When In Rome: Exploring Italy’s Capital

Once the world’s metropolis, Rome has transformed itself over the centuries, and now it represents the perfect amalgamation of old and new. While the city might be sticky and hot in high summer, it really comes to life towards the off season, giving you a chance to stroll its ancient artefacts without contracting heat stroke. Ready to see Rome as you’ve never done before? Your adventure is already set in motion!

Local Light Bites 

Sure, you can walk into any old trattoria and try your luck, but with food and wine like those on offer at L’Oasi della Birra’s, this restaurant is a dinner date planning for. Set on a lively piazza, this wine bar is a great option for early evening aperitivos, snacks included. Most locals opt for the aperitivo buffet, a plate of food so brimming with flavour and gusto that you might just have to skip the main course afterwards. Fresh, local produce abounds in L’Oasi della Birra, giving you the ultimate Roman experience and the perfect spot from which to people watch.

A Little Less Ordinary

Culture is the bread and butter of any Roman experience, and while there is an overwhelming list of classic sights to hit, you might want to go a little off the radar for your next jaunt. Enter the Mattatoio di Roma. Once an annex of the city’s contemporary art gallery, Mattatoio di Roma has since gone rogue, offering up a separate selection of modern exhibitions and events. Formerly a slaughterhouse, the building still houses much of its original architecture, and checking out this side of things is worth a visit alone.

Quiet Oasis 

Cemeteries might not be the first tourist spots that spring to mind, but Cimitero Acattolico, the city’s non-Catholic cemetery, has more than a fated guest or two. As well as being the resting spot for Antonio Gramsci, a founder of European communism, the place also houses the likes of John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The cemetery itself is an urban oasis, all wild vines and lush vegetation. Come for a historical perusal; stay for the quiet calm.

Cocktails For Any Occasion

Cocktail bars are most definitely a thing in Rome, and hunting one down for your visit is a must. Latteria Garbatella, set up by two friends, is arguably one of the city’s best. Having set up shop in the ground floor of a residential building, the bar lends itself to warmer nights, with the courtyard terrace serving as its star attraction. Inside, carefully created cocktails are poured and served alongside small plates of locally sourced food. Balancing both the contemporary and the ancient, Latteria Garbatella somehow manages to hit the best of both worlds.

The City’s Best Spaghetti

Desperately searching spaghetti? Many claim that Felice a Testaccio has the best plate in the city. While the restaurant’s cacio e pepe (square spaghetti) is undoubtedly its headliner, there is a whole lot to get excited about in this buzzing restaurant. The likes of pajata, slow cooked lamb sauce, and rigatoni are all crowd pleasers –– but really, there’s not a bad thing to be had on the menu. Felice e Testaccio has been a popular spot since it opened its doors in 1936, so be sure to book a reservation in advance. 

Hannah Lamarque
Hannah is a freelance writer and copy editor living in Europe. She writes about travel, art, design and culture and loves discovering hidden places in the cities that she visits.