This guest post is brought to you by Jenni from Jet2.com.
Rome is one of those cities that everyone feels they have visited, even if they haven’t. And they should. Many times. While it’s perfect as a city break, and flights to Rome are easy and cheap to come by, the sheer number of attractions and iconic buildings it has to offer can seem overwhelming for a first-time visitor.
Of course, the city puts the Rome into ‘romantic’ and is perfect to visit with a partner. But if you are visiting with a good friend, you might be more interested in the ‘antic’s than the romantic. The city is ideal for both. Airlines such as Jet2.com provide excellent links to the city of Rome from many UK regional airports.
As many of the well-known attractions can involve queues, pre-booked tickets and crowds, lots of visitors prefer to spend their first Rome trip sampling the general feel of the city: many buildings are stunning enough from the outside and can be enjoyed from a seat at a piazza cafe, in the sun, accompanied by Italian wine and local olives. Once the sun begins to set, there is a vibrant nightlife in the city and lots of unusual places to hang out. Freni e Frizoni means ‘brakes and clutches’: you guessed it – it used to be a car garage. Now, it draws a creative, studenty crowd, provides a grand buffet decorated with flowers and candles, and serves cocktails, as well as wine and beer. A glass of wine is reasonably priced and the buffet is free until 10.00.
For a more formal meal, the AlleFratte di Trastevere is a cheap and cheerful trattoria. Sitting outside in summer, with mozzarella and freshly baked bread, and with meals between £10 and £21and wine at €10–€11, you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Oh, and you can stay there too.
For an authentic Rome experience without the queues, there are lots of lesser-known attractions. Palazzo Valentiniis the headquarters of the province of Rome but what makes it intriguing is the state-of-the-art technology which has been used to reconstruct the ancient Roman houses which once lay below the building which stands there now. The ruins of a bath are brought to life with sound effects and lasers, and under one part of the building was found – and is now all lit up and displayed under your feet – a first-century road next to a second-century wall. Tours can be booked online, and in English.
If you can squeeze more in before your flights home, a wander to Villa Borghese Park can soak up plenty of relaxation time. A beautiful green space in the city, there is a courtyard where you can drink coffee and watch the world go by. The park also hosts the Villa Borghese Art Gallery and the National Museum of Modern Art. Or perhaps you could save these until your next visit.
Because there will be one.