• Amy


Updated: Feb 6, 2020

We have now lived in Italy for over 3 years, and as of 2 weeks ago I STILL hadn’t ventured down to Rome. It’s one of those things that when it’s right on your doorstep, you don’t make the most of it and instead we always used our 4 day weekends to go further afield. Anyway, with a selection course for Rob looming we decided going further away was probably not the best idea this time and why not use the opportunity to hop on the train down to Rome! It turned out to be the perfect weekend- miles of city walking, delicious food, family time and relaxation.


We decided to book train tickets down to Rome as it’s only one change and we thought it would be easier with an active 11 month old than strapping her into the car for 5 hours.

The trains in Italy are great and it’s a super fast line

down from Venice to Naples, stopping at Rovigo, Florence and Rome on the way. We got the lunchtime train, which had us arriving in Rome at about 4:30pm for a gorgeous golden hour walk to our Airbnb.

Our Airbnb {linked here} was PERFECT. Really central and just a 4 minute walk from the Trevi Fountain but on backstreets so out of the noise, in an old building but WITH an elevator! Jackpot when you have the buggy with you!

We arrived and dumped our bags and headed off in search of food. We had found somewhere on Google Maps that looked nice and was open before 7pm (a rarity in Italy!) It was actually pretty good! Rob had a Tagliata (rare sliced steak) and Rosie and I shared a vegetable pizza. The restaurant was empty because it was so early which made it feel a bit soul-less, but all we were really looking for was a quick and tasty bite to eat before calling it a night and it definitely ticked that box! We headed home via the Trevi fountain (we couldn’t resist with it being so close!) with Rosie asleep in the buggy for bedtime ready for the next day.


After a banana and berry pancake breakfast in our Airbnb we headed out to wander the city. We picked out certain ‘big’ places (Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo di Fiori) we wanted to see and then just wandered down streets that took our fancy enjoying the uncrowded streets and crisp air.

Campo di Fiori is a big market with so much delicious seasonal produce. We picked up some cheese and wine and some other bits as we knew we’d eat in at our Airbnb at least one night.

We then headed to the river (disappointingly underwhelming) and walked along chatting until Rob realised we were near to the Order of Malta which is a building that is technically its own country a bit like the Vatican! Its so tiny though and you can only get inside if you know one of the ‘Knights’ of the Order of Malta so its really exclusive. We didn’t go in but there is a cool keyhole that if you look through lines up St Peters Basilica through a neatly cut hedge in the gardens which is pretty cool!

Whew, a busy morning! We had a reservation at a restaurant in the Jewish area of Rome that had been recommended to us beforehand and it definitely didn’t disappoint! Giggetto al Portico d’Ottavia is THE place in Rome to eat artichokes the traditional Jewish way- deep fried! So crispy and SO delicious. They also had them the traditional Roman way too which were equally as tasty. The waiters were really friendly and loved making Rosie smile- something which instantly puts you at ease when you are parents in a restaurant!

With full bellies, we headed to the Colosseum where we decided to go in and wander around ourselves. Its SO impressive and the sheer size of it is incredible. A shame about the scaffolding in the middle but I suppose when something is that old it needs a bit of support here and there...!

We then wandered up to try and get into the forum but it was getting too late in the day and they had closed already, so we headed to Baccano (another recommendation) initially just for a drink but then we realised we were all actually hungry again and ended up eating there too! Less traditional and more modern, but really nice brasserie style food, wine and cocktails.

Couldn’t head to bed without a gelato!


Okay so Saturday started as a bit of a fail. We got up early because we had booked a Vatican tour that started at 8:45am and it was a 45 minute walk across the city to get there. I didn’t read the email properly however and the meeting time was at 8:30am, so we turned up 15minutes late and the tour had already departed. Whoops. We quickly rebooked for the afternoon tour, and dived into the nearest café for a very mediocre touristy coffee and breakfast. Double whoops.

The day fast needed saving so we decided to chill and just wander back towards central Rome and the US Embassy so Rob could go collect a Marine coin – apparently in every US embassy the Marines have a different coin you can purchase! How cool! Sadly they had run out at the Rome embassy... but at least we tried!

Castel Sant’Angelo

Spanish Steps

After getting a bit carried away wandering, we realised we needed to head for some lunch before going back across the river for our rescheduled Vatican tour. So after some quick googling/blog recommendation searching, we decided on Ristorante Arlu and oh boy we struck GOLD. It's really tiny so we were lucky to get a table, but the staff were so so friendly and accommodating for our giant buggy and then finding a highchair for Rosie. The food was delicious, and it was just such an unexpectedly wonderful experience. We didn’t want to leave but I think Rob might have been a teeeeeny bit annoyed had we missed our Vatican tour a second time...

The Vatican was certainly impressive. A 3 hour tour was probably a bit TOO long for Rosie and I, but I’m glad we did it and saw so much of the museums, gardens, Sistine chapel and St Peters Basilica. There is still so much we didn't see though, its so massive.

Exhausted, we went straight back to our Airbnb to enjoy our market finds from the day before for supper, Rosie’s bath and bedtime, and then a couple of glasses of wine on the sofa before rolling into bed ourselves. We’d walked over 27,000 steps!


Sunday was a lovely slow morning, with a long breakfast at our Airbnb before heading out to the park around Villa Borghese for a coffee and some yummy pastries! (We were actually on the hunt for a childrens playground for Rosie... but she was more than happy watching the pigeons in the park whilst we drank our coffee so ended up playing around there instead of searching out the swings.)

Such a lovely relaxed sunny Sunday morning.

We hadn’t booked lunch- which in hindsight was a serious error as Sunday lunch in Italy (especially Rome) is a big deal so all of the best places are booked out. We found somewhere inbetween the park and the station though which turned out better than we expected (there is seemingly no such thing as bad food in Italy!) and then made our way to the station for our 3:30pm train home.

Physically, an exhausting weekend. But mentally and emotionally, it was the family recharge we needed. A perfect mixture of food, wine, wandering, exploring, chatting and family time.

Grazie mille Roma!

Amy x

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