Rome is a phenomenal city with charm, rich history and incredible food. It’s a city that I’ve visited a number of times, but surprisingly the boyfriend had not even though he’s a bit of a history nerd (she says lovingly). So we packed our bags and hopped on a plane to Rome, the eternal city.
Our Rome Itinerary
Day 1: Join a free walking tour in the morning to get acquainted with the city and its history. Grab some lunch and then head to The Vatican City to explore the smallest state in the world.
Day 2: Visit the Pantheon and stroll around the streets of Rome soaking up the atmosphere as we stumble across hidden gems.
Day 3: Visit the Roman Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum in the morning. In the afternoon explore the Trastevere area of Rome.
Where we stayed
Unfortunately our Airbnb cancelled on us the night before we arrived so we had to book a hotel very last minute. We chose to stay at Cesare ai Cavalieri Suites just by the Vatican City. We managed to get a good deal and paid $397 for 4 nights which included the city tax cost.
How we got around
From the airport we used the Leonardo Express to Termini station which took about 30 mins and cost €16 per person. During our stay we either walked or used the metro, which is very easy to navigate. We bought a 72 hour metro ticket for about €18 which we ended up using more than we anticipated as we had very bad weather for 2 out of 3 days and didn’t fancy getting soaked through.
As usual we started our trip with a free walking tour. How we love a free walking tour! We opted for the company called “Rome free walking tours” as you could just turn up and didn’t have to print your booking confirmation like you have to with the New Rome Free Tour company. How many people own a printer nowadays? We selected their tour that ended at the Vatican. The meeting place was by the Spanish Steps at 10am and the tour lasted around 2 hours. Our guide was informative but the group was too big and in hindsight Rome is so rich in history that I wish we’d paid for a tour so that we could have gone into a bit more depth, as the info she gave was very high level.
As we finished the tour by the Vatican we grabbed some lunch at Fa-bio and then headed to the museum entrance of the Vatican to enter at our pre-booked time slot of 2pm. To avoid standing in a long queue I booked the tickets online in advance. You can do that here and I would highly advise that you do. It makes it so easy to stroll in stress free. Just remember to exchange your booking for actual tickets once you go past security. We must have unintentionally spent about 3 hours here. There was so much to see from ancient Egypt artefacts to sculptures and fresco paintings over two thousand years old. It’s quite spectacular.
Unfortunately we woke up on our second day to torrential rain, thunder and lightning. There was no possibility of going outdoors so we waited it out.
Top tip: if you experience the same weather on your trip then don’t bother going to the Colosseum as it will be closed.
In the afternoon when the rain had turned to drizzle we headed for lunch at Ops which is a vegan buffet restaurant. It’s a little out of the way but the food is amazing. We then headed into the center of Rome to visit the Pantheon. It’s quite a site to see when it rains as it has a circular hole in the centre of the roof that the rain falls through meaning it rains inside.
Next we visited the Trevi Fountain and wandered the streets of Rome entering magnificent churches every few hundred meters (as there are a lot of them). They made for good shelter from the rain and you got to see amazing art for free. I’m not massively into my art history but I understand that you can see some famous artist pieces in some churches.
With drizzle being the weather of the day we headed to the Colosseum to see if it had reopened and luckily it had! However Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum were still closed. Nevertheless we collected or prepaid for tickets which I had bought online here and then toddled inside. It’s kind of crazy to think of all the “games” that used to occur in this space. Even though it’s a shell of what it once was as much of the marble has been removed, it’s still quite something to behold. You can understand how football stadiums and concert halls were developed off the back of the Roman Colosseum.
For lunch we headed to Flowerburger which had a range of vegan burgers in black and yellow buns. Quite a novelty but tasty.
We spent the rest of the afternoon strolling around Rome. It’s truly beautiful and at every turn you encounter another incredible monument or ruin that’s over two thousand years old. The old and the new sit harmoniously side by side. I haven’t visited any other city where I’ve seen it to this extent.
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the center of Rome then head to the Trastevere area just below the Vatican City. It’s a bit more alternative than the centere of Rome with little cocktail bars lining the streets and restaurants galore. Many bars even did aperitivo where you buy a drink and can then enjoy a buffet at the bar. I’ve only ever seen this in Milan.
We walked towards Saint Peter’s Basilica after dinner for sunset.
Top tip: if it has been raining on your trip visit some of the main monuments and see if you can see any reflections in the puddles. You may be able to get some nice shots that make you feel truly artistic!
Rome is a truly spectacular city that you could visit again and again and uncover something new each time. I adore this city and will be back again in the not so distant future.