“What’s Rome like for a long weekend away?” I’m often asked this, and I always answer the same way, “For a long weekend away it’s rubbish”. You see, coming to Rome only for a long weekend is frustrating, there’s just too much to see and do in just 72 hours. It would be like walking into a room and being presented with the world biggest free buffet, full of delicacies from all over the world, but only having enough time to butter a bread roll before being ushered out again. Beautiful site, great experience, but if only you’d had more time…
As a weekend destination, Rome really does have it all, we all know about the amazing beauty and charm of the main cultural sites, but seriously, you could spend a whole day having a tour around the Vatican museums and still want to go back for more in the morning. The first time I went into the Colosseum, I didn’t want to leave, it really is that magical. Book a tour of the Roman Forum and let your guide reconstruct Roman life as they walk you around those cobbled, ancient streets. You could easily get lost in your imagination and spend hours there.
As night time falls, it get’s worse. There are so many restaurants to choose from, so many dishes you will want to try as you pass through the bustling streets of Trastevere, mouth and eyes wide open as you spy other peoples dinners as they eat ‘al fresco’ on the outside tables as you make your way to your chosen restaurant. After dinner, you could head down to the river and enjoy a cocktail and the open air cinema, or you could pop along to Gregory’s Jazz Club at the top of the Spanish Steps. If Jazz aint your thing daddy-o, then there are always the bars and clubs of Testaccio, San Lorenzo or Pigneto.
And then there are the other pleasures. Sitting on the bench outside Caffe Peru (just off Piazza Farnese) having breakfast takes up at least an hour and a half. Not because the service is terrible, Salvatore the owner wouldn’t allow that, but because it’s the best place in Rome to sit back with a coffee and watch the world go by. How about a stroll through Villa Ada, one of Rome’s lesser visited parks? It’s absolutely beautiful. A day trip to Anzio? Tivoli? Castelli Romani? Where are you going to find the time?
No, a long weekend in Rome just isn’t enough. With two main airports that cater to both the main and low-cost airlines and thousands of excellent hotels and beautiful apartments to rent, you have no excuse not to come again and again. I should know, I came here for a long weekend 11 years ago and never left.