Zana PaliComment

Destination: Rome

Zana PaliComment
Destination: Rome

They say all roads lead to Rome; I can't really confirm that for sure but I know that the Napoli-Roma E45 Autostrade took us right there! Having visited (and loved) Rome on our honeymoon in 2014 we had seen the main attractions and had some much less touristy things to check off our list. Gianni wanted to test the roads in Rome theory further though and suggested we do some sightseeing a little differently by car. I agreed, but had no idea we would end up in a convertible Ferrari California Turbo speeding through the cobble-stone streets with the roof down and my hair flapping in the wind! After an exhilarating hour in which we broke a few necks (the people we zoomed past, not mine) we headed back to our boutique hotel Suite Sistina which was once voted in the top 10 romantic hotels of the world and is the same place we stayed for our honeymoon two years ago. 

This is most certainly a hotel for couples only; with a large round double bed, iPad loaded with love songs and a jacuzzi hot tub complete with lights it is probably best you don't bring the kids! Truth be told though, the best part of this hotel is not the romance or the complimentary mini-bar but it's prime position in Rome being literally 50 meters from the recently refurbished 'Spanish Steps' and my favourite street of Rome, Via Condotti. Here we went for a beautiful stroll around the packed streets and yes I did some damage (thank you Hermes!). Just a further 2 minutes walk from here is the also recently refurbished (and equally as busy) Trevi Fountain!

On our first evening we met up with some friends from Melbourne and went away from all of the tourists following some locals to an amazing little venue called 'Sbanco'. This restaurant is primarily a pizzeria but has an air of Australia about it as it mixes its selection of pizzas and Roman street food with craft beers! I am not much of a beer drinker but with such a huge variety of hand-crafted beers available there was even one that I enjoyed. The highlight of our night though was the pizza caccio e peppe which is a very Roman and very simple recipe of cheese and pepper but in the right hands it was turned into an amazing treat.

I caught up on some much needed beauty sleep the next morning before breakfast was served to our room. We spent the day exploring some more venues off the known tourist path which was a smart move as it was 'world tourism day' which meant all museums and attractions were free to the public for one day, and the lines were longer than the walls of the Vatican City. We took off to the outlets nearby at Castello Romano for some shopping and to rack up some more points on that credit card! At dusk we decided to do another driving tour of Rome a little different from our Ferrari adventure. Waiting for us at the door of our hotel was a chauffeur driven, hand-made, 1956 Bentley S2 Cabriolet. Driving us around as the sun set on the major monuments and buildings of the city in absolute luxury I really did feel like a princess. We were even treated to a little bottle of champagne! You could spend two weeks in Rome and still not see everything on offer so our tours by day and by night were a great way to pack everything in and get a taste for it all without working up a sweat.

Our driver dropped us off at a beautiful little suburb of Rome called Prati at another amazing venue called Passeguai which the chef from Sbanco had suggested. This bar was packed full but strangely there was not a single tourist in sight (apart from us of course). The locals all gather here to have a glass of wine with a daily selection of pastas and a huge selection of fresh prosciutto and cheeses. So here we sat with some friends all night long, immersing ourselves in the real Roman culture, amazed at how the locals literally pour out onto the streets using cars and scooters as extra-bar tables with not a single noise complaint or issue. If night-life was this classy and relaxed in Australia we would most definitely go out more! We spent just two nights in Rome this time around, but we saw parts of it we never knew existed and made some more unforgettable memories along the way. 

If you haven't experienced all of the amazing history that Rome has to offer though you really must do it. We learnt the hard way last time we were here that lines can get huge and crowds too large to enjoy, so do yourself a huge favour (believe me) and book in a private tour of the colosseum, the Vatican City and a day/night tour by car.

Special thanks to:
Suite Sistina
Elite Car Rental
Ghisu Autonoleggio Luxury Cars
Overome Tours