TRAVEL

Rome, Italy: Where to Stay

where to stay in rome italy

Happy Monday, friends! This week I'm finally getting around to writing about my most recent trip to Rome. As I mentioned in my Top 10 Trips of 2016 postRome will forever be a page turner in the history of my life. 5 years ago I had never been to Europe (even though I always dreamed of going) and at long last my family planned a trip. I honestly can't think of a time in my entire life where I've been more excited than I was when those airplane wheels touched down that summer in 2012. My dad still recalls how my mouth hung open in wonder like a little kid at Disneyland. Going back for the third time this past October gave me all the same butterflies and warm-fuzzy-feelings that I experienced on my first trip. Because let's face it: Rome is simply magical. 

Where is the best place to stay in Rome? Unlike many destinations that I've been to more than once, I've never stayed in a proper hotel while visiting the Eternal City. While there's certainly no shortage of options, I've always found apartment-style accommodations to be incredibly charming (not to mention, very Eat, Pray, Love). My experience with Italian hospitality is that they actually treat you like family (and this is true of all the apartment hosts I've had). So if there were ever a time to forego a traditional hotel for the apartment life, I'd encourage you to consider doing so in Rome. 

 

YOUR SUITE ROME: GRAND SUITE RICCI

your suite rome apartment

In the heart of the city just around the corner from Campo de Fiore (one of my favorite spots in Rome) is Grand Suite Ricci: a luxury apartment where my friends and I stayed on my most recent trip. This 2 bedroom 80 squared meter apartment is the perfect size for a group of 3 or 4 (we even had a spare room for all of our luggage!) The apartment was so beautiful and bursting with character (especially those rustic wooden-beam ceilings!) We could easily walk to so many great places (Vatican City, Campo de Fiore, the Pantheon, Piazza Novana... the list goes on).

Our hosts at Your Suite Rome provided us with everything we needed: wifi, assistance with airport transfers and most importantly: amazing food, drink + sightseeing recommendations (stay tuned for the posts later this week for those details!)  

YOUR SUITE ROME APARTMENT
your suite rome apartment
your suite rome apartment italy
your suite rome apartment

I spent a bit of time on my own in Rome after my friends flew back to the states and before I flew back to London, so I decided to try another apartment. For my last night, I stayed in the Banchi Vecci suite (which is also owned by Your Suite Rome and is just around the corner from the last, so all previous comments still apply!) This 65 square meter apartment came with all the same luxuries as the last, just with one bedroom instead of two (perfect for people traveling solo or as a couple). The living room was so spacious and had the same gorgeous wood-beam ceilings (I loved sitting in there, drinking wine and people watching out the window). 

YOUR SUITE ROME
your suite rome apartment italy

I had a fantastic stay in both of these units and I can say with confidence that staying here offers the best of both worlds. So whether you're traveling solo or with a group, you can experience Rome as a local without compromising modern, luxury amenities and a friendly, knowledgable host.

Thanks so much to Your Suite Rome for having us!

 

DI RIENZO PANTHEON PALACE

gruppo di rienzo rome italy

My other apartment experience in Rome was my very first visit. My family and I stayed at Di Rienzo: a family-run bed and breakfast that offers luxury accommodations, shopping and dining experiences. 

Pantheon Palace is a historic building in style of the fourteenth century. All of their apartments are located on the same Piazza as the Pantheon, one of Rome's most iconic landmarks. My family and I spent every night at their restaurant (which I'll get to in my "Where to Eat" post later this week) drinking wine and marveling at this ancient masterpiece. While that memory alone is enough for me to recommend staying here, we truly couldn't have had a better experience with our hosts. Every time I've been back to Rome since, I've made a point to go to Di Rienzo to see my friends (who treated me like family).

While it's been a few years since I've stayed there, I still can't say enough wonderful things and I have no doubt that anyone would love it. If you're looking to stay right next to an iconic Roman landmark and experience the hospitality of a wonderful Italian family, look no further than Di Rienzo. 

Again, there are tons of great places to stay in Rome (although I'd argue the ones above are hard to beat). Have any other questions about accommodations in the Eternal city? Let me know in the comments below!


Stay tuned for more Rome travel tips this week-- we still have a lot to cover about where to eat and what to do!

xx

Whitney

WHERE TO STAY IN ROME ITALY

10 THINGS EVERY TRAVELER NEEDS IN EUROPE

BLONDE ATLAS TRAVEL ESSENTIALS

Happy Friday from London! Hope everyone has had a great week. Haley and I are getting ready to head off on a quick little adventure next week, and packing has been front of mind. 


I'm often asked what to pack for a trip to Europe (and I'd like to think I'm somewhat of a pro, considering I've been living out of a single suitcase these last 3-4 months).

