Autumn in Rome

“My heart remembers fountains where children played…
Gardens where dreams were made”

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..

We stayed at the Hotel Lord Byron for the second time, a beautiful 5* boutique hotel on the edges of the Villa Borghese and gardens.  I wrote a full review in my previous post, here

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Glad to be back on the steps of the gorgeous Art Deco Hotel Lord Byron!
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You can borrow bikes from the Hotel Lord Byron and take a spin around the beautiful Borghese Gardens – highly recommended – but very busy when the weather is like this!

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.

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A perfect evening in Mirabelle with a view over Rome

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)

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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.

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Another highlight was this Pian Delle Vigne, which we enjoyed at Spice & Wine Bistrot, in the Trastevere area (recommended for a casual dinner after walking around the area)

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.

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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

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Saint Michael the Archangel appears throughout the castle (and gives it its current name), in memory of Pope Gregory I having a vision of the Angel during a plague epidemic in 590AD, announcing the end of the epidemic

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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 😊

As ever, I would love to hear your views or comments on this or other posts on my site.  Or let me know if you have specific questions on any of the destinations I feature.  To be automatically informed of new posts, please follow me using the buttons below. You can also follow my Instagram and Twitter feed to see what other adventures I’m up to!

Ciao for now and travel safe!

Charlotte 🙂

 

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