A center for the Renaissance, the papacy, and the birthplace of Western civilization. A gorgeous, sprawling metropolis that will veni vidi vici your heart with its art, history, Vespas, and gelato. Crazy amounts of gelato. So bid farewell to the wine-dark sea and gather up those household gods. No need to wait for oracles—the Eternal City calls. People come to this city for many reasons. For fresh mozzarella and tomato pizza, breathtaking views of the Sistine Chapel, the chance to romp by the Colosseum at 3am, or all of the above, all on the same day (#wheninrome). It’s where you can wander down streets too tiny to be mapped, eat more pasta than you’ll ever admit, admire the art of Bernini by day and the art of twerkology by night, and dodge Vespas with two slices of pizza and a bottle of wine in hand. It’s a place that’s easy to fall in love with, although it’s not an easy city to conquer (the Carthaginians tried and failed).But fortune favors the brave, so sail up the Tiber. Let’s leave those elephants at home, semper ubi sub ubi, and fasten up those togas—let’s go to Rome.
Trattoria, caffè, osteria, ristorante, pizzeria, gelateria—these are all Italian words for one thing: food. For meals on the go, cafes and pizzerias are the best option, offering panini and thin crust pizza in numerous varieties. Sit-down meals are a social and time-consuming affair in Rome, so don’t expect to see many solo diners. You’ll also have to acclimate to late dinners: most places don’t open until 7:30pm or later, and they don’t get busy until well after 9pm. Expect added fees for table service and bread, and, while water spews freely out of the myriad fountains in Rome, restaurants refuse to give out free tap water. Tipping isn’t usually expected, but this also means that servers are considerably less attentive than you might be used to; you’ll need to be aggressive if you want another glass of wine or the check.