Gelateria del Teatro: This newly remodeled gelato place has unique and enticing flavors like prickly pear and cinnamon. They will also let you combine multiple flavors into one cup- amazing for those of us who can't make a decision when there are so many amazing options. The gelato is made on-site and you can see those dear Italians hard at work from the street thanks to a large window into the workspace. The next best thing about this place are the stairs that are directly outside the shop so you can sit, enjoy your gelato and watch people go by. Its on Via die Coronari, which is a wonderful street featuring boutiques, antique shops and cute cafes.
|View of Teatro from the street|
|Inside of Teatro|
San Crispino: Located 2 streets back from the Trevi Fountain, this place is a haven among horribly touristy restaurants and stores. There's no seating and the place is very basic and unsuspecting but totally delicious. My personal favorite is the banana. Be sure to get a sample of your choice selection because some flavors can be creamy while others can be more ice-y.
|First gelato of the trip!|
Gelateria dei Gracchi: This one is on my list for my next trip to Roma. Its a nice break if you are close to St. Peters and the Vatican.
Le Cupole Bar at Grand Hotel De La Minerve: I love this place for so many reasons. First would be its location right off Piazza della Minerva, which features one of my favorite sculptures in Rome, Bernini's Elephant and Obelisk, and best loved churches, Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Second would be the amazing Art Deco decor inside the hotel and third (and favorite) is the incredible sweeping views of the city provided by the rooftop bar.
|Interior view of Santa Maria sopra Minerva|
|Drinks on the rooftop bar|
|View of St. Peters at sunset|
Antico Caffe della Pace: I am obsessed with this cafe and this area. I'm not quite sure what the neighborhood is called but its in the centro storico and optimizes old school Italy. A few winding streets behind Piazza Navona, this section has tons of adorable cafes, restaurants and boutiques. This cafe is right in the heart of it. The building itself is covered in busy, green ivy and has several little tables set out front. The inside is decorated with beautiful, funky antiques and the waitresses are friendly hipsters. Its a wonderful place to take a break from sightseeing and enjoy the Italian pace of life.
|Enjoying a drink at Caffe della Pace|
Bar del Fico: Located around the corner from Caffe della Pace, Bar del Fico is a funky cafe and restaurant with a decent amount of inside seating and free wifi. Warning: the website is NSFW but should be seen for sheer wonder.
|Tree lined streets in centro storico|
Da Francesco: Again located in the centro storico next to Bar del Fico, this restaurant is the epitome of an Italian eatery. Crazy, hectic, entertaining, a little rude but delicious. Get there early or be prepared for a bit of a wait. And don't expect your own spacious table, especially if you sit outside. You will be right on top of your neighbors but who cares if they are Italian and cool.
Hotel Fellini Inn: My friend and I stayed here for two nights last September and it was nice, clean and centrally located (only 2 or 3 blocks to San Crispino! and the Trevi Fountain). Its nothing out of this world but it suited our needs. They do offer a complimentary breakfast that was basic but had good coffee. It was a little tricky to find because I kept trying to ring the wrong door. I didn't walk far enough but I eventually figured it out.
I guess if its your first time to Rome its important to see the Coloseum, St. Peters, the Sistine Chapel, the list could go on and on. I have a love/hate relationship with these places. On the one hand, they are amazing, incredibly important contributions to history and art and humanity, but you will be there with nothing but other Americans and foreign tourists, in line and waiting for most of it. So be sure to take your time walking from one destination to the next to wander down side streets, step into random stores, look in as many churches as possible, to see the most of Italy as possible.