Nicola Ferlei-Brown is a British travel writer based in Rome who’s passionate about getting the word out about where to eat, shop, and see all things divine in the city of Seven Hills. Here are a few of this art history aficionado’s favorite things about the place she’s proud to call home.
Rome is My City
Autumn is the best time to visit my city because there is better weather, fewer crowds, better food festivals, and more events. Rome closes down for the scorching summer months and the action is redirected toward the beach.
Locals know to skip August as Rome is a ghost town and check out the lakes and beaches instead.
Castroni food store is the place to buy authentic, local souvenirs with a gastronomic bent.
My city’s best museum is Galleria Borghese because it’s full of Bernini sculptures, including the best of the best, the “Apollo and Daphne.” Having said that, Rome is an open-air museum, where every turn and street corner offers up its own “wow” factor.
If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s to leave your stilettos at home unless you are a trained tip-toe specialist.
The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is in the piazzas sipping a cappuccino or at the beach sipping a glass of prosecco.
My city really knows how to celebrate food and eating because it’s the national pastime.
You can tell if someone is from my city if they are debating passionately about football, politics, or food.
For a fancy night out, I go with the flow. It’s about spontaneity in Rome, so be ready for the unexpected!
My city is known for being expensive and touristy, but it’s really cheap if you know where to go.
The best outdoor market in my city is Testaccio food market (okay, it recently turned indoor, but it’s still the best).
To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read In Rome Now (in English) or Roma C’e (in Italian).
My city’s biggest sports event is football. Watch it at the Olympic Stadium.
When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go for a cheap aperitivo at Fluid Cocktail Bar on via del Governo Vecchio and devour the complimentary buffet. When in Rome!
If my city were a celebrity it’d be Elizabeth Taylor because she is a diva draped in decadence.
The dish that represents my city best is Pasta all’amatriciana, and caffè is my city’s signature drink.
The most random thing about my city is the strikes on the metro every Friday.
Being run down by a drunk Sicilian taxi driver and rescued by the Italian film director Giovanni Mazza, the man who owns the O in the Hollywood sign, could only happen in my city.
In the spring you should check out the rooftop terraces at Rome’s top hotels and sip a cocktail while watching the caput mundi go by.
In the summer you should hit the beach for a spot of prosecco and fried calamari in Fregene.
In the fall you should fall in love…with Rome’s burnt-bronze-colored buildings and devour roasted chestnuts before heading off to the latest wild boar or wild mushroom festival in the Roman hills.
In the winter you should make the most of a thunderstorm at the Pantheon by witnessing the marvel of the rain falling through its oculus.
The best book about my city is The Woman of Rome by Alberto Moravia
When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes because the riff-turned-anthem was adopted by the Italians and sung in the streets of Rome when Italy won the World Cup here in 2006.
In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because Rome is a Baroque maze of dames, domes, and Capuchin monks — and being able to get to a lake or beach in 30 minutes is bliss.
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