On a recent trip to Europe with my boyfriend, we spent a little bit of time in Italy and for a couple of our connecting flights we had to go via Rome, so it only made sense for us to spend some time there. I had been told by a couple of people that I wouldn’t like Rome but I went with an open mind as people had also told me that I wouldn’t like Paris which couldn’t be further from the truth!
We had limited time in Rome, however, we were determined to do as much sight seeing and exploring as we could in the time that we had, so we donned ourselves “Super Tourists” and got on the shuttle bus from our hotel to the train station and then got a train into the town centre. As we had connecting flights and limited time, we stayed at a hotel called Leonardo Da Vinci Airport Hotel which was right next to the airport and although the hotel itself was nice, it actually ended up being a waste of time because a taxi from the airport to the hotel which was less than 5 minutes away still cost us 25 euro! The shuttle bus from the hotel straight to the airport was great, however, we learnt the hard way that it stops running at 10pm.
Once we arrived in the town centre, we walked through the streets from the train station until we got to our first destination: the Colosseum. We decided to stop and have some lunch at a café with a view of the Colosseum and of course took the opportunity to indulge in some pasta! After lunch we went over to the ticket office as you need to purchase a ticket in order to go inside the Colosseum and in doing this, we stumbled across the Roman Forum which was just incredible. The Roman Forum is a rectangular forum which is surrounded by the ruins of several ancient buildings and walking through the forum feels so surreal. This specific area has been kept and maintained (as much as possible) as it was in ancient Rome, so to walk through this and then see a McDonalds 500 metres down the road is quite a strange and funny feeling.
After being pleasantly distracted by the Roman Forum, we then headed back to the Colosseum with our tickets and once inside it was again quite surreal. The floor of the arena in the Colosseum is half open so that you can see what was underneath which was called the “Hypogeum”. The Hypogeum consists of multiple tunnels and cages in which the gladiators and animals were kept prior to the contests.
Next landmark on the list was the Trevi fountain and I was determined to go and see it after seeing it in so many films, so we carried on walking from the Colosseum and encountered many beautiful buildings along the way. When we finally got to the Trevi fountain we soon realised that the fountain was under construction which was disappointing but understandably to keep these landmarks in good condition they need to do maintenance at some point! I would love to see it up and running so it will definitely be on my to do list next time we visit Rome.
From the Trevi fountain we decided we would try and squeeze one last destination in and that was Vatican City. It was quite a long walk to get there but it was certainly worth it in my opinion. Everything in Vatican City is so clean and well presented, from the marble flooring to the beautiful buildings and fountains which were all lit up at night time.
From Vatican City we decided to follow our map and head towards the Pantheon which was not only an interesting landmark but was also very lively and surrounded by restaurants, bars and street entertainers so it was a perfect place to end our time in Rome. We had dinner and dessert at one of the restaurants and gelato stores near by and then decided we had done enough walking for the day, so we got a taxi from the Pantheon to a train station and then caught the train back towards our hotel as we had an early flight the next day.
In some ways I would say Rome is actually quite similar to Paris, however, I probably can’t compare as we were only in Rome for a short time but there is just so much history, incredible architecture and don’t even get me started on the delicious food! Overall I would have to say that Rome is a beautiful city and I would definitely visit again. I think it just goes to show that each person can have a completely different experience wherever you go and you shouldn’t always listen to other people’s opinions. I reckon if you want to go somewhere, then go!
Top Tips for visiting Rome:
Hands down the best gelato I have ever eaten. I wish I had known about this place when I first got to Italy and not on our last evening! They have such a wide range of interesting flavours and then to top it off, they have melted chocolate taps in which you can opt to have your cone covered in which if you’re a chocolate lover like me is just amazing. Venchi is a must go to if you love ice cream and/or chocolate!
2. Stay Central
If you can stay in a hotel which is walking distance to a train station then I would definitely recommend this! As I said earlier, we got stung 25 euro for a taxi ride which took less than 5 minutes but it was too far for us to walk! I’m not too sure what the taxi policy is in Italy but it seemed as though they could make their own rates. If you don’t wish to or are unable to stay near a train station then the shuttle buses from hotels are great but just be mindful of when they stop operating.
If you’ve read any of my previous travel posts, you will know I’m an advocate for walking whilst on holiday. I just feel as though this is the best way to take everything in and you can easily stumble across beautiful places that you would have never seen if you had caught a taxi or bus. Plus, I didn’t feel as bad for eating so much pizza, pasta and gelato because I was still getting some exercise in!
Venchi – Click Here
Leonardo Da Vinci Rome Airport Hotel – Click Here