I earnestly searched for an apartment in Rome for 3 weeks – and moved into my apartment on the day that marked exactly 1 month of being here.
I had focused most of my efforts in a certain neighborhood, but nothing was working out. I used 8 different websites, called countless phone numbers, roamed the streets looking for signs, poured over Italian newspapers, visited nearly 15 apartments, e-mailed back and forth with scammers from Russia… nothing. I once hiked to an apartment in the hills to meet the girls who lived there but instead was met by the creepy landlord… and thought I’d for sure end up on a 20/20 special. I even spent a rainy night locked in a tiny room with a mafia landlord for nearly 2 hours while we each made offers the other couldn’t refuse… or so we thought.
I invested in one of the websites by buying a subscription, and I exploited it heavily. On the last day of the subscription, I came across an apartment on the other side of town. The pictures looked alright, it was close to a metro, whatever. I messaged anybody and everybody. I exchanged numbers with the girl listing it, then boom – my subscription expired. The next day, I went across town to check it out and was greeted by a sweet Italian girl who ended up making espresso for me and we chatted for awhile. The apartment was really freaking nice… and brand spankin’ new. I had never expected to find such a new, high-quality apartment in Europe.
After leaving, I set to the streets to check out the area (as I did with every apartment I visited). I didn’t know it then – but this apartment is in one of the best areas of the city (if not the best) – I cannot reiterate this enough. To say I got lucky is an understatement – I truly believe God was with me through all the crazy ups and downs and brought me to this apartment which I am wholeheartedly grateful for.
Let me give you some background on the area: When I visited my friend Erika in Rome back in 2012, she took me to her favorite gelateria right outside of the Vatican called Old Bridge. She also took me to her favorite bakery, a local underground spot called La Dolce Maniera that’s open 24/7 where you can buy delicious nutella-filled doughnuts for only 35 cents. I’ve been dreaming about both of these places for the past 3 years.
This apartment – my new apartment – is located in the middle of both. 3 minutes’ walk to Old Bridge, 5 minutes to La Dolce Maniera, and 3 minutes to the metro. This is my dream neighborhood that I didn’t even know I wanted. Not only that, I live 5 minutes’ walk from the Vatican – like I can see the walls of Vatican City from my apartment – and you can find some of the best shopping in the city 2 blocks around the corner. Feelin’ blessed, not only because of the apartment/neighborhood, but because Pope Francis is my neighbor.
One more thing – did I mention there’s an international store 1 block away? Now I can make all the hummus I want without fear of lack of tahini.
Home sweet home in the heart of Rome.