The thursday before Christmas I went on a small trip to Rome. After a 2 hour flight and about 45 minutes by bus and metro I arrived at my bed & breakfast, Cicerone 28. It was is a nice old building with a very small open square in the middle of the building. From the B&B it’s a 20 minute walk to Saint Peter’s Square or the Pantheon. A nice bed & breakfast and the people are very helpful.
I’ve visited Rome before, and seen the ‘usual’ stuff that you should see. But this time I also want to see, feel, hear, taste the more local Rome. The places, squares, coffee shops, restaurants that the residents of Rome would go to.
Thanks to the great Explore function in the Foursquare app it’s easy to find good coffee places and find restaurants. Luckily most tips are in English, so that makes it easier for me to judge it. Because Foursquare is mainly used by citizens of Rome, it is an excellent way to find good spots.
Via Foursquare I found Castroni, an awesome deli and coffee spot, and Da Francesco, a great restaurant where I had a good lunch while surrounded by Romans and right next to the pizza oven. That’s what I wanted!
TripAdvisor City Guides
This is not the ‘standard’ iPhone app of TripAdvisor. With this app you can download a whole city to your fingertips. It includes the map of the city and the metro, a list all the restaurants, nightlife, shopping, hotels and attractions. Each list can be seen by best in your neighbourhood or best in Rome based on reviews on the TripAdvisor website. Just like Foursquare it has reviews and tips for each place. And because you download it first at home you simply don’t need any unsecured wireless internet. With the offline map and your GPS location you always know where you are, so you don’t need a paper map. Unless the batteries of your iPhone died.
Via TripAdvisor I found Giolitti, a great place for an espresso and ice cream, and Trattoria Palazzaccio (Dal 1971), a really traditional Roman restaurant where you can enjoy some pure Italian food. Try for dessert the Tiramisu.
Two app to find your way around the city and explore great places that you otherwise wouldn’t find. Both are available on iOS and Android.
There was one other app that I loved to use. Instagram. It is just a lovely way to share my pictures of Rome. Here are a few of them.
And more on Instagram
So Rome was worth it. Again. Even at Christmas when I expected it to be a lot more busier.
PS. bring a big suitcase so you can take enough pasta’s & wine home.