I also know that with the holiday's approaching, lots of us are looking for gift ideas. I'd argue travel essentials are always a great gift to give to someone you love (especially if they have a trip coming up). 

Combine all the factors above, and it seemed appropriate to put together a list of things to pack for a trip to Europe (no matter who you are or what time of year you go). 

 

1. CUYANA LUGGAGE TAG

Traveling in Europe means your suitcase is likely to be dragged around even more than it is domestically (consider planes, trains, taxis, ferries- you name it). Those flimsy airline tags are bound to rip off, so invest in a chic + sturdy leather luggage tag like this one from Cuyana

 

2. DURABLE LUGGAGE

I'm asked about luggage a lot. And rightfully so- it's the most necessary item for any traveler. I've learned that the cheaper the luggage, the shorter the lifespan. For domestic trips, I've loved my DVF luggage set (it's chic + light weight) but I've learned (after living out of it all year) it's not quite sturdy enough for a long term European adventure. Your best bet for luggage that will last (the case, the zipper, the wheels, etc.) even in the harshest conditions on trains, planes and automobiles, is going to be brands like Victorinox, Rimowa or Tumi

 

3. CASHMERE SCARF

 Temperatures while traveling are constantly changing-- especially in Europe. Light layers are key, and you can't go wrong with a cashmere scarf (especially this oatmeal color that goes with everything).  Wear it like a traditional scarf or wrap it around you like a blanket on the plane/train. Either way, you'll be so glad you have it. 

 

4. LA ROCHE-POSAY THERMAL WATER

Travel is so hard on your skin: the dehydration from airplane altitude, the ever-changing climates, the list goes on. I've learned to always keep a bottle of La Roche-Posay Thermal Water in my purse to spritz on my face whenever I need a quick refresher. It's scientifically proven for its soothing properties and has been used in Europe for centuries. It's mineral-rich micro-droplets provide immediate, intense soothing that you can feel. Order it online and keep your eyes out for more products by this lovely French brand, La Roche-Posay all over European pharmacies. 

 

 

5. ASPINAL OF LONDON CURRENCY BELT

I learned the hard way that carrying mulitple currencies around is incredibly confusing. One night in Croatia while attempting to pay for my gelato (I maayyyy have been a little tipsy), I hit my breaking point and dumped my entire wallet out on the counter top while searching for kuna that was hidden among dollars, euros and pounds. Luckily, Haley bought me this Aspinal of London currency belt that has been a life saver. It's slim and comes with 4 compartments labeled to separate your dollars, pounds, euros and other notes so you'll never find yourself digging for the appropriate payment. 

 

 

6. PORTABLE IPHONE CHARGER

We all know the struggle to keep an iPhone battery charged, but this pain-point seems to be amplified even more while I'm in Europe. When one device serves as your camera, map, and means of communication (among many other things) it's naturally going to be in your hands almost non-stop. So instead of having heart palpitations when your "10% battery remaining" notification comes on the moment you're about to see the Mona Lisa, just pull out this handy portable iPhone charger for additional battery to save the day. 

 

 

7. LIFESTYLE WALKING SHOES

Europeans know a thing (or 20) about stylish footwear. One reason why? They do TONS of walking.  While heels may look cute, they're not the most practical option. To fit in like a local, pick up a pair of stylish lifestyle shoes (like these adidas Superstars) you can wear with just about any everyday outfit

 

8. ASPINAL OF LONDON PASSPORT CASE

I used to think a passport case was unnecessary and that it just looked cute (especially since this one matches the currency belt). But it does extend your passport life if you're traveling in areas with inclement weather (Ireland anyone?) It's also become quite a conversation starter with fellow travelers when they ask me where I got it, which has been fun. Overall, I've found it to be a form of expression (similar to a lot of things we carry) for one of my most prized possessions- so why wouldn't I want one?

 

 

9. CUYANA WEEKENDER OR OVERNIGHT TOTE

In addition to durable luggage, be sure to have a solid carry-on tote. I have both this weekender tote and overnight tote from Cuyana and both are wonderful. Different airlines have different allowances for carry-on baggage, but both of these are always allowed (and if you don't get a personal item, they'll also fit your purse. Additional perk? I'm using them for shorter trips when I can leave my big suitcase behind (like the upcoming trip Haley and I are taking this week...stay tuned!) 

 

10. EARBUDS

I use my earbuds every. single. day. On a plane or on a train. Working on my laptop in a café or while walking and exploring the city streets. They're in my ears more often than not somedays. I loved these Sonix earbuds for the pop of color, but also the handy little leather pouch that comes with them so they don't get tangled up in everything that's in your purse. 

