Tips, Things to do & Sights in Rome
Rome was the first city on our exciting & elaborately planned vacation. This was our first time in Europe & we were excited, nervous, but mostly very happy!
Let us tell you, we loved Rome a LOT! If you are History & architecture nerds, Rome is the place to go. The lovely cobbled roads & the elaborate architecture of almost every building, every Piazza ( A square is called a Piazza in Rome) left us awestruck. I wanted to take everything in & never forget how every mile of the city looked.
Where we lived
We lived in Hotel Colours in Rome, the price here was a bargain when we booked it & most importantly it was just a 10 minutes walk away from the nearest metro station. This neighbourhood was also just walking distance from The Vatican! The last part made us go for this hotel, as many warned us that the taxis are very expensive in Europe (they were right! More on that later) & walking or metro is the best way to get around.
Must-see Sights in Rome
Colosseum- This is a no-brainer, but you mustn’t miss this! And also, if you’re going in the peak season like we did, make sure to pre-book all your tickets online. Otherwise, standing in heat in long lines isn’t much fun! We felt lucky to have just stood in the line for 10 minutes before we began our tour.
If you don’t have a guide with you, or you don’t want to spend moolah on the Audio tours as well, make use of the Rick Steves Guide of Rome. It is so precise, & so useful its almost like having a guide with you! We downloaded the entire Rome series & listened to the Tour of Colosseum with the help of Rick Steves. He took us through an entire tour of how this grand Roman amphitheatre was built and used. We were awestruck!
Roman Forum: When you have to go to the Colosseum, start early. As the Colosseum & the Roman Forum are all nearby & everyone covers it in one go only. To avoid the crowds & the heat, going as early as possible makes sense.
The Roman Forum has many important ancient government buildings. The Forum is quite big, so you will take time to cover the entire length of the Forum.
Pantheon: The Pantheon is free, but that doesn’t take away from its importance. It’s a former Roman temple with stunning architecture. This is the Central Part of Rome, make sure to walk around this place. Here you will come across many Piazzas, while we can’t list how many we saw, we have a few favourites.
Piazza Navona: We chanced by this Piazza, by mistake! & what a wonderful mistake it was. A humongous fountain makes for the centrepiece of this Piazza, you can sit here & relax for a while as the fountain sprays a cool spray all around it.
Trevi Fountain- As the legend says, if you drop a coin here, Rome will call you back again. And man, we want to go back! So, we walked till this place. Though it was very crowded, but as usual the beauty of the fountain made us forget everything. We also had the best Italian Pizza nearby which helped! 😀
The Vatican: Don’t miss this! Do brace yourself for crowds & groups here, but there’s a reason its so crowded. We loved the Vatican Museums, to observe the Roman Empire history so closely was an unforgettable experience for us. Observing the works of Michelangelo, Raphael & other world famous artists & sculptures, uplifted us & inspired us.
However, this is a HUGE museum, it took us close to two hours to walk around it. So, have a heavy breakfast in the morning & be geared up for this walk.
If you’re a Dan Brown fan, make sure to go to the St. Peters Square in Rome. A part of the movie, Angels & Demons was shot & based here.
the Galley of Maps is also here (mentioned in Da Vinci book) , where theres a hidden entry! The inner nerd in us was super excited to see this!!
Don’t miss the Sistine Chapel as well, the highlight was obviously the Creation Of Man by Michelangelo.
What to Eat in Rome
Italy means Pizza & Wine & boy, did we hog on both! We both love Pizza & Wine; we were super excited to taste the real authentic Italian Pizza. While Harry liked the Pizza’s with Goat Cheese, Bacon & Lamb; me as a vegetarian was left high & dry. For Italians vegetarian means Cheese & Tomato! Needless to say, it got a little tough for me.
Wine at 2 Euros: The Wine made it all better though, Italy has the most fantastic range of wines be it from Bordeaux or the Rose’s, we had a glass with every meal. With the prices as cheap as 2 Euros, why not! Sometimes, we used to pick up an entire bottle from the grocery stores at 3.5 Euros! We hit goldmine & the wine connoisseurs in us was very happy.
Italian Desserts & Gelato– Right from Chocolate croissants to muffins & the famous Gelato. These Italian treats were our lifesavers, when we were super hungry from all the walking! A nice cuppa joe or some yummy Gelato kept us going. Don’t miss out on these when in Rome 🙂
We tried giving you the maximum tips from our own experiences from Rome, if you have some more queries feel free to comment & ask!
– Harry & Nikita