#YellowtraceTravels: Rome Italy. Photo © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Rome Travel, Altare della Patria, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Italian flag waving in front of Altare della Patria (Altar of the Fatherland) a.k.a “II Vittoriano” – a giant monument built in honour of Victor Emmanuel, the first king of a unified Italy. Tourists often refer to the building with nicknames like “The Wedding Cake”, while the Romans commonly call it “The Typewriter”.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Ahhhh, Bella Roma… I honestly don’t even know where to start. My mind is racing and heart is pumping thinking back to the magical week we spent here in April (just before kicking off this little project). To say that writing about our experience in the Eternal City is slightly overwhelming is the understatement of the century. Why? Because! We are talking about Rome for god’s sake – one of the most visited destinations in the world, the city many of you most-likely already have your own relationship with.

Rome truly is a city like no other. This trip was my second time there, and I found it just as mesmerising, mind-boggling and awe-inspiring as the first time. Walking the streets of Rome at times feels completely surreal. The depth and breadth of history is astonishing. So many times I felt like I was right inside a history book, literally catching myself with my mouth wide open (most un-lady like) in disbelief that I was standing in front of something so remarkable and SO OLD. It made my brain hurt trying to work out how long ago that ‘something’ was built. And we are not just talking major monuments here, like the Colosseum, Pantheon, Roman Forum, etc. Evidence of epic history is profound and palpable, and ruins can be found literally everywhere. Nick and I coined a term ‘Random Ruin’ because there is so much of it around – “Hey what’s this side of the building? What’s that column? OMG it’s huge. Is it a ‘thing’? Is it on the map? Nah, it’s just some Random Ruin.” You know, intelligent, highly articulate, grown-up conversation – cause that’s the way we roll.

Clearly, with so much ancient history in one place, and arguably the best sightseeing in the world, you are going to trip up on your fair share of tourists. As in thousands upon thousands of tourists, many of which travel in groups wearing dorky matching hats for ease of spotting in the crowds, or following their fearless leader who waves their stick with some hideous colourful charm-thing hanging off it’s end – again, for ease of spotting in the crowds. The tourists are hardcore, and everywhere, and at times, it can all get a bit overwhelming and intense, especially if you’re someone who prefers to stay off the beaten path and follow the road less travelled. Well, I’m sorry to say that Rome, unlike most other cities is a bit of an exception. This is the city where you must, MUST do all the usual places, and tick off all the big sights, because they are breathtaking and cannot be missed. You simply have to embrace your inner tourist, make peace with other tourists while you’re at it, and pretend you’re not the kind of person who would, like, never go somewhere the Lonely Planet guide recommends.

Having said all this, as mesmerising and awe-inspiring as Rome is, sometimes it’s the hidden attractions that retain a certain magical, exclusive allure. Special walking paths, a hidden restaurant, the back entrance – these are not always reserved for the wealthy and the privileged. Often it’s just a case of having the inside information – knowing where to look, who to ask, where to stay and what to eat. In most cases, the city’s real charms are only unlocked with insider knowledge and word-of-mouth recommendations, something we’ve carefully gathered on your behalf. With this in mind, I hope you find today’s story informative and useful when planning your next visit (scroll down the post for more tips and our killer walking tour of Rome).

Always,
Mama Yellowtrace xx

 

Related Post: #YellowtraceTravels: Florence, Italy.
See all other #YELLOWTRACETRAVELS posts.

 

Tourismandhotels have flown to Rome courtesy of Cathay Pacific, who fly to Italy (Rome & Milan) daily. Cathay’s great connections from Australia allow getting from Sydney to Italy in under 25 hours, including transit times. For more information visit .

 

Cathay Pacific, The Pier First Class Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceCathay Pacific, The Pier First Class Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Our trip started the right way, courtesy of our friends at Cathay Pacific. We spent several hours in Cathay Pacific’s The Pier – First Class Lounge in Hong Kong (remember?), and I can honestly say that no amount of time in this lounge would ever be enough.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Cathay Pacific, The Pier First Class Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceCathay Pacific, The Pier First Class Lounge Hong Kong, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class Lounge is the only lounge I’ve visited that makes me want to stay and vacay at the actual lounge. Is that weird? After doing a little bit of work, Nick and I had , read some mags in the library, got a heavenly foot & neck massage, had a drink at the bar, … Seriously out of control, and it made such a huge difference to start the trip the right way.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Cathay Pacific Business Class, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | YellowtraceCathay Pacific Business Class, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Apart from the most incredible lounge I wish I could permanently move into, Cathay Pacific business class is ‘The Business’. From their impeccable service, to delicious meals and everything else – this is the perfect way to travel in style. I mean, they even arranged Will Ferrell as my dinner date (even though I almost spilled all my food from laughing so much).
Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Trevi Fountain Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace
Ta-da! Once we arrived in Bella Roma, we were treated to this view of the recently refurbished Trevi Fountain, which is super close to where we were staying. Strategically cropped out of frame are 12,487,378 tourists taking selfies in front of the fountain. With selfie sticks, of course. So hot. Not.
Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

