I always want to make a convincing argument every time I create a guide, but I’m just going to throw it out there. Visit Rome because you absolutely must.
As with every first-time trip, you’re bound to make a lot of mistakes. I am guilty of only taking advantage of a fraction. There is no way you can see it all, so make a list of the top things you want to see.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can explore the must-sees in a day. I have a few suggestions of spots to hit when you visit the Eternal City:
Where to Stay?
Near Termini train station, I found it to be an excellent area, especially if you are considering taking day trips to nearby cities.
Hotel Demetra Capitolina, is near Termini station and a 15 minute walk to the Colosseum. The hotel is comfortable and offers free breakfast. The only thing to be careful about it the wi-fi, as you would have to buy minutes, and log in and log out or else the minutes will run out.
Let me note that I only took the bus from my hotel to the Vatican, other than that I explored the entire city walking.
Roam Rome’s Eats
When in Rome, be spontaneous, eat where the crowds are, go into that place that catches your attention, or let the wait staff lure you in.
You must eat gelato, especially if you visit in the summer, under the hot Italian sun. I like to stick to natural flavors, such as mango, pistachio, and any kind of fruit.
This is the perfect combination for an appetizer, the sweetness of the fruit combined with the salty flavor of the prosciutto and and a glass of wine are the perfect starter.
I became completely obsessed with this salmon pasta. The salmon was juicy and savory, the sauce sweet and the pasta al dente. Don’t forget to accompany it with a basket of bread, and soak it in olive oil.
If you want to get the most of your money, some restaurants offer dinner specials which include, a pasta dish, main course, and a glass of wine.
Make sure to not leave Rome without getting amazing dessert and accompanying it with espresso.
Tickes to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum can be purchased together. The line to buy tickets at the Colosseum is quite long. I recommend buying them at the Roman Forum, exploring those ruins and then walking to the Colosseum through the ruins.
Remember Gladiator? Out of all the places, the Colosseum is my favorite structure. Dating back to 70 AD, you will feel like a Gladiator standing in this ancient place. Take advantage of the audio guides to learn more.
The Roman Forum is quite astonishing, if you’re fascinated by history and like to look at ruins. Visit center of important Government buildings from ancient Rome.
The Pantheon was built around 128 AD and since the 7th Century has been used as a church.
No doubt you can stay staring at the Pantheon for many hours, so take advantage and sit at one of the restaurants surrounding it, step into one of the bakeries or indulge in some gelato.
Trevi Fountain has to be the most beautiful fountain in the world. The largest Baroque fountain in the city. Sadly, during my visit the fountain was going through a remodel so I wasn’t able to take original pictures. There was still a place to toss coins, but I decided to take my chances and only throw my 3 coins when the fountain was in all its splendor.
Throw 3 coins into the Trevi Fountain. Legend has it if you throw three coins from your right hand over your left shoulder, you will guarantee your return to Rome.
The monumental 135 steps are located between Piazza di Spagna and at the base of Trinità dei Monti church. This is a great place to sit down and enjoy a view of the Piazza. The steps are also surrounded by upscale shopping.
St. Peters’ Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica has to be the most beautiful church in the world. The columns surrounding the square, the statues of angels guarding from the top, the marble work on the inside, the paintings, and every thing about the church is breathtaking.
The entrance to the Basilica is free, but be prepared to wait in line. I suggest arriving early to avoid some of the heavy crowds, you will have a better view and less people in your pictures.
Take your time looking at the statues, paintings, and the altar from the inside of the Basilica. You can’t miss seeing the Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Make sure to make time to go all the way to the top, but be prepared to climb lots of narrow stairs. It costs more money to take the elevator more than half-way there, but the way up is so steep, I believe is worth it.
The Vatican Grounds
Take your time exploring the Vatican City. I took these pictures from the top of the Basilica. The grounds are beautiful, the view of the square, the Papal emblem, hills and a great view of Rome.
Note that if you go on a Sunday the Vatican Museum will be closed due to the Catholic festivities. The good news, you can wait for the Pope to step to his apartment window and speak to the public.
The Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone was commissioned by Pope Innocent X and built in the site where according to legend St. Agnese was stripped naked and miraculously saved from shame by an extraordinary growth of hair.
Piazza Navona is located west of the Pantheon and it’s part of the historic center in Rome. It is one of the liveliest squares, offering cafes, restaurants and a fun atmosphere.
Museums to Visit
The museums are composed of several sections:
– the Gregorian Etruscan Museum
– the Pinacoteca
– the Missionary-Ethnological Museum
– the Raphael Stanze
– the Sistine Chapel.
National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art
In the top 30 must-visit museums in Rome according to Trip Advisor.
Love Vespas? Without a doubt vespas are a Roman trademark. If you want to learn more about these scooters, stop by the Vespa museum.
Walks of Italy
If you want to take a guided tour of Rome look into Walks of Italy
The City of Rome has some of the richest history, it’s charming and you feel like you stepped back in time. To enjoys Rome to the fullest, I recommend staying at least 3 days.