My husband surprised me with a birthday trip to one of my favourite destinations in the world: Rome. Rome, and Italy in general, holds a special place in my heart, for their ancient history, for their art, for their amazing cuisine, for their love of poetry and literature. Rome was once the capital of the world that Europe knew, and many after aspired to its military but also artistic glory.

Once you have visited all the sites, your next visit to Rome should be like this: strolls by the monuments, by the cafรฉs, by the traffic. Take your time to take in all the sights, the sounds and the tastes.

For every breakfast, sip the best cappuccino that can never be replicated outside of Italy, even in northern Italy.

In the afternoon, have an espresso for good digestion before indulging in the best gelato in Rome at Gelateria Giolitti.

For every lunch and dinner, take your time to savour first a glass of quality prosecco with your antipasto. Pair your pasta primo with a good glass of red wine, then have your secondo with a grilled vegetable contorno drizzled with the most flavoursome olive oil.

Simple food, made with fresh ingredients, makes all the difference for health and taste. That’s the lesson Italy has learnt that the industrialised West has not.

Why stay in Hotel Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo

We checked into the Hotel Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo in the evening.
Because it was my birthday, hotel staff very kindly offered us a chilled bottle of prosecco. It was there, waiting when we opened the room door.

I didn’t know the view would be so spectacular. In the morning, when I first woke up and drew open the curtains. There it stands in the golden shower of dawn. The colosseum of ancient Rome, with no tourists, no tour buses, alone and silent in its show of might and grit.

As the day progressed, to my surprise, the crowning glory of the hotel is not the window with the most exclusive view ever, but the rooftop terrace with a pool! In the evening, the rooftop terrace opens with a bar and a restaurant. You can chill out with a glass of cocktail, or again a glass of prosecco, while watching the Colosseum all lit up. In the day, when the pool is open, you can cool yourself off while looking at this ancient gigantic monument and watch its every detail unveiled by the scorching sun.

Now this is worth the price of the room. And it has been one of the best kept secret from any visitor to Rome!

Hotel Mercure Roma Centro Colosseo
Via Labicana, 144, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
+39 06 770021

Before you go, don’t forget to check out why you should stay in the small town of San Baronto for the most magical Italian holiday ever.