I was fairly apprehensive about visiting Rome. Obviously I knew I had to see it. I’ve been in Italy for three months. You cant say you’ve lived in Italy for three months and not visit the capital.
The thing is, Rome is a daunting city for someone with chronic FOMO, like me. It is essentially a giant pit of ancient ruins, huge museums, world-class art, insane food, loads of booze and many, many tourists who know this.
One look at Lonely Planet’s voluptuous volume on the Eternal City is enough to make even the perkiest of people set it aside and say, ‘think we’ll save that beast for another day’.
Which is precisely why I teamed up with Walkable Rome to learn all things Roman. I know there are lots of sights. Any decent guidebook can tell me this. But I wanted to learn about where the Romans eat, the best places to try a gelato, places to drink, sights tourists don't necessarily know about and all those weird and wonderful Roman customs and eccentricities.
Its a simple concept - native Romans show people (bloggers, expats, savvy tourists) interested in Rome around the city, according to their curiosities and tastes.
For me, that meant a blissful week exploring Rome’s best eateries, bars, pubs and parks. I wanted to experience Rome like the young, spritely thing I am, not like an older, well-established journalist with a much higher disposable income. Walkable Rome is a young group, led by young guides who are passionate about showing off the best of their city, so it was the perfect collaboration.
Phil (my Walkable Rome pal) took me to some of the best enotecas in the city, we went for countless aperitvo (believe me, they vary A LOT) and he introduced me to the best spots to drink beer. Proper beer in Italy. I'll admit, before my trip to Rome I thought Italy was only into Peroni.
For someone else that might mean a curated tour of the best sights of Rome, or a day finding the best of Bernini in Rome.
It’s the sort of insider knowledge you just cant get from a Guide Book. You need people with a lifetime of living in Rome, and thats precisely what you get with Walkable Rome. It's the best way to get to grips with this beast of a city, and to fall in love with it.