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A Short Stay In Rome.

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A short stay in Rome. By Gill Whelan.

Rome - that beautiful city where you could lose yourself for days. So much history, so much culture, so much shopping!  But is it still possible to capture the essence of Rome during a short stay?  I had a three day sojourn this northern summer in between visits to the Amalfi Coast and Sardinia.   Armed with some recommendations and a whole lot of energy, Rome never looked so good.

To maximise your time, get up early!  An unexpected delight for early risers, even in the busiest summer months, is that the streets are virtually deserted until about 7:30am.  I headed out for a run just as the sun was starting to rise and it was a truly magical experience, jogging past the ancient Colosseum, completely alone as the new day started.  It was also much cooler and an amazing way to watch the city wake up.

 An express visit means you’ll want to avoid spending hours standing in queues.  Taking a guided bike tour is a fun way to see the city and its monuments from the outside, whilst also getting the historical facts and interesting and amusing stories from a local.  It’s even better if you can do it on a Sunday when many main roads are closed and there is less traffic to contend with.  If you have your heart set on a visit to the Vatican, pre-book an early tour to skip the lines and dodge the masses. 

Great bars are dotted everywhere around the city but the bar at Hotel Locarno has a certain magic about it.  The art nouveau hotel, built in the 1920s, is situated a stone’s throw from the Piazza Del Popolo and is famed for its lush garden bar, high profile guests and its cocktails.  Definitely go for the Negroni. 

 

 For a really authentic dining experience it’s always best to get a recommendation from a local.  We were thrilled to find our way to Osteria Delle Coppelle.  Its namesake piazza transforms from a farmer’s market by day into a lively outdoor scene at night with lights strung overhead and a buzzing crowd.  If maitre d Michael takes a shine to you he might just lead you inside, through the hidden wardrobe to the secret bar beyond!

 With the allure of  spending a great night out, I know just which scent can take me anywhere.. Nerotic  a charming, addictive perfume that will drag you on an emotional journey. The top notes of bergamot, grapefruit and red fruits infuse with the mid notes of geranium, coriander and saffron, finally to leave you with the lasting impressions of wood, dry amber, sandal, leather and smoke.

On our final day it rained.  It was unexpectedly divine.  After an endless run of hot days it took the temperature down a few degrees and cleansed the city.  By the time we headed out for lunch it smelled different; fresh, clean and reinvigorated.  We strolled down Via dei Coronari, one of the prettiest streets in Rome with a breathtaking photo opportunity around every bend.  There are also some unique shops to browse through and great spots to stop for a meal and a glass of Aperol Spritz. 

For a more high end shopping experience, try the newest Rinascente department store. With designer brands and effortlessly cool staff it’s a short distance from the Spanish Steps.  The rooftop bar is quite the scene with heavenly views over the city.  One level down is a more ambient open air restaurant and was the perfect spot to reflect on limited time well spent in such a vibrant city.