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The Ultimate Six Nations Weekend Away In Rome

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5 months ago

Italy is taking on Scotland on its home turf in Rome in what will be a very exciting beginning to Round Four of the Six Nations Championship. From the best pubs to watch the Six Nations to the top things to to enjoy in Rome between the matches, we’ve got you sorted for everything you need to know to make sure you have a memorable Six Nations Rugby weekend in Rome.

monument vittorio emanuelle in rome with italian flag flying against blue sky

Match information: Italy vs Scotland

Kick-off is at 2:15 pm GMT (3:15 pm local time) on Saturday, 9 March 2024 at Stadio Olimpico, just a fifteen-minute drive from the famous Trevi Fountain in the centre of Rome. The match will end at approximately 5 pm local time.

Six Nations Rugby being played at Stadio Olimpico in 2024
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

How to get to Rome

We recommend you book your flights well in advance. The best last-minute flight deals can be found on Skyscanner. You want to fly directly into Rome’s Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and not Ciampino Airport.

If you’re looking to travel sustainably by rail, the Italian countryside is gorgeous to travel through by train. For the best prices and the latest availability, we always recommend Trainline.

Where to stay in Rome for the Six Nations Rugby

Rome is a huge city and the Stadio Olimpico is a little far from the centre. There’s no better choice than the historic centre, which is only a short walk from countless buzzing pubs around Piazza Navona and Via del Corso. This area is generally very alive after dark – and with the Six Nations you can expect lots of street action, buzzing pubs and live music well into the night for some post-match revelry.

Our picks for the best hotels in the historic centre are the Portrait Roma (5 minutes from the Highlander Pub), MyNavona (on the same block as Abbey Theatre Irish Pub), and Harry’s Bar Trevi Hotel (right on the iconic Trevi Fountain).

yellow painted home and orange painted home in rome

And if you want something that has all the charm of a hideaway Tuscan villa while still being close to the action, Hotel Splendide Royal is the right choice.

If you’d rather stay slightly closer to transport links (to the stadium and Rome airport) but still be close to lively pubs, amazing restaurants and cultural highlights, we would recommend Termini.

Six Nations Rugby fans in Italy 2024
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

If you’re traveling with family or a group of mates, you will probably want to search for a better deal on an apartment or multi-bedroom property. Vrbo has excellent options in Rome’s city centre.

How to get to Stadio Olimpico for Italy vs Scotland on Saturday

By taxi

The quickest way to get to Stadio Olimpico with the least hassle is by taxi to a drop-off point near to the Stadium. If you have a ticket for the De Bosis or Dodi entrances, ask the driver to drop you off at Piazzale Marasciallo Diaz. If you have a ticket for the Gladiatori or Olimpiadi entrances, ask the driver to drop you off at Piazzale Maresciallo Giardino.

If you’re going to go to the Stadium directly from the airport, you will want to pre-arrange an airport transfer directly.

Stadio Olimpico during the Six Nations 2024
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

By public transport

Public transit in Rome will likely take you two to three times as long to get to the Stadium as compared to taking a taxi, so make sure you leave a lot more time if you plan to go to the Stadium by public transport. You’ll need to alight at Ottaviano and then take Bus No. 32 to Piazzale della Farnesina. Metro line A in the direction of Battistini will get you to Ottaviano.

Six Nations being played in Italy
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

Best pubs to watch Ireland vs Wales on Saturday and France vs Italy on Sunday

England will take on Ireland at 4:45 pm GMT (5:45 pm local time) on Saturday, 9 March at Twickenham Stadium in London, just after the Italy vs Scotland match in Rome. And then on Sunday, 10 March, Wales will face France at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff at 3 pm GMT.

Six Nations fans at a pub in Rome
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

Below, we’ve rounded up the best pubs for pre-match drinks and which will be playing the England vs Ireland match after you head back from Stadio Olimpico, as well as the best pubs to watch the Wales vs France match on Sunday if you’re sticking around in Rome.

Map of all Six Nations pubs

We’ve put together all of the pubs putting on a show for the Six Nations in each of the host cities this season in one convenient map:

Abbey Theatre Irish Pub

You can always count on an Irish pub in any city around the world, and the Abbey Theatre proves why. The Abbey Theatre just by Piazza Navona is Rome’s go-to pub for beer and sporting events. They will be screening all of the Six Nations actions across their 14 screens throughout the pub.

