I arrived in Rome alone, after almost 24 hours of travel. Jet lagged, I tried to find some wifi to get in touch with my mom and sister who were supposed to be meeting me there in a few short hours. When I landed, I learned that their flight from Sweden had been delayed five hours because a strike that was going on, so I was on my own in a foreign land! After two minutes of panic, I set off on the start of my European adventures. Let me preface this by saying that I travel alone often, so I wasn’t too alarmed, I just was struggling to figure out how and if my phone would work and then I attempted to navigate how I would get to our first airbnb. As I was leaving the airport, I opted for a cab over the subway system, I just wanted to get to where I was going and as quickly as possible. I ended up in a shuttle van that dropped each guest off at their place. Fifty Euros later, I had made it and had two hours of time to kill before our host could meet me!
Ravioli, espresso, and a few blocks of dragging my carry on around, I got into our first beautiful space and took a cat nap. That night I ventured out to the Vatican and roamed the streets of Rome alone while waiting for my other travel buddies. Mom and Kate got in that evening, they freshened up and we went out on a mission to share a glass of wine and ease off the travel bugs. Here is our little recap of Rome. We spent 3 nights, 4 days in the city and we absolutely adored the little apartment we stayed in. It was perfect walking distance and an adorable home for a few days! We ate, walked, and adventured our way through Rome, Italy as the first part of our trip! Here are the places we saw and the tips and tricks of navigated Roma, Italia!
After Rome, Kate, my mom, and I talked through our thoughts! We loved how rich the city is with history. It’s one of those “once in a lifetime” cities and while we absolutely loved it and seeing all of those things that we’ve learned about for years, it might not be at the top of our list in places to return to. I think it’s totally a place everyone should visit in their lifetime, but it was definitely the most touristy part of our trip and that was full of lists of places to visit and where to go! Rome was amazing, our place was amazing, and it was the perfect place to kick off our adventures, I’m just not entirely smitten with the idea of going back any time soon!
Things we saw:
- The Vatican
- The Vatican Museum
- St. Peter’s Basilica
- The Colosseum
- Trevi Fountain
- Palatine Hill
- The Sistine Chapel
- The Arch of Constantine
- Ponte and Castel Sant’Angelo
Tips and Tricks:
– Pick a location to stay central to the part of the city you want to enjoy the most. We chose the Vatican area because there were a lot of spots to hit within walking distance.
– Hop on a bus tour if you want to get around the city to see other attractions. You can jump on and off at different spots and it’s the most affordable way to get to many of large tourist attractions. At one point we had the entire top of the bus to ourselves, totally a fun little trip highlight and we lived it up!
– The Trevi Fountain is under major construction! Although it was disappointing to see it with no water and loads of scaffolding, we still felt it important to pay our dues and throw a penny over our shoulder! You’ll have to decide it it’s worth it to you!
– Buy a pass for The Vatican online, we woke up early and arrived to the line a half hour before they opened and still waited over two hours to get inside. The line can get to be four hours long, save yourself some time and buy online to pass the line!
– Send a postcard from the smallest country in the world, The Vatican poste has an area for you to send your loved ones a postcard! It was a fun little souvineer to send home to Drew!
– Go to Capitol Hill Gelato, just do it. It’s outside of the Vatican and there is a long line, it’s worth it, so just wait it out.
– Do not take anything from anyone that is pretending to give it to you. My mom was a sucker and accepted roses that then cost us over six Euro. Just say “no, thank you” and move on.
– Climb to the top of St. Peter’s Basilica for the most incredible Italy views! It was a long climb to the top and hundreds of stairs but it was entirely worth the 360 degree views of the city! Favorite stop for sure!
– Get off the beaten path for food! Our first few nights we stayed near the Vatican area and ate at mainly tourist stops but our last night we wisened up and found a place with great reviews, it was worth the extra walk!
– Stop into a local market and grab some fruit, wine, and snacks to keep at your place! Most of the trip we just had a breakfast (generally a coffee and croissant) and then a snack before eating dinner! The little markets are adorable and the perfect place to nab snacks to hold you over!
– If you are only visiting for a limited time, pick your top places to see and see them well. We could have visited more places but we chose a more relaxing approach and saw the must sees! We were also sleeping off our jet lag, so it was helpful to not pack our days insanely full!