We thought we would share our perfect St. Valentine’s Day Rome to commemorate the city’s special connection to love and romance.
Not many visitors to the eternal city know that the real Saint Valentine was a Roman priest in the third century AD, during the rule of Emperor Claudius II. (More about Valentine at the end of the blog.)
But first, an aside… as you wander the streets and sights of Rome, keep an eye out for padlocks – you’ll see them on fences, gates, lamposts – anywhere they can be attached. These have become the modern city’s symbol of love, and started after the release of a hugely popular movie in 2006 in which the main characters wrote their names on a padlock, locked it on to a lamp post on one of Rome’s bridges and threw the key into the Tiber.
Back to our perfect St. Valentine’s Day Rome…
– Wake up in one of the city’s most romantic guesthouses, our favourite is near the Spanish Steps. Become a Passion For Italy client and choose from our hand-picked selection of romantic b&b’s and guesthouses.
– Visit the Pantheon early in the morning, before the crowds – having this amazing place to yourselves is a special experience.
– Wander down Via del Governo Vecchio, and let it take you to Via della Pace and then on Via dei Coronari – all lovely cobblestoned streets filled with eclectique boutiques, artisans, quiet churches and cloisters, antiques – our favourite streets in Rome! Stop at one of the gorgeous cafes and restaurants for lunch. Passion For Italy clients get our full list of recommended restaurants, cafes and bars.
– After lunch consider a spot of window shopping in the famous streets around the Spanish Steps.
– Late afternoon on walk up to the Pincio, and wander the gardens. These gardens are filled with tree-lined avenues – perfect for strolling – and rose-sellers (the gardens are popular with lovers). After buying a beautiful single rose stop at a romantic bar for a pre-dinner glass of prosecco to watch the sun set over the rooftops of Rome.
– After dinner at one of our favourite romantic restaurants, wander to the Campidoglio for the view over the Roman Forum lit up at night. Such an evocative sight.
– Join the locals for the late evening passeggiata and gelati.
– End the night at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in – guaranteeing your return to Rome.
To finish the story of St Valentine Rome… why he became the patron saint of lovers the world over, poor fellow, he had his head chopped off by the displeased Emperor Claudius – legend has it that the priest was secretly marrying young Christian couples which upset the Christian-persecuting emperor – and now you can see Saint Valentine’s head on display in photo above inside Santa Maria in Cosmedin. (We wouldn’t include this on our list of things to do on Valentine’s Day, but it is quite interesting nonetheless…)
by Lisa Kurtz