Welcome to NYLON’s City Guides, your one-stop shop for the ideal vacation. Here, you’ll find the ultimate recommendations when it comes to where to stay, eat, drink, shop, and more for the world’s hottest cities — all tried and tested by NYLON editors. Read on for your ideal, NYLON-approved itinerary.
Thanks to Milan Fashion Week, which wrapped its Spring/Summer 2022 season last week, the Northern city is often most synonymous with Italian fashion. But let’s not forget the country’s largest city also boasts plenty of style. Yes, we’re talking about Rome, headquarters to the likes of Valentino, Bulgari, and Fendi — but the beauty of the capital city is not limited to its shopping potential (though rest assured, that is bountiful). Here, our guide to Rome, including where to stay for the best city views, where to grab the best cocktail in town, and where to score some truly great vintage deals.
WHERE TO STAY
There’s no lack of options when it comes to Rome, but your search should start with Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, a sprawling hilltop estate that will satisfy just about every type of traveler. Want to explore the sites? Look no further than outside your window, as the property’s elevated vantage point provides a pretty epic view of the city. And while you’ll feel just removed enough from the bustling downtown to breathe, the hotel is just a quick five-minute ride to the city center. Looking to relax? There’s an outdoor pool (and another just steps away inside) complete with full bar service and enough pool chairs to ensure you’ll always get your preferred spot.
Rooms have just the right over-the-top touches to remind you that you’re in Rome, while still feeling plenty home-y (we also recommend snapping a few selfies in the gilded bathrooms located on each floor). In addition to a spa and on-site activities like tennis and running trails, the real must-do here is eat. Rome Cavalieri boasts Rome’s only three-Michelin star restaurant, La Pergola, a fine-dining experience with sprawling views of the city. For something a bit more casual, try a poolside dinner at Uliveto for a meal heavy on locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients.
WHERE TO EAT
If you studied abroad in Rome (or saw a TikTok of someone who studied in Rome), then chances are you’ve heard of Tonnarello. Located in a picturesque town square in the middle of the Trastevere area, Tonnarello is serving up great, affordable pasta dishes worthy of it’s five-star rating on Google (and that’s based on over 26,000 reviews). Don’t let a long line deter you — a table for two usually frees up every few minutes. And a tip received from a former study abroad-er: give them an Italian name to gain yourself some favorability on the wait list. Additional best bets for top notch pasta include Osteria Delle Coppelle (perfect for a romantic night out); Felice a Testaccio (sit outside and embrace the seemingly put-off waitstaff — it’s part of the experience); and for a quick, but memorable lunch, try the stuffed sandwiches and arancini balls at Trapizzino Testaccio.
You should be eating enough gelato during your trip to Rome, no matter how short, that it warrants its own section. Gelateria dell'Angeletto in Monti may not be the most traditionally decorated shop, but by our estimates, it’s got the best flavor payoff in town; on a hot day, opt for a fruit-flavored option and prepare to be amazed when the peach flavor tastes like actual peaches (American ice cream could never). For a great vegan option, head over to Gelateria Del Viale for a chocolate scoop, as well as their signature rose flavor — a must-try.
WHERE TO DRINK
Whether you’re in the mood for a casual cocktail or a big night out (RIP perennial hotspot G Bar), Travestere is once again where to go. The always hopping neighborhood offers everything from posh cocktail bars (Freni e Frezioni) to local pubs (Ma Che Siete Venuti A Fà). For somewhere that checks a bit of both boxes, head to Salotto 42, located just by the Pantheon. Grab a table outside for optimal people watching and work your way through their extensive list of speciality cocktails, which ranges from classics like a Mint Julep and Moscow Mule to something called the “Crazy Apple.”
WHAT TO DO
Let’s get this out of the way: the things you’re supposed to do in Rome are worth doing. Before you get on the plane, book your tickets to the Vatican and get psyched for a morning’s worthy of fresco paintings, old school maps, and generally gorgeous architecture. You’ll be glad you did it.
Once you’ve exhausted all the must-sees, however, it’s time to go shopping. Rome offers some of the world’s best vintage finds if you know where to look. Luckily, the best shops tend to be clustered around each other, making it easy to make an afternoon out of it. If you’re going to stick to one neighborhood, head just south of Trevi and take a walk down Via del Boschetto. Here, you’ll hit Blue Goose and Flamingo Vintage, both of which offer curated picks that range from vintage ‘80s blouses to high-end designer shoes. If you’re up for a good dig, try Pifebo for great old-school university shirts and all kinds of denim (and for those truly up for the challenge, next door is Pifebo Kilo Shop, where you can shop by the pound). Bonus points for any rare Fendi finds.