Live like the Romans: insider tips from the eternal city

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Watch the colourful hustle and bustle on Campo de‘ Fiori, eat a panino while looking over the rooftops of Rome and enjoy an evening in Trastevere. Experience the magic of the eternal city away from the tourist trail with these tips.

 

We start the day at Campo de‘ Fiori. Following a delicious breakfast in our hotel, we take Bus No. 64 and alight at Corso Vittorio Emanuele II. We then cross Via de’ Baullari to the former flower market, where the stalls are already set up and the souvenir sellers are haggling over prices with the first customers of the day. Sitting on the edge of the fountain, we linger for a moment and observe the colourful market activity.

Before tearing ourselves away from the busy scene and setting off again, we buy filled paninis for lunch from the Forno Campo de ‘Fiori bakery. The pizzas and pastries are freshly prepared in this small bakery on the corner of the Campo and the prices are unbeatable by Roman standards.

We stroll along Via del Pellegrino heading east, not forgetting to have a look at the charming courtyard. We continue to zigzag until we reach Via Coronari. On our way there, we stop at delicatessens and antique shops. Now it’s probably time for an ice cream, which we enjoy at the legendary Gelateria del Teatro. This tip comes from my former Italian teacher, who taught me when I lived in Rome for a while, as this small ice cream parlour is somewhat hidden away.

Judging by the queue in front of the ice cream parlour, Gelateria del Teatro is now no longer a secret. Nevertheless, the ice cream is absolutely delicious, and the generous scoop of chocolate and pistachio in the cone makes strolling through the streets of Rome even more wonderful. It doesn’t matter which of the small streets we take because in Rome, one charming little alleyway nestles against the next. The main thing is that we arrive at our destination – Giardino Degli Aranci (Orange Garden) – in time for lunch.

Even before entering the park, we notice the wonderful scent of the orange trees. From Aventine Hill, we enjoy the view of Rome, before seeking a secluded spot to eat the lunch we brought with us from Forno Campo de ‘Fiori. Especially during the summer, Romans escape to one of the city’s beautiful shady parks at lunchtime.

 

We while away the evening in Trastevere. This district beyond the Tiber is considered to be the artists’ quarter and is my favourite place in Rome with its delightful rear courtyards and charming squares. The colourful nightlife of many Romans of every generation unfolds at Piazza Santa Maria. Immediately behind the square, we are served a traditional Roman dish at Pizzeria Ivo a Trastevere (reservation recommended): Pasta Cacio e Pepe. A single mouthful is all it takes to appreciate the Dolce Vita.

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