Rome City Guide: 24 Hours in Italian Capital
From one city to another
During my time in Berlin, I realised that there are many direct flights to cities which I have not yet visited, departing from Schönefeld or Tegel airport. Although I speak very limited Italian, I was keen to visit Italy and discover its beautiful capital, Rome. Ryanair even fly there and my ticket was about 40€ return. Incredible. Especially now, there is little excuse not to visit Italy and experience something completely different and, quite frankly, enriching.
I prepared a small itinerary showing how I like to do city trips below. Mainly it involves sampling italian cuisine, with some museums which I fit in during the day.
Rome is definitely one of those cities you need to visit a few times – in order to see even half of it. I would recommend planning your day how you choose, and not putting any pressure on yourself to see everything. It will ruin the atmosphere and you won’t be able to appreciate everything and take it all in. Relax and sample more delicacies!
– Espresso time and small breakfast
– Visit a museum or two
– Go for lunch in Testaccio (light)
– Walk around Trastevere
– Back to hotel for apéro and smarten up
– Dinner in Osteria Bonelli, Viale dell’Acquedotto Alessandrino, 172
After-dinner walk around the Trevi Fountain area
As a coffee lover, my first thought was to go into as many places as possible to try the famous espresso / ristretto. There are little Italian style spätis / newsagents which sell espresso for 70cent and its great. As I explored Berlin’s coffee shops which are popping up everywhere, I have developed a growing taste for espresso. In the UK I could happily order a milky drink any time of the day. When in Rome, you do not. A cappuccino or latte macchiato is for breakfast (and breakfast only)!
Food: “Siate affamati! Siate folli!”
The best restaurants have limited menus. Having worked in high end restaurants it is not likely that there are so many mains and they are as fresh. The wines here are delicious; I tracked some on my Vivino app to ensure I could find them again. The best advice I can give you is to avoid anywhere near landmarks as they tend to be tourist traps, unfortunately. Look for small places in quieter neighbourhoods for a more local experience. My favourite place was Testaccio, where I finally had a real carbonara and incredible wine.
This is one of the main reasons for visiting Rome. After visiting the Vatican, the Coliseum, the Trevi fountain, the Spanish Steps, Palatine hill etc. I was amazed at how beautiful it was and how intricate the detailing is on the buildings, even today. Hands down the most extraordinary city I have ever been to. As a visual learner, I appreciated the sun, the ancient ruins and finally, the Sistine Chapel. As I mentioned before, Testaccio has the charm and authenticity that I was searching for. Bearing in mind, I didn’t even scratch the surface.
Getting anywhere in Rome takes patience: you have to enjoy the sights in the tram, wear the appropriate outfits to keep cool / warm, plan your journey and not expect all journey approximations to be as accurate as your respective app tells you. I mainly took the tram around the city and the metropolitana which includes 3 lines interconnecting at Termini, the central station.
Often, I find it useful to learn a few small words in a foreign language to show respect to that person, their country and their culture. Expecting everyone to speak English may work more often than not these days, however, I find you get better treatment and/or respect back if you are more considerate. I do not speak Italian fluently, or pretend to, my pronunciation is questionable. Despite this, I always order using the limited learned Italian vocabulary. Or attempt to – with some polite smiles back.
Uno espresso, per favore – an espresso, please
Due espresso, per favore – two espresso, please (some argue that makes espressi, but I think it’s a joke)
Buona giorno – good morning / afternoon
Buon sera – good evening
Buona notte – good night
Grazie – thank you
Parla Inglese? – do you speak English?
Prego –you’re welcome
Come sta? – how are you?
Mi scusi / Scusi – excuse me
Arrivederci (less formal, ciao) – goodbye
Mangiare – to eat (infinitive)
Gabinetto/Bagno – WC
Dove si trova… l’ambasciata? Where is the Embassy…?
Come posso andare a… – How can I go to…?
Accettate carte di credito? – Do you accept credit cards?