Rome is rich with history and beauty, which is why it’s one of my favourite places in the world. I have been twice now and I would go again and again. I thought that because I had been to Rome already, I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as the first time. But I was able to see the details that I hadn’t see before as there is so much to take in.
I paid £30 for a return flight from Stansted, London to Campino, Italy. January, in my opinion, is a great time to see Rome because the weather is fairly mild and it’s not too overcrowded with tourists. I booked an apartment in the middle of all the attractions called Spanish Steps Gea. From there, everywhere we wanted to go was within walking distance. They say the best way to enjoy Rome is to get lost in it, for this reason we walked everywhere using Google maps to guide us.
Things to do
I highly recommend booking a walking tour through Rome if it’s your first time. You can learn so much about Rome and its history just by walking through it. It’s so worth doing. Our tour guide was lovely, she gave us some very handy tips like how to pick a good restaurant and how much you should be paying for a cup of coffee. I booked our free tour through https://www.freetourrome.com/. This tour is free, you can give a tip to your tour guide at the end if you wish. Admin fees may apply when booking.
If you go to Rome, you must see the Colosseum. It is pretty extraordinary and the history of how it came to be how it is today is truly fascinating. Of course you can buy just the entry tickets, tours are not compulsory, but I really recommend booking a guided tour as you can access special parts of the Colosseum that a normal day ticket can not access. For example, depending on the guide you book, you could get a tour of the underground and higher tiers of the Colosseum. The view from the upper tiers and the Belvedere is stunning, so don’t miss out!
I booked using https://www.musement.com/us/. Whether you want to book just the entry ticket or a tour, book online as you will be able to skip the queue and go straight to the window to collect your ticket. Also, you will beat the prices of the all sales people trying to hassle you to buy through them outside of the Colosseum. Be prepared to say “no thank you” to purchasing a selfie stick every 20 yards lol!
Vatican City is technically not part of Rome, but is worth visiting. I booked tickets to visit the Vatican museum, here you can learn even more about the history of Rome. The Sistine Chapel is part of the museum, you can not buy tickets to see just the Sistine Chapel alone. For me, seeing the Sistine Chapel was the cherry on top of the whole visit to the Vatican museum. The walls and ceiling of the Sistine chapel is covered with paintings. I sat and marvelled at Michelangelo’s art and vision for a good half an hour. I used an audio guide throughout the museum, which was nice because I was able to go at my own pace and learn about the things that I was interested in.
They say that if you stand with your back to the Trevi fountain and throw a coin from your right hand over your left shoulder, you will return to Rome. Two coins, and you will find a new romance. Three, and you will marry. When I saw the fountain for the first time last year, my husband warned me that I was to only throw in one coin, not two or three LOL. I’m not sure if I believe in legends or myths but I threw in one coin, and I have returned to Rome. It’s all for fun and I think you should do this if you visit. We are very lucky to see the fountain as it is now because it has only been restored back to its full glory just a few years ago, costing 2.2 millions euros, sponsored by FENDI.
Places To Eat
Aroma is my favourite restaurant in the world. Sadly, I couldn’t get a reservation on this visit as they were doing renovations. The food is out of this world. Being a Michelin restaurant, it is pricey. But this is an experience in dining, you really get a sense of the chef Giuseppe Di Iorio’s creativity. The restaurant is on the rooftop and looks over the city and Colosseum, it is so beautiful and romantic in the evening. During the day, if warm enough, it is an open roof top terrace and an excellent place for breakfast and lunch.
Pietro Al Pantheon
Situated right by the Pantheon, this small restaurant offers many traditional Roman dishes that not only tastes great, but authentic. The decor is very, what I call Knick-knacky. There’s lots of bits and bobs all over the place, I found it very charming and my eyes had so much to look at.
Ambrosia is a rooftop terrace restaurant and offers fine food. Dinner was lovely, the service impeccable, I really enjoyed my experience here. They have a good cocktail menu and food and drinks are very reasonably priced.
Why visit Rome?
If you love art, history and food then you will love Rome. The fountains, the architecture, there’s so much to see and so much to learn about. Rome being the size it is makes it the perfect city break location because it’s almost impossible to get lost. Every corner you turn there are beautiful churches and fountains with water clean enough to drink from (literally).
You will never think that Italian food is just pasta a pizza ever again. Yes, of course Rome’s restaurants have plenty of pizza and pasta dishes, but there is so much more! Rome is home to some of the finest restaurants in the world, from small family run restaurants to Michelin Star restaurants. And have I mentioned how good the coffee is in Rome?
Rome is only a 2 and a half hours flight for me. I am so thankful that this little treasure is so close to home and somewhere I can fly to for the weekend. Whether you are going with friends or your partner, it is the perfect city break location and somewhere you must visit once in your life.