So, being the top girlfriend and general all round great human being I am, I decided to take my boyfriend, Joe (but mainly myself) on a trip to Rome for his 20th birthday. We stopped for a long weekend, arriving Thursday afternoon and leaving first thing Monday morning.
It was a bit of a whirlwind trip, featuring a lot of forcing Joe to wake up before 12pm, pizza and lots of walking through cobbled streets, but I have well and truly fallen in love with Rome and will be planning a trip again at some point to catch all the bits we missed and revisit some of the sites we loved!
We stayed in an absolutely beautiful AirBnB apartment hosted by the wonderful Guiliano. You can find the link to the Airbnb apartment we stopped in by clicking here. The apartment was lovely and quaint in the middle of Trastevere with an amazing balcony overlooking Rome with a great view of St Peter’s basilica, especially when it’s lit up at night. I would thoroughly recommend Guiliano’s apartment here in Rome and would not hesitate to stop here again!
Try and stay somewhere as close to the centre of Rome as possible within your budget. The closer you are, the less likely you are to have to spend money on travel. We were lucky in that most places were well within walking distance so we only spent money on the occasional taxi here and there.
The food in Rome is amazing, with lots of great restaurants for a range of prices, contrary to popular belief. The amount of pizza I ate over the 4 days I was there was shocking and I probably put on at least 3 stone. Worth it. No regrets. Would totally do it again.
The large majority of your spending money will go towards food out, so if you’re on a limited budget, go to a nearby supermarket and stock up on some snacks to take with you throughout the day and just eat out in the evenings.
The colosseum is THE absolute must see tourist attraction of Rome. It is a huge building right in the centre of room so was literally impossible to miss.
The colosseum is situated just round the corner from the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill so these could definitely all be done on the same day. They do a ticket that allows entry to all 3 for €12 (€7 if you are an EU citizen between 18-25) over 2 days.
Joe and I got into a little bit of a tiff at said location, as I was desperate for the loo and he rushed into shoving €30 into the hands of the nearest tour guide. This resulted in me holding it in for the duration of the tour, rushing to the loo during photo break and us losing the tour guide for the remainder of the tour. Moral of the story, kids, take your time to make the most of your trip! Allow your significant other to go to the toilet if needs be.
Although the colosseum closes in the evening, it is definitely worth looking at it during the night time as it’s really stunning.
The Trevi Fountain is absolutely beautiful and is another location worth coming to see in both the daytime and the evening to get two different perspectives. The Trevi Fountain is near to the Spanish steps so these two landmarks are another pairing that could be done together.
When approaching the Trevi fountain, the surrounding streets are relatively quiet and then you turn a corner and suddenly it’s packed with people. Despite being a tourist hotspot, with lots of people, it was relatively easy to worm your way to the front to get nice photos. Just prepare to be patient, and to take photos for other people in return for yours! Also, gals, prepare to release your inner Lizzie McGuire and throw a coin over your shoulder and make a wish. You never know, you may become an Italian pop sensation.
There are lots of really nice gelaterias nearby to the Trevi fountain so this may be a good spot to stop for your compulsory gelato eating sesh.
The Roman Forum was insane. You are literally walking through the ancient ruins of Rome. Some of these ruins are from almost 2000 years ago. And they’re still here. The Romans were THAT good. MIND BLOWN.
You can enter the Roman Forum with a ticket that includes entry to Palatine Hill and the colosseum for either €12/€7. The Roman Forum is massive and to get the full experience of it, you should probably dedicate a couple of hours to it at least.
So, Joe and I kinda cocked up when it came to the Vatican. This is where yano, more research would have been handy and a guide like this *wink wink* would have been good to look at.
We saved the Vatican until the Sunday, not realising that the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel were closed. St Peter’s Basilica is always open, even on a Sunday but the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel are only open during the week and on the last Sunday of every month with some exceptions.
I have attached a little handy guide to the Vatican opening times, if you click here. You’re welcome x
Despite the museums and the Sistine Chapel being closed, it was still well worth a visit. It was absolutely stunning and even without the museums being open, we spent hours here so trip to the Vatican on a normal day would probably need a good few hours to properly experience it. It is probably a good idea to get your tickets in advance, as queues are long.
The Vatican also request that you wear modest clothing, so make sure you bare this in mind when you are getting dressed before you head out!
The Vatican is another place where it’s really good to see both during the day and at night.We got to see all the lights come on in the evening before we left and it was really beautiful to watch.
Parco Savelli, Aventine Hill
This little beauty is round the corner from the Aventine Hill keyhole and is definitely worth a walk through and would be the ultimate spot for a picnic if you had the time to spare.
It is a really nice little park that is really well kept and has a spot that overlooks all of Rome and the River Tiber. Great for photos and just having a really chilled afternoon.
The Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps were absolutely packed but are a definite must to tick off if you visit Rome. The Spanish Steps aren’t far from the Trevi Fountain and has lots of shops and restaurants nearby for you to explore if you’re looking to go shopping in Rome.
There were also nice little basilicas around the area to go in and explore, all very beautiful with amazing artwork inside.
The Circus Maximus was another cultural hub of Rome in the form of a chariot racing stadium. It is another really beautiful place to sit and there were lots of people sat having picnics and ice creams sat in the middle.
I’m really gutted I missed out on a few sites and will be making sure I make another trip soon.
- Vatican Museums
- Sistine Chapel
- Villa Borghese
- More of the basilicas
Have you been to Rome before? Are you going soon? Have you got any recommendations for next time I go?