A Picture From Capri Island, not far from Rome – my favorite photo so far from my visits in Italy, so I had to use it 😂
Table Of Contents
- The 5 Quick Scores – An Overview Of The City
- Where I Stayed
- My Favorite Place To Work From
- Building Community / Making Friends
- What I Ate
- What I Drank / Nightlife
- Exercise / Outdoors
The 5 Quick Scores
- Internet Speed – 4/5
- I ran about 9 wifi speed tests while in the city. I got some great wifi at spots and some wifi speeds that weren’t super hot either. Safe not to assume your hotel or hostel here will have fast wifi just because you’re in western Europe. Here are the findings
- Avg. Download Speed = 66.59 MBPS
- Avg. Upload Speed = 51.03 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 58.8 MS*
- Ease Of Connecting & Making Friends – 4.5/5
- There are a lot of single travelers here looking to make friends. There are also a number of different groups you can join to meet other expats (check out the details of these in the community
- Nightlife – 3/5
- Admittedly I was here while they were still a bit worried about COVID (April 2022). However the nightlife for a major European city felt super lackluster, a lot of restaurants and bars seemed to close super early and you had to walk a lot to go from one bar to another after midnight (albeit, walking in the city was probably one of my favorite things to do, so this wasn’t the worst situation in the world)
- Places To Work From – 3/5
- The cafe scene here is largely built around drinking eating & leaving. Even being here in the offseason, I felt a lot of pressure to get moving along after being there for only an hour or so. They have businesses and they’re trying to make money so I get it, and I did find some spots that were cool with me hanging out. Check out the section to learn more More details on this below.
- Affordability – 3/5
- Accommodation isn’t super cheap however you can eat here for pretty cheap and the attractions aren’t outrageously priced.
Where I Stayed
- OVERALL – 4/5
- Affordability – 2.5/5 – Not the most affordable place in the world, and they do have demand based pricing so the more demand there are for rooms, the higher the price. At the time of writing this (April 2022) it’s ~$45 for a dorm (male & female w/ 10 people) & ~$160 for a private room during the week and ~$200 for a private room on the weekend
- Wifi – 5/5 – The wifi is quite quick all over the hostel, I was able to have multiple video calls both in the lobby & my room without any problems.
- Avg. Download Speed = 173.42 MBPS
- Avg. Upload Speed = 212.17 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 27 MS
- Sense Of Community – 5/5 – The staff is super cool and there are a lot of other single / nomadic folks here that are easy to connect with. They also put on regular free / cheap events that are run by Luigi, a great guy. There are cooking classes nightly, and regular walking tours, karaoke, all kinds of stuff.
- Location – 5/5 – The location is incredible, within walking distance of the terminal and lots of the famous spots of the city.
- Cleanliness – 5/5 – Super clean and very well kept-up
Unfortunately, I Don’t Have Any Other Hotel / Hostel Recommendations
For those that know me, I usually try to have at least 2 hostel / hotel recommendations. In this case I did stay at 3 other hotels / hostels however I didn’t find any that I would recommend. The wifi at the spots was quite slow and the ease of meeting others wasn’t there.
My Favorite Places To Work From
A Couple Of Notes About Work Spots In Rome
As many of you know, I love working in cafe’s. In (central) Rome the cafe culture is a lot more about either standing up, talking and drinking an espresso at the counter (al banco if you’re trying to learn Italian), or sitting down for a meal.
You don’t see a whole lot of people who are sitting at cafe’s working for long periods of time. If you would like to sit down at a table, then you will pay an additional fee for service, I came across this fee all over southern Italy (although I have heard some people say it’s a scam). It generally was only a few euro, so it didn’t bother me too much, but be aware of it. In my experience, especially the closer you were to tourist attractions it felt very much like most servers wanted you to eat and leave so they could seat their next table.
There were also cafe’s that were cool with you hanging out in the mornings, but once lunch came they would prefer you to leave. I understand that these are small businesses paying a fortune in rent / mortgage, so I understand it.
That being said, I was able to find some good spots!
- OVERALL – 4/5 – Yes, this place again. They have a great co-working spot on the ground floor. It was my favorite spot because you had lots of room, lots of outlets and you didn’t feel like you were holding up a table for the next customer.
