In typically low key fashion, I decided to host the milestone that was my 30th Birthday in Rome. Writing an email to my nearest and dearest last May, I mentioned I’d be travelling to the eternal city to celebrate in early December and that I’d love their company, should they be interested in hash tagging #hermwasntbuildinaday and so on and so forth. Expecting a few to take up the offer, basically those obliged / bribed, I some how managed a result of TWENTY-FIVE PEOPLE!!!!! Shocking, I know. 25 of my favourite people in the entire world in the most magnificent city on earth for a weekend. The pressure was on. How do you make the weekend unforgettable, remarkable, enjoyable and logistically, how do you ensure that many have a good time and don’t lose each other? Here’s how: you build an itinerary that would make Lonely Planet proud and you cross your fingers. As it turns out, luck wasn’t needed. The weekend went off without a hitch and I wanted to share what I have now proven is the best way to see Rome over a weekend, with friends… PREGO! xHermione.
11.00AM // Meet at Piazza di Spagna, at the base of the Spanish steps. We’ll climb a few of the 135 steps towards Piazza Trinità dei Monti before bounding back down towards the Trevi Fountain at Piazza Navone. Built on the site of the 1st century AD Stadium of Domitian, this was the ‘Circus Agonalis’, the competition arena where the ancient Romans watched the ‘agones’ games. Fitting. Let the games begin.
Round 1. We’ll toss a coin with our right hands over our left shoulders into the Fontana di Trevi to secure our return to Rome… Those not spoken for will join me in throwing three coins:
1 to secure our return to Rome
2 to ensure a new romance
3 to promise marriage
….. you’re welcome.
Round 2. After stopping for an espresso or aperol en route, we’ll wander to the structure commissioned by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus 27BC – 14AD, ’the temple of every god’ better known as The Pantheon. Here we’ll find the story of the Creation Myths, telling how the universe, earth, gods and mankind were created…
1.00PM // Round 3 (& hopefully 3 rounds in)… All this history will prepare us for lunch. Let’s sit at Il buco for homemade pappardelle and gnocchi. Via Sant’Ignazio 8 (00186)
To work off some of that tiramisu, we’ll wander to Round 4… the mighty Colosseum! Just east of the Roman Forum, the largest amphitheatre ever built was used for gladiatorial contests to audiences of 50-80,000. Scenes that have nothing on tonight.
Here also lies the Arch of Constantine, a triumphal arch in Rome, situated between the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill. It was erected by the Roman Senate to commemorate Constantine I’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in 312. Today, this exact site will be used to declare the winner of the best #ROMEINTO30 instagram thus far.
7.00PM // Take the afternoon for yourself to rest up before joining me in your finest at Piazza di Pietra, opposite the temple of Hadrian, at the (supposedly) very cool cocktail bar Salotto 42. Piazza di Pietra, 42, 00186
8.30PM // The Big Event! It is time to celebrate over dinner at Osteria delle Coppelle. Here, I am told, we will rediscover the flavours of traditional cuisine and great winemaking in one of Rome’s most historic Squares… molto benne!