Exploring Rome Like a Local by Sophia Vendrucci
Rome is an amazingly beautiful city and I couldn’t ask for a better place to call home. To live in one of the oldest cities in Europe and experience all the history here is something I think most of us locals take for granted. From the Colosseum to the Pantheon and all the great museums the city has to offer, there is no wonder Rome attracts so many visitors from around the world.
Believe it or not, Rome has so much more to offer than all the famous sites and most people who travel here miss out on the true adventure. So if you plan to make a trip here you need to experience this historic city for everything it contains.
It’s all about the Food!
Of course one of the best things Rome has to offer is the food and we have many restaurants that will cook up a meal for you that you will not soon forget. To find a place to enjoy a meal you are definitely better off to head out to one of our many neighbourhoods and get out of the city centre. Not only will the food be better but the prices will be a lot more affordable, plus it’s a great way to get to know some of us locals.
One of the best neighbourhoods to check out is Testaccio which is where you will find La Frashetta di Sandro. It has been family-run for generations and they serve up a delicious traditional Roman meal along with wine that has been produced on their own family farm. This small tavern is filled with mostly locals so it is a sure way to experience the true Rome.
If you possibly get tired of eating on the town and just want to enjoy a quiet meal, you should check out one of the many markets in Rome for some delicious treats. Try the Mercato Testaccio where you will find all the fresh ingredients you will need to make your own traditional Roman meal sold from family-run stalls. Here you can even munch on some delicious street food to keep up your strength while you shop and experience the local atmosphere.
If you are looking to purchase more than just food, check out Borghetto Flaminio which is a flea market north of Piazza del Popolo. It is the best place to find used designer clothes, purses, antiques, and many other treasures which will be much better to take home with you than some typical souvenir.
Enjoy Some Coffee While You’re in Italy!
Since coffee is a huge part of the culture here in Rome, you will certainly want to enjoy some of the many cafes in the city. Us locals drink down several cups of coffee in a day, starting of course in the morning to feel a little more energized for the day ahead.
It is almost impossible to find anywhere that serves a bad cup of coffee. However, I do have a couple of favourites like Antigua Tazza D’Oro. This cafe whips up a great espresso and cappuccino – or if you would rather something cold, order a granita al caffe which is a slushy coffee drink topped off with whipped cream. They also sell roasted coffee beans to take home with you so you can continue to enjoy the taste of Rome. Another one of my favourites is the Pasticceria Andreotti which not only serves up a great cup of coffee but they also offer some delicious pastries, gelato, or even a cocktail if you would rather.
Whether you are looking for some fun or relaxation you will be able to find the perfect spot for either in this great city. If you feel like catching a movie, head over to Cinema Farnese which is a family-run theatre with balcony seating and runs both artsy movies and blockbusters. For some quiet time take a break and enjoy some time at Giardino degli Aranci. It is a gorgeous park at the top of Aventine hill and has amazing views of the city. If all else fails just take a walk and wander to find your own perfect spots to go and get to know this beautiful city.
But these are just a few hints from me. We Italians are considered to be very hospitable and are always happy about every guest in our city. Many of them also use apps to invite you, for example, to a Spaghetti Bolognese in their own four walls. So do I – I use triper and even write my blog here.
Let us gladly share my table and the “Dolce Vita” and come to Rome.
Mille baci, Sophia Vendrucci