CasaCau Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
CasaCau apartments were our home for the week. This place was Italian vintage heaven, located just a hop and a skip away from the Trevi Fountain.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

CasaCau Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Our room at CasaCau – seriously cooltown.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

CasaCau Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
More from CasaCau, which was way too cool for just a couple of pics, so we will bring you a separate post about our stay here. Stay tuned!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Trevi Fountain Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtracePiazza di Pietra Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Left: The magnificent Trevi Fountain recently underwent a major 2.2-million-euro restoration courtesy of Fendi. Trevi is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. Trevi appeared in several famous films, including Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. Legend says that, if you wish to return to Rome, you need to throw a coin into the fountain using the right hand over the left shoulder. An estimated 3,000 Euros are thrown into the fountain each day. Blimey! Btw, the best time to see the fountain is early in the morning (as per Exhibit A, before the tourists descended upon it with their selfie sticks), in the afternoon when it’s bathed in sunshine (but you will have to elbow 54,498 other people in the process) and in the evening, when the foundation gets lit up from below. So beautiful. Right: Piazza di Pietra (stone) shows the monumental Temple of Hadrian. Directly opposite the temple is Salotto 42 – a great place for an evening drink with an incredible view of the temple lit up at night.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Chestnut Street Stalls Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceChestnut Street Stalls Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

I know I’m in Europe when I see chestnut street stalls on every corner – not only does this sight bring back memories from my childhood, I also really love the smell and the taste of roasted chestnuts. Note the accidental pom-pom head garland on the guy on the left. Top points to Nick for timing!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Tazza d'oro Caffé Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Cafe Tazza d’oro is a Roman institution, and sits right next to the Pantheon. This place serves the best coffee Nick and I’ve had anywhere in Italy. Ever. Massive statement, but we both stand by it. We tried their espressos, macchiatos, and cappuccinos – all equally brilliant. Next time you’re in Rome, you must go here! P.S. There’s another really famous place around the corner called Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè, which is really charming and serves pretty good coffee, but my money is on Tazza d’oro as a place for better coffee. I’m a coffee snob like that.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Pantheon Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Oh boy – it’s the Pantheon!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Pantheon Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The entrance to Pantheon.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Pantheon Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Oh man… Looking at these images of Pantheon brings back so many emotions.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Pantheon Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtracePantheon Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Pantheon is by far my favourite building in Rome, in Italy, possibly in The World. It’s so very special, and incredibly moving – the feeling of standing under that dome is difficult to sum up in words.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Pantheon Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtracePantheon Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Pantheon was the first building that made me cry some 9 years ago. This time, it had a profound effect on me once again. We were lucky to have stayed so close to Pantheon this time, which meant we walked past it and went inside it almost every day we were in Rome.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Piazza della Rotonda Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtracePiazza della Rotonda Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Scenes from Piazza della Rotonda, in front of the Pantheon. Dapper Italian police officers and the horses with doily headpieces stole my heart.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Pantheon Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtracePantheon Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Piazza della Rotonda, and Pantheon at night. This very special building deserves it’s own post, don’t you think? Stay tuned for more soon.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

