Last month, myself and Hannah went to Italy for a few days as a late summer break. I’ve been to Italy twice before, but Hannah had never been, so we decided to go to three different cities in the time that we were there – Rome, Florence and finishing off in Pisa to see as much of the beautiful country as we could.
We booked the trip back in January when it was more than ideal weather in the UK, and it was nice to have something to look forward to throughout summer.
I’ve decided to split this post into day 1 and 2 that we spent in Rome, and follow up with what we got up to in Florence and Pisa.
Day 1 & 2
We flew super early on the Thursday to Rome and arrived about 11am Italian time. After a coach journey to the centre, we decided to walk to the Air BnB because it was such a beautiful day, and stopped for pizza on the way, which was delicious. After meeting the host, we unpacked, freshened up and headed out of the door to explore the city.
I’d been to Rome once before about 4 years ago, and we were staying quite close to where we did the first time I was there so I attempted to get my bearings. After a wander around, we found a square called Campo De Fiori, and stopped to have some drinks – luckily, we arrived during the Aperitif hour, which is now my favourite Italian tradition: In brief, it’s basically just happy hour, but the drinks are cheaper and you get given free snacks too, which is great if you constantly crave food, like me.
We spent a couple of hours moseying around the different bars in the square before walking over to Piazza Navona as the sun was setting. The square was super busy, and the beautiful Italian architecture glistened in the sunshine, making it the perfect backdrop for a few slightly tipsy snaps.
After a wander around the surrounding side streets, we walked over to a wine bar, which was recommended to us by a fellow blogger. We had to make our way through a crowd of people who were drinking outside (apparently indicating that the bar is enjoyed by the locals, always a good sign) and found a table just as a couple was leaving.
This bar was amazing: The walls were covered with wine bottles and they had cured meats and cheese on display. Because of the heat, I went for a chilled white wine and we got a charcuterie board to share between us, which was delicious, and made up feel incredibly fancy. We spent a couple of hours here talking to random people, enjoying our wine and watching the passers-by.
We wandered back to the Air BnB via a couple more bars and bought a gelato to see us through the 10-minute walk (I had Nutella and pistachio and omg so good…)
The morning after, I wandered to the nearest corner shop to get some supplies for breakfast and we chilled in the apartment for a bit. Last time I was in Rome, I didn’t make it to The Vatican because of the queue, so we aimed to get there as early as possible – a decision that 99% of the tourists in Rome also took. We swiftly decided against queueing in the 26-degree heat and carried on to more sites.
Our first port of call though was caffeine. We found a really cute restaurant to have a coffee in before heading to the Trevi Fountain. As expected, it was teeming with tourists, but we did manage to get a couple of snaps after we elbowed our way through. We then walked to Piazza Navona for lunch and shared an antipasti board and a pesto linguine dish.
We found a little van selling Peroni for 1 euro which was an offer we couldn’t refuse and carried on to the Spanish Steps, beer in hand. After a sweaty 138-step climb to the top, we took in the views before heading to the Colosseum: Luckily the queue wasn’t too long!
After the Colosseum, we went back for Aperitif and got talked into having a Negroni, which, although is a traditional Italian drink, I don’t think I’ll be rushing back to. We walked back to the Air BnB and changed quickly before heading to the Trasvertere region of Rome, which was only about 5 minutes from where we were staying.
My recommendation if you ever visit Rome is to definitely check out this area. It had the vibe of Manchester’s Northern Quarter mixed with the charm of ‘real’ Italy. There were so many fewer tourists, but it was still busy enough to give the whole place a buzz.
After a wander around the streets watching people dancing on the canal bank and finding bars that we definitely wanted to visit later in the evening, we settled on a pizzeria, which we both agreed did the best pizza we had ever had. As we are two of the most indecisive people, we chose two pizzas (Parma ham and steak with different cheeses and rocket) and shared them. The restaurant was heaving, but the staff were so attentive and lovely. When we finished dinner we went for a few drinks in a little bar with fairy lights outside before getting a crepe and wandering back along the canal bank.
The next day we had a bit of time in the morning before we needed to catch our train to Florence so we decided to go back to Trasvertere in the daylight and stopped for a coffee and some breakfast at one of the restaurants in the main square.
Overall, the two days we had in Rome were absolutely amazing. The city is one of my favourites because although it is a capital, you never feel rushed. Italian people have such a chilled way of life and its accentuated through the whole place and they always go out of their way to make you feel welcome.
Come back next week to see what we got up to in Florence and Pisa.