- Wifi – 5/5 – Super fast wifi
- Avg. Download Speed = 173.42 MBPS
- Avg. Upload Speed = 212.17 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 27 MS
- Service & Friendliness – N/A – The staff is quite friendly but they have vending machines for drinks and snacks, so the service isn’t quite relevant here.
- Amount Of Outlets – 4/5– Quite a few outlets, all over the place
- Location / Ambiance – 4/5 – It doesn’t have the prettiest view of some of the other cafe’s I’ve been to (like El Buho Cafe in Santo Domingo)
- OVERALL – 4/5 – This place was super cool, and I was a big fan of the staff here, they were all super friendly.
- Wifi – 4/5 – The wifi is actually quite good for a cafe
- Download Speed = 29.33 MBPS
- Upload Speed = 4.45 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 20 MS
- Service & Friendliness – 5/5 – The staff was super friendly. I was told I could work in the morning, but one lunch came I would have to leave so they can accomodate the busy lunch crowd (which makes sense).
- Amount Of Outlets – 2/5– I couldn’t find too many outlets, but I was able to get one next to a table!
- Location / Ambiance – 5/5 – This is located right by the Piazza di San Bernardo, a beautiful roundabout surrounded by sculptures and architecture.
- OVERALL – 4/5 – Killer spot, and they had plenty of space and were totally cool with me working there for what ended up being about a 6 hour stretch haha.
- Wifi – 4/5 – This was the fastest wifi I got at any cafe in Dominican Republic
- Download Speed = 22.7 MBPS
- Upload Speed = 10.2 MBPS
- Avg. Latency = 58 MS
- Service & Friendliness – 5/5 – The staff was super attentive and friendly. They were also totally cool with me camping out and working from there. The owners were very nice too, and super well travelled.
- Amount Of Outlets – 5/5– Some info on outlets
- Location / Ambiance – 4.5/5 – The ambiance is killer, I do have to say the location isn’t as prime as Cafe Conde. But as I mentioned, I’m partial to colonial plazas, so take that into consideration haha.
Building Community / Making Friends
- Groups & Events
- Expats In Rome is a pretty decent FB group
- Expats Living In Rome is another decent FB group
- These guys have a pretty active website as well
- There are two Whatsapp groups I was part of, Tandem Meetings In Rome & International Rome. I couldn’t share the link for these groups, but you’ll be able to find the links in those FB groups I mentioned earlier
- Getting There & Leaving
- There is a great train system in and out of the city and all over Italy through Italo
- Getting Around
- Walking – this was literally my favorite thing to do in the city, just wander around walking and checking out the architecture. I’d highly recommend it.
- There is also a subway system that quite a few of my friends used.
What I Ate
Not So Healthy Food – I loved getting pizza at the restaurants with pre-made pizzas. The pizza was still pretty good, and it was heated and in my mouth in 30 seconds which was my favorite part!
I also loved Pasta A La Carbonara, super creamy and bacon filled meal. I still think about that dish…
Healthier Food – I didn’t eat a whole lot of healthy food in Rome to be honest. I only ate one meal a day in the evening, that way I could eat whatever I wanted without worrying about the calories.
What I Drank / Nightlife
- Antica Enoteca
- I loved this place, a great selection of Italian wine, amaro and brandy.
- My personal favorite Italian wines I discovered in Rome
- Falanghina – a white wine from southern Italy that I hadn’t heard about before this trip. Pretty acidic and went super well with food, it felt like it literally cleaned my mouth and I was able to have a fresh bite of food every bite I had
- Pecorino – This is also the name of a wine, another lighter, acidic wine that I was a big fan of
- Jefferson Amaro – I drank a lot of Amaro’s and this one was probably my favorite
- Scholars Lounge – I didn’t go out too much here, but this was my favorite spot by far. The music wasn’t super great, but really fun vibe and it stayed open super late.
Exercise / Outdoors
Nature – Villa Borghese Park
Pretty huge park, it wasn’t my favorite park in the world, but was quite massive and quiet.
Exercise – Monti Fitness
This is a good little gym located real close to everything and quite affordable. It was about 45 Euro for a month. They had decent selection of weight lifting equipment, they had some group classes and even boxing.
As mentioned, walking around Rome was my favorite thing to do. I would highly recommend just wandering around for a few hours.