Rome is the most marvellously historical city. You can walk the city for two days straight and still be enmeshed in a web of the ancient world. Of course, you have your classic sites — the Pantheon, St Peter’s Basilica, Colosseum, Sistine Chapel, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Castel Sant’Angelo — but if you have the time, three places that deserve much more recognition are MAXXI Museum (a Zaha Hadid spectacular), Gianicolo Gardens, and Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

One elegant route around Rome would be a polygon between Piazza del Popolo, down to Piazza Cavour, across to Castel Sant’Angelo, up via Virgilio to Via Cola di Rienzo and then take Via Cola di Rienza all the way to the Vatican. From there you can walk down through the Gianicolo gardens, which will give you a spectacular view over all of Rome, and bring you right into the heart of Trastevere on the South side of the gardens.

Dinner or lunch in Trastevere is a must, being the ‘food home’ of Rome. I’d highly recommend Le Mani in Pasta (!!) and Taverna Trilussa. Or if you’re there around dinner time, grab the “World’s Worst Cocktail” at “404 Name Not Found” (yes, that’s the name of a cocktail at a cool Italian bar). At night you’ll also find the bar Freni e Frizioni buzzing with locals until late.

Returning back to our polygon of Rome, you can go from Trastevere to Piazza Navona where da Francesco do a great pasta. I’d walk to the North side of Piazza Navona (avoiding any restaurant that spills onto the piazza, as is the golden rule throughout all of Italy), then across to the Pantheon, ideally arriving from the Pantheon from the North side to get a beautiful view.

From there, you can head to Via del Corso, Fontana di Trevi, and the Spanish Steps.

Some of my other favourites:

Il Sorpasso is an incredible bar. They do Trapezzini which are to die for, and their Jamon Iberico makes me concede that the Spanish do cured ham better than the Italians. Ichnusa non-filtrata on tap is one of my favourite beers in the world, but they also have an fabulous wine list.

Rome is famous for ‘Pizza al Taglio’, which translates to ‘pizza by the slice’. Bonci Pizzarium is the CLEAR winner in this regard, and while it’s a little out of the way, I make an effort to visit every time I go to Rome. Bonci’s a master of his craft. Roscioli bakery in the centre of the city is decent for pizza by the slice, and I’d recommend checking the place out.

Rome is also famous for Cacio e Pepe, Carbonara and Amatriciana, three pastas that sound simple to make, but are near impossible to perfect. Taverna Trilussa, mentioned above, are a stronger performer on all three, but if you have the time, Felice da Testaccio, a ~10min drive south of Rome, is the Cacio e Pepe king.

Other great restaurants include Due Ladroni, Osteria Trattoria da Fortunata, L’Arcangelo

This is the ‘short’ 6-page guide my mum wrote for friends who visit Rome

This is the ‘short’ 6-page guide my mum wrote for friends who visit Rome