It’s around that time of year again, where some of us are lucky enough to escape the Aussie winter and head over to Europe, where the culture is rich, the food is beautiful and life just seems that little bit better.
This year, we were one of the lucky ones… and after just returning from the most incredible three week adventure (a mix of out-of-this-world beaches, Tuscan farms and Paris rooftops), we wanted to share with you some of our experiences and recommendations so that everyone is able to experience some of the hidden gems that we were lucky enough to see.
Let’s start from the beginning of the trip, where our first stop was Rome. We like to imagine that the expression “when in Rome” was created by someone very keen to partake of the Roman lifestyle: great food, rich culture and beautiful, historic architecture wherever you look. Its very long history, leads to Rome’s name, “The Eternal City,” or, perhaps it’s because once you visit, you never want to leave.
Within the first 48 hours of landing in Rome, we were already able to take away three things…
To slow down.
To be more about ‘personal happiness’ and less about ‘material goods’.
Walk more. Don’t you just love how driving isn’t a big part of the European lifestyle? If only we could walk 30,000 steps every day!
Read on to see some of our tips on where to stay, what to see and where to find the best pasta and gelato in Rome…
We stayed here, a two bedroom townhouse (pictured above) by the Spanish steps. Great location, in the heart of Rome. Clean, stylish and beautiful apartment. Highly recommend this to anyone.
We also stayed here, a loft style apartment in a beautiful location a stones throw away from the great sites in the fashion district in Rome. The apartment is located in a quiet street next to Piazza Campo de Firoi, which is the most central area of Rome.
Or, if you really want to go all out… book a night at Hotel de Russie (or just pop in for a tea or coffee). The gardens and flowers are beautiful, the hotel is ever so stunning and the service is excellent. After a full day of sightseeing and shopping, enjoy a relaxing coffee or wine in the garden of this luxury hotel… it was absolute bliss.
The Sanctuary Eco Retreat – a tropic-Asian restaurant and exotic bar, for cool sushi and aperitif (pictured above).
Madre – amazing venue, the food not so much amazing. Great to visit if you are into interiors and a cool vibe.
Eataly – This is kind of a food market in a big building on a few floors to eat and buy the best Italian food. Definitely worth visiting.
MAXXI National Museum of 21st Century Arts – it is Italy’s first devoted architecture museum. If you’re into design and contemporary arts, this museum is a must see. The building itself is a work of art.
Enjoy a drink outside of Osteria dell’ingegno and listen to an opera singer in the middle of the piaza. Order an Aperol Spritz and cheese board with walnuts and honey. You will not be disappointed.
Enoteca Bortone is the gorgeous Wine Bar downstairs of Air Bnb number 2. Order a rose and cheese board. The owner is very accommodating and they have a fantastic wine list. Australia needs more little pocket bars like these!
Hotel Valadier Roma – If you want to have a drink after dinner, this place was 2 minutes walking distance from the first apartment we stayed in. Go up to the roof top of this lovey hotel its well worth it.
Osteria da Fortunata Restaurant (pictured) – The best homemade pasta and where all the locals told us to go. You may have to wait in line, however I promise you its worth it. The pasta is so fresh, you actually see it getting made right in front of you.
Grand Hotel de la Minerve – one of the most beautiful hotels in Rome (view pictured above). You can go to the roof top and experience the most amazing view of Rome. Enjoy a drink here or brunch for 35 euros on Sunday.
Casina Del Lago – A beautiful place in the park with a terrace. We were lucky we were only 5 minutes away from the biggest park in Rome. Definitely recommend going here and enjoying it and stop in at this outdoor cafe on the lake.
Caffe Propaganda – lovely and modern restaurant in front of the Colosseum where you can go for dinner or just for a drink and a desert!
Pizzeria Baffetto – This is the best restaurant for pizza in Rome. You have to wait in line for a little while however the line goes very fast and its totally worth it! This is a pizzeria, not a restaurant, so all they do is the traditional Roman crisp, thin-crust pizza and some appetizers. You can’t make a reservation and they don’t take credit cards!
Osteria Delle Coppelle – beautiful, delicious, young and cool restaurant where you can try any kind of Italian food, pasta, meat, fish – you name it. Beautiful outdoor and indoor dining in the magical square. Try the Cicchetti so you can have a little taste of all the menu. One of our favs.
Duecento Gradi – Best panini and sandwiches EVER in Rome, right next to the Vatican and at the entrance of the Vatican Museums
BREAKFAST / COFFEE / DESERT:
Sant’Eustachio il Cafe – The most famous cafe in all of Rome, with hundreds of types of coffees to choose from. We did find it was quite commercial when we first walked in, however its still worth dropping in and picking up one of their pastries and then heading over to Ginger for breakfast!
Ginger – chic restaurant (pictured above) to stop in for breakfast or lunch. Good salads, pasta, smoothies and they even have acai bowls for breaky if you’re wanting a healthier option than croissants! Gorgeous interiors as well.
Grom – one of the best gelato places in Rome!
Pompi – Best tiramisu in town. A place that sells only tiramisu however all different types of it. It’s in the area of Ponte Milvio.
Next stop… Sardinia! #getlostwithbirdandknoll
Pictured below: Hotel de Russie
Pictured below: Hotel de Russie
Pictured below: Ginger, Cafe and Restaurant
Pictured below: The Spanish Steps
Pictured below: View from our first Airbnb
Pictured below: Aperol Spritz and cheese board at Osteria dell’ingegno