Discover More, Rome by Nicolee Drake in Rome, Italy

We sent Nicolee out with a DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Rome to get her perspective on what it means to use a travel guide in her hometown.

Rome is a city full of wonder and beauty. I fell in love with the city’s chaotic energy, food, culture, architecture, and it’s passion for life. Where else can you pop into a church and see a Caravaggio, tour the Roman forum, eat the best pasta of your life and get lost wandering the labyrinth of cobblestoned streets and alleys?

Name:Nicolee Drake

Place you live:

Rome, Italy

Can you sum up the people of Rome? 

Romans are charming, gracious, friendly and funny. They have an enormous sense of self — perfect hair and clothing, but have no problem tossing a cigarette butt out of the car window or double-parking and blocking traffic.

What was the experience like looking through a DK Eyewitness Travel Guidebook for your own local city? 

It was interesting to learn about so many things I walk by every day and take for granted.

Did you find anything new or inspiring about your city in the book?

I can’t believe I had never been to Palazzo Barberini in the four years I’ve lived here. It’s absolutely stunning.

How did the guidebook influence the photos you went out to take of your city? 

It was a photo scavenger hunt. The assignment was to choose a section from the guidebook and document it. I chose Street by Street: Via Veneto and followed the guide exactly from 1-8 of each of the featured sights.

Tell us about the photos you shot for this project?

For the most part I shot images to represent the Via Veneto area. I wanted to capture the hustle & bustle on the street made famous by Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita. I also included images of classic Rome to show how the ancient past connects with modern everyday life.



Describe a perfect day in Rome?

For me a perfect day in Rome would be to start the morning with a cappuccino and gianduja filled cornetto at Ciampini, then meander through the back streets popping in and out of churches, looking at art and discovering new things. For lunch I love a slice of pizza from Antico Forno Roscioli and at sunset there’s no better place to be than by the river to take in the amazing Roman sunset.

What do you love about Rome?

The energy.

What do you dislike? 

Public transportation and foot traffic.

What would be surprising about this place to an outsider? 

The water in the fountains (fontanelle or nasone) found scattered about the city is not only fresh, cold and safe to drink but it comes from the ancient Roman aqueducts and is better than any water you can buy.

If your city was a person or character who would they be? 

Livia Drusilla

What was your impression of the DK Eyewitness Travel Guidebook?

I really like the “street by street” sections. Each feature includes a summary of the area and sights at a glance. The pages are well planned out and give the reader a lay of the land that is easy to navigate. The guide book also provides detailed information and history about each of the sights. It’s informative, visually compelling and easy to use.


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Name:Nicolee Drake



Best place to eat?

Enjoy true Roman fare with the locals at Al Moro, splurge on a night out at Pipero al Rex or try the burrata (to die for) at Roscioli.

Best place to drink?

Check out Barnum Cafe for the best mixologists in town or pop into Hotel de Russie‘s luxurious courtyard for one of their delicious cocktails with a gorgeous view.

Best place to shop?

My favorite shopping spots in Rome are Via Campo Marzio, Via del Governo Vecchio and the Rione Monti neighborhood.

Local tip?

Rub elbows with the locals and save your money by standing at the bar instead of opting for table service.

For the visitor?

Take a vespa tour of Rome with Scooter Roma Tours. It’s the very best way to see the city in a short time.