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The Eternal City is certain to charm you for an eternity, but when you only have a weekend to visit, it’s important you know your gelato from your cappuccino! Whether you are travelling alone, with friends, or for a romantic getaway with your amore, we’ve created the gay checklist for spending a dreamy 48 hours in Rome. Note to self: pack a slightly larger t-shirt, plenty of eating is on the agenda!
Check into your misterb&b. With loads of gay local hosts in Rome, you’re bound to find the ideal place to stay. Whether you’re looking for an entire apartment for you and your entourage or friends, or you’d like to connect with a host by staying in a private room in their apartment, misterb&b offers a range of gay accommodation options in Rome. In fact, the most difficult part will likely be trying to choose just one place to stay! Most misterb&b apartments come complete with fully-equipped kitchens, so grab some local produce and celebrate your first night (and dinner) at the apartment local style.
Grab your best dance wear and get ready for one of the biggest gay parties in Rome, Muccassassina. Held every Friday night at Qube in Rome’s inner east, Muccassassina offers three-floors worth of music, dancing, and pretty Roman boys to appreciate. If you’re looking for pop hits try the second floor, while the third floor pumps out techno sounds. Here you will also see drag shows from time to time, so see their Facebook page for more details.
Rise and shine like a local (and nurse your possible hangover) with a cappuccino and cornetti in one of the city’s coffee shops. Stand at the bar and you’ll not only save a few coins, but you’ll also be mistaken for one of the locals. Rome is home to many ‘caffetterie’, but for somewhere that goes that extra mile, we’d suggest Roscioli Pasticceria by Campo de Fiore square or Faro Coffee by Porta Salaria. Remember cappuccino is a morning ritual. After midday, it’s espresso from then on!
No visit to the Eternal City is complete without a tour of its eternally beautiful monuments. It’s not too difficult to navigate the historic center on foot, with the majority of key sites within walking distance of one another. Start things with a selfie - and hike- up the impressive Spanish steps, then wander down to the Trevi Fountain. Remember tradition says that if you throw a coin into the famed waters of the Trevi Fountain, you are destined to return to Rome - so tempt fate and follow suit. From here, you can easily traverse the cobbled streets of the ancient city, before finishing up at the statuesque Pantheon for another selfie and recharge.
Following your exploration of the main sights, head on over to Trastevere and settle into old-school trattoria, Da Enzo. Chances are you’ll have to wait in queue, but you’ll soon realize the wait was worth it after you dig into some of the dreamy pasta on offer here. Rome’s three classic pasta dishes: Cacio e Pepe, Carbonara, and Amatriciana reign strong here, so if you happen to be dining as a group, be sure to order all three. Leave some room for dessert, as the whipped mascarpone topped with baby strawberries is the perfect way to end a meal.
You may have already come out once before, but when in Rome, be sure to embrace Coming Out - the bar that is. As the name would suggest, Coming Out is a gay bar, and is perhaps one of the city’s most well-known and popular venues for the local LGBTQ community. Settle in for cocktails over happy hour, and enjoy the impressive backdrop of the Colosseum. Visit in the warmer months, and you’ll be blown away by all the locals who fill the cobbled street with drinks in hand. In terms of gay bars in Rome, this one is a winner. Food is also on offer here, so be sure to fill up before heading out on the town.
Night two in Rome inevitably means a second round of dancing, and for Saturday the local LGBTQ community flock to Planet Roma. Located in the cool testaccio district, Planet Roma hosts gay night GI.AM (Gorgeous I am ) every Saturday, and keeps everyone dancing well into the wee hours of the morning. Offering five different bars, you can pick your ideal musical genre to let loose to. The main room generally plays top hits and always hosts entertaining drag shows throughout the evening.
Kick-start your morning the local way with a coffee and cornetto at Giselda in Trastevere, then wander across to the charming Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island). While Rome as a whole is an Instagrammer’s dream, the Tiber Island is arguably one of the city’s crowning jewels. The boat-shaped island is connected to both banks of Rome via historic bridges, and on the island you’ll find the 16th century Fatebenefratelli Hospital and the 10th century Basilica of St. Bartholomew.
With pasta already covered for day one, day two inevitably means eating the other Italian food staple: pizza. Naturally, Rome is teeming with rustic pizzerias, but we suggest hitting up Ai Marmi in Trastevere. This no-frills venue chaotically serves its pies with a handful of traditional toppings including prosciutto, mushrooms, and salami, but we suggest keeping things simple and going for a classic margherita. Unlike its counterpart in Naples, Rome pizza is thin and crispy. The tradition dates back to WWII, when soldiers needed to ration out their dough and create as many pizzas as possible. Alternatively, if you are looking for the original style pizza from Naples, venture out to Porta Salaria and enjoy the fluffy pies served at Pro Loco Pinciano.
A visit to the Colosseum in Rome is as necessary as a visit to the Statue of Liberty in NYC - simply essential! We suggest starting in Piazza Venezia, then walking through the Roman Forum until you reach the grandiose Colosseum. Marvel at remnants of Rome’s ancient city, and take a step back in time to previous centuries. Once at the Colosseum, do a full circle and appreciate this iconic and unique amphitheatre which dates back to 70AD. This will undoubtedly be another occasion to take a couple of snaps for your Instagram feed.
Fancy the idea of getting steamy in Rome? While Italy’s capital can be sweltering in summer, things reach new temperatures at one of the city’s top gay saunas, Apollion. Open everyday from 2pm to 11pm, this gay sauna is located just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Colosseum, and offers a bar, a steam room, a dark room, and a massage service. Bear in mind that in Italy, gay venues such as this require an ARCO card, which costs 17€ and is valid for a year. These are normally sold at the entrance of the respective establishment.
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Looking for some more inspiration for a longer stay in the Eternal City? Check out our Gay Bucket List to Rome.
Cover image: ©Facebook/Coming Out
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