L'Antica Salumeria, Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | YellowtraceL'Antica Salumeria, Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Dear L’Antica Salumeria at Piazza della Rotonda – you had me at prosciutto ceiling canopy and stinky cheese smell inside. F**k I love Italy!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Via Condotti Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The fashionable Via Condotti begins at the foot of the Spanish steps (currently under wraps for a major restoration), containing the greatest number of Rome-based Italian fashion retailers, and is the equivalent to Milan’s Via Montenapoleone and Paris’ Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré. Here you will find Dior, Gucci, Valentino, Hermès, Armani, Prada, Ferragamo, Céline, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, Louis Vuitton… You get the picture? Also, the street gets completely slammed on Saturdays – it literally feels like you’re attending some kind of day festival.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Valentino Rome Flagship by David Chipperfield, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | YellowtraceValentino Rome Flagship by David Chipperfield, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Just off Via Condotti, on Piazza di Spagna is the Valentino flagship designed by David Chipperfield. Holy mother [email protected]$#&%g $hit! It’s easily one of the most beautiful luxury fashion stores I’ve ever seen, and it’s HUGE. Must visit. Also, I resisted making a purchase and still think about the shoes, so don’t do the same as me, ok?
Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Valentino Rome Flagship by David Chipperfield, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | YellowtraceValentino Rome Flagship by David Chipperfield, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Marble, terrazzo, brick, brass, leather and blackened steel heaven at the Valentino flagship by David Chipperfield. The material palette changes across men’s, women’s, ready-to-wear and shoes, creating slightly different moods, but overall the feel remains beautifully balanced and rich, but calm. Seriously too beautiful.
Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Gucci Via Condotti Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceFendi Private Suites Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Left: Gucci boutique on Via Condotti nailing it in the blinnngggg stair department. Right: Entry to Fendi Private Suites by Dimore Studio. *Side note: Prada Men’s on Via Condotti is one of the most amazing Prada stores I’ve seen. Bummed we didn’t take any photos, but if you’re around – must take a peek. Extreme coolness.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Fendi Flagship Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceFendi Flagship Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Palazzo Fendi Rome. It’s pretty major. Left: 3D travertine wall cladding inside Fendi flagship pays tribute to the company’s sublime head office building in E.U.R. Insane! Right: More blinnngggg marble stair action. Wowzer.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Fendi Flagship Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceFendi Flagship Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Scenes from Palazzo Fendi including a functioning atelier for Fendi fur. Ka-ching!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Hotel de Russie Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
When it comes to Posh Roman hotness, it’s difficult to go past Hotel de Russie on Via del Babuino.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Hotel de Russie Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Lobby of Hotel de Russie. I mean, seriously, right?
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Hotel de Russie Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceHotel de Russie Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Beautiful garden setting for the restaurant of Hotel de Russie. The terrace is a great place for a lux aperitivo, or you can have lunch or dinner at the restaurant in the garden. Or do as we did and have brunch there on the weekend. Great people watching included.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Hotel de Russie Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | YellowtraceHotel de Russie Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Brunching at Hotel de Russie, and checking out the hot marble mosaics in the bathrooms. Naturally.
Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Piazza del Popolo Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Piazza del Popolo, baby.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Piazza del Popolo Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Piazza del Popolo, facing one of the two famous churches on the edges of the square (the other one was hoarded up because of renovations).
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Aperitivo at Piazza del Popolo Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | YellowtraceAperitivo at Piazza del Popolo Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Aperitivo time at Piazza del Popolo. #TheBest. By the way, there are two cafes on opposing corners on Piazza del Popolo – the story goes that one is right wing, the other is left wing. So which one did we chose? The one that got the sun in the afternoon!
Photography © Dana Tomic Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
MAXXI Museum (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts) designed by the late Zaha Hadid. The museum was completed in 2009, after 10 years in the making.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The arresting interior of Zaha Hadid’s MAXXI Museum. The building left me with mixed emotions, but it definitely deserves a closer look, so stay tuned for a separate post in the coming weeks.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Zaha Hadid's MAXXI Museum Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Mario Merz igloo installation inside MAXXI Museum gallery.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Dana Tomic Hughes at MAXXI Museum Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceNick Hughes at MAXXI Museum Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Serious art appreciation going on at MAXXI by Tourismandhotels. In case you ever wondered about the key difference between females and males… hahaha!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

The best way to explore Rome is on foot. There are many amazing walking paths you could set out on, and here’s the one we did on our second day – allowing us to see A LOT of Rome. (Note – we started at 7am and walked until 7pm, then walked to dinner – that’s circa 25km+ for the day – so be prepared to wear super comfortable shoes, and by that I mean sneakers, and by sneakers I mean runners. Ok? Good.)

7am start at the Trevi Fountain before the crowds set in – you will see it with nobody else around, which is amazing. Walk past Piazza di Pietra (Temple of Hadrian), to Pantheon, and have your morning coffee/ pastry at Tazza d’oro Caffé. For our money, Best coffee in Italy!

7:45am Head to Piazza Navona, enjoy it without any tourists, and watch the locals walking dogs and doing yoga outside. From here head to Campo di Fiori – amazing fresh food market. (Side note, if you find yourself near Piazza Navona in the evening, great local bars for an aperitivo are Bar della Pace and Bar del Fico.)

