Rome is Italy's capital city with a rich history and influence on art, architecture and obviously fashion scene. The heart of Rome consist of Roman Forum and Colosseum which evokes the power of Roman Empire. Rome was great and definitely worth to stay longer to explore more. We flew from London and get into Rome Ciampino airport. I advise you to book in advance online bus tickets to get to central Rome, because the queue was long and impossible to get to the bus, we would have to wait for couple of hours at least. Therefore we took a taxi which drove us to the nearby city train station where we took a train to central station in Rome in 15 minutes.
You may get a Roma city pass for a day or more, which you will have discounts on entrance fees and access to public transport.
Here is a quick list of major tourist attractions not to be missed in Rome, the ultimate bucket list for Rome. Click to read it in full -->
What to do?
1. Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palatine Hill
The unique image that everybody recalls when you say Rome. The heart of the ancient Rome.
We have not booked or purchased tickets in advance, thus we had to buy when we have arrived. Either way, there was a queue. Wasn't that long anyway, as I thought it would be. We waited for about half an hour or less to get in. The whole area will take about 2-3 hours to wonder around and explore. When you purchase the ticket, you will get the access to Roman Forum and Palatine Hill as well, which you may use either on the same day or the next one. Make sure you will get up to the Palatine Hill for the magnificent view on the whole ancient city.
2. Vatican city
Headquarter of Roman Catholic Church. You will find here the famous picture perfect scenery over Rome from St Peter's Basilica. In Sistine Chapel you can enjoy the magnificent Michelangelo's masterpiece over your head. The queue was very long. When you get off the metro station and walk towards the Vatican city, you will see many people representing different tourist agencies who will offer you various packages and benefits to skip the queue or to see more. Initially, we get into the group as well, we paid more then the entrance itself, but skipped the long queue, saved couple of hours and had a tour guide as well which was very good to get to know more about the history and the place. After your visit, make sure to maybe send a postcard or letter, because you are in different country now! Take a walk around this smallest country in Europe (0,44 km2), followed by Monaco (1,95 km2). Just a bit outside of Vatican city you may come across to Castel Sant' Angelo.
3. Trevi fountain
The beautiful Trevi Fountain from 18th century is the largest baroque fountain in the city and the most famoust fountain in the world. The fountain is one of the signature of the Rome too. We were there during early evenings, and was super busy. Was even hard to take a nice picture or just to sit and admire it. It was crowded literally. This fountain has appeared in many notable movies and recently it was used for Fendi haute couture fashion show in June, remember? Amazing!
4. Piazza hopping
Italy has many lovely piazzas and pretty corners. If there would be plenty of time, I could be sitting on every piazza's cafe and sipping a coffee or eating an ice-cream while enjoying people watching and admiring the architecture around. Rome has 6 big piazzas worth to visit - St. Peter's square, Piazza Venezia, Piazza del Campidoglion, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo and Piazza di Spagna,
5. Spanish steps
These steps of 136 steps is found on Piazza di Spagna and leads to the Trinita dei Monti church up there. This square is very lovely and worth to get a view from up there. Unfortunately, the steps were under reconstruction during the time when we were there, therefore we get up there by walking through a park from Piazza del Popolo to the church and down to Piazza di Spagna.
6. Exploring beyond Sisto bridge
The best way to soak up some local feeling of the city is maybe cross the Sisto bridge to Trastevere area. Ponte Sisto is a bridge over the river Tiber and connects Via dei Pettinari to Piazza Trilussa. Alongside the bridge you will find many bars, cafes and stalls of souvenirs. Going further to Trastevere area, you may find boutiques and many great restaurants. Totally fell in love with this vibe of this area in the city. Those little cute Italian corners and good food. That's where you should go.
8. Parco del Gianicolo
Climb up the hill on the Trastevere area for a magical panorama over the city. Now it's the question, whether to see by day or night?
9. Live the moment
Rome is a magical city with full of rich history and hidden alleys. Look around, look up, look down, look anywhere where your sight will reach. Absorb the Mediterranean feel and get inspired. Don't be afraid to get a bit lost, to experiment with the map and to talk with locals. You will get the most of the experience by researching prior or casually on the day about the local life and what the city can offer you more than its well known touristic places.
Where to eat?
1. Trastevere - as I have already mentioned, the best area to go for some local food, there's plenty of cafes and restaurants, one after each other.
2. Hostaria Pantheon - a great place to sit outdoor and admire the vibrant life on the square and view on the ancient Pantheon
3. Ciampini Gelato - you can't not have a tasty gelato ice-cream in Italy!
4. La Maisonnette Ristrot - a bit off Central, but this way you will explore more of the area. The lovely hybrid house turned to a restaurant with a cute outdoor garden is highly recommended.
5. Caffe Canova - is a place where you get merge together all Italian experiences. While sipping a coffee or having an Italian dish, you may admire sculptures around the room.
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