Celebrating Christmas in Rome was perfect, down to the very last cappuccino and I don’t even like coffee. We may have walked my father to death, but as the city gathered up families for the holidays, we got to see Rome at its best, loud and busy and full of the very best food.
We stayed in a residential neighborhood in the shadow of the Vatican. I spent way to much time pouring over Airbnb, thinking about each possible parallel version of our trip, emailing back and forth with my mom.
I think we finally settled on pretty excellent view.
Given this was my parents’ first trip to continental Europe and our deep love for all things old and beautiful, we did our best to see and eat everything at our disposal. I would say we were quite successful.
Rome is one of those places that overflows with history and in celebration of my father’s 65th birthday we went straight for the ancient.
The forum in particular gives me the existential chills. The beauty of fallen civilizations persisting into the present is deep stuff.
So naturally we took more selfies.
I am lucky enough that this was my second trip to Rome and while the ancient history certainly never disappoints, the art is where I just overflow with happiness. We spent one afternoon the Villa Borghese, one of the oldest public museums in Western civilization and home to an absurd collection of Berni sculptures. Visits are limited to a certain number of people per strict two hour slots, so you can wander around some of the most incredible pieces of sculpture in human history with limited squashing. I was in heaven.
I usually don’t take pictures in museums because 1) I forget because I am so excited 2) People blocking my view with their Ipads is pretty much the most frustrating thing ever, but I couldn’t miss how gorgeous these rooms are. The Villa Borghese is art in itself.
But even after all of this, one of my favorite parts of our first few days in Rome had nothing to do with its rich history. For my Dad’s birthday we went in search of a nice dinner out and stumbled on Locanda di Pietro. At first we thought we were interrupting a private party, but it turns out that this was the restaurant’s opening night and we were their very first customers. It was a soft opening on a Tuesday night right before Christmas, and we actually ended up being their only customers that night. But the restaurant was family owned and operated and everyone was there to celebrate that night. We were greeted with champagne and were quickly engulfed in the party. I’m not sure exactly how much free food we ate that night but it was all so delicious that by the time our ordered meals came we were all too full to even make a dent, and then they brought us dessert. Italian grandma was very concerned that we didn’t enjoy our meals, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. In the midst of all Rome’s history we got to celebrate a piece of one family’s future. If you are ever in Rome you should stop by and say hi!