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We drink, bathe, swim, cruise on top of it, and use it for travel, agriculture, industry, energy production and recreation.

Yet, even more than this, we humans 'feel' water. The impact and benefits it can have on our mental and physical wellbeing are almost without measure. It's not new, but there is now greater awareness that 'blue space' therapy encourages a positive mindset and can reduce stress and anxiety. In parallel, it is no surprise that people seek out water to enhance their enjoyment of the great outdoors.

As travellers in 2023 and beyond, this desire to get away from everyday life and find interesting ways to relax and restore our vitality means we are prioritising time among blue spaces and actively seeking them out. Alongside this, we want to feel connected to the destinations we visit through the landscape, gastronomy, people and culture. At tabl. we aim to guide you in food and drink experiences in Rome that offer a blend of activities, adventures and opportunities to fulfil these ambitions.

The Blue Spaces of Rome

People that knew a thing or two about water and how to harness it were the Romans. Water played an essential role in the daily life of ancient Rome, from providing basic necessities such as drinking water, to more luxurious uses such as public baths, fountains and private gardens. The Romans built an impressive water management system, including an extensive network of aqueducts, some underground. The famous public baths served as social centres for the community, where people would gather to wash, relax, exercise, and chat. Naked catch-up, anyone?!

But what about modern Rome?

How does a visitor to the city enjoy 'l'acqua dà la vita' today?

Rome is a fantastic city with world-famous historical sites, energetic culture and a food scene that has charmed visitors for centuries.

The best time to visit is from October to April as it is cooler and there are fewer tourists. May or September are perfect for warmer weather as the temperatures are pleasant and it's still not too busy. The remaining summer months are crammed with tourists and are incredibly hot.

No doubt you already have a list of things you would like to do in Rome, but let's slow things down and look at how best to explore at a more leisurely, nurturing pace that intertwines the relaxing waterways, history, people and, of course, the glorious food! In the words of the inimitable Sophia Loren, "Everything you see I owe to pasta."

The Rivers of Rome

The capital city of Italy sits on the banks of the river Tiber, and its foundations are atop seven hills. While the Tiber river passes through the city centre and is the biggest, it is not the only river in Rome. There's the Aniene river and the much smaller Almone river that begins in the Alban Hills and flows to the southern districts, plus various other small streams and tributaries, some of which run out of sight underground. You're actually never that far from water in this urban centre.

Walking along the banks of the Tiber River is a great way to take in the sights and sounds of the city. Several walking paths and bike lanes provide great views of the city's landmarks, such as the Castel Sant'Angelo, Ponte Sisto, and Ponte Rotto.

Tiber Island is a delightful spot that sits in the middle of the river and hosts plenty of restaurants and food outlets. It is transformed with various pop-up bars and laid-back eateries during the summer to celebrate the Romana festival, including an outdoor cinema. The island is a great place to drink, eat, relax, or simply sit in warmer months, watching the river flow by.

The riverbanks are home to many fabulous dining spots where you can eat on one of the terraces. It's a perfect, restful way to spend a few hours near the water, people-watching. At night, arrive early to find a place to watch the colours change as the light slowly fades into a fairy-tale Roman evening. Look out for the ancient moored harbour barge restaurant that boasts high-end Italian cuisine and has several floors. The exquisite food and wine are a treat to enjoy on the gently undulating river.

Rome by Boat

An easy way to explore the city by water is to jump on a hop-on-hop-off boat that journeys along the Tiber on a 24-hour circuit with onboard commentary. The boats stop near famous sites such as Vatican City, Notre Dame and the Pantheon.

To feel the nighttime atmosphere of the 'Eternal City', there are cruises that feature a mouth-watering Italian dinner menu for you to enjoy against the backdrop of an illuminated cityscape. These are luxurious voyages with a beautiful ambience and often feature live music.

If you are in Rome to celebrate a special occasion or anniversary, there are boating experiences that will offer the most unforgettable memories. Specialist cruises create an evocative romantic mood by including beautiful fresh flowers and other thoughtful details to make your evening unique.

For something a little more lively, you can enjoy a musical and sightseeing dinner experience on the Tiber or a relaxing sunset cruise with drinks. The boats take you on a leisurely cruise, as you drift past magnificent views. The large windows give you a different perspective of Rome's most famous landmarks, such as the Ponte Umberto I, the Palace of Justice, Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II, Ponte Giuseppe Mazzini and Tiber Island.

Fountains of Rome

Is it even Rome if you don't mention fountains?!

The Romans built many public fountains throughout the city, which were drinking water sources and decorative elements in public spaces. It officially has more fountains than any other city on the planet.

The Trevi Fountain dating back to 1762, is the real masterpiece of all waterfalls in Rome. It is a Baroque masterpiece that depicts Neptune, God of the Sea, surrounded by Tritons and sea horses. Tradition says throwing a coin into the fountain guarantees a return to Rome.

Try and visit at more unusual times of day (or night) for a quieter, more peaceful experience, but do resist any urge to jump in!

Other fountains of note include Fountain of the Four Rivers: Located in the Piazza Navona, it depicts four rivers representing the four continents known in the 17th century: the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube, and the Rio de la Plata. Triton Fountain: Located in the Piazza Barberini, depicts Triton, the Greek God of the Sea, blowing a conch shell and surrounded by sea monsters. Fountain of the Moor: Also located in the Piazza Navona, shows a Moor, or African, struggling with four sea horses and symbolises the four different moods of the sea: calm, tempest, serenity and rage. Fountain of the Tiber: Located in the Piazza Bocca Della Verità, features the god of the river, surrounded by allegorical figures representing the different regions of Italy. Finally, Fontana Delle Naiadi: located in Piazza Della Repubblica, was built in 1888, and it depicts four naiads (female spirits connected to water) representing the four main rivers of Italy, the Tiber, the Arno, the Sarno and the Volturno.

Phew. We weren't kidding when we said they love a fountain in Rome. Frank Sinatra even sings about it.

Bathhouses in Rome

Rome is home to various luxurious bathhouses with saunas, showers, jacuzzis and steam rooms for those who want to really unwind. However, if you prefer natural hot springs, you can find them just outside the city. In the city itself, the supreme bathhouse is the QC Terme, located in the Fiumicino district and in an ancient building and tropical gardens that provide steam baths, whirlpools, and regenerating waterfalls.

Rome has everything, from UNESCO World Heritage site to myths, magic and legends. The architecture, art, culture and food are just a few reasons it is one of the most popular cities in Europe. The river Tiber provides a living and moving history along which you can enjoy all these attractions. Chilling, strolling, cycling or sailing along the walkways of the banks will offer an incredible feeling of tranquillity, a perfect balance alongside the metropolitan landscape and remember, you're never far from a fountain!

Experience the Blue Spaces of Rome

Whether it's finding somewhere to eat on the banks of the River Tiber or taking in the views of the sea high up in the nearby vineyards, discover the blue spaces of Rome with tabl.com. As well as tours and activities, our food and drink experiences in Rome provide the perfect way to embrace the local culture of Italy.

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