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Posted by Cayla Capri
Roman Holiday
Roman holiday cover full
When in Rome, semolina, frescos, and soapbox statues are the stuff that sweet dreams are made of. Medieval lanes and trendy piazzas thrum with a d’arte moderna sensibility while masterpieces of Michelangelo and Caravaggio bask under gold-guilded domes. Once the decanter’s been poured and the designer shoes have been donned, consider this fabulous city yours to explore.
the romance
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The Eternal City is the perfect setting for a romanzesco novella starring you and your squeeze. Consider bedding down in an old Art Deco hotel, replete with birdcage elevators and old-fashioned bicycles.
Stroll along the palazzo and across the Tiber (think Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck) nibbling on chocolate replicas of the Via del Moro, or share a single chocolate-rum cone on the edge of the Trevi Fountain. Top the night off by attending an airy bel canto performance.
At The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità), you’ll find sumptuous markets, quaint music stages, and rose-seller stalls. After a visit to the Palantine, dine on fried zucchini flowers simmered in garlic and mint, finishing off with coffees spiked with Galliano and topped with tufts of whipped cream.
the scenery
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As fiori blooms creep across sun-baked terraces, peddlers entice crowds with kitschy wares. Orange trees line velvet green parks, their intoxicating scents wafting towards the stunning Aventine Hill. Antique rose gardens, trattorias, and crumbling footbridges juxtapose edgy tennis courts, impromptu pop concerts, and the Caracalla thermal baths. Ricotta, vanilla, lemon and sugar lend themselves to the heady concoction that douses the Roman lifestyle, alongside freshly trimmed topiaries and carnival-esque escapades.
the attractions
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Jackie Kennedy’s wedding dress designer, Valentino, is the Roman fashion district’s claim to fame. Rivaling for top hotspot alongside Vatican City and the Pantheon - fashionista show-stoppers that include the likes of Versace, Armani, and Dolce and Gabbana. For one-of-a-kind deals, peruse the wares of local flea market extraordinaire Porta Portese.
If time is kind, be sure to check out:
Piazza Navona (for avid art-hunters)
Via del Governo Vecchio (for Fellini fans)
Ferrari flagship store (for zealots of cool)
the adventure
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The Roman Forum makes for an iconic pit-stop, dating back to the days of gladiators and lions on the loose. Rome’s imperial amphitheater, the Colosseum, is a jaw-dropping remnant of when a night-out meant attending a mock sea battle or chariot race. For a further case of the medieval creeps, check out the Cappuchin crypt or the goosebump-ridden Museum of Purgatory.
the secrets
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Escape into the reclusive quarter of Trastevere for a quickie lunch and a few incognito photo ops. Do some decoding on a personalized Angels and Demons guided tour or become a real-life gastronome thanks to an authentic cooking class and wine tasting. Sample a dish of grattachecca while meandering down the steep slope of the Spanish Steps – this scalinata happens to be the longest in all of Euro.
Other unique nichey musts include:
Torre Argentina Roman Cat Sanctuary
Pasta Museum
Notta Bianca (all night festival with free admittance)
before you go
What to Expect
Spring: April through June are mild and sunny months (15-25°C/59-77°F).
Summer: July and August are usually hot and sunny (22-35°C/72-95°F). August should be avoided, as it can get oppressively hot, and many shops will be closed when their owners go on vacation.
Autumn: Like spring, September through November are pleasant and mild months, and usually less busy (13-23C/55-73°F). Expect rain and cooler temperatures in November.
Winter: December through March are mild and quiet months, with the occasional cold spell (3-11°C/37-52°F).
Romans are trendy and original when it comes to fashion, so dress chic.
The Lingo
Italian, some English
A valid passport
Local Delicacies
Panino: Italian Sandwich
Cornetti e cappucino: Sweet pastry and a coffee