Rome has a certain quality that endears it to anyone who has been there and even people who have never visited. Maybe it’s the culture, the food, the people or a combination of all three. Regardless, part of what makes Rome a truly great city is the ability to enjoy yourself while doing almost anything. Here are some tips, however, to create a perfect evening in Rome for you and your significant other.
You have probably had a long day of sightseeing, be it meandering through the Vatican Museums or fighting the crowds at the Coliseum and Forum. After a brief respite, and perhaps a cocktail, head for the Trevi Fountain in the cool of the early evening.
Visiting Trevi is truly one of those iconic Roman moments. The presence of a fountain in some form dates back to Roman times, although the façade we see today is the result of an 18th century competition organized by Pope Clement XII. While there, be sure to throw a coin in the massive fountain as legend holds that if visitors throw in a coin they are ensured a return to Rome
After spending some time admiring the fountain and partaking in some requisite people watching, slowly meander through the twisty side streets heading in the general direction of the Pantheon. Be sure to take your time though, as this is one of the great experiences of being in Rome.
Walk down narrow alleys and confusing streets, passing by stores of all kinds and take in the smells of fresh pasta and oven fired pizzas wafting through the air. Getting a little lost is part of the fun, so don’t worry if you’re not exactly sure where you’re going. As long as you are headed in the general direction of the Pantheon, you’re fine.
As you emerge from the side street leading to the Pantheon, you will suddenly see the massive Roman temple/church emerge in front of you. The Pantheon is an amazing example of advanced Roman engineering. Although it has been repaired many times over the past two millennia, its basic form still remains the same as it was when Emperor Hadrian had it commissioned.
If it is still open, take a look inside and marvel at the domed roof with oculus, the first of its kind. Also look around the interior which now serves as a mausoleum.
Walking away from the Pantheon, you are met with a variety of choices. Wander down the Via della Maddalena, or any of the many side streets connecting to it, to find a restaurant to spend the evening. The choices are many and it is difficult to make a wrong decision. Take note of the menus and prices and chose what looks best to you.
Like many Mediterranean cities, dinner is a calm, laid back affair that is meant to take time. So don’t rush things – enjoy yourself.
Once you have enjoyed your after dinner espresso or grappa, continue down the Via della Maddalena for a true Italian dessert – gelato. Gelato is a rich version of ice cream and is a delicacy not to be missed. One of the best places to enjoy this treat is at the Gelateria Della Palma, 20/23 Via della Maddalena.
Della Palma is a treat for the senses. With more than 100 flavors from which to chose, it is easy to be quickly overwhelmed. When you first walk in the door, don’t be sidetracked by the massive display of choices. Instead, head to the register as you must pay first. Chose your size and take your receipt to the gelato counter where you can now chose your temptation.
With gelato in hand, stroll through the charming side streets, maybe chancing upon a fountain or square. The night is your own, but I guarantee that you will never forget this very special evening in Rome, one of the most magical cities in the world.