HAPPY Birthday to me ! I was lucky enough to be taken to Rome for dinner on my birthday to one of my favourite restaurants. Sometimes as you get older we need to throw caution to the wind and embrace adventure. At this age we are able to be more spontaneous. Now most people would not do a travel guide in less than 48 hours but 24 hours allows you to shoot off without too much planning or even booking time off work ! So lets do it !!
Firstly im assuming by your fifties most of you reading this would have visited the tourist sites of this eternal city. So there will be no queueing for the coliseum (although they now do a moonlight tour..) or visits to the Trevi Fountain or Pantheon. If you haven’t seen these then AUGUST is NOT the time to do it !!! So this is my 24 hours……………..
ARRIVE 2.30pm ( I never do early morning flights !!)
Our Chauffeur (BLACKLANE) takes us to the Hotel de La Ville located at the top of the Spanish Steps. I love to stay around this area personally there are many choices to suit all budgets here and along the VIA VENETO. a beautiful spa and rooftop bar overlooking the city. No need to spend time unpacking the beauty of a one day stay ! so head to the spa for a massage to prepare me for the evening.
A lovely evening stroll down the Spanish Steps (low heels only girls) and into PIAZZA DE SPAGNA. Great buzz on a warm balmy evening. Continue along the VIA CONDOTTI one of the most fashionable and stylish streets in Rome. Window shopping or otherwise ! Gucci, Hermes, Dolce and Gabbana, Harry Winston you name it they are all here .
Arrive at ZUMA , one of my favourite restaurants located in FENDI SQUARE. Head straight in the elevator to the rooftop terrace for a RHUBABU a rhubarb infused sake and vodka martini cocktail. Views across Rome.
Head down to the restaurant. Booking is absolutely advised. Whether in London, Dubai, Hong Kong, Miami or Rome the menu and format is never strays to far. We order my favourite dishes Tuna Tartare, Shrimp tempura , jumbo shrimp (the size of a lobster in its shell !!) spicy beef tenderloin and a selection of sushi. The food has to be tried to be believed please everyone just go at least once it never disappoints. Phenomenal !!
THE FOLLOWING MORNING
Don my trainers and shorts for a brisk morning power walk along the VIA VENETO and down through PIAZZA DE SPAGNA a useful way of avoiding the thousands of steps. End up at CAFE VITTI in PIAZZA di SAN LORENZO a quiet , picturesque square with the best breakfast menu. Italian for 8E or an American breakfast for 20E if you want to go all out.
After changing into our lunch attire and checking out of the hotel we leave our small amount of hand luggage with the concierge and head to an art gallery before lunch.
Now there are obviously many art galleries in Rome but not many people have heard of the VILLA AURORA on VIA LOMBARDIA. A spectacular 16th century villa full of art. Once one of the most spectacular gardens in Rome. This Villa has the only painting that Caravaggio executed on a ceiling ! A private visit can be organised by your concierge but needs to be booked in advance.
If we are going to make our flight we opt for an early lunch. We discover a fabulous restaurant away from the busy crowds close to the art gallery IL PICCOLO MONDO on VIA AURORA I do not hesitate in sharing this little gem with you. Freshly made pasta and market fish of the day. Reasonable prices and great service very relaxing. We dined on lobster pasta and beautifully fresh sea bass grilled.
After a few more glasses of wine and complimentary limoncellos we enjoy a sleepy one hour journey back to the airport where prior to boarding we find time for a “dry flotation tank” why have I never seen one of these in UK?? Fabulously relaxing and a perfect way to end our whirlwind 24 hours in ROME.
JOJOS STYLE LIST TIP : TRAVEL LIGHT TAKING HAND LUGGAGE IS THE ONLY WAY THIS CAN BE DONE. DONT OVERTHINK IT JUST DO IT 24 HOURS IS ALL IT NEEDS TO GET YOU OUT OF A RUT !!!!!!!