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Written by Christina from Cava For Lunch
Are you looking for a funky city with cheap wine, a marvellous cultural history and handsome locals? Well, babe, then the Italian capital of Rome is just the place for you. After living a year in Rome, I know from my own experience that there’s no better place to leave your heart, money and decency. Get ready to fall in love with Roma.
Where to stay on a budget?
Why splurge on a hotel when you can find a quite comfortable bed (and most likely a pre-party) on AirBnB? But, I warn you, you shouldn’t stay outside the city centre – you will never ever ever find the right bus home. Ideally, you’ll find a decent bed in the Centro Storico, or in my old neighbourhood – the mesmerizing Trastevere. Do you want a different experience? A few nunneries actually rent out a bed for a night or two – but beware, the gates close at 10 in the evening.
Where to eat on a budget?
Don’t be a tourist and eat on Piazza Navona or in front of the Pantheon. Not only is it the worst tourist trap in Italy – it’ll totally blow your budget. Head to the dark and hidden alleys of Trastevere, or follow the locals to a dodgy looking Trattoria. The unofficial restaurant rule in Italy is: the more shady it looks, the better the food. You know you’re in for a good (and budget-safe) meal, when they serve red wine in a kitchen glass.
What to do?
Rome is a busy city, and I always spent my weekends in the calm serenity of the many gardens. Rent an electric bike, or join a yoga course in the park next to Villa Borghese. My favourite? Bring some wine, a few friends and some decent food, and do a picnic in the beautiful Pamphili Park. You’ll love it.
What not to do?
Please, whatever you do, don’t go to the Colosseum. I promise you, it looks exactly the same from the inside as it does from the outside. It’s the most overrated tourist trap in Rome, and you’ll end up standing in line for several hours. Still going? Well, then I hope you got a good health insurance – there’s hoards of people equipped with selfie sticks there, and they’re all ready to poke your eyes out.
Top 3 tips?
Rome is flooded with awesome bars. I have, of course, done some proper research regarding the Roman drinking culture. These are my favourite bars:
- Bar del Fico. Nothing beats this bar. If it’s up to me, I’d start AND end every single night here. I love it.
- Mimi e Coco. This is the place for the night you just want to drink some decent wine, do some people watching, and feel a bit grown-up and posh.
- Grazia e Graziella. This was my local bar in Trastevere. I went here so often that the entire staff knew my full name, my favourite drink, and my dog’s birthday. I even ended up as a waitress on a few (unlucky, but oh-so-fun) occasions. Great crew, good drinks!
This great guide was written by Christina Sunneklep. Check her out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She also has a blog which is a great read, check it out here. If you are looking for more accommodation then check out Agoda and Hostelworld, I highly recommend them. Travel insurance? Go World Nomads, a trusted and reliable travel insurance company.
Author: Christina Sunneklep is a Norwegian travel blogger, journalist and MA-student. For a few years now, she’s been winging it in Rome – now she’s conquering Glasgow, Scotland.