Weekend in Rome: A Weekend of Ecstatic Eating, Dancing, & Sightseeing

Weekend in Rome: A Weekend of Ecstatic Eating, Dancing, & Sightseeing

Rome is one of my favourite cities in the world, the kind of place that dives straight under your skin and into your heart. I’ve been dreaming of going back to visit for a long time, of wandering through ruins, dodging speeding Smart Cars, eating gelato, and bathing in winter sunlight.

This year, I was in luck. Despite a busy work schedule, I found some ridiculously cheap, almost too-good-to-be-true flights to Bologna (thank you, Ryanair). In a whirlwind trip fueled by pizza and espresso, I managed to squeeze in a 48-hour visit to the capital city in-between my time in Bologna. Well, 43-and-a-half hours to be precise.

How I Made the Most of One Weekend in Rome

A weekend in Rome is a precious amount of time, and each moment has to count. My friend and I arrived in Roma Termini at 10 p.m. on Friday evening and were promptly picked up by her friend, Daniele. Driving is one of the easiest ways of getting around Rome, although you need nerves of steel and a strong stomach.

It’s fend-for-yourself, and driving rules seem to have been reinvented—or eradicated. I was happy to be hiding in the back of the car, clinging for dear life and not looking out of the window as we whizzed through the city to our hotel. At least we arrived there in good time.

Driving is one of the easiest ways of getting around Rome, although you need nerves of steel and a strong stomach. It’s fend-for-yourself, and driving rules seem to have been reinvented—or eradicated.

Italians have dinner fairly late, but in Rome it’s easy to find something delicious to eat at any hour of the day or night. We threw our bags into the hotel and ventured out to La Base, open until 5 a.m. I tried the Roman speciality of bucatini all’Amatriciana (thick, long pieces of pasta doused in tomato and bacon sauce). It is not something I would usually eat at 11 p.m. but it seemed like an appropriate start to a weekend filled with ecstatic eating. No matter how limited your time—when in Rome, eat everything!

Our hotel was, remarkably, just down the road from the Colosseum. This made me feel less guilty about rising at 9 a.m. and devouring two espressos and three pastries before finally leaving to explore at 10.30 a.m. I grimaced at the huge queue already streaming around the Colosseum but didn’t mind too much. As I’d visited Rome before, I’d been to the main tourist attractions and done my fair share of angst-filled queuing. This time, I was going to stop, admire, and take as many photos as I wanted without worrying about minutes flying by.

Weekend in Rome: A Weekend of Ecstatic Eating, Dancing, & Sightseeing

But this was by no mean a quiet trip. From the Colosseum, we wandered aimlessly through the city, marveling at the ruins that popped up seemingly out of nowhere, peering into churches and at monuments along the way, and grabbing gelato (frequently). We stopped at the Pantheon and sat in the quiet calm of a building still standing after so many centuries.

We tried to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain, only to find that it was missing water, a rather fundamental part of a fountain (there are currently ongoing renovation works). And, we climbed the Spanish Steps—twice. After, we shopped and dined and danced. We saw the Pope deliver his Sunday morning message to countless worshippers and saw how beautiful the Vatican City looks under a clear, blue sky. In fact, we put the world to rights over an aperitivo (appetizer) at Campo De’Fiori and watched lights dance across the river at night.

Rome is the only place in the world where you actually can see the Pope, drive past the Colosseum in a too-fast car, drink a glass of wine at 11 a.m., eat pasta at midnight, shop in the midst of ruins from times past, and dance until dawn – all in one weekend.

I didn’t expect to see and do quite so much in such a small amount of time. Rome is not a city to rush; and if it’s your first time, I wouldn’t recommend a weekend as enough time for you to fully do it justice. But for me, it was the perfect trip. It was busy without being stressful, energetic without being exhausting.

Rome is the only place in the world where you actually can see the Pope, drive past the Colosseum in a too-fast car, drink a glass of wine at 11 a.m., eat pasta at midnight, shop in the midst of ruins from times past, and dance until dawn – all in one weekend.

Rome has the kind of spirit that clears the mind and re-inspires a tired soul. Despite only having five hours of sleep a night during my weekend in Rome, I left the train station on Sunday evening happy, refreshed and rejuvenated, and ready to face the year ahead.

And, more importantly, ready to plan my next trip back.

Weekend in Rome: A Weekend of Ecstatic Eating, Dancing, & Sightseeing

How I Made the Most of One Weekend in Rome

Weekend in Rome: A Weekend of Ecstatic Eating, Dancing, & Sightseeing

Related Reading

Rome Travel: Your Guide to a Fabulous Long Weekend

Have you traveled to Rome, Italy? How was your trip? Email us at editor@pinkpangea.com for information about sharing your experience and advice with the Pink Pangea community. We can’t wait to hear from you.

Weekend in Rome: A Weekend of Ecstatic Eating, Dancing, & Sightseeing photo credits: Alex Pendleton 


About Alex Pendleton

Alex PendletonAlex Pendleton loves writing, exploring, baking and strong coffee. She has a permanent case of wanderlust, and is currently back in the UK planning her next adventure. She has traveled extensively, studied in the Czech Republic and worked in Germany and Italy.

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