bonjourno, italy! this country has been on our radar since day one of the trip because my BFF got married in tuscany on october 8. we arrived in rome a few weeks early to explore and slowly make our way to florence. rome was on our list entirely because the flight made sense – but then we realized neither of us had really spent that much time there and that we should stay a while. i'm so freakin happy we did. to be honest i thought rome would just feel like a big stressful touristy city and i was 100% wrong.
WHERE WE STAYED:
after a late night arrival and a lost backpack, we were warmly welcomed at blue hostel by one of the epic owners, ercole. we couldn't have felt more at home. let me start by saying the blue hostel is not really a hostel. it's a very cute little boutique hotel tucked in an apartment building, refurbished in 2012. the timber ceilings were discovered by accident during the renovation and date back to 1804 – giving the rooms a very cozy vibe. the decor is clean and warm, the shower is perfection, and ercole hooks you up with delicious [endless] coffee.
when we arrived ercole sat us down and walked us through his masterpiece of a map that he's put together over the years. it shows you some of the tourist sites, but also goes into full detail on all of his favorite places as a long time local. many of the restaurants he sent us to had minimal tourists and we experienced some of the best food, wine and exploring because of him. the hostel itself is also in a prime walk-to-everything location [right next to basilica papale di santa maria maggiore] and ercole made sure we knew where we were going before we left each morning. a full list of some of our favorite spots [all recommended by the blue hostel]. rooms start at about $100/night.
* this stay was part of a collaboration, all opinions are my own.