Saturday 1 October 2016

24 hours in Rome: How to get your romance on in the Eternal City

A Perfect Day

Nicola Brady

Published 07/02/2016 | 02:30

The Colosseum in Rome
The Colosseum in Rome
The dome of Saint Peter's Basilica, seen through the famous keyhole at the the gate of the Priory of the Knights of Malta on Aventino Hill. Photo: Deposit
Piazza di Spagna
Gelato

Nicola Brady takes a romantic look at one of Europe's greatest city breaks. Valentine's Day treat, anyone?

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10am: Piazza di Spagna

Contrived? OK, maybe a little. But if you're after romance in the Eternal City, then you need to pay a visit to the Piazza di Spagna. While the Spanish Steps themselves are under renovation (due to re-open in spring), pay a visit to the Keats-Shelley House. Dedicated to the Romantic poets, there's no better place to set the tone of amore.

How: Admission to the museum costs €5, keats-shelley-house.org.

2pm: Gelato

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Let's face it - the direct route to anyone's heart is through their belly. And nowhere is this truer than in Rome. You can barely cross a street without passing a gelateria - its windows piled high with shimmering peaks of ice cream. But it's worth seeking out the goodies (who shun false flavourings and additives) for a traditional treat. Try Il Gelato di San Crispino, the ice-cream store made famous by Eat, Pray, Love.

How: See locations at ilgelatodisancrispino.com.

5pm: A keyhole view

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It's not tricky to find a good view in Rome. But it's tough to beat the 'keyhole view' you get from the Piazza of the Knights of Malta. The view isn't from the priory itself, but the nondescript doorway. Peek through the keyhole, and you'll be met with an incredible view of the city, with St Peter's Basilica smack bang in the middle. A spot to pop the question, perhaps?

How: The piazza is on Via Santa Sabina on Aventine Hill.

8pm: Dinner with Gusto

Roman evenings are made for leisurely meals in bustling piazze, glasses of wine in hand and tables laden with food (not to mention the perfect dining companion, of course). Check out Gusto (gusto.it) in Piazza Augusto Imperatore, home to impeccable pizza, prosciutto and an impressive Formaggeria. Pasta courses start from around €10.

How: Romantic rooms at the nearby Portrait Roma (above) start from €396 with boutique collection, mrandmrssmith.com

Get there

Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) and Ryanair (ryanair.com) fly direct from Dublin to Rome. All prices subject to availability.

Book the best hotel deals in Rome with Independent Hotels.

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