life on pine



  • Metro and train system work really well, aside from walking this is usually the cheapest and fastest way to get around. 
  • Rome has delicious food that is very affordable, but usually just out of the touristy areas.
  • Book big history tours beforehand to avoid lines and mass chaos. 
  • Avoid the main piazzas for hanging out at night.
  • Balance seeing all the history with experiencing the beauty of Rome's culture today!


  • The Blue Hostel Not actually a hostel, but the cutest boutique hotel. Affordable, central and so cozy - read more here. Ercole, the owner,  helped direct us to a lot of these off the tourist track spots.
  • The Fifteen Keys Hotel Well designed boutique hotel with a cool bar downstairs. On Via Urbana - one of my favorite streets the in Monti neighborhood. 
  • Rome Airbnb Wishlist Some beautiful places to stay in that are surprisingly affordable. Would try to stay in Monti, Trastavere or San Giovanni (slightly out of the action). 



Panella Old school Sicilian bakery that prepares all types of pastries and great coffee from a machine that is almost art. Offers a deli shop to buy local goods too. Recommend going here early (crowds swarm) before heading to the Colosseum nearby. 


Osteria della Suburra A Monti favorite, ugly on the outside but great patio and the home made pasta is incredible! Value here is insane.  

Pizzeria Luzzi One of the best thin crust pizzas in town. A true Roman environment and buzzing atmosphere - tables on the street all year round and next door to the Colosseum.

Sora Margherita In the heart of the Jewish Ghetto, delicious traditional Roman food. Very inexpensive and different than any other restaurant. 

Eataly (same as NYC) Food temple with restaurants, gelaterie, bars, bakeries, and more. Great opportunity to taste and take home the excellence of Italian food products at a fair price. Could spend a whole day here!

Zia Rosetta Organic juice, espresssos and gourment sliders.


Augusto Super traditional roman food - known for their rabbit and pasta dishes. Only a few tables (be there right before 8pm) and get a great feel of how things were some decades ago. Very affordable, no frills spot - can't recommend more!

Pizzeria dar Poeta Absolutely must stop here to try their pizza and maybe grab a drink, great location in the heart of Trastevere.

Osteria da Fortunata Just off Campo de Fiori, you can watch as the 'old Mamma' makes fresh gnocchi and ravioli in the window. Simple but delicious taste and great people watching. 

La Carbonara 100 years of experience cooking great Roman food. Stand out dishes are the Cacio e pepe and Carbonara (of course!).

Roscioli Very buzzy and popular spot, must get a reservation for dinner. The carbonara is out of this world.



Sant' Eustachio Il Caffe Known to be the best espresso in Roma. They prepare it behind the scenes (secret recipe?!) and the taste will stay with you for a while. Order a Gran Caffe and ask for no sugar. 


Enoteca Cul de Sac The best winery in town with thousands of bottles to choose from. Delicious pates and other treats. Also has a very small, but cute patio to enjoy your drinks and snacks on.

La Bottega del Caffe Best cafe for an 'apertivo in piazza'. Get an Aperol Spritz or espresso to end the day, their patio overlooks the Piazza Madonna fountain. 

Vineria Litro Longest running wine bar on the campo. Where Romans head to hang out and plan the evening over wines by the glass. Popular so get here earlier than later.

Akbar Great cocktail bar to grab a drink at and hear some live music. (Trastevere)

Hang with locals in the streets with a bottle of wine, some Moretti's or a homemade aperol spritz!


Giolitti Best traditional ice cream in town. Fantastic cones, fresh ingredients, and a must hit on your trip.

San Crispino Best 'new' ice cream shop in town. Everything is natural here and they offer unique flavors. Very close to the Trevi fountain.


Trevi Fountain Get here early, like 6am early or come at night to actually enjoy its beauty. During the middle of the day it is miserably packed with tourists. 

Basilica di San Pietro (Vatican City) Check the dates to see if the Pope is in town. Locals said in the afternoon around 2pm is best for lighter crowds.

Galleria Borghese Its collections are housed in a 17th-century villa and offer a compact course in the Italian aesthetic. In just 20 rooms, you are exposed to antiquities, the Renaissance and the beginnings of baroque art.

Piazza Venezia The central hub of Rome, in which many thoroughfares intersect. It's very grand and a great place for taking a break to look out over the city.

Pantheon Approaching 2,000 years old, here is the burial place of several important Italians and it remains an active church. 

Colosseum Are you not entertained?! Obviously a must and it's always busy so get your tickets beforehand. 

Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore Largest Catholic church in Rome, beautiful inside and has a roof terrace that is great if you get a guide. Next door to the Blue Hostel if you stay there


Campo dei Fiori Market There are also great meat and fish shops surrounding the square. You could make a really fun lunch with salumi, cheese and bread from the shops and a bottle of wine. Mercato Testaccio is another great market.

Piazza del Fico & Piazza della Madonna dei Monti Fun squares to hang at, day or night :) 

Ponte Sisto This bridge offers a great perspective on the beauty of Rome, cross the Tiber to arrive in the charming Trastevere neighborhood,. Lots of people hanging out at night near here and it's fun peek into the young local culture. 

Gianicolo Hill The best view of Rome, especially at sunset. Close to the historic center, just above the Vatican and the Trastevere neighborhood — the panoramic views are spectacular. 


King Size Vintage Vintage store that may not be the biggest bargain, but has a ton of soul and is hard to leave empty handed. 

LOL moda arte design Very cool and chic clothing & good store - love their jewelry. 

MercatoMonti (weekends only) Urban market where young Italian fashion designers and vintage collectors gather every weekend.

Via Condotti Most of the best-known Italian designers are packed into a 200-meter stretch. 

Via del Governo Vecchio Famous for it's endless vintage shops and boutiques. More flea markets in Rome.