My 30th birthday came and went in a blur of booze back in December, but my gift from the other half was a mini break in Rome which we took last weekend, as soon as the misery of Dry January was out of the way. As is our usual style, it was a budget trip – cheap flights and an AirBnB studio flat (get £££ off your first booking here) – but what we saved on airfare and accommodation, we certainly made up for on food and drink!
We stayed in a pretty little apartment in Ponte, in the fifth rione of Rome. Its name (meaning “bridge” in Italian) comes from Ponte Sant’Angelo, the bridge which connects Ponte with the rione of Borgo.
It turned out to be a fabulous location, as we were able to walk to loads of the sights, like Piazza Navona, the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi fountain and the Roman Forum.
Very glad I wore trainers!
Despite it being a short trip, we made sure we ate at least one of every thing on our list – so that included proper Roman Carbonara, thin & crispy Roman pizza, creamy authentic Gelato, crispy little Arancini balls (deep-fried risotto), Jewish-Roman antipasti in the Jewish ghetto and lastly, lots of nibbles at cocktail hour. In doing the research for this trip, I learned that the act of going for a nibble and a drink – and the food itself – are both known as Aperitivo in Italy. I’ve decided I’m making this part of my weekend routine back in the UK from now on!
As for the drinks, I became borderline addicted to Aperol Spritzers (one part soda, two parts Aperol and three parts Prosecco) and will definitely be drinking some more of those at home this weekend. Pete had his first ever Negroni cocktail, and I knew we had to find a nice red & bubbly Lambrusco, at some point too. We stumbled in to a beautiful, authentic little restaurant on the same road as our Air BnB (Via De Panico 29) where we spent a smoky, tipsy evening sipping on a bottle, and listening to an Italian musician free-styling with his mates. He actually turned out to be a bit of a big deal too – check him out in Italian Rolling Stone!
To really get a feel for what it’s like to be roaming around Rome, here is a cringe-worthy video that Pete made on his Go-Pro. I look like a very miserable travel partner, don’t I? 😉
With flybe having just announced a new route direct from Cardiff to Rome (from £24.99 one way), it’s safe to say I’ll be heading back to Italy sometime soon.
Planning an Italian adventure of your own?