Lizzie McGuire had raised my hopes pretty high for this city, and I wasn’t disappointed. Rome is probably my favourite place I have ever been to. We visited this beautiful city at the end of our Europe trip and I’m so glad we saved the best for last. I thought it was so interesting to see how all the history is integrated in the city. I was blown away by how you could be walking down the street and hit the Pantheon, and then the Coliseum. It’s crazy to me to think that these buildings have been standing for almost 2000 years.
I’m going to attempt to show what I mean with pictures, but I don’t find that pictures do this place justice, and they certainly don’t capture what I felt while being there.
We stayed at Five Rooms Rome (originally booked at Rome King Suite- Annex building, turns out the annex building was another hotel entirely) and we thought the location was perfect. We were a five-minute walk from the Trevi Fountain, and about a 15-minute walk from the Coliseum and the Roman Forum. It was so easy for us to get everywhere we wanted to go. We walked to everything we visited, which we thought was very feasible.
I thought I’d share our itinerary, in hopes of it being useful to some of you going, or thinking of going to Rome.
We arrived at our hotel around 11:30 am. We changed, got settled in and then decided to go exploring. Since we had tickets for attractions on all other days, we decided to visit all the sites that weren’t a “destination”. We pretty much walked around the whole city that day. This is what we did/saw:
- Trevi Fountain
- Had drinks in Piazza Navona
- Spanish steps (they were closed for renovations)
- Victor Emmanuel II Monument (entrance is free- but there is a fee to take the elevator all the way to the top)
- Shopping around the Spanish steps- Tiffany and Co and Tory Burch on Via Del Babuino
- Dinner at a random restaurant- which we didn’t like at all
- Gelato for dessert
We went to bed pretty early that day since we were so tired from the traveling.
This was the day we visited the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. We had purchased tickets in advance but had no set time, so we decided to sleep in and get going whenever we woke up. We didn’t have anything else planned for the day, so we didn’t mind sleeping in, and we knew that we had to get up really early on our two other days so we took advantage of the sleeping in.
This was definitely my favourite day; I loved the Coliseum and the Forum. It’s just so interesting getting a glimpse into the way people lived during that time.
We had dinner at the restaurant Life, which was very good. We didn’t have any reservations but they took us in anyways. If you want to sit outside, I’d recommend making reservations since the outside was full when we got there and we had to sit inside. It wasn’t the cheapest meal but we had wanted a “fancier” dinner as a treat to ourselves. We had gelato once again for dessert.
We got an early start to the day for an excursion that we had booked online in advance for Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius.
We first started by hiking Mount Vesuvius. The tour bus took us up to the entrance where the hike was another 300 metres to the top. It was quite difficult, as it was pretty steep and it’s not a paved path, it’s just little rocks. Although it was quite hot, because we were by the water, there was a great breeze that kept us a little bit cooler. The hike was so worth it once we got to the top. We could see the entire bay of Naples below us, and further out into the water we could see Capri and Sorrento. We also got to look into the crater of the volcano, which is about 1 km wide.
After the hike we went to eat lunch at a restaurant near the entrance to Pompeii. Once that was done, we entered Pompeii. It was so amazing to see this entire city emerged after being engulfed by ashes. Fun fact, when the volcano erupted in 79 A.D., the lava never made it to Pompeii; it was the ashes that killed everyone and everything. It was so amazing that just by looking at the homes and “buildings” in the city, you could really get a glimpse into how people used to live during that time.
We spent about 2 hours in Pompeii and then rode the long bus ride back to Rome (about 3 hours) and got back around 9 pm. We were so tired from the day that we decided to get some Big Macs and cannoli for dessert and eat it in our hotel room while watching television.
A full blog post on this tour/excursion will be up soon.
We had tickets to the Vatican museum for 9 am so we walked there from our hotel (approximately a 45 minute walk). When we first got there, it was a little tricky to find the entrance for the museum- we ended up going into St-Peter’s Basilica by accident. Once we found the correct place, it went really smoothly, we had found the line for people who had made reservations online, and they even let us in before 9. We spent about 2 hours in the museum and visited the Sistine Chapel.
We then took a look at St. Peter’s Basilica, which was packed with people since the entrance is free.
Since it was still pretty early in the day we decided to visit Castel Santangelo, which was really cool. It was first built as a mausoleum for Hadrian and it was eventually converted into a military fortress.
After this we made our way down, by foot, to Trastevere, an area where we heard had great food. We looked up great places to eat at and ended up at La Prosciutteria, which served amazing meats and cheeses. For the platter shown below and two beers it was 25 euros.
After lunch we didn’t have it in us to walk another 45-60 minutes back to our hotel so we took a taxi back. We relaxed for a couple of hours and then went shopping before going to dinner. We did some damage at Tiffany and at Tory Burch :).
Dinner was at a restaurant close to the Trevi Fountain: Angelina Trattoria. This was by far our favourite meal. It was a little bit more expensive than our other meals, but that’s because we indulged in nice wine and a dessert (quite expensive). Not only was the food amazing, but the service we received was outstanding. After having had mediocre at best service during our previous days, it was so refreshing to have someone interact and strike up a conversation with us, as well as having a smile while doing so.
Thanks for reading, I really hope you enjoyed it! Let me know what you think!