Crowd in Italy watching the Six Nations Rugby in 2024
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

They don’t take reservations for the Six Nations, so you might want to get there a little bit earlier to guarantee yourself a spot. Make sure to try their beef and Guinness pie for an excellent take on a classic Irish dish.

The Highlander Pub

The Highlander is a Scottish-themed pub which can be reached easily from Via del Corso. It’s known for its welcome atmosphere so you’ll find plenty of expatriates and sports enthusiasts alike here.

The Highlander has ten TVs scattered throughout the venue so you’ll get a great view of the Six Nations no matter where you’re sitting. And there’s no need to book in advance: just walk-in.

Being a Scottish pub, you might want to try their haggis burger which has a particular Italian flavour (Scottish-Italian is definitely unchartered gastronomic territory).

The staff really come together for the Six Nations to create a convivial atmosphere for cheering on Scotland (or Italy!) and is located right near the famous Spanish Steps.

Six Nations Rugby teams in Italy 2024
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

Baccanale

Baccanale has managed to blend Italian culture with international sports entertainment seamlessly, making it a fan favourite for locals and visitors to Rome alike.

Baccanale boasts 11 TVs which will all be screening the Six Nations. It’s the perfect place if you’re looking to be within the Six Nations atmosphere while also feasting on gourmet pizza and pasta in a relaxed setting.

England Rugby House in Rome
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

And get their tiramisu.

La Botticella of Poggi Giovanni

La Botticella is a family-owned business that has been serving sports fans for decades. They boast one big projector screen and a smaller television. They don’t do food (so you’ll want to see the best places for food below), but craft beer is their bread and butter as well as a large selection of liquors.

La Botticella doesn’t take bookings so make sure you get there early. It’s also very popular with Welsh fans so expect a very lively atmosphere for the Wales vs France game on Sunday.

The Fiddler’s Elbow

The Fiddler’s Elbow bills itself as the first Irish pub in Rome, so expect draft beers, Guinness and Kilkenny on tap. The pub also has four seasons, all of which will screen all of the Six Nations matches.

If you’re looking for food, they only service snacks like ham and cheese toasties. It can get quite crowded on matchdays and they don’t take bookings so get there early.

The Hole Trastevere

The Hole has a huge ten screens with at least two per room, so this is definitely one of the bigger pubs in Rome for the Six Nations.

They serve a usual selection of pub food including an excellent hamburger, but what you’re really there for is the IPAs, Guinness and the amazing cocktail bar.

They only take bookings for dinner so you’ll need to book if you’re planning to go watch the England vs Ireland game on Saturday night.

Italian fan of the Six Nations with a flag of Italy painted on his face
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

Best food in Rome

Italian cuisine needs no introduction. You absolutely should take advantage of the time in between matches to have some of the tastiest food in the world. We’ve got you sorted.

moderno aostan style pizza

Rome is home to some of the best restaurants and food generally in Italy. From pizza to carbonara pasta (and a little bit of ravioli), don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample the best Italian food while you’re in Rome for the Six Nations.

Around the Stadium

If you want to head to the area around Stadio Olimpico before you enter for the game, there are a number of smaller bars along the road outside the Stadium which can be great spots to stop off at before and after the match. Sementi La Pizza is a short walk to the Stadium and has an excellent variety of pizzas.

Breakfast and lunch

Bar La Licata (Saturday)

Right in the centre of town in Monti and open between 6 am and 9 pm on Saturday is Bar La Licata which offers both classic Italian breakfast offerings (paninis, croissants, coffee) and more typical British or European breakfasts (eggs, ham and cheese sandwich) – and so much more.

italian breakfast with cakes and coffee and glass of water
Italians know how to do breakfast!

As a typical Italian coffee bar, the atmosphere here is always lively. It’s also within walking distance to major sites in Rome so this is the perfect place to grab a quick bite in the morning or before the matches begin in the afternoon.

Alice Pizza (Sunday)

Can you really say you have been to Rome without having pizza for breakfast? Alice Pizza offers some of the best pizza al taglio (Rome-style pizza by the slice) in Rome. Located just a short walk from the Pantheon, Alice Pizza is open on Sundays between 10 am and 10 pm.

pizza margherita
Have you really been to Italy if you didn’t have pizza for breakfast?

