The Eternal City is always a must on any European tour. However, I cannot do this intriguing city justice in just one post, so don’t worry, there are more to come! But today, we are hitting all the big ones: the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, the Vatican and even a “Futbol” game!
“Il Vittoriano Monument”, the ‘Wedding Cake’ in downtown Rome.
When to Go
Rome is another Mediterranean gem, so temperatures are mild all year round. But slightly cooler in the winter than Monaco, so keep that in mind. However, also be warned that because of all the famous monuments and ruins in an around the city, large tour groups are very common, so try to avoid school vacation weeks and the summer all together. I recommend any time from February-Early May or Late September-Early November.
If you go in the winter you get a great bonus, gorgeous view of the Italian Alps! (Taken in Late January)
What to Do
My first piece of advice when visiting Rome is that you CAN’T SEE EVERYTHING. I lived there for 4 months and didn’t get to everything; so don’t expect to hit everything on your checklist on your 10-day trip. This is my advice for any city, pick a few musts, but be sure to leave time for exploring—you’ll find that those hours just spent wandering around are you favorite anyways. Nevertheless, here are a few things I suggest adding to that checklist.
Make time for a stroll by the Tiber.
The Spanish Steps
If you are looking for a hub, the Spanish Steps area is great for the luxury-inclined traveller. Sites, shopping, fine dining, an Intercontinental, what more could you ask for?
View from the top of the Spanish Steps.
The Spanish Steps area is home to the city’s best shopping, Italian brands such as: Dolce and Gabbana, Fendi, and Gucci all have gorgeous shops, in addition to other European brands like Chanel and Dior.
You never know when you might stumble upon a trunk show at Dior and you get to shop the jewelry collection that just walked last week in Paris. The shopping scene in Rome is no joke; Milan isn’t Italy’s only fashion haven.
Oh and by the way, the Trevi Fountain, or the Fontana di Trevi as the Romans say, is less than a 10 min walk from the Piazza di Spagna as well. (Another one to check off your list.)
Ok, you really can’t go to Rome without seeing the Colosseum can you? First tip, buy your ticket online so you can skip the line. Second tip, since your ticket also includes access to the Roman Forum, remember that it is good for 2 days, so you don’t have to do it all in the same day. Take your time, and really enjoy it. These are the highlights of the Ancient Roman Empire, soak it all in.
Great vantage point from Palentine Hill.
The basic ticket includes access to most of the inside of the Colosseum, but for an extra fee you can explore even more.
See those people towards the back on the ground? They are on the extended tour.
After you are done thinking about what it would’ve been like to watch the Gladiators, stroll on over to Palentine Hill and explore some other ancient wonders, like the Roman Forum.
Entering the Roman Forum.
I will be doing a full post on the Vatican soon, but here is an overview. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to get to this city within a city; just jump on the metro and you’ll be there before you know it, no matter where you are staying in the city. Few things to keep in mind, this is something that you really can’t do in one day. There are 2 main areas, the Basilica and the Museum (Includes the Sistine Chapel). There are two separate lines for each of these so make sure you wait in the correct one. Also, the Pope holds many events and Catholic celebrations at the Vatican so be sure to check the Vatican website to see what is going on, be prepared for giant crowds if there is an event happening. (Trust me, I was there when Pope Francis was elected and it was major cray cray).
Some of the amazing architecture at the Vatican.
Inside the long hallway of the Vatican Museums.
I can’t stress this enough, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so don’t try and see all of it in a day or 2 days or 3 weeks. Plan, but leave time to wander the streets, and pick a hotel that is close to the main sites you want to see. But…if you have an extra night to kill, see if AS Roma is playing at home, ‘futbol’ games are crazzzzzy. Check it out.
All that smoke is just to celebrate the teams getting on the field. It got even more wild once they started actually playing.