It seems already a distant memory.
I landed in Rome over 2 months ago now on a warm Monday October afternoon.
It was unseasonably warm. 24c ( Now winter has kicked in it’s much cooler but still respectable 14c )
I was excited.
I was going to spend 2 whole weeks in Rome staying in 2 apartments courtesy of HomeAway UK.
2 whole weeks.
A unique chance to sample what life as a local is like in Rome.
I checked into my stunning HomeAway apartment on Viccolo Vaccarella just off Via Della Stroza.
Two bedroom apartment. Beautifully furnished with all the modcons you would want including super fast wifi- I was a happy Roman indeed.
It’s a big change for me, switching from a life of hostelling to living in a a luxury apartment.
So why did I choose an apartment for Rome?
For me, a few personal and practical reasons.
As many of you know, it’s been a pretty hectic year of travelling so these 2 weeks were a chance for me to refuel, reenergise ahead of a busy few weeks ahead.
Time to take it slow. That’s the secret to enjoying Rome.
No need to worry about unpacking and repacking my backpack.
Within hours of arriving, I spread my books, clothes all over the apartment.
Yes, I am messy. I like to spread myself out wherever I go.
Also when you live life out of a backpack it’s great to take a break from hostels, hotels and be in an apartment where you can have your own personal space.
2 weeks in Rome in 2 different apartments for a week also meant that I could also get the chance to explore the city from two different perspectives and really get underneath the skin of the city.
I think apartment rentals, especially in Rome, compared to hotels, offer great value.
Based on 4 sharing my apartment works out to be a cool £25 pppn which for a luxury standard apartment is superb value.
As a BudgetTraveller I am definitely a fanboy of cool hostels and budget hotels but for extended stays in a city, I definitely look more towards an apartment.
Another key factor is to be within walking distance of all the key landmarks and this is where the first apartment was perfect.
Stone’s throw away from Piazza Navona and Pantheon, the apartment enjoyed a superb location.
Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain & Villa Borghese were within a 20 minute walking radius.
In my first week I walked everywhere. Beside the practical reason of avoiding Rome’s chaotic transportation system, with all the gelatos and pizza I’ve stuffed down my throat over 2 weeks, walking helped….
Other key thing I looked for when picking my apartment was how easily accessible local amenities are.
One thing I love in Rome and in Italy is how locals love to go out and still buy their bread fresh in the morning.
I was excited to discover the next day on my reconnaissance of the neighbourhood that one of Rome’s oldest bakeries were on my doorstep- Antico Forno.
I’d came almost everyday here to buy their Casareccio (homemade) bread.
Cost for half a loaf of bread -just a euro.
Plus they had a great selection of pastries like Crema Nutella.
Also I loved cooking and having my own kitchen.
Just a few streets away, tucked in between a couple of restuarants I discovered a Spar.
Besides getting all the key basics for an Italian breakfast ( Nutella!) and fruit, I got a nice bottle of Chianti plus the ingredients for making Pasta Amatriciana which after carbonara, is the most popular pasta dish from Rome.
Cost of the shop was around 25 euros.
Also on the next street, I discovered a nice little Italian trattoria –Taverna Le Coppelle where I enjoyed a lunch consisting of the local Roman speciality – Spaghetti Cacio Pepe , washed down with a glass of house red . Total 7.50 euros-bargain!
I was sad to leave my first ‘home’ in Rome.
Love the apartment and the neighbourhood.
The days flew by.
How quickly we get attached to the places we go and how they become part of us…
Stay tuned to the BudgetTraveller for more about my 2 weeks in Rome.
I’ll be giving you the lowdown on best places to eat, drink and sightseeing all with the customary budget friendly twist.