Wednesday 26 April 2017

Six Nations City Guides: 8 great pubs n' pit-stops in Rome!

#SixNations City Guides

Rome: Six Nations Cities. Photo: Deposit
Rome: Six Nations Cities. Photo: Deposit
An Ireland supporter celebrates Ireland victory close to the final whistle at the Stadio Olimpico (Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE)
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
Rome, Italy
Pól Ó Conghaile

Pól Ó Conghaile

Heading to Rome for the Six Nations? Pin these pubs and pit-stops for your Italian rugby weekend!

Italy v Ireland; February 11, 2.25pm GMT

Rome is the furthest the Irish rugby fan has to travel in the Six Nations (our sympathies... NOT), but there's no shortage of incentives.

Spring is a great time to see Rome. The weather is pleasant, hordes of summer tourists have yet to materialise, and even the Vespas - freed up from the business of dodging foreigners - seem kind of cute.

Where to drink...

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Rome has no shortage of Irish bars, and given the occasion, it would be rude not to wet your beak in at least a couple.

The Fiddler’s Elbow (Via dell'Olmata, 43; thefiddlerselbow.com) and Finnegans (Via Leonina 66; finneganpub.com) should get you started.

Close to the pretty Piazza Navona, the Abbey Theatre (Via del Gioverno Vecchio 51; abbey-rome.com) does food, sports... and shots. 

Irish bars aren't the only fruit, of course. The Highlander Pub (Vicolo di San Biagio 9; highlanderrome.com) will allow you to celebrate Scottish-style - there's a food menu, and it's roughly a 30-minute walk from the stadium.

As you get closer to the Stadio Olimpico, swing by the Pink Panter (Via Luigi Poletti 10; pinkpanter.it). It's small, but very close to the action and a nifty pit-stop particularly if the weather's good and you can stand out in the sun.

Salute!

Get to the stadium...

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To get to Stadio Olimpico, take Tramline 2 to Piazza Mancini. The stop is a 15-minute walk from the stadium - just follow the hordes. The route crosses over the River Tiber, and you'll approach from the southeastern corner.

NB: It's worth buying a return or day ticket to avoid queues.

What to do (besides the rugby)...

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Of all the Six Nations cities (bar Paris, perhaps), Rome is best suited to a non-rugby fan or travel partner. It is, after all, home to the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum… and, oh, one or two nice pieces of art.

Even if you don’t agree on the rugby, everyone agrees on the food. Take a stroll over the river to Trastevere, where “the real Romans” claim to live, and you’ll find a host of cheap trattorias along the tight-knit alleyways and streets.

Think €5 for a basic Margherita pizza, washed down with a cool glass of Peroni and ice-cream fresh from a hole-in-the-wall gelateria… yum.

Speaking of gelatos... this is the sunniest of the Six Nations cities, so fill your belly with ice-cream while you can. For a traditional treat. Try Il Gelato di San Crispino (ilgelatodisancrispino.com) made famous by Eat, Pray, Love.

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