If you’ve read my review of The Beehive Hostel then you’ll understand why I was so excited to return for their annual blogger weekend: Winter In Rome!
Highlights Of My Winter in Rome
Where I Slept
Returning to The Beehive was the main reason I was so excited to return to Rome. With a cosy organic café (with the best French toast in the city), kind staff, and huge fluffy pillows, The Beehive is one of my favourite places to stay in Rome.
The atmosphere is cosy, whether you’re in a private room or a dorm room. I ended up staying a few extra days in their 8-bed mixed dorm, and made the best friends! But for the Winter In Rome blogger weekend I was treated to this gorgeous private room in their sister hotel: Hotel Urbe.
Oh, and this was my Roman street view from the window!
Where I Played
On two wheels on the streets of Rome!
Scooteroma Street Art Vespa Tour
Ever since my first trip to Athens, I’ve wanted to explore a city by scooter. But it never happened! Which is why I was literally counting down the days of my trip until the day of our Scooteroma tour!
I was slightly nervous, but the addictive joy and enthusiasm that was bursting from my guide, Annie, soon caught on! Co-owner of Scooteroma Tours along with Giovanni, Annie had an infectious glee that only comes from a true love for her Vespa and her work in Rome. I was grinning from ear to ear the whole ride, especially when she hit the throttle!
The Roman Guy eBike Tour
Hopping on a bicycle is definitely my favourite way to see a city. But Rome worried me: the roads are manic and there are definitely no cycle lanes!
Luckily, our tour guide from The Roman Guy took things slow. So despite my hesitation I soon found myself turning up the gears and flying up the hills of Rome. Working up a sweat also helps make your winter in Rome a little less chilly!
Where I Ate
Everywhere! But seriously, what trip to Rome would be complete without eating all of the Roman food?
Our culinary introduction to the Eternal City began at the home of a local with BonAppetour. Less of a tour, this fantastic initiative connects locals in cities across the world with travellers looking for an authentic food experience.
Our beautiful hosts (who also run TEDeat Rome) welcomed us with a classic Italian aperitivo, before treating us to an incredible three course meals.
As well as getting the opportunity to taste home-made Italian recipes, we also learnt of their importance to the hosts and the stories behind the recipes. Like the meatballs for example, the technique for which had been handed down by Maria Laura’s mother.
On A Tour
The next morning, we followed our Eating Europe guide, Domenico, through the streets of the Trastevere neighbourhood and basically ate until we dropped! Beginning small, with a choux pastry and then my personal favourite, the suppli, we soon progressed to traditional porchetta and full pasta dishes!
Food aside, the secret to the joy of experiencing the Trastevere for Foodies tour with Eating Europe is all in the people! Our guide, Domenico, was hilarious and there wasn’t one store-owner who didn’t like him. In fact, they all seemed to love him, especially the beautiful Stefania, owner of Biscottificio Innocenti.
At The Beehive
Tours aside, some of my favourite meals were taken at The Beehive. Again, if you’ve read the review then this won’t be a surprise.
With their organic kitchen, local chefs and the fantastic culinary skills of the owners and their young daughter, The Beehive produce some of the best home cooked meals in Rome.
Their French toast is still my favourite breakfast, but I also gained a regular craving for their scrambled eggs on toast. And for lunch one day, Viola made her signature fried aubergine which was out of this world. I had seconds and could easily have had thirds.
On the final night of the Winter in Rome weekend, we even had the pleasure of receiving a three-course sit down meal cooked by local chef and farmer, Pamela Sheldon Johns. And I think we all swooned at her Poggio Etrusco Olive Oil Cake!
In A Converted Hat Shop
Our final meal as a group of bloggers took place at the extremely new Gatsby Café. When I say new, I mean that the café has only been open for two months. But the space it occupies used to be the home of a traditional hat shop: Venturini.
To preserve the store’s history, hats are displayed throughout and the staff all wear one as uniform. But this café is far from stuck in the past.
Located in the trouble Esquilino neighbourhood of Rome, the Gatsby Café is working hard with other local business to improve the area through food. At our lunch buffet we were treated to samples not only of the menu available at the café, but also to food and desserts from boutique delis in Esquilio.
But if food isn’t your thing and you’d rather know where to grab a cocktail, then make sure to check out The Roman Guy’s Cocktail Tour! I have to admit, this tour is definitely not budget-friendly. But I’ll be writing about my favourite cocktail bar on the tour soon, so stay tuned!
Where I Prayed
I’m really not religious in any way (despite my mother’s best intentions). But I do love old churches. And I love them even more when I can understand more about the intricate architecture within them.
So I was really excited for the Cosmatesque Tour with Personalized Italy. Not only did we learn the symbolism behind the Cosmati mosaic style that adorns so many churches, but we were lucky enough to get a guided tour by the incredible Alexandra of the Sancta Sanctorum.
This 800-year-old chapel was once the private chapel of the Pope, making it the predecessor to the 15th Century Sistine Chapel!
Where I Gazed
Okay, I’m trying to keep the rhyme going in these headings but can you see I struggled here?
The mosaics and emblematas in the Palazzo Massimo museum were definitely my favourite part of the tour.
However the most impressive piece within the museum is undoubtedly this colourful fresco from the 1st Century BC. Our guide helped it come to life in her descriptions of the villa it came from.
There’s so much more to share with you about the Palazzo Massimo Museum. As Linda from The Beehive kept exclaiming, “I don’t know why more people don’t visit this museum!”
But this post has gone on long enough. So instead of continuing to read, I think you should switch from here to SkyScanner and find a cheap flight so that you can experience your very own Winter in Rome!
Don’t forget, there are two discount codes in this post to use on your next trip to Rome so make sure to bookmark this page or share it with friends!
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And finally, I wouldn’t have so much incredible content to share with you on the topic of Winter in Rome if it hadn’t been for Steve and Linda. The owners of The Beehive Hostel, their passion and dedication to showcasing the best of their city each year is infectious and I’m so honoured to have been invited to take part in their 2017 #WinterInRome campaign.
I’d also like to thank all the local business that took part, all of whom are linked above. Needless to say, I was a guest of all experiences during this weekend but all opinions are honest and completely my own.
Lots of love,
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