A City Break: Rome, Italy
At the end of May, I was lucky enough to have a short trip to Rome. I have wanted to go to Rome for a very long time, so when we were looking for a short break away I jumped at the chance to go. Italy has always attracted me, probably because of the food, and therefore I wanted to make the most of any trip I got there.
We had a short trip, as I mentioned, which was 3 nights, but because of our flights meant we had roughly 4 days in the city to explore and enjoy. I thought it would be helpful to have a breakdown of what we got up to, in case you too are going to have a similar trip. I will warn you its a long one, so grab a cup of tea and a snack and have a read!
We landed at around 10am and so by the time we got to Rome it was just before midday. I should mention we got the train from the airport to the city, which was very simple, took about 30 minutes and cost €14 per person. We bought our tickets from the self-serve machine, you just have to remember to validate the ticket by stamping it on the platform. However, we found our platform very easily and I would 100% recommend the train to anyone. Especially as a taxi was about €50 euro each way.
When we arrived we checked into our hotel, again close to the station, which made it easy to drag our cases to. We stayed at Dormus Liberius and again I would 100% recommend this to any friend. Though it was quite simple, the room was a lovely size had a decent view of a beautiful church and offered all the amenities that we needed, including a continental breakfast to set up the day. Also, the people who run the hotel, were so helpful, they even helped to plan our trip, giving us the best routes to walk from one place to the other and advising of us of certain areas to visit.
We started our exploration with a walk to the Spanish Steps, which was very busy, but worth a look all the same. I imagine it would be much prettier if you could get past all the people. We then walked along the top of the steps up to Villa Borghese. It was a lovely park, which was very large and so we decided to hire a 4 wheeled bike to see the whole park. It was €12 and well worth it for the amount of fun we had! There are also some beautiful views of Rome from the park.
We finished the afternoon with a little rest in the hotel ready to go out for dinner later on that evening, as we had been up since 2am after all!
This day was Coliseum day! We had pre-booked our tour via Trip Advisor and this included a tour of the Coliseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. We decided to do the earliest tour, in order to avoid the crowds as much as possible as well as to avoid the hottest part of the day. The tour was brilliant. It allowed us to skip the queue (apart from the security one) as well as explains the history of each area, from when it was built and its original use, to even how it was used during the World wars by the locals etc. I would definitely recommend a tour around here, especially if you are interested to know more than just seeing the monument.
That afternoon, we visited the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. The Trevi fountain had to be my favourite place of all the monuments and tourist areas we went to in Rome. Despite it being completely packed full of tourist and therefore being very loud, I found some sort of peach sitting in front of it, watching the water. I would say it was smaller than I originally expected, but my expectations mainly came from the Lizzie McGuire movie- I cannot be the only one!
This day came with another early start as we were visiting the Vatican. This time we decided, with the recommendation of others, to get the Metro from the hotel to the Vatican as it was the other side of town, yet only took 10 minutes on the metro. It also only cost us €1.50 each. We pre-bought our tickets on the Vatican website. Though we didn’t pay for the tour, it did allow us to skip the line, which even at 9am (opening time) looked as though it would be a good hour at least. You do have to queue a little inside to convert your online tickets to actual tickets, so I would still suggest it is best to go early, especially having spoken to others, who waited in that queue for ages too.
I would say that I am pleased we saw the Vatican, however it was not our favourite day. Probably not really our thing, but definitely something I would say you should see once in your life. We found St Peter’s Church, at the exit of the Sistine Chapel to be much more what we expected from the Vatican. A place you could find peace in the craziness of Rome and a very impressive building overall.
Following our experience here, we walked along the top of Villa Orto Bontanico, which offers some stunning views of Rome, which you wouldn’t see if you went straight through the city.
After lunch we visited the remaining Piazza’s that had been recommended to us before heading for quick rest before our evening plans. It was this evening that we made a point of visiting the Trevi Fountain after dinner. This is something I planned to do before we left, but having loved it so much the first time, I made sure we would go in the evening. We also wondered along to see the Coliseum at night and there was such a lovely buzz, I would 100% recommend it.
Day Four (The Final Day)
We had a slower start this morning as quite frankly we were exhausted. We had also decided (or more like Craig had decided) we would hire a vespa on this day as he was convinced it was the best way to see the city. We hired it from My Vespa Tours and the price of hiring it covered us for 24 hours and included everything we needed. Although, I found it quite scary (you should see how people drive in Italy!) Craig loved it and I have to say it was a good way to explore the city, as the locals do. We found other areas of the city that no matter how much walking we did (we averaged 30,000 steps a day) we would not have found otherwise. It was a great end to the holiday and we particularly enjoyed wondering around the city and taking everything in as we walked.
This was a brilliant holiday. I would completely recommend it to it everyone, especially those that love the buzz of a city, as we do. Especially if you are a food lover…. You can expect another post on the food we enjoyed very soon!
Do you have any travel recommendations for us?