Depending how your Saturday goes, you may want to pair your pizza with an Ichnusa beer! This is the right stop for breakfast or lunch before you watch the Wales v France match on Sunday afternoon.

Antico Forno Roscioli

Antico Forno Roscioli is open all day for breakfast, lunch and snacks but it’s best for grabbing a quick bite while exploring Rome’s historic centre. They have mastered the ultimate pesto pizza, and offer some of the best desserts in Rome (you’ll want to try anything with almond or pistachio).

cakes with fruit and cream in italy

The line moves fast and there are normally benches outside if you want to take a quick seat.

Dinner

Il Gabriello

Il Gabriello is the perfect spot for those seeking an authentic Rome dinner experience. Set near the Piazza del Popolo, Il Gabriello offers the quintessential Rome menu, with a first-class carbonara and reasonably priced wines.

red walled buildings with lantern in rome

After an Italian meal full of carbs, the lemon sorbet with limoncello is the perfect refresher.

Tonnarello

Those looking for a more casual option should check out Tonnarello, across the river in the gorgeous neighborhood of Trastevre. Tonnarello prides itself on fresh, simple Roman flavours and is an ideal stop for some of the best carbonara in Rome.

If the March weather is on your side, there is a beautiful patio for seating and often some live music. Trastevre is effortlessly photogenic, and with much of the area being car-free, Tonnarello could be one of Rome’s most magical dining experiences.

Moma

If you’re looking for a little bit of glamorous Rome to spice up your weekend, look no further than Michelin-starred Moma in Barberini. Priding themselves on strictly using local and seasonal produce, Moma has somehow managed to create that perfect cosy yet refined atmosphere which every upscale restaurant want.

rome piazza navona with buildings and blue sky

For dinner, Moma have two tasting menu options: four courses or six courses (with an extra starter and pasta). Whether you are celebrating a big win or drowning your sorrows in pasta, Moma is a dinner to remember.

Seu Pizza Illuminati

Not your ordinary pizzeria, Seu Pizza Illuminati has a hip suave design that speaks to the best of contemporary Italian cuisine. Just a short walk 10 minute south of the leafy streets of Trastevre, the food at Seu Pizza Illuminati is absolutely superb in its own right.

We generally wouldn’t recommend a Neapolitan pizza, but Seu Pizza Illuminati has perfected the recipe – extremely impressive in a city with thousands of pizzerias! Make sure to save room for dessert, with the legendary tiramisu combining creamy cake amid a strong espresso flavor.

The best things to do in Rome in between matches

Rome is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and is also quite compact which makes it very easy to get around. While you’re visiting for the Six Nations Rugby, you’ll have time in between matches to explore some of Rome’s star attractions. And if your friends aren’t interested, don’t worry, Rome is an excellent city for visiting solo.

For a more detailed itinerary, we’ve curated a self-guided 3-day tour of Rome so you can experience the best of Rome.

archaeological ruins and tree in rome

1. Visit the Colosseum and Roman Forum

No sports trip to Rome is complete without visiting the Colosseum. You’ll take a journey back in time to the heart of ancient Roman Civilization. Rome has always been a venue for big sports matches – the Colosseum held up to 80,000 spectators for its gladiator battles!

roman ancient colosseum

Around the corner lies the Roman Forum, a huge archaeological site which was the main heart of ancient Rome. With one entrance ticket you can visit both sites.

rome forum with ancient monuments

You will need at least two to three hours to explore the Colosseum and Roman Forum, so it’s perfect for before the matches begin on Sunday. With limited time in Rome, you don’t want to be waiting line – I always recommend pre-purchasing skip the line tickets. Better yet, make sure you see the big landmarks without wasting too much time by signing up for a two and a half hour guided tour.