9:00am Jewish Ghetto. Walk the laneways, look for Piazza Mattei with the turtle fountain. The Ghetto serves amazing Jewish food, so this is a great place to grab lunch and/ or dinner while in Rome. Some restaurant names to note – Piperno (daggy green interior with excellent Jewish Roman food), Da Giggetto (great location overlooking the ruins of Teatro Marcello), Sora Margherita, hidden behind a little door at Piazza delle Cinque Scole, 30. Have the Carciofi alla Giudia (deep fried artichoke) and let them bring you the rest (we had early lunch here because we had to fit in a lot of eating that day – all in the name of research, naturally). From here, walk to the edge of the Jewish Ghetto towards the Forum – check out Tempio di Apollo Sosiano and Teatro Marcello.

11:30am Walk the back streets towards the river bank, and head south towards Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island). The most magical view of the river awaits here. Cross the river into Trastevere, filled with winding cobblestone streets, known as one of the most charming parts of town filled with eateries and night life. (Warning – Trastevere is overrun by tourists these days, so brace yourself). Walk the laneways and head to 12th-century Basilica di Santa Maria, located on the main piazza in Trastevere, known for it’s spectacular golden mosaics.

12:30pm Head to Orto Botanico di Roma (Botanical Gardens), or better still – if you’re ahead of time like we weren’t, make your way to Gianicolo and Villa Pamphili, up the hill from Trastevere for the best views of Rome. Villa Pamphili is meant to be incredible, although we unfortunately didn’t get to make it there on the day.

1:30pm Head to Testaccio, an old industrial area full of authentic trattorias serving typical Roman cuisine. There’s also a great organic food market in an old hall in this area which you can explore. Have (your second) lunch at Da Felice for a true taste of Traditional Roman Cuisine. Locals flock to this place for the daily menu. For hundreds of years, tradition says that each day in Rome you should eat a certain dish, so do as the Romans do and order from their daily special!

3pm Aventino Hill. Head up the hill along the edges of Aventino, and keep heading to the top – this is an amazing area with expensive real estate, important churches, monasteries and private schools. Walk to the Gates of Malta, and look for the famous keyhole at Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta. Head towards the Orange Garden and enjoy spectacular views over Rome. From here, keep walking towards Circus Maximus, cross the big road and head to Mercato Campagna which is another incredibly popular organic farmers market (if you’re here in the afternoon, it will be shut as it only operates in the morning until around lunchtime).

4:30pm Head towards Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill), designed by Michelangelo with views of the Roman forum – Ta-da! You’ve reached the postard view of the crazy old Roman Forum (Foro Romano) – the excavated heart of the Roman empire.

5:30pm Time for the Colosseum (Colosseo) – monumental 3-tiered amphitheater once used for gladiators games. Dating back to 70 and 80 AD, it is the largest amphitheatre ever built. (Note, if you wish to go into the Colosseum, which I’d recommend for any first time visitors, you’ll want to come back another day, ensuring you allow plenty of time.)

6pm Head up the hill towards Monti, fantastic local neighbourhood with a bohemian vibe, interesting shops, great gelato and ethnic food. Head to Via del Boschetto and surrounding streets for a little meander.

Our walking tour continues below in pictures. Enjoy!

 

Piazza Navona Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Piazza Navona is one of the most famous and arguably the most beautiful of Rome’s many squares. It was built on the site of Stadium of Domitian, which once held chariot races that entertained some 30,000 screaming fans. If you want to see the piazza looking like this (i.e. empty), make sure you’re here at 7am – no tourists, just locals doing yoga and people walking dogs.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Rome-Travel-Piazza-Navona-Nick-Hughes-Yellowtrace-LW-2
Piazza Navona’s Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers) designed in mid 1600s by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

G-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceG-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Just around the corner from Piazza Navona is the fabulous boutique hotel G-Rough, which we wrote about a while ago. This is the ground floor entrance/ bar, which is another good place for an aperitivo. Do I sound obsessed with aperitivos? Good, because I am.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

G-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Quirky signage system at G-Rough – Uno (One) represents the top floor of the hotel.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

G-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceG-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

G-Rough Rome. Mirror gold bevelled tiles never hurt anyone, right?
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

G-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceG-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

G-Rough Penthouse. Enough said.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

G-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceG-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

G-Rough penthouse bathroom.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

G-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceG-Rough Rome Hotel, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

