Beautiful, historic Rome. A city founded from legends – a violent bloody past and yet an icon of love, culture and elegance. Created and named after a twin who supposedly murdered his own brother to reign supreme, Rome’s antiquity is stuff that dreams are truly made of. Names such as Caesar, Mark Antony, Spartacus, Nero and Michelangelo easily fall off the role-call of famous Romans.
Gladiators, politicians, slaves, sanitation, philosophy, roads, Latin, stone architecture, our current calendar, the concept of currency, senates, central heating, same-sex marriages and benefits of food for the less fortunate are just a few of the forwarding thinking advances the Romans brought to Britain.
Today, Rome is a top tourist destination luring people with their vast list of historical monuments such as the Colosseum, Pantheon, Sistine Chapel or St Peter’s Basilica. Immortalised by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday and Anita Ekberg in La Dolce Vita, modern Rome remains eternally enduring. Powerful, romantic, secretive and seductive – a rare blend of antitheses create this fabulous city.
But as a tourist in Rome, where to eat? As with any city there are literally hundreds of places, but not all establishments are as equal as others. Read our list of Rome's top five fantastic restaurants and you won't go wrong when visiting Rome.
1. L’Antica Birreria Peroni
We recommend you start with L’Antica Birreria Peroni – located close to the Fontana di Trevi this delightful restaurant is not only famed for its great food and service but also, its remarkably good prices – not to be sniffed at, considering Rome is one of the world’s most expensive cities to visit. Originally the Peroni factory, the restaurant is now a local favourite – a very good sign when trying to find a decent eatery abroad.
2. Vecchia Roma
This authentic Roman restaurant is famed for is its Pasta Amatriciana, a traditional Roman dish of tomato, pancetta and onion. But it’s not just about the taste – the service is what drives people to experience this meal. A flame is taken to a hollowed-out block of Pecorino Romano cheese, the pasta is then added and stirred whilst in the hole . The flame adds a unique smoky Pecorino flavour to the dish. Quite remarkable and unlikely to be found anywhere else – a wonderful eatery experience.
3. Pompi il Regno del Tiramisu
For the best Tiramisu in town, head to Pompi il Regno del Tiramisu. In this establishment the iconic dish is treated with such revere there is wall to wall refrigeration of just tiramisu. They genuinely love the dish and offer fantastic takeaway packaging to ensure you can fully experience and enjoy their creations. You will notice a lot of their brown and pink takeaway boxes in people's hands as you walk about. And for a very good reason.
4. Romeow Cat Bistrot
So, this one goes out to vegan cat lovers! Yup there’s a vegan restaurant found in Rome which is dedicated to Japanese cat café culture – the Japanese feel that sitting with cats and watching them play is therapeutic, giving individuals a chance to relax and benefit from the soothing and calming aspect of being with cats. Romeow Cat restaurant is no different, one can eat great vegan food whilst appreciating these lovely beasties in a chilled, clean environment. A unique experience and not to be missed.
5. I Supplì
Supplì – fried rice balls stuffed with mozzarella - are a very popular street food in Rome. I Supplì is considered one of the finest street vendors of the little gorgeous snack, offering a variety of freshly cooked pastas and homemade pizza, you won’t regret eating from this fantastic rosticceria.
Where to stay?
As with any popular city, Rome isn't a cheap one to stay in. But our accommodation options - including a holiday house run by the Nuns of Saint Anna - are affordable alternatives to traditional hotels and bed and breakfasts. Not only are these perfect for those on a budget, but they're also centrally-located and offer something a little different.