Gelato, pasta, and more gelato. In a nutshell, that sums up the time Linoya Friedman spent in Rome, Italy. But when in Rome, right? After the 21-year-old Tel Aviv native moved to New York, the travel bug bit her and the rest is history (and a heaping dose of wanderlust for the rest of us). Take Linoya's hand for a ride through Rome as the founder of fashion and lifestyle blog Fashion is My Accent dishes on dressing the part, what not to do when looking for the best carbs in Rome, and more tips on navigating the Eternal City.
This was my second time in Rome, and I didn’t even realize how much I’ve missed it until setting foot on those magical streets! My sister and cousin actually planned this as a surprise trip for me! I’m not big on surprises so I was freaking out a little bit (because I had things planned for that week), but once I calmed down I got super excited! I departed from Israel, so the flight is only 3 hours! We had to wake up at 4am because it was a 7am flight, and we slept through the entire thing!
My first time in Rome, I probably gained five pounds, but it didn’t stop me from going back! I’m more than obsessed with the food, the culture, the small streets, the little boutiques, and the picturesque architecture that is just to die for. Not to mention the history (at each monument we started Googling and learned something new, I swear!)
I stayed in Piazza Navona. It’s such a great location, it’s very central and almost everything is walking distance! I love walking because if I take a cab I get serious FOMO over missing out on cute street corners or undiscovered boutiques. What’s great about this location is that first of all, it’s mad beautiful, and second, you get to experience the real Rome. My hotel was in a cute little street that only locals walk on, and very authentic and not touristy, which I love!
I visited Rome mid March! The weather was beautiful, and even the one day it was raining it was magical (and I hate the rain!). I just played “Singing in the Rain” on my phone and started dancing on the streets (true story) and then some random guy came over with a rose to tell me I was beautiful. Ahh. Rome. When the sun came out it felt so nice and made us appreciate it even more!
Beauty Packing List
- OUAI Dry Shampoo
- OUAI Dry Texture Foam
- OUAI Volume Spray
- OUAI Hair Oil
- OUAI Leave In Conditioner
- Origins Day & Night Moisturizer + Eye Cream
- Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask
- Glossier Cloud Paint in Beam
- Glossier Skin Tint in Dark
- Glossier Boy Brow in Brown
- Glossier Lash Slick
- Anastasia Contour Powder Kit
- Anastasia Glow Kit
- Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner
- Nars Duo Eyeshadow in Kauai
Fashion Packing List
Prior to the Rome trip, I was in Paris and I splurged with a cute Gucci bag. It was the first thing I packed with me!
I knew that it might rain so I packed some hats with me, because my hair and humidity are not the best friends, if you know what I mean. I feel like a hat kept my hair together and it looked good throughout the day!
As for clothes, I packed some cute dresses and skirts, obviously in denial that it was the end of winter! I love styling dresses and skirts with boots for that edgy-girly chic. I packed a really cute matching top and skirt I got from Club Monaco, a maxi dress (from LF) I styled wearing with a long sleeve crop top from Lovers and Friends, my Balenciaga beloved boots, and some Stuart Weitzman booties too! I also packed some cute Intermix pieces and my Allsaints coat (my fave).
I think I packed in 15 minutes (which is a life record) and it was not overweight for the first time in my life. The overall style I aimed for was black with some pops of style and color, I wanted to wear dresses and skirts and that’s literally all I wore (with the help of some stockings, of course).
Booking the Trip
I love Trivago because it helps you compare all the prices from all the websites. It makes sure you get the best deal! In Israel (where I booked the flight from), there is a last minute deal app, so you should definitely try something like that! I hear Hopper is a really good one.
I always make sure to go on Instagram and explore it from inside and out to make sure I go to all the best spots! I would go to Rome’s geotag, and some neighborhoods in Rome and then look at pictures and screenshot everything. Also, hashtags like #Romefoodie, #BestFoodInRome #RomePizza, you get the point.
However, Rome isn’t much like New York or LA in that aspect. In both of those cities, this method would work great, but not so much in Rome. The food in Rome is probably the best in the world, and you definitely want to find the most authentic restaurants/places to go to. It’s all about having a good nose and eye for those type of things.
Where to Stay
Raphael Relais Chateaux: this is probably one of the most beautiful hotels in Rome! It has the most stunning rooftop where you can enjoy the sunset with a view and a nice dinner! The exteriors have so much personality it’s hard to put into words. It’s located right at Piazza Navona, the best place to stay!
Dressing the Part
It all depends on the season! My first trip to Rome was in July, and it was very, very hot. If you are going this Summer, pack light summer dresses, sandals; and try to avoid heavy clothes or any jackets at all! Summer in Italy is very hot. If your hotel has a pool (which is unlikely, but still check), then definitely pack a swimsuit.
I would even avoid wearing sneakers in this weather! Think off-the-shoulder dresses, skirts with crop tops, and backless cute dresses. It’s that hot.
