Sunday, 23 July 2017

Rome Guide: Things To Do, See and Eat

Italy is one of my favourite places to travel to, the people, the places and the food are everything I look for in a city break. Last week I went to Rome with a friend for a few days and actually spent my 22nd birthday there too!

I'd say you need no more than 3-4 days to explore Rome at a good pace - and I'd probably not recommend travelling in July or August like we did, each day was over 30 degrees. Unless you're used to crazy city heat, it was quite hard and tiring to spend all day in the heat.

On to my Rome Guide Things To Do, See and Eat:

1. Colosseum

The obvious and must-do tourist attraction is the Colosseum of course! We purchased tickets beforehand from Musement which was just £10 each to visit the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and Roman Forum and included fast track on the queues too.

We went to the Colosseum early in the morning, which I'd definitely recommend as we missed the high heat and massive tourist groups. First we headed straight to the center of the Colosseum and got lots of the photos and then onto the outskirts for the museum, which was actually really good and well planned out. It's mad to see what's been uncovered from archaeological digs and how the Colosseum has been used over the past years.

2. Vatican City

Another must-do tourist attraction is Vatican City, the Sistine Chapel and St Peter's Basilica. Again we purchased tickets online before travelling because it does save you money and so much time queueing, some people were in the queue for at least an hour or more just to get in! We purchased tickets from the Vatican Museum website and added an audio guide to the tickets as there's so much to see there, the guide just helps us to digest it all!

If you're booking tickets before, book them at least a few weeks ahead to get morning tickets and hopefully beat the tourist groups. First we headed through the museum and the guide took us through an explanation of how the Vatican Museum has been used over the years and pointing out points of interest. Then we were guided to the Sistine Chapel, with the famous Michelangelo fresco. Generally you're supposed to wear something modest that covers your shoulders and knees but there were so many people who didn't, maybe they were lenient because it was so hot. The Sistine Chapel itself is amazing and the aura inside is so holy and sacred, it's pretty special.

3. Trevi Fountain

Famous in so many films, the Trevi Fountain definitely took our breath away. Before you're walking through a narrow street then suddenly it opens up to this amazing fountain. If you think Oxford Street is busy, then you've never seen anything like it at the Trevi Fountain! It was heaving with so many people, but you can grab a few shots if you're patient and we generally found the sides of the fountain were less busy too.

Just to note, there are guards with whistles who will shout at you if you dare to put your hand in the water or sit on the edge of the fountain. It's quite scary actually! We threw our coins over our shoulders to wish us another return to Rome in the future. Fun fact, the coins are collected each day (Roughly 3 thousand euros) and are used for local charities. I'd also recommend visiting the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum at night too as the lights are just beautiful.

4. Eating Pizza, Pasta and Gelato

With any visit to Italy you're going to eat your body weight in pizza, pasta and gelato. Whilst there's not one particular place that I would recommend, it'll be hard to find bad pasta and pizza in Rome! There were a few gelato places that did disappoint and there were actually around the main tourist hubs, so if you're a real foodie try TripAdvisor or ask your hotel for recommendations.

5. Enjoying the Italian life

Even though we were in a bustling city, you could definitely feel the Italian way. They really take the time to enjoy their food and have such a passion about it, that you can taste it in every bite. The Italians also know how to dress and we never saw a badly dresses Italian! Even though it was ridiculously hot to be sightseeing, we tried to look as fashionable as possible...

Have you been to Rome before? Do you have any trips planned?

Thanks for reading!
Rhiannon x

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