Rachel Zitin, holistic Italy travel expert, yoga instructor and retreat host shares the museums, restaurants, yoga studios and ice cream spots that she loves in our insider's guide to the Italian capital.
1. Where in Rome do you go where time stops and you can slow down?
Villa Pamphili is an enormous public park that is mostly frequented by locals. It's the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the Eternal City! It's delightful for a picnic, a run, or a walk to explore nature. It's also quite close to my favorite panoramic view in Rome: Piazza Garibaldi on the Gianicolo hill which showcases Rome in all its glory.
2. Where in Rome do you take visitors to eat the best Italian food?
This is such a hard question because there are SO many good places. But for me, Trattoria Da Teo for classic Roman food in a beautiful location and Pianostrada for an elegant and innovative menu (bonus: it's a female-run restaurant and the owners are delightful!)
3. What are your secret spots in Rome to shop?
I love wandering down Via di Monserrato and Via del Pellegrino to check out all the little local boutiques. Some of my best pieces come from on-the-whim shopping there!
4. What are your museum and art recommendations in Rome?
Rome is an open-air museum, anywhere you walk in the city you'll find amazing art, architecture, and culture. However, if you're looking for a few specific suggestions: Centrale Montemartini, any exhibit at Chiostro del Bramante (the location is amazing!), and Zaha Hadid's MAXXI are all worth a visit. Finally, don't skip the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill! They're much more layered and complex and nuanced than the Colosseum and tell such a beautiful picture of life in Ancient Rome.
5. Tell us where to workout when we visit Rome?
Zem Yoga Studio Roma is where I teach and it's truly my home away from home. They offer a variety of classes, all in English, in a lovely central location. Find me on the schedule! For workouts, I always go to Plexus Studio. Their signature Plexus method is a combination of pilates, HIIT and much more. The studio is gorgeous, the teacher's are all lovely, and they also offer private reformer pilates. Also, shameless plug: I run a monthly Embodiment event at the studio for women. Check me out on IG for the latest details!
6. Anything else to add - under the radar spots that we shouldn't miss?
The Testaccio Market is a local delight filled to the brim with local and fresh produce, and stands with the most delicious pizza, sandwiches and more. I'd be remiss to not also mention: I worked as a tour guide for over 10 years before officially changing careers and moving to full-time yoga teaching and coaching. However, if you write me an email, I do lead ad hoc private experiences around the city focusing on sensorial delights, food, wine, art, culture, and so much more.
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