So I'm doing an Easter trip to Italy with my girlfriend, and we're visiting Venice, Florence, and Rome, in that order (I know, how typical). The entire trip is 8 days, and we will be in Rome from April 13 to 17 (which leaves 14, 15, and 16 for actual enjoyment).
After Venice and Florence, both of which are rather rushed, I'm thinking we will be fairly tired of the general tourist agendas of rushing about and sightseeing, so I'm hoping that the three full days in Rome could be spent on unwinding and taking in Italy casually. This will be our first time in the city, so we still want to see the most majestic things like St. Peter's, but on the whole we'd rather have fun than a crammed itinerary.
Having said all that, could any of the Rome experts here please be so kind as to offer some suggestions on what a student couple in their early 20s is to do as far as romantic fun goes? We bought Rick Steve's guidebook for Rome, but I'm sure that offers only rudimentary information. Anything from great gelato places and cafes to visit, relaxed self-made walking tours to take, good (but preferably budget) restaurants out of the touristy path, to strategic locations where we can sit back and take in the atmosphere is welcome. Is Rome famous for a particular dish or type of food, that we should accordingly taste in as many places as possible in a sort of "who does it best?" contest? Are there any markets particularly good for random trinkets and bric-a-brac that would make for an inexpensive and unique souvenir? In short, if you were in my shoes and wanted to enjoy a singular first experience of Rome with a significant other on a student budget (I imagine having fiscal restrictions can often foster creativity), but knowing what you already know about the city, what would you do?
If it comes off that I don't really have a plan, it's because I don't, having spent all my attention so far on Florence...
Also, we will be staying in Alice in Wonderland at
Via Appia Nuova 138, if that should prove relevant to any suggestions.
Thanks in advance!