 

So there you have it! 10 essentials you should definitely have before hopping across the pond and exploring Europe. I hope you find these to be helpful! Any other packing tips you want to see? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Stay tuned for more travel adventures coming to the blog early next week. In the meantime? Have a great weekend friends!

xo, 

Whitney

 

 

BLONDE ATLAS

Nashville Travel Guide

NASHVILLE TRAVEL GUIDE
nashville skyline

Being a Nashville native, this is one of the most daunting posts I've ever written. As a traveler, having a handful of positive experiences about a destination is enough to equip you with confidence about the recommendations you provide. But as a native to one of the most popular destinations in the country right now? I feel immense pressure to carefully curate the most ideal list given my knowledge about the area.  So let me start by caveating that this doesn't include everything to do in this wonderful city (it's a blog post not a book, people) but I did my best to provide crowd pleasers in every neighborhood as a starting point. So over the last few weeks, I played tourist in my own town, arranged a few staycations, and pulled together this guide of some of my favorite places for you to visit in Music City. 

DOWNTOWN

STAY:

506 LOFTS

506 lofts Nashville
506 lofts nashville tennessee
506 lofts nashville tennessee
506 lofts nashville tn

506 Lofts is a five-unit boutique hotel in downtown Nashville. The 130 year old building has been a department store, a mensware store, and an Asian restaurant. During construction, maintaining as much original work as possible was a top priority in an effort to restore the building while preserving its history. I went for a staycation with my friend Sarah, and we loved everything about our unit. But my favorite part of 506 Lofts is what they stand for. They belive strongly in Luke 12:48, "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." To that end; the owner created a program called Rooms for Rooms which ensures no stay at 506 Lofts happens without helping someone in need. For every stay, they donate 5% to the surrounding Nashville homeless shelters (Room in the Inn and Nashville Rescue Mission). Therefore, those without a home are able to find a places to stay due to your stay at 506 lofts. The pictures speak for themselves, but it truly is a beautiful property and in a killer location if you want to be in the heart of downtown. 

PINEWOOD SOCIAL NASHVILLE DOWNTOWN
PINEWOOD SOCIAL THINGS ON TOAST

Pinewood is a great place no matter what you're looking for at any time of the day. I often come for coffee and breakfast to work during the day or to grab cocktails at night. It goes far beyond your average restaurant, offering bowling, bocce ball, a swimming pool and private karaoke room. 

 

DO: 

ACME FEED & SEED

ACME FEED AND SEED
acme feed and seed

Being a local from Nashville, I'm guilty of having turned my nose up to Broadway because it's crawling with tourists (and if you are a tourist, you definitely should experience it- it's iconic). But Acme Feed & Seed is a bar on Broadway that anyone can genuinely enjoy.  This 3 story bar offers a different option at every level, and each one is tons of fun. For killer views of the city, head all the way to top and have a drink on the roof. 

 

EAST NASHVILLE

STAY:

AIRBNB

east nashville airbnb
east nashville tn airbnb rental

East Nashville is an up and coming area with tons happening, but hotel options are extremely limited. There are tons of Airbnb listings to choose from, but I recently stayed at a friend's guest house that they list and I highly recommend it. The decor is insane and it's conveniently located to tons of great places on the East Side. 

 

EAT: 

 

MARCHÉ

marche artisan foods nashville brunch spots

Easily my favorite spot to grab brunch in town. The elegantly rustic setting creates a perfect ambiance for any occasion. Not only do they serve amazing food, but with a unique selection of goods from artisan producers. The menu utilizes local and seasonal products and changes seasonally, but everything I've ever ordered has been out of this world. 

 

ROSEPEPPER

rosepepper mexican restaurant east nashville

Rosepepper has one of the best patios in town and their margarita has been voted best in town for 11 years in a row now (you've also likely seen someone Instagram of their tounge-in-cheek marquee quotes). Go for lunch, dinner, or simply guacamole and margs on a pretty day and you'll be a happy camper. 

 

 

MIDTOWN

STAY:

LOEWS VANDERBILT HOTEL

loews vanderbilt hotel nashville tn
LOEWS VANDERBILT HOTEL NASHVILLE
loews vanderbilt hotel

If you're looking for a more classic hotel experience, check out Loews Vanderbilt on West End. Every detail has been carefully thought through, so that when you check in your mind can check out. The time I spent there during one of my staycations was some of the most relaxing I've had in a long time. 

 

EAT:

LE SEL

nashville restaurant le sel french midtown

The atmosphere at Le Sel will make you swoon (took me back to when I fell in love with sketch in London). I love their brunch, dinner and cocktail selection. No matter what time of day you go, the vibe is always on point and you'll totes get a good Insta pic (insert sassy emoji). 

