It’s amazing how time flies by when you’re having fun in Rome! I have to admit it has been stressful with midterms these past two weeks, but once the weekend comes, I am always looking forward to trying new things and finding hidden treasures in Rome or Italy. This month I got to travel to the Amalfi Coast, Umbria (the Green Hart of Italy), and Cinque Terre! The Amalfi Coast was unlike anything I’ve ever seen with its blue water, delicious seafood, and stunning views. Umbria was beautiful in a unique way. There was so much culture and history in the small towns of Umbria. It was a nice get away from the big city of Rome. I also got to make my own chocolate truffles, hiked up a mountain to see a breathtaking view, and of course, ate a ton of Italian food. Since I have been in Rome for a few months, I am slowly beginning to feel like a local. My Italian has even improved!
Because I am becoming a local, I want to share my top ten spots that I absolutely love and recommend!
First off, I want to tell you about my favorite places to eat.
Top place to go to is Tony’s restaurant. The owner is a very generous guy. I’ve been there twice, and I have gotten free bruschetta and tiramisu. The first time I was there, the restaurant was so busy that it took more than an hour to get my food. However, Tony personally came to my table to apologize for the delays, and to show how sorry he was he gave us free bruschetta and tiramisu. So if you’re looking for some real good Italian food, go on over to Tony’s.
If you’re looking for some good pizza, head on over to La Boccaccio! It’s a bit Americanized, but it is so good! It’s rich and cheesy, what more could you want in a pizza? I recommend getting the potato pizza, it’s my favorite! But if you’re not into potatoes like me, you have the option of picking whatever they have displayed. No matter what you decide to have on your pizza, it will be a slice of heaven.
Now, here comes the best part, gelato! I have been obsessed with gelato since day one. I have been to several gelato places, and my two favorite places have been Gilletti’s and Old Bridge. Gilletti’s is one of the oldest gelato places in Rome, and they have many rich flavors to try. My personal favorites are white chocolate and dark chocolate. Another great gelato place to go to is Old Bridge. I pass it all the time when I go to the Guarini campus at JCU, so it’s hard to resist going in when I see it. Once you go in the shop, you won’t see a lot of variety in the flavors, but they give you so much gelato at a great price! I would definitely recommend trying these two places if you’re looking for good quality gelato.
Four piazzas I love to go to are Piazza Trilussa, Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, Piazza del Popolo, and Garibaldi Piazza. Piazza Trilussa is right by Friend’s Café, which serves some great coffee. I remember the first night I spent in Rome, and there was a magic show going on. It was entertaining, but there are times when I want to unwind. What’s great about this piazza is you can sit there and talk with your friends or sit in peace and quiet. Another great thing is you have a nice view of the bridge and Tiber River.
As for Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere, this is the best spot to find entertainment. From puppet shows to music, you can find it all in this Piazza! It’s a different show every day, and I absolutely love it!
Piazza del Popolo is at the end of Via del Corso. If you want a better view of this piazza, you’re going to have to hike a little, but it is worth the view once you get to the top! Once at the top, there’s a small, cute park, and when you turn around you can see the whole piazza and more. It is a must to see!
However, one of the best views I have seen has been from Garibaldi Piazza. You can see the Vatican, the Coliseum, the Pantheon, and so much more. It’s even better watching the sunset from there, so if there is one piazza you must go to, go to Garibaldi.
The last two places I love are Via del Corso and Via Dandolo. Via del Corso has shops lined up and down the streets. Whenever I need some retail therapy, I go to this street. They have some familiar American stores, but more Italian than American. I don’t mind though. I love the Italian style. Everyone is always dressed up! I wish I had the energy and motivation to dress up like they do, but who knows, by the end of the semester I just might start dressing like an Italian. Via Dandolo is where my apartment is. It’s a very simple street. At first glance, you would think there would be nothing interesting about this street, but the fact that it’s simple is perfect to me. I love simple things. I find those things more fascinating. Walking up and down this street every day makes me happy and appreciate the simple beauty of Rome.
Amber is a current student at Pace University studying at John Cabot University (JCU) in Italy during the Fall 2014 term.