When in Rome

Check out the following article from my-abroad.com (@abroad_pics on Instagram) featuring one of our guides, Gianni Macri. Gianni is currently living in Rome and explains how he got to where he is, and his perfect day in the eternal city.

“Well, to start, I’m Gianni and currently living in Rome working for Bus2Alps Travel. I studied abroad back in 2009 with St. John’s U to Paris, Spain & Rome and absolutely fell in love. Loved it so much I came back to Rome in January 2012 for grad school and started working for Bus2Alps in the summer of 2014.

I really couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with my life so I kind of made traveling my “thing”. It’s pretty hard for me to sit still so these past few years I’ve been to almost 20 European countries, traveled most of South East Asia, Japan, Korea and even hit parts of Africa.

Right now, being able to call Rome my “home” these past two years has been a blessing. You really have to experience it to know what it’s all about. Rome is vibrant; affectionate; charming; loud; delicious; gaudy. Rome is Home.

Now, if you’d like, I can offer you some tips. These aren’t from a tourist; they’re from an Expat. Rome is broken up into a few different areas and I’ll explain the more important ones. You have the snobbier area of Prati, where you’ll only visit when checking out the Vatican during the day, there is no nightlife. Everyone must visit Vatican City while in Rome. St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museum are two of the most touristy, yet beautiful places to see while there. Make sure you visit St. Peter’s hungry because on the walk over from there to the museum you’re going to pass Due Cento Gradi, which makes some awesome Panini’s, and Old Bridge, which has very, very good and cheap gelato. A few more sites to see on the way to your next stop should definitely be the Coliseum, Spanish Steps and the lookout above Piazza Del Popolo for sunset.

Once you work your way out of Prati and the sun is down, head on over to Trastevere. Piazza Trilussa is where you’re gonna want to head for dinner and drinks. (PS- Friends Cafe in Piazza Trilussa is one of the only places in Rome where you’ll find a decent iced coffee) For dinner, there are quite a few places to go here. If you want some traditional family style food where they bring you out platters and platters of dishes, head to Hostaria Dal Moro Da Tony’s, or as everyone knows it “Tony’s”. Around the corner there is a quaint little restaurant called Z’Umbertos that also has very good food. Looking for a one of a kind pasta dish? Roma Sparita has a Cacio e Pepe dish like no other. It’s in a fried parmigiano cheese bowl. Wow. Fancying some pizza? I have 3 favorites. They all will have amazingly good pizza with amazingly long lines. Dar Poeta, IVO & I Marbi are definitely the top 3 pizza places in Rome. If you’re looking for a light meal, or just on a budget, you can go to an Aperitivo. In English it translates to an all you can eat buffet for the price of a beer from the hours of about 7-10pm. Sounds pretty good, right? Freni e Frizioni makes amazing drinks and has decently good food with a great outdoor vibe.

Once dinner has settled in and its time for some drinks head to Mr. Brown’s or Big Hilda’s for 2for1 drinks until 10pm. If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat in the area, G-BAR has student specials all the time to quench your thirst. Make sure to stop next door though to Almalu to try their famous Harry Potter Shot.

Making it out of Trastevere before 2am is a bit of a challenge, but if you happen to do so, stop by Campo De Fiori, which is student/tourist central. It gives you something to do 7 days a week and doubles as Europe’s oldest outdoor fruit and vegetable market during the day. At night, the only fruits you’ll see will be in your cocktails at The Drunken Ship. The name should say enough. If you want some late-night clubs in the area I’d definitely recommend Shari Vari or Gilda; great for students.

Stumbling out of Campo at 2am because the bars close usually leads to hopping in a taxi to Testaccio. This will lead to a 5am night, so if you’re game, you can check out Coyote, On The Rocks or Akab. These are late-night clubs that are mixed with tourists and Italians. Akab is basically full of Italians, so if you want a cultural club playing R&B and Dance music all night, this is your spot.

That was just a summary of a jam-packed day in Rome. The city holds so much more though. If you’re there for more than just a few days, wander down a street that doesn’t look familiar and get lost. Walk through that tiny door and see what it holds on the other side. Chances are you’ll come across something extravagant. Go to the restaurant that doesn’t have an English menu and order something you can’t pronounce. There are just so many hidden secrets that the city holds, and you just have to discover them on your own.”

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