German TV personality Annabelle Mandang’s recent gala hosting duties for the IFA 2018 Global Press Conference in Rome meant a few whirlwind days in this breathtaking city. Follow her journey to experience known and little-known spots without any hassle.
The real beauties of Rome
We started with the Piazza Venezia, towering over a huge square filled with buses and cars — so much traffic! But I noticed that Rome is still quite peaceful compared to other cities.
Next up: The Forum Romanum, which is definitely worth a visit on a sunny day. All the old sites make the city truly shine! Be it the Circus Maximus, the Colosseum or architectural wonders such as the Traja Pillar, made from a single piece of stone in 113 B.C.
Of course you need to visit the Fontana di Trevi to throw in a coin and make a wish — mine came true, by the way! This place is packed, but peaceful and friendly.
Spots to rest or shop
The Piazza Noveno is only for pedestrians, so my driver waited for me as I explored. The Piazza is spacious and the perfect place to enjoy gelato while gazing at the surrounding beautiful buildings and street artists.
The city also has its share of shopping spots, such as the Via Condotti with Dior, Fendi, and Gucci boutiques lining the street. Or stop by the famous Ferrari store at the Via Tomacelli. Between shopping, you’ll come across the famous Spanish Steps and the Restaurant Palazzetto, situated on top of the stairs with a terrace and great view over the beautiful steps, all lavishly decorated with beautiful flowers. There is so much to see!
If you’d rather experience a view over the city, instead of being right in the middle of the action, then head to the Orange Gardens. Here you can rest before heading to the Aventine Keyhole where you can see St. Peter’s Dome in the distance.
Peter’s Dome and the Pantheon
Take time to visit St. Peter’s Dome. Of course it’s packed and you need to stand in line, but it’s all worth it. Inside can house 20,000 people, which is made even more impressive when you notice the measurements of other famous churches from around the world on the floor. The level of stunning detail will have you wondering how it was possible to even build something of this scale without modern technologies.
The Pantheon also stuns, and was the biggest levitating dome for more than 1,700 years! It was finished around 125 B.C and although the outside is quite simple, the inside surprises with the exceptional dome.
Thanks to my driver, Fabrizio, I also experienced spots in Rome usually not found in a guidebook. The tiny food store Antica Bottega di Norcia is stocked with cheeses, ham, wines, olives, oils, and numerous other Roman delicacies. Of course I shopped ‘til I dropped as everything looked so delicious!
To enjoy a sundowner, we drove up to the Piazza Garibaldi. Besides a marvellous vies, there were a few simple stands offering wine, soft drinks, long drinks, chips, olives, and other snacks. I was surprised of the quality of the drinks and food!
And last but not least, don’t miss exploring Trasteverde! This is the place to visit in the evening to enjoy great food in one of the numerous restaurants or cozy bars.
The beautiful Parco de Medici golf course is perfect for when you just need an escape. It’s only a 30 minute drive, so you could easily get there with an hourly booking.
Film fans should head to the Cinecitta, an important site for European cinema in the ‘60s — this is also where Ben Hur was filmed! Today it is used for the popular Netflix series, Rome. Tours are also available.