Of all the times to visit this magnificent city, Autumn is probably my favourite. The first time I visited Rome was at this time of year, and we have travelled there each October since (as well as summer and winter, of course 😊). For warm sunny weather (around 23/24°C) with fewer crowds, October in Rome is hard to beat. Tony Bennett (and Andy Williams and Peggy Lee….) felt the need to sing about it, and it’s easy to see why.
Read on to discover some more of my recommendations and dining highlights. Don’t forget to check out my previous Rome posts for more ideas and inspiration..
Where we dined
Restaurant Mirabelle at the Hotel Splendide Royal
The Mirabelle Restaurant is known around Rome as one of the finest dining experiences, set in a stunning location with views of St Peter’s and Villa Borghese. It is highly recommended in the Michelin guide (but strangely star-less at present).
Aside from the excellent food, dining at Mirabelle is an experience in itself. As you enter the beautiful dining room, with muted, pastel colours, elegant drapes and French Louis-style striped chairs, you could be walking into 1930’s Hollywood. Add to this the backdrop of the city of Rome at night, and you’re in for a very glamorous and memorable evening.
We dined here this time with our lovely Italian friend Francesco, who’s day job is at Ristorante Il Falchetto (one of our favourite restaurants in Rome – I mentioned it in my previous post here). The staff at Mirabelle are incredibly professional and attentive, and will happily recommend or help with any questions about the menu. A very enjoyable evening in great company.
Highly recommended for a high-end dining experience with fantastic food and wine in a stunning setting. I would advise to book well in advance if you can – the restaurant has been full or almost full each time we have been there.
Other dining and wine highlights!
On this visit, we had a lovely evening for the second time at the hotel restaurant, Sapori del Lord Byron. I wrote about it in my previous post, here. Again, the restaurant was pretty quiet, so we almost had private dining in our little Art Deco corner!
I had the poached egg with sweet and sour vegetable caponata and zucchini blossom zeppola, followed by the grilled Amberjack, which was all delicious. Paired with a fantastic bottle of Vintage Tunina 2013 (full tasting notes here)
I highly recommend the Sapori del Lord Byron, whether you are staying at the hotel or not. It’s well worth a visit for a quiet dinner in a glamorous setting. I would love to see it getting as popular as it was in its heyday.
No visit to Rome is complete to us without a visit to Il Falchetto, where we managed to go twice this time! (once for a lovely dinner, and again for a quick lunch before dragging ourselves away to the airport).
As always, it comes highly recommended for an authentic Italian dining experience with a comprehensive menu and wine-list. They have some delicious Roman dishes, as well as first class fresh fish and meat options, and will happily recommend something specific for you.
Enjoying an evening at Il Falchetto, with a lovely bottle of Il Pollenza – Marche Rosso IGT 2008.
A visit to Castel Sant’Angelo
In between all this eating and drinking, we do still find time to do some actual site seeing in Rome! We actually hadn’t planned to visit the Castle, but we were walking nearby, so we decided to see how long the queue was to get in. You can buy tickets in advance, on various websites, which I would recommend to ensure you can skip the queue.
We were lucky when we visited, as we only had to wait in line for around 15 mins before buying tickets for normal entry.
The castle itself has an incredible history, dating from Emperor Hadrian (who had it built as a mausoleum for himself), then being used as a military building and finally a refuge, connected to the Vatican City so that the Pope could escape and hide there (Pope Clement VII hid here during the Sack of Rome in the 16th century).
You can read more about the history of the castle here.
Views of St Peter’s Basilica from inside the Castle walls, and a view of Rome from the top
More beautiful views of Rome from the castle windows
I highly recommend a visit to the Castle Sant’Angelo when you’re in Rome. It’s something I always saw from the outside as an important Roman landmark, but hadn’t got round to seeing it properly. I’ll definitely go back – and probably do a guided tour, so watch this space!
As always, we travel during school term time, so it was a lot quieter that I imagine it would be in high summer!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post about my Autumn trip to Rome. Next stop.. our final trip of the year to Barcelona, and then Venice in November 😊
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Ciao for now and travel safe!