 

DO:

CENTENNIAL PARK

CENTENNIAL PARK PICNIC NASHVILLE
CENTENNIAL PARK PICNIC NASHVILLE TN
CENTENNIAL PARK NASHVILLE TN

A Nashville staple for a walk in the park (and epic views of our Parthenon). If you're lucky enough to be in town on a Saturday in the moderate seasons, be sure to check out Musicians Corner for a showcase of Nashville's finest independent singer songwriters. 

 

GERMANTOWN

 

STAY: 

AIRBNB

Also a fantastic place to stay, but limited on hotels so check out Airbnb to find a spot that's right for your group. 

 

EAT:

BUTCHERTOWN HALL

butchertown hall nashville germantown

This place is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. I like to avoid gender stereotypes, but it's been my personal experience that ladies love the beautiful esthetic of this restored church-now-restaurant, and guys love the wide variety of (delicious) meat options. They also have one of my personal favorite margaritas in town.

 

5TH & TAYLOR

5th and taylor nashville germantown

Probably my favorite restaurant in town right now. The atmosphere is sure knock your socks off, the food is delicious, and the cocktails are always on point (try the cucumber gimlet and you'll see what I mean). 

SILO

NASHVILLE RESTAURANT GERMANTOWN SILO

I have lots of wonderful things I could say about Silo, but I will save my breath and simply say this. Do not leave without getting the mac and cheese. I repeat: do NOT leave, without trying the mac and cheese. It will change your life. 

 

DO:

 

TEMPERED EUROPEAN INDULGENCE

TEMPERED NASHVILLE EUROPEAN INDULGENCE GERMANTOWN

Tempered Cafe & Chocolate, is a sweet and savory destination specializing in small batch artisan chocolates, light cafe fare, and fine wine & cheese pairings. Go on Thursday (8p-1a), Friday & Saturday (8p-3a) for Green Hour, when they serve signature cocktails and traditional absinthe drips (only when the green light in the window is lit.)

 

 

12 SOUTH

 

STAY: 

AIRBNB

Another fantastic place to stay, but limited on hotels so check out Airbnb to find a spot that's right for your group. 

 

EAT:

BURGER UP

burger up 12 south nashville tn

There are lots of great burgers in town (which I'm just now discovering because I recently quit being a vegetarian- best decision ever). Burger Up has been one of my favorites so far.  The entire menu is moderately priced, farm to table, has great portion sizes, and is sure to please no matter what you order (I love both the burger and the kale salad). 

 

BARTACO

bartaco nashville

Channeling my inner cali-girl, I love the vibe at bartaco. I went during a staycation with my friend Brenna a couple weeks ago, and echo her sentiments exactly (read her entire blog about our squad getaway here)  

I love a spot where I can get something healthy or splurge and this place offers all of those options. The chopped salad, guacamole, and cauliflower, ribeye, and duck tacos are my favorite menu items and the sanguina cocktail might literally be my favorite cocktail of all time.

 

DO:

 

WHITE'S MERCANTILE

NASHVILLE FIELD GUIDE WHITES MERCANTILE
WHITES MERCANTILE 12 SOUTH
nashville tn whites mercantile 12 south

White's is one of my favorite boutiques in town. If I buy you a birthday card or gift, there is a 99% chance I got it here, because I'm a sucker for every item available for sale. They pride's themselves in being a general store for the modern-day tastemaker, and offer a wide variety of products. My friend Mille (aka Amelia Styles) and I recently teamed up to share some of our Nashville favorites each month on Instagram, and our outfits in the photos above and below all came from their store.

 

SEVIER PARK

SEVIER PARK NASHVILLE WHITES MERANTILE 12 S
SEVIER PARK NASHVILLE 12 SOUTH
SEVIER PARK NASHVILLE 12 SOUTH

Sevier is my favorite park in Nashville (I'm slightly biased because I live just up the road). It's filled with the local community doing life together every single day. You'll find families gathered around the swingsets while the kids play, couples laying on blankets together, runners with their dogs, and groups of friends playing games or hanging out (like my friends do every Sunday after church if the weather is right). When Nashville had our snow-pocalypse, everyone in the neighborhood seemed to flock to Sevier for massive sledding and snowball fights. It's truly one of those idyllic atmospheres that seems to come straight out of a movie and tug at your heartstrings. 

 

 

The list above is hardly putting a dent in all Nashville has to offer, and I can assure this won't be the last time I post about the great city that I call home. But no matter what you do during your stay, I'm confident you'll fall in love with Nashville and will find yourself back again soon. I'll have more recommendations to share with you when you do. 

NASHVILLE TRAVEL GUIDE