Nearly four months since returning from my semester living and studying in Rome, I am just now feeling the aching withdrawals from my adoptive European home. The people, the art, the language, the food, the idea of carpe diem which invades every portion of Roman life and of course the history are all things that I loved about my time there. It was in Rome that I realized my thirst for exploration and really first understood what it meant to be inspired. I always knew that I wanted to spend some time abroad, but I never knew that it would affect me as greatly as Rome did. Right now I am longing to return if only for a few days to immerse myself in what is quintessentially Roman culture and once again, do as the Romans do. Check out an itinerary for the best things to do in Rome as well as two outfits that would have the Roman men saying ciao bella. File as my heart.
Taken by me in Campo di Fiori, meaning field of flowers in Italian.
Other than the must-see spots listed in all the guidebooks, here are some other places that are well worth getting lost for:
- Finding a cappuccino is Rome for less than one Euro is not difficult; however finding one that you could consider the best you've ever had, that's another story. For me, it was at a bar with I never learned the name of but was right within Piazza di Pasquino and always had lavender garden chairs out front.
- The vintage shopping all along Via del Governo Vecchio was where I did most of my shopping. I amassed so many beautiful pieces that I will always treasure and quickly learned how to haggle in Italian there.
- Eating a traditional Italian dinner at Salumeria Roscioli was one of the most dramatic and delicious dinners I was able to share with my family. The carbonara was absolutely mind-blowing. From the front they sell meats, cheeses and breads but also have a cozy dining area that was once apart of Pompey's theater (where Julius Caesar was supposedly killed) and if you go downstairs you can see some of the original architecture.
- The lush parks at Villa Borghese used to be the outskirts of town in ancient times, but now it lies just to the north of one of the busiest and most famous roads in Rome (Via Veneto). The park (including the adjacent museum) is my favorite place in the city. Check out the art, ride bikes around the grounds and picnic in the grass. Sigh.
- The city is chock full of museums and while some are better than others, I find that they all contain something worth stopping by for. My favorites were the Museo Vaticano and the Museo Capitolino.
The Look: Romans are all about being hot, hot, hot. Oh, and they never met a red item they didn't love or leopard for that matter. For daytime, covering up in a gauzy dress is the way to go, complete with a messenger bag to stash all your sartorial finds. For night, it is all about glitz and glamour the Roman way. Short shorts (by Missoni of course) and swinging tops (who better than Versace) that show off those tanned assets. And don't even think about stilettos, the cobblestones will eat them up.
Dress: Azzaro Juliana stretch fine-knit mini dress
Necklace: Lanvin Swarovski crystal and flourite braided chiffon necklace
Shoes: Valentino chain strap scalloped leather flats
Bag: Gucci leather messenger bag
Top: Versace fringed silk-cady top
Shorts: Missoni crochet-knit shorts
Bag: Valentino leopard-print calfskin wristlet
Bracelet: Bottega Veneta blackened oxidized sterling silver cameo
Shoes: Christian Louboutin Panier 120 espadrille sandals
[Images via: This is Not new, MyFiles, net-a-porter, Polyvore]