Rome is not only the capital of Italy, but home to some of the oldest monumental historical occurrences. From the beginning of time, Roman mythology and ancient Rome have been apart of our culture. The historical significance of this city have impacted cultures worldwide. Now a modernized city, you may find the historical ruins of Ancient Rome amongst the Vatican City, an independent country within Rome. Many stories of the origin of Rome are built from myths. Lose yourself in the ancient architecture and Roman legends as you explore this old city.
When To Visit
We visited Rome in August and even being from Florida, we were dying. It was definitely the hottest region in Italy we visited. It was humid and many attractions, such as the Vatican museums and Colosseum, were either outside or did not have AC. We would recommend traveling to Rome in the Spring time (April to May) or Fall (September-November). The city is not far from the coast, but far enough where the sea breeze doesn’t drop the temp enough. If you must visit in the summer, try to book tours for the early morning or late afternoon.
What To Do
We stuck with mostly guided tours when in Rome (no pun intended!). These were easy to book on arrival. We only booked a few Euro tours ahead of time online. We did not run into any issues waiting last minute. There are tour guides literally on each corner of the attraction you are visiting. So, don’t stress if you haven’t pre-booked tours. The Colosseum tour was our favorite. Once we got to the Roman forum and ruins, we were so hot that we left early. We saw most of what we were interested in and then left to hydrate and grab a bite to eat. The Vatican museums/Sistine Chapel tour was long as well. We were disappointed that the none of the Vatican buildings had central AC. It was HOT! The Sistine Chapel was worth suffering through the heat. Beware that the guards don’t allow use of cameras or chatter while in the chapel. After visiting the chapel, we headed out to St. Peter’s square and walked around. Just looking at the old architecture of the buildings and statues was unreal. It was amazing to finally be surrounded by all this history we grew up learning. Definitely a worthwhile experience.
- Trevi Fountain
- Palantine Hill
- Roman Forum
- Spanish Steps at Piazza di Spagna
- Altar of the Fatherland at Piazza Venezia
- Vatican Museums
- Sistine Chapel & Michelangelo’s ceiling
- St. Peter’s Square
How To Get Around
We flew into Leonardo de Vinci (“Fiumicino“) International Airport and took the Leonardo express train to Termini station. From there we took the Metro A line to the Roma San Pietro station to our Airbnb. After arrival, we got by mostly with walking short distances and taxis for slightly further locations. Our Airbnb was just outside the Vatican City, which was relieving since it was so hot walking everyone. Being a large city, there plenty of taxis to hail down. We mostly used them to travel between Trastevere and Rome.
Where To Stay
Our Airbnb was located perfectly just outside the Vatican City. Just a few short blocks took us to many main attractions. We didn’t mind walking through the beautiful city. Aldo’s place was a private room with AC, a private bathroom, and wifi. Even though we stayed in with the family, we didn’t mind because we were rarely in the room except to sleep and shower. Aldo and his mother were extremely sweet and hospitable. The room was exactly what we needed for out travels. It was affordable and in close proximity to the Vatican. We couldn’t have asked for a smoother process. Aldo gave us thorough directions to get to the apartment and even provided a pamphlet with things to do in the city. We were grateful for the kindness and letting us stay in their home.
Rome is a huge city with plenty of nice hotels and Airbnb options. We would recommend staying in an Airbnb for those on a budget. Location, location, location! Make sure to stay near the Vatican City (or wherever you plan to visit). We found the convenience and accesibilty of our place to be of utter importance. If you plan to travel mostly by foot, this should be a key factor in your planning.
Where To Eat
G.G. Belli Pasticceria
After hearing great things about Trastevere from Rick Steve’s and other travel sources, we decided to check out the town. Trastevere is a cute, bohemian neighborhood located on the west bank of the Tiber and south of Vatican City. We checked out a couple local bars and restaurants in the area. Our first stop was G.G. Belli Pasticceria. We enjoyed a couple of mojitos while people watching from the outdoor patio. It was a nice little spot as soon as you entered the town. The service was wonderful and the drinks were refreshing on the hot summer day!
Taverna Trilussa Trastevere
Taverna Trilussa Trastevere is an upscale Roman restaurant in Trastevere. We enjoyed a traditional Italian meal and bottle of vino. We both went with a classic fruitti di mare pasta dish. It was delicious! The service was phenomenal and the overall atmosphere of the restaurant was perfect. It was quaint, but still classy. We would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone. Our dining experience was wonderful. The building had a mom and pop feel to it, but still felt like we were in Italy. There were cheese and breads galore!
Other Things To Do
- Check out Aroma restaurant for fine dining with views of the Colosseum
- Walk around Trastevere and the Tiber river – cool bars, marketplace, shops
- Cruise around Rome at night
- Ride bikes around the city
- Try the pizza & gelato!
- Make Gladiator impressions at the Colosseum (See Gregg below)
Our favorite part of Rome was roaming around Trastevere. We bar hopped and then checked out the shops and activities along the Tiber river. The summer nights around the city was perfect weather and a much calmer atmosphere. We loved it! Overall, what’s not to love about Rome? The cultural impact on the world alone makes traveling to this ancient city worth it. Be sure to add Rome to your European bucket list!