Two weekends ago, Jared and I were invited to participate in a 4-day, fun-filled, initiative put on by Linda and Steve, owners of The Beehive Hostel, to help promote #WinterInRome. During this annual “blogger retreat” weekend, there were several activities and tours planned that enabled us to showcase why spending winter in Rome is not such a bad idea. I have to admit, when we first came to visit Italy a year and a half ago, it was during the summer; the temperatures were extremely high, hotel/attraction prices were higher considering it was peak season, and it was incredibly crowded everywhere, especially at the major tourist attractions.
Don’t get me wrong-we had a great time nonetheless, but had I known better we would have booked our trip during the “off-season”, which typically is from November-February, because spending winter in Rome has plenty of its own advantages.
When Linda reached out to me about participating in the #WinterInRome initiative, I didn’t hesitate to say yes. After all, The Beehive is one of those places where you automatically feel at home with the first visit, which is why I also decided it would be a perfect place to host our monthly Rome Blogger meet-ups.
Keep in mind I have been living in Rome now for 7 months, and everything that we participated in that weekend was new to me. I felt just as much of a tourist as everyone else. It was like I was discovering a whole new city.
So, in case you are planning on visiting la citta eterna, keep reading on where to eat, what to see, and what to do during your stay here.
1. The first “welcome” meal we had to kick-off the weekend was with Bon Appetour, a meal-sharing experience where you eat like a local in a local’s home. I have been wanting to try a meal-sharing experience for a while so finally being able to experience it that weekend was perfect to get my feet wet as I know I will be doing it more often.
Later, we had our primo piatto, secondo piatto, & dolce. Great company plus great food made for the perfect evening. Thank you to Amanda and Maria Laura (cooks) and Emily and Alexandra (Bon Appetour representatives) for putting together a wonderful evening.
2. The next morning we met Domenico, from Eating Italy Food Tours, to start our Trastevere for Foodies tour. The tour lasted about 4 hours while the charming and humorous Domenico led us all around the Trastevere neighborhood trying out morsels of deliciousness from pastries to suppli, to plates of typical Roman pasta dishes, such as Amatriciana and Calcio e Pepe.
Taking a guided stroll through the heart of city with our guide was also fun in between bar hopping. Also, I really enjoyed that each of the 4 bars we stopped at were all so unique and allowed for a different experience. Each location had their own signature cocktail and we got to enjoy a aperitivo style dinner towards the end of the night right before indulging in a shot glass made out of chocolate topped with liquor and whipped cream. Yummm!
4. Of course I can’t forget about The Beehive’s vegetarian cafe. The wonderful chefs cooked us up an incredible breakfast of organic free-range eggs and toast one morning and we enjoyed a sweet array of muffins, croissants, and cakes the next.
Also, Steve and his daughter Viola, cooked up an amazing lunch for us after a Vespa Art Tour that was made up of cous-cous, fried eggplant (Viola’s specialty), and side salad.
After the Storyteller’s event that Saturday evening, cookbook author and chef, Pamela Sheldon Johns, cooked up a 3 course meal for us that consisted of handmade pasta, potatoes, and a side of veggies. It was so good, I didn’t even get a chance to take a picture. Oops! 😛
5. The last day of our tour, lunch was hosted by a new restaurant in Piazza Vittorio, Gatsby Cafe. This 50’s style cafe, which was converted from a former hat shop, is in the Esquilino neighborhood and right by Termini, so a perfect location to and from any public transportation.
Once we arrived, there were platters of sandwiches, breads, small bites with spreads, and beverages waiting for us. The staff serve you in their caps and “gatsby-inspired” uniforms all while you enjoy the original, vintage decor inside the 3-level restaurant.
For the adventurous:
1. Luckily enough for us, the weather that weekend was perfect for all the sight-seeing we were about to do. Normally I’m not too keen on bike riding, but when I heard about the e-bike tour with The Roman Guy, I was curious to see what that was all about.
These Eco-friendly bikes do most of the work for you as they are electronic so getting around the city was a breeze and we covered a lot more ground than we would have had we walked. It’s a great way to see some of the most important monuments in a short amount of time all while burning some calories!
*If you want to experience your own unique e-bike experience cruising the streets of Rome with The Roman Guy, make sure to use the code #LOVEROME at checkout for 10% off!*
2. If you aren’t brave enough to take over the cobblestone streets of Rome while on a bike, you can try taking a Street Art Vespa tour instead. This I wasn’t nervous about at all, especially since I knew I wasn’t the one driving. I was paired with a professional driver who took us around Rome stopping at multiple locations including Testaccio, Garbatrella, and Pigneto. We stopped at several locations and here are some of my favorite wall art pieces:
Exploring these parts of town during the day really opened my eyes to a part of Rome I hadn’t seen before. I definitely plan to be back since there is so much to do/see there.
For the art lovers:
1. Annie, owner of Scooteroma and also Personalized Italy organized our Cosmatesque: A Path to knowledge tour with tour guide, Alessandra. We visited several churches and learned about the art of the beautiful Cosmatesque mosaics and the symbolism behind them.
Alessandra described one of the churches we visited, the Basilica di San Clemente, to resemble a lasagna type of assembly because of its 4 layers, as well as walked us through the symbolism of the patterns found throughout the floor.
This isn’t a very popular museum among the tourists, as most people overlook it, but there is so much to see here from the wall frescoes dating back to the 1st century BC, to the mosaics, to the room full of ancient statues to gaze at all day.
So as you can see there are plenty of things to do during your next trip to Rome that will suit all kinds of people. I am so happy to have met so many amazing business owners, guides, and bloggers during this 4 day event.
This weekend would not have been possible without Linda and Steve at The Beehive organizing everything and inviting me along for the ride to show YOU why spending Winter in Rome is the best kind of vacation to take. Don’t just take my word for it, book your room and flights now, before the busy season starts.
*Linda is also offering 5% off rooms from November-February on top of the already low rates at The Beehive. Just use code LaCasablogaWinterinRome at checkout for $$$ off ♥
Also, thank you to all the collaborators who took part in this Winter in Rome initiative, to truly give us a once in a lifetime experience. I will never look at Rome the same again.
All my love,