G-Rough penthouse loft bedroom and living space. Yes!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Campo de' Fiori Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Campo de’ Fiori fresh food market is right next to Piazza Navona (and G-Rough) and it’s seriously, seriously great. Again, recommend you go here in the morning before it gets slammed.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Campo de' Fiori Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Romans love, and I mean LOVE their artichokes (carciofi). They even managed to open my eyes to the charms of this horny little vegetable.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Campo de' Fiori Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceCampo de' Fiori Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

I was so excited at Campo de’ Fiori, and wished we could buy more food here, except we were setting off on a massive walking excursion that day and couldn’t carry much with us. We did purchase some yummy wild strawberries, and raw nuts for the road. But this is a great place for foodie gifts to bring back with you (just be mindful of Australian quarantine laws, if that’s where you live – like, obviously).
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Jewish Ghetto Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceJewish Ghetto Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The Jewish Ghetto in Rome is a must. Not too far away from Campo de’ Fiori, with lots of little lane-ways which are great to explore. The Ghetto serves amazing Jewish food, so make sure to eat around here during your time in Rome.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Jewish Ghetto Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
More scenes from the frozen-in-time Jewish Ghetto – it felt a bit like a movie set.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Jewish Ghetto Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Inconspicuous entrance to Sora Margherita at Jewish Ghetto (red beaded curtain). You have to eat here. (Thank you Byron for the tip!)
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Sora Margherita, Jewish Ghetto Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | YellowtraceSora Margherita, Jewish Ghetto Rome, Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Sora Margherita at Jewish Ghetto serves up the most delicious deep fried artichokes (Carciofi alla Giudia). Their braised version smothered in olive oil (Carciofi alla Romana) is also to die for! We were pretty tired at this point and couldn’t work out what to order apart from the artichokes, but the lady of the restaurant was like – “let me just bring you some stuff, ok?” Winner! And it was all crazy delicious. P.S. One of the dishes we had was pork. In a Jewish restaurant. I only realised how weird that was later. I don’t get it. Maybe from the tourist menu? But this place was mega-authentic though. Anyway, as you were… Unless you have an answer to this puzzle?
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Random Ruin at Jewish Ghetto Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceRandom Ruin at Jewish Ghetto Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

From the Jewish Ghetto, you can either walk towards the Roman Forum, or head across the river to Trastevere (which is what we did, but before that we enjoyed some “random ruin” action, like the Tempio di Apollo Sosiano (or one of it’s remaining columns) on the left, and Teatro Marcello (summer theatre built by Julius Caesar before the Colosseum). All this history is so freaking wild man!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Rome Textures, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceRome Textures, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Beautiful Roman textures – cobblestone (Sampietrini), bricks and travertine. Tick, tick, tick!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Rome Textures, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
And let’s not forget the signature time-honoured red and terracotta buildings, and the brilliant Bar and/ or Pasticceria signage on every corner. Extreme love!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Banks of Tiber Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Banks of Tiber river.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Banks of Tiber Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceIsola Tiberina Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Left: Tiber river. Right: Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island) – the only island in the river that runs through Rome. It is located in the southern bend of Tiber, and is a great place to cross into Trastevere.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Trastevere Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Trastevere is considered the most charming neighbourhood in all of Rome (although many will say Trastevere is slowly losing its authentic touch due to increasing popularity of tourists, and American & international student life). As you lose yourself down the winding cobblestone streets, you’ll soon discover why everyone falls in love with this charming part of town known for it’s eateries and night life.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Trastevere Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Little moment from Trastevere.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Trastevere Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Italian life – locals playing cards in the middle of the road at Trastevere. Gold!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Trastevere Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceTrastevere Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

More excellent Bar signage, and one of the many, many, MANY trattorias, bars & eating spots in Trastevere.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Santa Maria Trastevere Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
12th-century Basilica di Santa Maria is located in the main square in Trastevere. The interior is dimly lit, and featuring a famous glittering Cavallini mosaics depicting the font of oil that shot up when Christ was born – according to the myth, the church was founded on that very spot.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Santa Maria Trastevere Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceSanta Maria Trastevere Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Details from Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Orto Botanico di Roma (Botanical Gardens Rome), Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Orto Botanico di Roma (Botanical Gardens).
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Orto Botanico di Roma (Botanical Gardens Rome), Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceOrto Botanico di Roma (Botanical Gardens Rome), Photo © Dana Tomic Hughes | Yellowtrace

Orto Botanico di Roma (Botanical Gardens). When you climb to the top of the hill, you can see lovely views of Roman rooftops.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Aventine Hill Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Speaking of views across Roman rooftops, if this is your thing, then a visit to The Aventine Hill is a must. The Aventino is one of the Seven Hills on which ancient Rome was built, and is home to many important churches and monasteries.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

