Originally written October 17, 2016

So I wanted to tell you guys about a few of my favorite gems that we found while living in Rome. This includes gelaterias, restaurants, and night life of course.

After the first weekend, we needed a break from Italian food and a few friends of ours had invited us to go to this random BBQ place in Trastevere called the Smoke Ring. After a fun (maybe too much fun) weekend in Florence, we got back Sunday night and joined them right down the road from our apartment. After being deprived from good ole American food for (just) a week, the Smoke Ring’s BBQ hit the spot. And so did their Kentucky Mule in a mason jar. The Smoke Ring was pretty pricey but so worth it at the same time. So if you’re living in Trastevere or nearby and get a hankering for something a lot less Italian, head over to this place!

Eating American food became a tradition every Sunday so there are a couple more places you should know about. The Perfect Bun, which I don’t think we could ever find again because it took us 2 hours to find the first time, has the American chicken fingers, burgers, and fries, and sauce galore that you’re looking for. Really cool atmosphere too…and once again, pretty pricey but so worth it for the relief of an American’s stomach. If you’re looking for more of the Steak n Shake type feel, there was a place that we pigged out at one Sunday called The Roadhouse, right on Trastevere and just one stop away from our apartment on the tram.

You’d think after living in Italy for week I would have eaten gelato at least 5 times…right? Well, you’re wrong. This chick didn’t try gelato for the whole first week I was there, which probably saved me from gaining a couple more LBs than I already was going to. After trying gelato in Florence, I knew I would have to take advantage of it more often because who knows when I would be back in Italy again. So my favorite place to grab gelato in the land of Roma is called Grom. It is a chain gelateria but probably my favorite place for stracciatella, which is basically just vanilla gelato with pieces of chocolate in it. I’m pretty sure I got that flavor every time we got gelato.

My favorite Italian restaurants in Rome are endless, but here I’ll tell you about a few that you seriously MUST visit if you’re in Rome. The first one we found is called Otello, located in a very populated area of Rome, the same area that most of the bars we frequented are too. If you visit Otello, you must order the mushroom pizza and of course a couple of bottles of wine. Its the perfect place to start your night– its authentic Italian food, the atmosphere is super fun as well as the servers, and they’ll bid you adieu with free shots of amaretto and biscotti. The next place I’ll tell you about was recommended by local Italians and we definitely did right by listening to them. Lumie di Sicilia, located near the American University of Rome on Via Fratelli Bonnet, is authentic Sicilian cuisine that will only leave you wanting to go back every day. But be sure to take an Italian or Italian speaking friend with you because the menus are only in Italian (we used Google translator a lot that night) and the people who own the restaurant can speak about 10 English words. If you get lucky enough to go to Lumie di Sicilia, I would recommend the penne pasta with eggplant for prima, swordfish as your secondo, and for dessert, you have to try the sorbetto limone (lemon sorbet). I’m not a big cannoli fan but my friends said their cannoli was to die for. Lumie was by far my favorite restaurant on the entire trip. Another favorite is located in the Monti neighborhood of Rome, past the Colosseum, called Gli Angeletti. We visited Gli Angeletti during our last week in Rome; it took so long to go over that way because it takes awhile to walk to once you get off of the tram near the Colosseum. Monti is a neighborhood where a lot of younger people with a lot of money tend to hang out, so you can expect that the meal was a little pricey, but nonetheless absolutely delicious. If you get a chance to go over to Monti and eat here, definitely order all of the different bruschetta, but especially the eggplant bruschetta. Also make sure to order lots of house wine because its surprisingly cheap and actually tastier than the bottles of wine. For my main course I got fettuccini with salmon. If you love salmon as much as me, you’ll understand why this meal was so heavenly. Like I said, there are many more delicious places to eat, obviously because its Rome, Italy, but those are just a few of my favorites!

As for nightlife, Rome will never sell you short and there is never a bad night to go out which is super cool. I have to say, I spent way too much money the first two weeks on going out and buying drinks. So do what I did later on and visit the local mart and pick up a bottle of amaretto or other liquor/wine because its super cheap there and will save you a lot of money. Oh and get this: you can walk around with a bottle of wine in your hand. There were many times we hopped on the tram with a bottle of wine before the bars. I’m not saying it looks attractive to Italian people and that they won’t automatically assume you’re an American, but hey, at least its legal!!! So a few of our favorite bars in Rome are G Bar, Drunken Ship, and Scholars. Yes, those are all pretty much American bars but Italians like our music so thats what they play and base their “bar scene” around, since they don’t really get the concept of a “bar.” There is also a small bar across from G Bar where all they have is shots named after super sexual things and they’re just one euro. That place left us with some funny stories! Oh and Ice Bar Rome or “Ice Club” is pretty cool too but not somewhere you’d want to spend your whole night…we just did it for the experience. Scholars is really neat because its basically an Irish pub style bar that has karaoke on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. Let me just tell you that Italians love some American karaoke and its a really fun way to meet other travelers from all over the world that are visiting or studying in Rome. As for clubs, Italians know what they’re doing. We made lots of memories and had many laughs at a club called Shari Vari. We really only went to Shari Vari mainly and one other club one this one time but I can’t remember the name of that one. There are so many clubs in Rome though so you just have to talk to locals around the same age as you and figure out where to go. You have to know a local or someone who works at Shari Vari to get in and its a pretty upscale club, but the dancing is really really fun. I would definitely not recommend buying drinks there because they’re about 12 euros each.

Well, now you know a few places that are definitely a yes when you visit Rome. I made some of favorite memories at these places and I wish I could go back every day. In my next post I’ll tell you all about our excursion to Sorrento, Capri and Pompeii.

Ciao for now!