I do) to see where we were eating that night. Obviously we had a million suggestions each better than the other, but we chose to pick the highest rated among the closest. Da Bucatino it was. A cute trattoria around the corner that embodied everything you’d imagine while eating out in a true Italian place.
After dinner, we strolled around Piazza Testaccio at night. Spot for our many upcoming strolls, you definitely see what people mean about Testaccio being the most Roman neighborhood in Rome. It’s lived in, unpretentious, far from the hoards of tourists and their monuments, full of local shops, trattorias, markets and slowly becoming one of the hippest places in Rome, mainly by not trying too hard. A real immersion in Testaccio’s rustic, tucked away charm. It reminded me a little of Jordaan and the casualness of locals. The things I dig in a nutshell.
Before going home, we decided to go see what the kiosk down on Marmorata I spotted in the afternoon was about. Turns out « Tram Depot » is one of the oldest tram carriages in Rome that got used to be turned into a hip cocktail bar & coffee shop. Situated at the entry of a park, they have a tiny private garden illuminated with fairy lights and balloons. Little chairs are scattered around swings and the whole thing is too cute for words. It became our nightly routine to go there and just talk under the stars. A definite must in Rome ????????
We also got a recommandation from our Airbnb host to visit the Testaccio market and we went to stroll around there on a sunny morning. Whether it was in Palma, Amsterdam or London, I absolutely thrive on visiting local markets. It’s where the city feels the most authentic, people doing their everyday’s business, shopping for food or stopping for a little coffee, it’s an international type of thing that I very much enjoy watching. It doesn’t hurt that the store facades were the cutest things, with their well arranged displays and little wooden chairs to sit and have a taste. I’d totally see myself living in Testaccio and taking a habit of spending a whole morning in the market. One can dream right?
Besides our lovely neighborhood, we dedicated a day to visit the touristic-y sides of Rome. Gotta see what’s the hype about. Campo di Fiori reminded me of Moroccan markets in the sense where it’s tidy in its untidiness, surrounded by noisy Ristorantes and Trattorias, and extremely busy even on a Thursday morning. We had breakfast at Bar Amore, a tiny café in Largo di Torre Argentina, visited Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna, Fontena di Trevi and I can’t believe I went there and didn’t sing Hey Now. I failed my teenage self.
Roman’s Gelateria’s are a thing of beauty. They’re perfectly designed to lure you in like a kid in a chocolate factory. Which they kind of are. Don Nino lured me in thanks to their amazingly shaped waffle cones. Like I don’t even care about gelato at this point I just wanna munch on the crisp, golden colored waffle cones. This place isn’t called Pancakes and Wafflez for nothing. I also decided on Rome of all the other places because I one time saw my husband drooling over a video of the inside of a Magnum Store. Like it was half history and stuff and half that.
But what I yearned for the most while visiting Rome for the first time, was to discover the historically charged neighborhood of Trastevere. Some places hold their past in their streets, their buildings, their restaurants facades, the feel you get while wandering around. You can not want to be a history buff, not try to muster all the little facts about the cities you went to, but still get soaked in in an atmosphere. That’s how I felt in Trastevere. Like I was in some secluded timeline, and I just felt so lucky and grateful. We have different experiences in life and have completely different expectations, but I’m lucky I have a person who’s willing to go wherever I feel like with me, just to accompany me in my little over joyous and child like wonder.
Four days in this magical city was all we needed to end up our holidays, and I can’t wait until I get to discover other parts of this beautiful gorgeous country. Till next time loves ! <3