The Aventine Keyhole Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceThe Aventine Keyhole view of Vatican, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The one thing most tourists come to at Aventino is the Knights of Malta keyhole in Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta. The keyhole sits in an inconspicuous green door with worn off paint (where tourists have been pressing their noses and their cameras). Looking through the keyhole, you can see across three countries – from the autonomous property of the Knights of Malta (the Gran Priorato di Roma dell’Ordine di Malta), through a patch of Italy, to the perfectly framed St Peter’s Dome in the Vatican.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Aventine Hill Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceAventine Hill Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

The fountain outside the Basilica of Santa Sabina and the Orange Garden on Aventino.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Rome Rooftops from Aventine Hill, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Yep. Pretty spectacular view of Roman rooftops from the Aventino, and just a lovely place to hang out in general.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Rome Rooftops from Aventine Hill, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Having a really shit time.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus) Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Circo Massimo (Circus Maximus) – an ancient Roman chariot racing stadium and mass entertainment venue, situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine hills. It’s seriously epic, now a public park.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill Rome), Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill) – this unmissable hilltop square designed by Michelangelo is lined with museums and offers the views of the Roman forum. (It’s also, clearly, overrun by tourists, but that in itself can be funny, if you’re in the right frame of mind.)
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill Rome), Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtracePiazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill Rome), Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Piazza del Campidoglio (Capitoline Hill).
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Roman Forum (Foro Romano), Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Ta-da! The crazy old Roman Forum (Foro Romano) is a vast excavated area of Roman temples, squares and government buildings, some dating back 2,000+ years. Far-out brussel sprout!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Roman Forum (Foro Romano), Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
The mind-boggling Roman Forum (Foro Romano). Plenty of “random ruins” about.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Colosseum Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Booya! There she is – the Colosseum (Colosseo) – monumental 3-tiered Roman amphitheater once used for gladiators games. Made from concrete and sand between 70 and 80 AD(!!), it is the largest amphitheatre ever built.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Colosseum Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceColosseum Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Colosseum is magnificent and best viewed from up the hill across the street (heading towards Monti).
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Monti Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Monti is central Rome’s secret urban village, a neighbourhood that often gets overlooked. Tourists flock to the Colosseum, the Quirinal Hill, and Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, but tend to miss out on one of the city’s most charming old residential neighbourhoods. You could easily pass through Monti without realising you’re amongst bohemian stores, bookshops, cafes, little piazzas, ethnic eateries and superb gelato.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Rome Rooftops, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
More excellent afternoon rooftop action. When in Rome…
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Palace of Justice, Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Crossing Tiber river in front of Palace of Justice building.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

St. Peter's Square, Vatican City, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City – the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, and home to the Pope. Vatican Museum houses countless ancient Roman sculptures, as well as Renaissance frescoes in the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel, famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling. We didn’t venture inside this trip, but if you’re in Rome for the first time, it’s well worth a visit. P.S. Try not to lose it at the pesky “freelance” tour-guides who try to get you to “sign-up” with them for the day. SO ANNOYING!!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Church TV, Vatican City, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace
Church TV on the Vatican streets. 
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

Castel Sant'Angelo Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceCastel Sant'Angelo Rome, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

Left: Castel Sant’Angelo is a towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano, initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. Talk about a power move. Right: View across Tiber with more Roman rooftops in the background.
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

L'Arcangelo, Rome - Prati, Photo © Nick Hughes | YellowtraceL'Arcangelo, Rome - Prati, Photo © Nick Hughes | Yellowtrace

While you’re on the other side of the river near the Vatican and Castel Sant’Angelo, take a trip to Prati – an affluent residential area filled with authentic Roman trattorias and great bars. Our pick is L’Arcangelo on Via Giuseppe Gioacchino Belli, 59 (thank you for the tip Edwina!). We ate so much while we were in Rome, but for my money, this place served our best meal. Order Bucatini all’Amatriciana, and let the Guanciale (Italian cured meat similar to Pancetta but made from the pigs cheeks) melt in your mouth while you slip into a carb coma. Absolutely sublime!
Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.

 

Tourismandhotels have flown to Rome courtesy of Cathay Pacific, who fly to Italy (Rome & Milan) daily. Cathay’s great connections from Australia allow getting from Sydney to Italy in under 25 hours, including transit times. For more information visit .

 


[Photography © Nick Hughes/ Yellowtrace.]

 



About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

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