Published in Villa 88 Magazine, September 2015 issue.
A trip to Rome reveals the city’s ancient past and modern charm – Priyanka Pradhan
In its three thousand-year-old, glorious and tumultuous history, ‘the eternal city’ has been the cynosure of politics, power, art and architecture. A stroll across ancient Rome tells stories of megalomaniac rulers and evil conspiracies, while its spectacular monuments and intricately carvedstone gargoyles set in centuries-old grand fountains leave you spellbound.
But the Roman experience begins even before touchdown, at Fiumicino Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport. Emirates’ Business Class service from Dubai to Rome offers a great introduction to the city with a range of fine Italian wine onboard, gourmet Italian cuisine, premium amenities from Bulgari.
Once you’ve landed, you’re most likely going to see St. Peter’s Basilica, the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, Piazza Navona, Trevi fountain and other tourist attractions straight off the bat. But here are a few ideas for a more immersive and entertaining adventure in the Italian capital.
Embark on a food trail starting from Campo Di Fiori for its famous ‘Forno’ joints (bakeries and all-day breakfast bars) and the food market for giant ‘limons’ and the juiciest cherries, condiments and fresh buffalo mozzarella.
Next, walk across to the Jewish Ghetto for delicacies such as fried zucchini flower and supplì—made from recipes passed down from Jewish families since as far back as the 15th century. For lunch, stop by Tratorria Monti (Via di S. Vito, 13/A, 00185 Rome) or the whimsically named, Drunken Cow (Hosteria La Vacca M’briaca, Via Urbana 29/30, 00184 Rome) for an authentic Italian kitchen.
Romans seem touchy about their gelato so be warned about flashy, branded geleto chains across the city that are regarded as ‘rip offs’, or as pronounced by an impassioned local, “Unethical and wretched”. Instead, look for quaint little geletarias such as Fior Di Luna (Via della Lungaretta, 96, 00153 Roma) which are considered authentic and produce gelato from locally sourced ingredients.
NIGHT CRAWL ON A SEGWAY SCOOTER
While the classic way to see Rome may be upon a Vespa scooter, a more fun and hassle-free (and fuel free) way is onboard a Segway. Glide across the ancient monuments, fountains and cobblestone lanes, navigate the crowds and street performers at major squares and finish off the trip with a breathtaking view of the Colosseum, illuminated by hundreds of electric lambs from within. http://www.romebysegway.com
LEARN TO MAKE TIRAMISU
Learning to make tiramisu from scratch, in the country of its origin definitely counts for bragging rights back home. Enroll in a class to make the popular Italian dessert over a fun afternoon and then take your masterpiece with you to enjoy at leisure—so you can have your cake and eat it too, quite literally.
Try Tiramisu Station, Via dei Fienaroli, 5, 00153 Rome.
A DAY IN TRASTEVERE
Across the river Tiber, lies Rome’s bustling neighborhood, Trastevere. Historically, this neighborhood was a haven for immigrants, especially the Jewish community and Syrians, forming a sub-culture of its own. Trastevere retains much of its medieval architecture and old world charm in its winding cobblestone streets and somewhat eerie maze of narrow lanes. However, today, with innumerable boutiques, cafes, art galleries, trendy restaurants, and bars, it makes for an incredibly lively day (and night) out.
Walk into Bir & Fud (Via Benedetta, 23, 00153 Roma) for fun evening of Roman cuisine in true Trastevere style.
..But the journey isn’t over until you sample Emirates’ Business Class lounge for a luxurious experience, in keeping with the proverbial Italian ‘La dolce vita’ way of life. From being able to swap stories of Italy over the bar, to boarding directly from the Business Class lounge, Emirates completes the Roman experience in style.