Sharing a recap of our time in Rome! We were able to spend four days in Rome in addition to our Mediterranean Disney Cruise. Since these posts are super lengthy, I split the recaps into two posts and will share a Disney cruise post next week!
Where to even begin?! It’s been two and a half weeks since we’ve been back in the states and I’m still missing Italy every.single.day and probably will until we make it back again. We had the most magical time and I’m still over here wishing for a Nutella croissant and espresso.
Since we were last in Rome, I dreamed of the day that we would take our babies to see one of my favorite places in the world. It was so exciting to finally be able to do it! It ended up being perfect timing because they’re the ideal ages for a bit longer travel and lots of exploring.
We ended up doing two red eyes on the way to Italy, which I would not recommend for anyone lol. Our first flight was an overnight from Phoenix to JFK, and no one slept on the way there. We ended up getting a day pass at the TWA hotel at JFK airport so we could nap for five hours before our next flight from JFK to Rome.
The TWA hotel was amazing; I highly recommend it if you have a super long layover at JFK and want to sleep! The rooms were dark, clean, and comfy, they had a cute food court with tons of options, and we all loved the vintage vibe.
We checked out of the hotel, ate dinner and chilled in the Delta lounge, and then boarded our next overnight flight.
The next morning, we arrived in Rome! We checked our bags at the hotel and actually ended up going to our friends’ hotel for another long nap.
After that, we were good to go. It was pretty much the only time reset we needed, since adrenaline and excitement kicked in.
The girls were blown away by the gorgeous historic buildings, the shopping, all of the new sights to see, and of course, the FOOD.
A recap of Rome
Where we stayed in Rome with kids:
Hotel Marcella Royal
This is the hotel where we stayed last time we were in Rome! They are a smaller boutique hotel with a charming interior and gorgeous rooftop patio. While it did feel a tiny bit dated this next time – I don’t think they’ve updated much in the 10 years since we’ve been – we all enjoyed it.
We liked the hotel even better; it was a 15-minute walk to the Coliseum and surrounded by cute restaurants and shops. It was a bit more modern, but still had that boutique feel.
When our return flight was canceled: Hilton Rome Fiumicino. The room was ok, but the hotel breakfast was out of this world.
*It’s worth mentioning here that both the Hotel Marcella and Hotel 77 were booked using credit card points with Amex Platinum. We LOVE our Platinum card for monthly deals, lounge access, and travel perks. Whenever I book through Amex travel, we get complimentary room upgrades, early check-in, late checkout, and typically some type of free breakfast or resort credit. We put everything on our credit cards (Amex Platinum, Chase Venture, and I use Southwest for all business expenses) and pay them off every two weeks. If you’re interested in a platinum card, I have a referral link here.*
Where we ate:
The breakfast at Hotel Marcella was EPIC. It had everything you could ever wish for: eggs, deli meats, cheese plates, make your own pancakes (with Nutella, jam, and honey), pastries for days. Many of the breakfast buffets were similar to this one, including the lovely selection at Hotel 77.
The buffet at the Hilton (airport location) was actually the best one! They even wheeled around a gelato cart afterwards haha.
Pizza Mediterranea x 2:
I will dream about this pizza forever and ever. They change the flavors each day and it was right outside Hotel 77. It’s a bit of a thicker crust than Napoli pizza, but still crisp on the outside, soft on the inside, and the flavor combos were so savoy and satisfying.
My favorite was this tuna pizza. AHH.
Two more standout spots were Fuocolento and Al Viminale for traditional Italian fare:
cheese plates, prosciutto with melon, pasta Carbonara, lasagna, gnocchi with bolognese, salmon, steak, dessert, everything. We didn’t hold back on the ordering, and thankfully, we traveled with friends who also loved sharing plates of delicious food. 😉
+ the necessary daily stops at coffee and gelato shops. You really can’t go wrong with an afternoon espresso and gelato cone or Nutella croissant.
The food in Italy really is is a thousand times better than food here. It’s fresh, bright, zesty, flavorful, not as processed, and while I’ll eat things like dairy and gluten for days while I’m there, it doesn’t make me feel sick. I don’t feel like taking a nap after a bowl of pasta. It’s a stark contrast to the brown and greasy food we see here so often in the US.
I was also surprised by the cost! We ate like KINGS in Rome and Greece, and our most expensive bill was 150 Euros. That was with multiple appetizers, bottles of wine, entrees, and dessert. It would hav easily been $500+ here… and not nearly as satisfying.
We didn’t want to overdo it on the tours/sightseeing because our time in Rome was on either side of our 7-night Mediterranean cruise. Instead, we used it as time to enjoy the food, culture, and casual exploring. While we were there, we spent lots of time walking and shopping, eating (of course), and also got to see the Colosseum,
the Trevi Fountain,
and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which was exquisite.
I think I answered all of the questions from IG in the post (please lmk if I missed anything), but I did get a couple of questions about shoe recommendations!
Streets in Europe are cobblestone, uneven, and you will die in heels. Comfort and style are key; all of the women I saw were wearing sandals or white low-top sneakers and sundresses or skirts and tank tops.
I wore my white Vivobarefoot Court sneakers everywhere, and also wore these Steve Madden sandals. Both were very comfortable and ideal for walking around. The girls also wore low-top sneakers and sandals with straps while we were out and about.
It was the perfect introduction to Rome and Italy for the kids, who already can’t wait to go back.
Have you taken your kiddos abroad? Any favorite spots?? We want to do Paris and Spain next.