Right. We’ve done the maths. We’ve crunched the numbers. We’ve figured out that the average savings you make on a Ryanair flight to Rome from London for a long weekend over Easter, compared to other leading European airlines, is a whopping €87.30! Almost ninety extra quid in your pocket, just for you, to fritter away however you please in the Eternal city. But Rome’s a big place, and there’s loads to buy. So we’ve going the extra mile and we’ve done the leg work for you. We’ve created a special itinerary for an amazing day in Rome, paid for entirely with the money you’ve saved by flying with us… and there’s only one way to start the day in Rome…
Have a classic Roman breakfast – a cappuccino and a cornetto (not the ice cream, the pastry). Sure, your accommodation might well provide breakfast for you, and by all means go to town on that – but every visitor to Rome should experience this quintessential little slice of Roman life. The trick is to find somewhere good, where the coffee is made with love and they bake their own pastries fresh every morning, rather than buying them in.
Your morning sugar-rush will cost more if you choose to sit and eat rather than have it standing at the bar – but since you’re on your holidays, go mad and enjoy the more relaxed, seated option – which will cost around €5.
Two of Rome’s most famous cafés are Tazza D’Oro and Caffe Sant’Eustachio – yes, they are crowded and yes, we could find a quieter ‘off the beaten path’ café for you to go to, but look – you’re in Rome. There will always be tourists. It will always be busy. You can’t always beat ‘em, so in this case, join ‘em. These great little cafes have been providing Rome with its caffeine fix for the best part of a century, and are a little piece of Roman history. Plus, they’re both right beside the Pantheon…
Total left: €82.30
The Pantheon is a Rome must-see. And it costs precisely nothing to visit. Nada. Free. Gratis. You’ll be pretty awestruck by most of Rome’s architecture and art, but the Pantheon is extra baffling. When you actually go inside and picture it being designed and built thousands of years ago, without all the technology and equipment we can’t do without today… well, if you’re not impressed then frankly you need to have a word with yourself.
From here it’s just a short walk (around 8 minutes) to the Trevi fountain. This is technically a free attraction, however no stereotypical Roman tourist worth their salt would visit the Trevi Fountain without throwing a Euro over their shoulder and into the water. According to legend (or superstition. Or Hollywood, I’m not sure which anymore), this means a guaranteed return to the city. Minus one euro from the kitty, and make a wish.
In another 8 minutes of walking, you’ll get to the Spanish steps. It’s always rammed with tourists, but Piazza di Spagna is beautiful, and if you climb to the top of the steps you get a really lovely view down over the city. Full disclosure, it is pretty much always packed with people. But see it anyway.
You’re probably hungry by now. You still have €81.30.
Total left: 81.30
The area around the Spanish Steps is actually one of the most expensive areas of Rome, in addition to being one of the most tourist-heavy. I saw an Armani bag in a window that cost twenty thousand euro. A bag. Just a thing you put other stuff in. Anyway, in this part of town getting a decent lunch for a good price can be tricky, but we reckon you should go to Palatium on Via Frattina. It’s a proper foodie joint that uses only local Lazio ingredients. It’s delicious. You’ll get a pasta dish and a glass of wine for around €18. Don’t get dessert because next up is…
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Do not leave Rome without eating gelato. It’s soooo good, especially if you get it at one of the really good places (which we can help you find). Just a four minute walk from Palatium, on Via della Croce, you’ll find Venchi gelateria. It’s not one of the cheaper gelaterias in Rome, but it IS one of the more creamy and delicious ones – and you’re not looking for cheap, you’re looking for value. It’s worth it. I’d personally go for noccia (hazelnut) and pistachio on a cone, but you can have what you like (I’m feeling benevolent). A two-scoop cone is €3.50. It’s glorious.
Total left: 58.80
It’s only €16 to get in. Being honest, the queues (especially on a hot day) are a special kind of hell. But because the Vatican is basically heaven’s embassy here on earth, things kind of balance out.
And really, the queue is totally worth it, everyone should see it once. It’s full of more gold than Pat Butcher’s earlobes, and the art and architecture is genuinely jaw dropping – just the sheer scale and opulence of it, and the work that went into every square inch of the place will blow you away.
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You might not think it’s for you, but everyone should see an Opera at least once in their lives, and there’s really nowhere better to see one than in Bella Italia. Besides, you’re in Rome, and you know what they say about being in Rome…
Don’t expect to get a seat like the one in the picture; they’re for the really fancy people – but you can sit with the rest of the plebs up in the peanut gallery at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma for only €17. Bring tissues, in case you have a ‘Pretty Woman’ moment, and get all weepy and overcome by the sheer lungpower of it all.
Total left: €25.80
You’ll definitely be hungry again by now. You’ll need to be hungry for this. You’ll need to recruit a companion too. Marco G is an unassuming little restaurant tucked away in Trastevere. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that lots of Trastevere’s restaurants use to entice passersby, but what it does have is some of the best antipasti I’ve ever gorged myself silly on. And I’ve gorged myself silly on quite a lot of antipasti.
The prosciutto practically dissolves on your tongue, and if there is anything more unexpectedly mouth-watering than fresh creamy buffalo ricotta, I’ve yet to eat it.
The Marco G Special platter is €26, so if you split that with your fellow diner, you’ll have plenty of your savings left to splash out on a bottle of wine between you and a shared taxi back to wherever you need to go.
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- Dee Murray