However, if you are planning a trip for the winter (like when I visited, in March), then you should pack a little more heavy. If you’re a fashionista, like me, then pack some cute leather skirts that would go with stockings and some boots. Make sure to try on your outfits at home because it might not always look as good as it did in your head (layering could get tricky, it’s all about finding the right pieces that match each other).
Walk, walk, walk! I would honestly walk everywhere until my feet would disappoint me. It’s also a great exercise to lose all those pounds you’re gaining from pasta, pizza, and gelato! That’s why it’s super important to stay at a central location, like Piazza Navona.
Tip for First-Timers
It’s all about the authenticity that the city has to offer, so make sure to do your research, ask for recommendations, look through travel blogs, and read through this article! It’s also all about the gelato. If you pass a day in Rome without eating gelato, then we probably cannot be friends.
Stay away from touristy restaurants, and don’t let them lure you in just because you feel bad saying no! If you don’t know what I mean—in Rome the restaurants have a thing where they always keep a server outside who tries to be all charming to bring in more clients. These places are usually really touristy and not yummy.
If the servers aren’t so nice, it means the place is probably delicious. If you go by this formula in Rome, you’ll have 90% success rates. Also, avoid any place that has pre-made food standing at the front, avoid it at all costs (I’ve made my mistake and wasted a meal!!)
The best thing to do it just walk around and trust your instincts! I know I talk a lot about food, because let’s admit it, this is what Italy is about!
10AM Breakfast at Bira e Sale— Ok. I’m not joking when I say that this is the best sandwich I ever had in my life. I ate here every single morning and it’s just the best way to start your day! I remembered it from my first trip to Rome, but I couldn’t remember the name. I was SO excited when I stumbled upon this amazing cute little sandwich place.
1PM For lunch I’d recommend pasta. There’s this amazing underground place right off Piazza Navona called Grotte Del Teatro Di Pompeo. They have the most authentic Italian food (and service), I kept wanting to order more and more but luckily I was stopped.
2PM Gelato—This is not something to joke about. Feel free to have more than one per day, because they have the best of them in the world. You can’t really go wrong here, just walk into every gelateria or try one of my favorites: Ciampini right next to the Spanish Steps.
4PM Shopping—Walk around The Spanish Steps area, it has all the best stores, both high-end and Zara style (check out the local Italian as well). Don’t be scared to wander through the little streets to find cute little boutiques as well, I made my best purchases at them! The Spanish Steps is both a great shopping place but an even more amazing historical site! Climbing up the stairs and watching the entire city from above is a sight worth seeing!
5:30PM The Vatican— if you’re like me- get people claustrophobic and don’t really find yourself among tourists, then I highly recommend visiting the Vatican at night. I recommend visiting (or just watching it) regardless to your religion, I’m Jewish and I would not miss those views. I played a Frank Sinatra song and danced to the amazing views and magical vibes.
8PM Dinner time in Rome means Pizza time. No one is counting calories here, so please don’t do so yourself! We went to Pizzaria Da Baffetto, one of the best pizzas in the world. They have lousy service but we just made jokes out of it. The table behind us noticed that we got their order and we got theirs, so we literally just swapped our pizzas haha.
10PM Raphael Relais Chateaux to end your night, sip on a glass of wine, and the best part is you won’t even have to uber back.
11AM Ok if you’re like me then we’re definitely going back to the sandwich place for breakfast, but if you’d like to change it up a little, then I would get breakfast at the hotel. I didn’t call it the most amazing hotel in Rome for nothing. But trust me, get the sandwich :)
12PM You can’t miss the Trevi Fountain! Though it might get a bit touristy, it’s a magical sight such a gorgeous place. Don’t forget to make a wish!
1PM If it’s your first visit to Rome, then you must visit the Colosseum. It is seriously breathtaking. We just bought gelato and ate it by the Colosseum, and didn’t forget to take 190812 photos of course ;)
2PM For lunch, either take a pizza to go from a pizza place next to the Colosseum and eat on a view point, or go to a cute lunch spot called Roscioli (which is right next to Valentino BT dubs). They give out a huge bread basket and some free appetizers. The main courses are amazing.
3PM You will find loads of cute little boutiques around Piazza Bendetto Cairoli, Campo Marzio, and Colonna (all walking distance from each other). One of my favorite boutiques is called Kiko -it has the most beautiful dresses I’ve ever seen! It’s so important to just walk around, this is how you’d score your best finds!
5PM After lunch, and a long shopping spree, you deserve a gelato. You have to go to Gelateria Frigidarium. They only give out 2 samples so choose carefully. Definitely dip in chocolate!!!
7:30PM Dinner at Armando al Pantheon—Make sure to book a table for this restaurant, or have your hotel do it for you. Get anything with truffles on it, and do not miss out on the amazing appetizers. There was a cute waiter which I may or may not have flirted with. Tell him Linoya says hi :)
9PM If your feet will not disappoint you, then I recommend going to Phaeton! You can enjoy a tea or a coffee at a nice cafe after a long day.