The ancient city of Rome breathes history, but it is so much more than just an ode to its glorious yet violent past. Today, Italy's capital is buzzing and vibrant, complete with lively squares, gorgeous terraces and oodles of spaghetti and pizza just begging you to devour. When in Rome, right??
As a nod to Federico Moccia's book and movie I Want You, Italian couples started hanging padlocks with romantic messages carved into them on the lamppost of the Ponte Milvio Bridge. They would then toss the key into the Tiber River as a sign of their eternal love. In 2007, the lamppost got so heavy that it partially collapsed. This, of course, did absolutely nothing to stop people hanging their lovelocks everywhere, and it makes for a very endearing sight. If you're single, we recommend clamping on a padlock engraved with your initials and the word "tequila" in a heart.
Trastevere is a gorgeous neighbourhood full of cheap but good restaurants and bars. Have an aperitivio — a drink with some pre-dinner snacks—at one of the bustling terraces and explore the picturesque streets of this former working-class district.
By day, this place is packed with fortune-hunters, making it a bit of a tourist trap. But the world-famous baroque Fontana di Trevi remains extremely magical, especially at night when it has quieted down. Toss a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder into the fountain for good luck. An estimated 3000 euros are thrown into the fountain every day, so it comes as no surprise that you might run into a thieving scoundrel or two wading in the fountain. This, by the way, is highly illegal, as the money in the fountain is used to fund a supermarket for Rome's underprivileged.
The Spanish steps are located in the heart of Rome's fanciest district, and were made especially famous by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in the film Roman Holiday. These days, the stairs are a hotspot for young people to come and enjoy the hot summer evenings, serenade each other with guitars and have a cheeky brew. Come expecting to make friends.
This district has earned its fame for having the best nightlife in the city. Countless funky bars and nightclubs line the streets of Testaccio, and the many cheap restaurants offering simple but delicious meals – such as a classical Roman pasta cacio e pepe (pasta with sheep cheese and pepper) – will give you the perfect foundation for a night on the sauce.
Emperor Vespasian commissioned this enormous amphitheatre 2000 years ago as a gift to the Roman people. Makes every birthday present you've ever received seem a tad insignificant, does it not? Many heads have rolled here during the bloody and ruthless games of gladiators and animal fights. Today, costumed gladiators who are slightly less vicious than the warriors they imitate prowl around the Colosseum chatting to tourists – the perfect selfie companions.
Campo di Fiori is the most happening area in the city centre of Rome. 20- and 30-somethings alike flock here to have dinner and drinks on the weekend, and if you want a cheap and classic Italian pizza a taglio (rectangular pizza slice), this bakery is your best bet. It closes at 8pm, so grab a takeaway slice for lunch and eat it on a bench on the square.
Vicolo del Gallo, 14
Anima is the nightclub of choice for pretty young things from all over the city. As well as tasty electronic beats, this epic disco club serves sushi and strong cocktails: the ideal concoction for a great night out. Prepare to get hot and sweaty, because trust us – it gets packed.
Via di Santa Maria dell'Anima, 57
It's trendy, it's underground, it's exclusive, and it's located inside the underground parking lot of Villa Borghese. With its no-effort-no-entry dress code and 21 + age policy, you have to come prepared (i.e. you're going to need to shower, guys!), but it's all worth it, as this is the most elegant nightclub in all of Rome.
Viale del Galoppatoio, 33
The tucked-away and intimate Da Enzo is the best value-for-money restaurant in Trastevere, with dinner and wine setting you back around €20. Think Roman classics like fried artichoke, hearty pastas and tiramisu. Be prepared to wait in line, the word is out making it a hotspot for both locals and tourists.
Via dei Vascellari, 29
If you're a cheese fan, which, let's face it, most of the population is, you're going to scream when you find this place. It's mozzarella heaven! Obiká has two restaurant-bars in Rome: one on Piazza di Firenze and one on Piazza Campo de' Fiori. Here, the waiters will serve you up a degustation cheese menu featuring unusual and delicious types of mozzarella. Prepare for a sleep of whack cheese dreams!
Piazza Campo de' Fiori, 16
Piazza di Firenze, 28