2. Look out for the Pope at the Vatican City

You can actually visit an entirely new country when spending the weekend in Rome! The Vatican City, the smallest independent state in the world is the home of the Catholic Church.

st peters early morning quiet empty
Early morning at St. Peters is often very quiet

St. Peter’s Basilica is the standout masterpiece and is open from 7 am daily. This mean you can marvel at the grandeur of St. Peter’s before you get to the matches (or start drinking). The Vatican Museums are home to some of the best art collections in the world, including the magnificent Sistine Chapel. The lines at the Vatican Museum are notoriously long, so if you are hoping to see Michelangelo’s masterpieces – save precious time and skip the line.

vatican museum hallway painted roof gold
The grand hallways of the Vatican Museum

3. Be awestruck by the Pantheon

As you step into Rome’s ancient Pantheon you will be immediately awestruck. This marvel of ancient Rome dates back to AD 126 and has somehow managed to stay standing in the heart of Rome! Try to visit in the early morning (before your matches) to witness the sunlight slowly enter the opening of the dome, casting a magical light into the heart of this ancient wander.

rome pantheon at night bottom up for six nations rugby

The Pantheon’s dome may be one of the most impressive sites in Rome. But to truly appreciate the minute details of this ancient site, we always recommend taking a short guided tour. It’s not everyday you walk into a 2000+ year old building!

4. Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is perhaps one of the most iconic places to visit in Rome. Located in the heart of Rome, the Trevi Fountain is full of mythological symbols and 18th century romance. As you walk towards the fountain, the sound of water will fill the air. It is almost a tourist rite of passage to take a photo throwing a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain. The Trevi Fountain is nearby the Pantheon and piazzas and makes for an ideal short circuit walking tour of Rome.

Travel tip: The Trevi Fountain is equally beautiful after dark. Shrouded in lights, the Trevi Fountain truly captures the eternal spirit of Rome.

trevi fountain at night with lights

5. Wander through the Piazzas

Our favorite thing to do in Rome is to simply wander through its famous piazzas. With little fresh vegetable markets and lots of cafes, both Piazza Navona and Piazza Campo di’Fiore showcase the energy of daily life in Rome.

piazza with obelisk egyptian in middle

Don’t be thrown off by the Egyptian obelisk in Piazza Navona – it has no connection to Egyptian history and dates back to the Roman emperor Domitian.

piazza camp di fiore with fruit and vegetable market

7. Sit on the Spanish Steps

This iconic staircase certainly lives up to its reputation. Descending from the Piazza di Spagna, the Spanish Steps have become (yet another) timeless symbol of Rome.

spanish steps in distance with church through buildings

The Spanish Steps is a hub of activity, with the surrounding area full of cafes and some of Rome’s best cooking classes. In our opinion, the best thing to do at the Spanish Steps is take a seat. As you people watch and soak in the beauty of Rome, you will soon find yourself planning your return to Italy!

tomatos for sale with italian sign
The Spanish Steps area is home to famous cooking classes – where you will learn to cook with the best Italian tomatoes!

8. Get lost in the cobblestone alleyways of Trastevre

On the other side of the Tiber River lies Trastevre – Rome’s prettiest neighborhood.

church in trastevere at night

We love Trastevre because there really aren’t any major sites here. Rather, this predominately car-free area is full of winding cobblestone alleyways, little piazzas and some of Rome’s best trattorias – a true step back in time.

Rome by night

If you’re looking for Rome’s nightlife on Friday night or Saturday night after the match, you should take yourself to the bars and clubs around Monti where the atmosphere is sure to be lively. The pubs that we mentioned earlier are also all open until late so you can always return to any of the pubs in Monti or near Termini for a great night out.

colosseum at night with moon

Rome for young families

If you’re taking kids to Rome, you will want to make sure they are kept entertained. Consider taking a kids pasta cooking class, where your little ones are encouraged to get their hands dirty and tackle Italy’s most famous dishes.

rome piazza with art galleries

If you want to make sure that your kids don’t mean you miss out on Rome’s major landmarks, we recommend taking a kids-friendly tour of the Vatican. On this tour you will not only skip the line, but actually take part in a kids-friendly scavenger hunt!

Beyond Rome

With some more time up your sleeve, Rome is the ideal base for exploring southern Italy.

If you have another day to spare in Rome, you can easily visit Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast or take a relaxing taste-testing tour of the wineries of Tuscany.

duomo of florence, italy
The magnificent Duomo of Florence – only 1.5 hours from Rome by train!

But to really get into the rhythm of Tuscany or explore the hidden gems of Northern Italy, you will need to plan for a few extra days in Florence or Milan.

Six Nations banners
(Credit: Theo McInnes. Used with permission.)

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