It’s been on our bucket list since the Lizzie McGuire movie debut in ’03. And now we’ve finally ticked it off! Harriet & Amelia Take Rome!
We stayed at the Viminale View Hotel. Located right in the centre of the city, we thought this would be a good place to be based, so we can easily get to all of the must-see places in Rome. The hotel was very cool – each of the rooms were set within these sort of shipping containers… well, from the outside that’s what it looked like. But once you opened the door, there was a Tardis moment… the inside was spacious, light, and very modern. Our room had a great view over the Piazza del Viminale, and a very impressive looking building, which we later found out was a Government Office.
Our room was perfect, it had everything we could have possibly needed. A safe for our passports and spare euros, plenty of wardrobe space, a kettle for our emergency hangover cup of tea in the mornings, and, most importantly, a MASSIVE mirror with great natural lighting for smooth make up application. It was ideal for what we needed. (My pictures don’t do it justice AT ALL but bless me I tried. Think I’ll stick to selfies…)
The staff at Viminale View were so kind, they helped us locate all of the important tourist spots on a map and told us the best route to get to each place. And although we spent most of our time out of the hotel, it was great to come back to somewhere so calm and relaxing after a long day of walking around. (Also nice to have somewhere with plain white wall for a good insta backdrop. Don’t tell me that’s not important.)
Millie took this trip very seriously, and composed a list of all the sights we needed to see, all the restaurants we needed to try and all the bars we needed to visit for drinks in the evening. Some say organised, I say neurotic.
But it actually worked out very well, because we were only there for 3 days so we did in fact need a tight schedule in order to see everything. Rome is a HUGE city, and it can be a bit overwhelming not knowing where to start. So, thanks Mils!
First on the list was the Trevi Fountain, because our hotel was so close. Obviously, very crowded and completely crazy – but the fountain itself is really beautiful. It was one of those pinch me moments – it was so much bigger than it seemed in Lizzie McGuire movie… It’s beautiful in the day but even more so at night when all the lights are shining.
We also went to the Colosseum, which was, also, huge. And not like, Big Ben huge. I mean, I’ve literally never seen anything so f*cking huge in my entire life. We didn’t go for the guided tour inside, frankly because we were too impatient to stand in a queue for 2 hours (we both have the attention span of a gnat so that didn’t appeal). We just took a few pictures and stared at it for a while. It’s very cool.
Next to the Colosseum is the Parco del Colle Oppio. Which is essentially like a park, that contains the ruins of an entire village. It’s quite cool actually, and you can get guided tours where they walk around with you and tell you the history behind everything and stories about the people that lived there. OR you could just do what Millie and I did, which was sneak along at the back of someone else’s guided tour and eavesdrop. A cheaper alternative!!
Altare della Patria – a very imposing but pretty building, which I later found out is actually less of a building, more of a monument… It was built in 1911 for a Victor Emmanuel (Rome’s King). It translates to “Alter of the Fatherland” and it has THE BEST views out over Rome. It’s free to go up to the main balcony, where you can see the Colosseum, the Parco del Colle Oppio, the Marcello Theatre… and everything in between. You can also pay 7 euros to go up in the glass lift to the very top of the building, where you can literally see the entire city of Rome. It’s breath-taking, and my personal favourite moment of the trip.
Then there’s the Pantheon… slightly underwhelming I can’t lie. It’s big, and it’s definitely old, but it didn’t make me feel anything. Obviously, it’s historically important and a landmark Roman temple and church… It’s cool, and if you’re in the area then definitely check it out. (They have a really great gelato place just opposite on the main square which definitely makes it worth it!)
The Vatican City. Guys. This place is UN-real. It’s huge, it’s beautiful, it looks like something out of a movie. We did actually buy tickets to this, as we knew we wanted to see it properly and preferably not wait in a queue for3 hours in the rain. With our tickets, we didn’t have to queue at all, we just strolled right through. We looked around St Peter’s square, St Peters Basillica and the Sistine Chapel. No photography is allowed in the Sistine Chapel, so unfortunately you will just have to go and see that yourself. But trust me, it’s worth it.
Restaurants & Bars
1st Night Dinner @ Doveralu
This restaurant was close to our hotel and had good reviews, so it made sense to try it.
We both had bolognese and it was life-changing.
We also had a few cocktails here, loved them, and ended up quite tipsy!
2nd Day Lunch @ La Bottega del Caffe
Millie and I were both craving bruschetta – this one was amazing. Like, so good. I don’t actually like tomatoes but these were like little mouthfuls of joy so I ate them all haha.
We then had a ham and mozzarella toastie, and an Italian hot chocolate. Italian hot chocolate is ridiculous – so f*ckin good. Just ignore the fact that it’s made with melted butter…
THEN we discovered Piazza Navona – this whole piazza was a food and wine oasis.
Could have picked any of the restaurants and had an amazing evening, I’m sure! We just went for the ones with the cutest waiters (joking…. kind of).
2nd Night Dinner @ Ristorante Navona
Again, we both had the bolognese. Absolutely shameless. But when in Rome…
We also shared bruschetta again and it just got even better.
Think we drank a bottle of wine each, while people-watching out over the square.
This night was so fun, I loved it!
3rd Day Lunch @ Nova Caffe
This was a small café/pizzeria situated right at the entrance to the Vatican City.
We were starving and smelt pizza, we couldn’t just walk past…
We both ordered a margherita (she copies me I swear) it was the literal size of a small country but we finished it obvs. It was 10/10 good.
3rd Night Dinner @ Bernini Ristorante
I could actually cry when I think about this place.
It’s right on the edge of the piazza, but it looked really cute and quiet, quite small and like a little family-run Italian restaurant. It’s nothing fancy but it’s endearing.
My (Italian) boyfriend had told me that small Italian restaurants are usually the best, so I thought we should test his theory. Hate to say it but he was right.
This was the best meal I have ever eaten and probably will eat for the foreseeable future. Millie and I legitimately couldn’t speak – we were like, shook.
The house wine was unreal. We had a bruschetta EACH.
She had Bolognese again (don’t even) I had meatballs this time! #exotic.
I saved a picture of my meal and I’m so glad I did because sometimes I just like to stare at it. It was that good. We then had chocolate cake. That was a f*ckin good chocolate cake.
We were there for about 4 hours, I genuinely couldn’t recommend this place more.
Honestly want to go back there now…
If it seems like all we did is walk around taking pictures and eating, that’s because, it kind of is all we did. And we had a great time doing it!!
Rome is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to. (For me, Paris is still #1 but Millie thinks Rome is slightly better). Regardless, it’s stunning, and definitely something for the bucket list.
If you are planning a trip to Rome, I hope this review helps a little bit! And also, we’re very jealous…
H & A xx