Destination: Rome, Italy. June 2017
A luxury resort for the whole family in the heart of one of Europes busiest cities ‘s not really where you picture staying on a city break, but Rome Cavalieri is one of those unexpected gems, in a delightful sense. Situated in a 15-acre private Mediterranean park which overlooks the Eternal City and is a stone’s throw away from the Vatican City, the 345 room property boasts an unrivalled panoramic view of the city which you can stare across to for hours on end.
Rome was the start of out Italian road trip, check out the vlog for a behind the scenes exclusive!
The interiors have been thoughtfully and tastefully decorated on a scale I’ve never experienced before. From the Salvatore Ferragamo amenities in the room to international electric sockets not only by the writing desk but next to both sides of the bed. The hotel is sure to win over any art enthusiasts with a prized private collection of paintings and tapestries including three of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s most famous masterpieces take pride of place in the main lobby and the suites feature original Karl Lagerfeld sofas, rare 18th-century antiques, and Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana paintings.
The highlight for me was being able to use the Imperial Club in the morning to get work done in the perfect setting with complimentary breakfast, finger food, afternoon tea as well as refreshments throughout the day. With a perfect wifi connection, reading material and TV screens with the latest news I could stay on top of business in the morning and then head out to enjoy the facilities or city later on in the day. One thing I was sad to miss was a visit to the 9th floor to visit celebrated chef Heinz Beck’s three star Michelin-rated restaurant. Definitely a reason to return!
If you’re looking to avoid work then during the day you have three outdoor pools to choose from as well as one of the most comprehensive fitness centres I’ve seen, thanks to a recent refurbishment. The Cavalieri Grand Spa Club features La Prairie products, perfect to visit after a game of tennis on one of two clay courts or a few circuits of their outdoor fitness trail.
Venturing into Rome was a quick 20-minute hotel shuttle ride, and I’ve shared two walking tours that I put together below. These don’t involve ticket access to the sites or reservations for the restaurants but will hopefully be a good starting point for you!
Rome: An afternoon walking from the Spanish Steps to the Coloseeum with dinner at Trattoria Monti.
Take 3 hours as you’ll want to stop along the way!
- Spainish Steps (Ladies, stay away from the rose sellers who will try and give you a flower and then ask for payment or those selling selfie sticks!)
- Trevi Fountain (It get’s crowded but the classic throwing the coin into the fountain behind you shot is possible if you elbow your way to the front, just don’t sit on the side of the fountain or you’ll have an angry Italian blowing a whistle at you!)
- The Pantheon (There’s a line to get in which seems to move quickly, the square it’s in has Galdiators to take you picture with and a beautiful fountain)
- Piazza Navona (An Impressive fountain and plenty of restaurants to sit down and grab a bite)
- Piazza Venezia (Great if you want to get a picture with the Italian flag behind you)
- The Colosseum (Walk past the crowds and keep the Colosseum on your right and then venture up into the park on your left for an elevated view of it.)
- Trattoria Monti (Definitely book a table ahead of time, it fills up quickly unless you get there right on opening and they can squeeze you in to sit at a table for an hour before the reserved parties show up. Wonderful service and beautiful food!)
Vatican City: A morning starting at the Vatican Gardens and ending in St. Peters Square.
This 4 hour tour was booked ahead of time through Rome Cavalieri’s Concierge, with the lines outside the Vatican you’ll want to have tickets in advance. Have a look here for information on Vatican Tours. Remember to wear walking shoes and respectful clothing; for men and women I’d suggest covered shoulders (or bring something to cover your shoulders) and knees or near enough with long shorts, covered for the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Gardens are often overlooked and used to be closed to the public but are great if you have an interest in history, religion and the evolution of the Catholic Church. If that’s not your thing, head straight to the museums with the crowds, which join on through to the Sistine Chapel (Don’t talk while you’re inside the chapel or take pictures! Every where else is fine) and then it’s a short walk to St. Peters Basilica where Mass is held somewhere on the premises on the hour. You’ll then exit onto St. Peters Square and there are plenty of options for lunch.
Rome was the beginning of a 10 day road trip North through Italy, check out some of my other posts about the stops and sites I saw along the way in the other entries below.