As you might have guessed from the article title, some of us at TWC have recently had the pleasure to spend no longer than a weekend in the Italian capital. And although Italy is home to some of the best food culture as well as beautiful leather goods, we weren’t sure what to expect, so here are some top levels tips to fully enjoy your off season trip to Rome.
Travel off season….
I truly want to put an emphasis on the fact that I went to Rome off season, meaning in late February which is important because not only was the weather acceptable (especially compared to rainy and cold London), but it was also the ideal time to skip the world’s infamous queues to get to the Vatican, and snap the perfect selfie at the Trevi Fountain. May I also just say that the plane tickets were also very affordable (between £100-£150 a return flight on Ryanair).
Rome is a city that stands out due to its fine architecture, old history but also its majestic buildings. The city’s ancient history spans over 2500 years and has been the centre of many developments, political changes and cultural shifts. Not forgetting of course that various Roman emperors such as Cesar, have ruled over mighty Rome.
Stay in Trastevere…
The various monuments and palaces breathe history and have become some of the biggest tourist attractions in the world, and although I am truly a sucker for all things tourism, I found getting lost in the small pedestrian streets of Trastevere, one of the best experiences of my trip.
What is apparently Rome’s favourite neighbourhood due to its colourful buildings and lively nightlife, Trastevere was formerly a working-class district, taking you today far away from the crowds of the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps, to a beautiful hidden corner of Rome filled with little independent shops and coffee places.
I therefore highly recommend booking your Airbnb in this charming neighbourhood, where you will never fall short of places to eat a delicious margherita pizza, or a cacio e pepe pasta dish at the famous Trattoria Da Lucia. If you’re an eternal bruncher like myself, you can also grab a coffee and croissant to go, or sit in the sun with a brunch consisting of Italian sausages and delicious mortadella.
Don’t miss one of Rome’s biggest tourist attractions…
I wasn’t specifically going to Rome to get into full tourist mode, I was there to see a friend I hadn’t seen in years so we took the whole visiting touristic corners very lightly, but there are a few spots you’ll hate yourself for missing out on. I was pleasantly surprised by the beauty of the Trevi Fountain for one, by Italian architect Nicole Salvi. The 26.3 metre high monument is one of the most epic fountains I have ever seen.
People once thought that a sip of water from the Trevi Fountain would make any wishes come true, and that there was a certain magic to the water. The water is however nowadays not drinkable, but people in ancient times would collect it in large buckets and bring it back to their home, making the fountain a purely functional monument to the city.
And a 10 mins walk away from the fountain are the Spanish Steps, which were built in 1725 in the Piazza di Spagna. There you will find 135 steps going up a wide stone ledge framed by stone walls where you can peacefully do some of the best people watching there is. The Piazza itself contains luxurious shops and cafes and at the top of the stairs you will find the Trinita dei Monti church.
I would also recommend heading to the Vatican, because you’ll undoubtedly never see anything like it, but try to queue up just after lunchtime, between 2-3pm to skip the busy groups and lines, and don’t let yourself be scammed by these fake tourist guides!
Overall, Rome is an amazing city, but I am very grateful that I didn’t end up there in the middle of August with the beaming sunlight and the large crowds of tourists. Try to head over there before the summer season starts, and take your time to admire the beautiful streets and unique neighbourhoods.
Shop our selection below for the best off-season experience in Rome
Featured image via Unsplash
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