If you top it all with great weather, ahhhh... you'll fall in love with Rome for sure!
Where to stay at?
Italy in general is pretty much well known for the rather poor quality of the hotels, most of them being overrated little ensambles located in old buildings, with tiny and not soundproof rooms. This is definitely true, if you ask me. Nevertheless, when in Rome, the hotel room is not the place to be or spend most of the time in, so my expectation would be: great location, clean rooms, decent price :)
Domus Ester meets these demands, I would highly recommend this little, privately owened hotel, offering great value for the money to those looking for the best location you can get in Rome, very clean rooms (daily towel change), breakfast in bed (even if scarce, typically italian, the coffee in bed was a great treat after a long night), helpful and friendly staff. Downsides of the place: small rooms (I was opening the door from my bed :) in our double, but friends stayed in triple which was fine as size to party in 5), rooms close to reception are a nightmare in terms of soundproof-ness (I was up to date with both issues and happy Roman experiences, that guests chose to share at the reception at early morning hours during my 4 days stay...it was like they were talking into my ear directly!!! So definitely avoid getting a room there, other locations are fine).
If you want to choose another place to crash, I would in any case recommend you choose a place around Campo dei Fiori and Piazza Navona.
Where to eat?
Il Margutta: Quality time in a posh, charming atmosphere with delish vegetarian food, enchanted by live piano music. The place is very popular around Roman artists, definitely not one of the tipical touristy, crappy places. Price: Saturday's - 25 Euros for an all you can eat brunch, including soft drinks & yummy coffee.
Hosteria del Moro Da Tony (Vicolo del Cinque36): a little, typical Italian restaurant - small, crowed, all but fancy decor, but very decently priced, super tasty &Tony, the owner, a very funny & friendly guy :). Our experience was flawless (despite the bad comments on Tripadvisor, we had absolsutely nothing to complain about), we had a great mix of bruschette and various pasta or rissotto dishes to follow, alongside a very good house wine, water & coffee for less than 20 Euros per person, including tips.
GROM (Via Maddalena 30): il gelato come una volta... artisan ice cream shop, amazing home made, creamy taste, despite this being a chain. The best ice cream eveeeeeeer!
Hmmm, well Romans have their on idea of clubbing and having fun, wich pretty much resumes to talking, talking and more talking in bars, on the streets, in piazzas (in and around Navona, Campo dei Fiori)...so really don't expect to much in terms of dancing venues. Clubs are small and not very spectacular... We tried out 3 (La Maison, Anima and another so called posh venue that I forgot the name of...) but none was really spectacular. Good thing was most places do not charge an entrance fee, so if you have a decent face and are allowed inside by the mighty door men, you can stroll from one to the other at no cost :). Anyhow, it's the right company that makes a place worthwhile, so if you got your friends by, great parties are guaranteed anyway, anywhere...
- Shop super cool statement necklaces with African street vendors (stock depends on your luck and on how the Police patrols that day): find them on Via Giubonnari (lower end of street that leads to Campo dei Fiori, close to church). Remember to negotiate!!! I got mine (3 that is) for 10 Euro a piece, down from 25...
- Rome is overall a shopping Mecca, so pack light on the way over, save space in your bags for some heavy purchasing. I found some of the best no name shops all across Europe in Rome, my fave area being Via Giubonnari and the small streets around Campo dei Fiori & Piazza Navona. Rome is definitely one of the best places to shop for shoes!
- Defnitely plan to stroll on Via Margutta from one end to the other. This is the street of artists, a little gem, quielty located next to the crazy shopping street Via del Corso and the luxury shopping street Via del Babuino.
- Don't hesitate to rely on cabs, when needed, they are pretty cheap and honest :)