A few things have changed since I last visited Rome. This is because the last time I visited Rome was exactly 10 years ago. Back then I was (quite embarrassingly) your typical well-travelled but ungrateful child. Whilst I was lucky enough to have incredible holidays all around the world with my travel-centric Father, back then would have been much more content chasing boys around a swimming pool in Spain than to stare at a bunch of stones older than Christ in Rome.
So thank god I was invited on my latest press trip with Luxury Link, to experience Rome not only as an adult, but also in serious 5* style. After spending 4 days in Rome over Easter, I can quite honestly say I have never been so enchanted by another city in my life. Here are the 10 reasons why I fell in Love with Rome, and why you will too!
1. The People
What is it about the Italians? There is something so charming about their culture and way of life that makes the organised chaos of the city just work. Whether you’re staying in a hostel or a 5* hotel, you can be sure to receive that magic Italian Hospitality that is so passionately present in shops, hotels, restaurants and even from strangers on the street. Italians love tourists and make time to welcome them. You will never feel unwanted in Rome
2. The Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto
The Via Veneto is home to some of the city’s most beautiful hotels, and the luxury-lover in me adored staying the beautiful Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto Rome. The hotel has only recently been taken over by The Jumeirah group and whilst it goes above and beyond the luxurious standards of the brand, the hotel still maintains its own identity and Art-Deco style. Everything from the food to the spa was absolutely exquisite, and I couldn’t recommend this place enough. Full hotel review coming soon!
3. The Food (and Wine!)
Well come on, it wasn’t going to be long til this one came up on the list. Rome is probably most famous city in the world for eating and drinking, and boy did I embrace it. 4 course lunches and 6 course dinners seem to come as standard for the Italians, especially when entertaining a bunch of British Journos & Bloggers. A foodie highlight for me was sharing a few pizzas and Aperol Spritzers in a restaurant just off the Piazza del Popolo, as well as lots of incredible seafood. The flavours are so simple yet SO delicious, and for some reason taste so much better when in Rome
4. The Rustic Charm
Rome has the typical charm of a bustling European city that never sleeps, but has maintained it’s rusting traditions. It is laced with so much history, that a futuristic high-rise would look devastatingly out of place, and the Romans know this. All the decor, buildings and architecture is in keeping with the history, maintaining an old world feel that so many other European cities are loosing.
5. The Trevi Fountain
This fountain is quite honestly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible to think how much skill and architectural intelligence the Romans had to create something so intricate all those years ago. Unfortunately, like all great sights, it has now become over-run with tourists, and visiting this in the middle of the day is busier than Oxford Street at Christmas. So, during my trip I got up very early and went for run (I’m a freak I know) and found myself the only person in the entire Trevi Fountain Square. If you can manage it, I’d recommend getting up early and doing the same – the running part is optional!
6. The Ancient History
Ok so I know I complained about the ‘stones’ when I was 13 years old, but at that age you can’t really get your head around the mind-blowing history of this city. Back then, a rock was a rock. This time I visited, I could appreciate the history so much more, and was amazed to be standing in the exact same places the Romans walked all those thousands of years ago. I loved taking a trip out into the Rome country side to see the still-standing Roman aqueduct. Even if you don’t have a historically interested bone in your body, you can’t help to be in awe of the stories of this city.
7. The Layout
Ok, sounds like quite an odd one, but hear me out! Living in London, I am used to everything being so spread out, it was such a refreshing change to find that Rome is actually very compact. You can walk to all the top sights very easily, and you quickly get a sense of direction and layout very easily. Nice to know for those people who get a little overwhelmed by capital cities.
8. The Weather
Being able to waltz around in a cami top in the month of April says it all. The weather in Rome is pretty much glorious all year round. During my trip the skies were blue, the sun was shining, the evenings were balmy and I didn’t see rain once. Locals say Easter is by far the best time to visit the city, culturally as well as weather-wise, and they weren’t wrong!
9. The Cafe Culture & Piazzas
No matter how cliche it may sound, there is nothing more idyllic than sitting outdoors in a Roman cafe for an al-fresco coffee. Taking a break to watch the world go by in a city that is so buzzing and full of character is essential. Everyone must do this at least once during their trip to Rome, even if the Coffee does cost 8 Euros! Ouch.
10. The Villa Borghese Gardens
Rome is home to some gorgeous parks and gardens, which make for perfect inner-city escapes away from the feral vespas and scary driving. My favourite garden was the Villa Borghese, Rome’s third largest park located at the end of the Via Veneto. The lush green open spaces and winding walk ways were absolutely gorgeous, and I loved zipping around the park on Segway on the last day of my trip. We topped off the experience with a luxury picnic courtesy of the Grand Hotel Via Veneto, which amazing and so memorable.
11. The Coffee
Coffee lovers rejoice! The Italians know good coffee. In fact, they know bloody amazing coffee, and they will happily serve you a third morning cappuccino without judgement or disgust (I was pretty wired that day). I discovered the beauty of the caffe macchiato during my trip, a shot of espresso with a small amount of foamed milk. Perfect if you can’t quite hack the full on espresso. And no where near as heavy as cappuccinos or lattes.
What did you think of my Rome post? Have you also fallen in Love with Rome or thinking a trip out there soon? Leave me a comment and let me know, I would be happy to give you recommendations!
Press trip courtesy of Luxury Link, Jumeirah Grand Hotel Via Veneto and KTA PR.