My sister always wanted to go to Rome, so last Christmas, I offered her to pay for her flight to Rome, whenever she would want to go. As her birthday was mid-June, we decided to book a 4-days trip to Rome starting on the date of her birthday.
I honestly didn’t know what to expect from Rome at all, and I’m happy to say that I got amazed by this great city! It was a big surprise to me and I’m glad I had the chance to go, even if it was just for a few days!
Here is why:
1. The monuments you want to visit in Rome
You have sooooooo many things to see in Rome! In 4 days, we only had time to visit a quarter (not even I’m sure) of all the places we were planning on seeing!
The first monument we saw was the Colisseum. If you ever go to the Colisseum, I recommend you to use Fun Tour to get a guided visit. They have guides for different languages, the offer includes a skip-the-line ticket and even if we didn’t book in advance, we got to do the visit on the same morning. Our guide was fun, but she also knew what she was talking about and could answer each and every question that the people of our group could have. The visit was approximately 2 hours and a half and included the Colisseum, but also the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. It was really really interesting and you can easily imagine yourself back in the time of the Gladiators.
During the following days, we also had the chance to see Piazza di Spagna, Piazza del Popolo, the Terme Romane, Piazza San Pietro with the Basilica di San Pietro, etc.
The only thing that you should know before going is that the most touristic places are quite expensive… The prices for places like the Vatican, the Basilica di San Pietro, the Colisseum, etc. varied from 25€ to 60€ depending on what options the offer includes.
I would advise booking any tickets in advance so you can have time to check the different options and prices.
2. The architecture of the city in Rome
The architecture in the city is awesome. You can find something interesting to take pictures of at each street’s corner and you get continuously surprised! Rome managed to keep the history of its City and included it in the modern version of Rome. Both history and modernity are kind of melting together to give you this interesting atmosphere in the city. It’s like going back in time while walking in the streets.
Also, I really liked the intimate and cocooning atmosphere of the city. You can find little narrow and empty streets connecting to bigger places, which are great if you want a moment of calm between your visits. It was a great experience to walk around!
3. Nice walks to visit around Rome
One of the nice things about Rome is that you can do a loooooot just walking around the city. The majority of the monuments and places to see or to visit are generally within a decent walking distance from each other. Which means, that you can walk all day long to connect the different places you want to see. I also love to lose myself in the streets and not knowing where I go, which might just lead you to an awesome place that you may have not found if you were following your map only. You should try that! It’s a great feeling and it’s fun!
4. The food in Rome
Well, I mean, you’re in Rome… Italian food, duh!
Italian food is definitely one of my favorites! These Italians know how to cook! I tried pasta, risotti (I still remember this salmon risotto…Yummy!), mixed platters of cheese and cold cuts, bruchetta, etc. and I can say that I haven’t been disappointed in any of the dishes I tried.
So I would suggest you eat in as many restaurants as you can during your next trip to Rome!
In other words, Italian food is yummy so come and enjoy it during your visit!
5. The parks in Rome
Rome has such lovely parks to visit… These are great places for a picnic if you want a bit of calm for a nap, to rest your legs or just to walk around and enjoy the shadow of the trees.
I had the chance to go to the park and the garden of the Villa Borghese and it was absolutely lovely! In the middle of the park, we found a little lake where you can either hire a boat to go around (and honestly the prices were more than reasonable) or just walk around it.
The lake is surrounding the Tempio di Esculapio, so my sister and I decided to do a nice walk around the lake instead of the going closer by boat. To be honest I wanted to hire a boat but my sister was not so keen on it. As you need a minimum of 2 people per boat: I couldn’t go on my own. So yes, I got a bit screwed… but well, it was so pretty that I feel lucky I could go around anyway! Moral of the story: go to parks in Rome!!!
6. The local people
This was one of the biggest surprises I had in Rome: the local people. Before I go to Rome, I heard so many bad things about Italian people and I was a little nervous about the idea of going to Rome without speaking Italian. Well, do you know what? I shouldn’t have been!
From the first few minutes in Rome, right after we got out of the airport, my sister and I had the chance to meet a local guy who helped us go to the City center! We were speaking French trying to figure out, which bus was best for us and if we had the right ticket, etc. This guy heard us and jumped in in the discussion to confirm that we were at the right station, waiting for the right bus, with the right ticket. As he was taking the same bus and metro than us, he stayed around and let us know where to go out of the bus, where to get the metro, etc.
At the guest house where we were staying, same surprise! Our lovely host welcomed us warmly and even gave us some tips on nice restaurant around the guest house, as we were really hungry at the time we arrived!
Same surprise in the restaurants where the waiters were trying to understand us (even when they couldn’t speak English) and were showing some enthusiasm every time we were trying to order or communicate in Italian (I just mean the few sentences that were given in our tourist guide haha).
I can now say myself that Italians are understanding, welcoming and really helpful people! Dear Italian people, thank you so much for making us feel welcome to Rome!
7. To make a wish at the Fontana di Trevi
You might have noticed already that I didn’t mention the Fontana di Trevi yet… Well, it’s because it’s so pretty that it had to have its own section! The other main reason is that you can make a wish there! I admit it, I did make a wish! However, I would suggest you to go early in the morning or late at night as it will be crazy busy otherwise! Unfortunately, you’re never the only one who wants to make a wish… So I did make my wish, so now hopefully, it will come true! (I have too much hope, I think haha)
8. The weather in Rome
As you can imagine, Rome is sunny… It makes everything so much better! The colors of the city feel brighter, the people look happier and it makes your time there more enjoyable! The best time to go is May, June or September. I would avoid going in July or August as the weather will be way to hot and the number of tourists will be even bigger!
9. Rome is not too expensive
The attractions of Rome (like the touristic places I mentioned above: the Vatican, Villa Medicis, the Colisseum, etc.) are the only things that I found expensive in Rome.
The rest was really accessible for small budgets:
– The restaurants were cheap (but yummy!).
– The accommodation was cheap: We were not in the city center itself, but we were 3 minutes away from the metro station Cornelia on the line A (so really accessible and 20 minutes from the city center).
– The food in the supermarket was cheap: Perfect if you want to buy food for a picnic or to cook at your accommodation for instance.
– The transports are not expensive either. I would avoid the taxi at the airport though! They have a fixed rate of 30€ to take you to the city, which is a bit sad when you can get there for 1.50€ by taking the bus and the metro.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that it’s the cheapest place I’ve been to! I’m just saying that it was less expensive than what you can expect from a big touristic city like Rome. In comparison to Paris or London for instance, it’s really cheap!
10. The ice creams in Rome!!!
I couldn’t imagine going to Rome WITHOUT having any ice creams! Italy has the best ice creams in the world! You can find some for each and every possible taste and they are all super yummy! I tried both ice creams and sorbets… Stracciatella, Nutella, Ferrero, raspberries (called Lampone), orange (called Arancia), yogurt, etc. BIG MISTAKE! I ended up having 2 ice creams per day! 2! Well done, Laura! (Well, sorry not sorry, I couldn’t resist … And so shouldn’t you!)
I would suggest you go to the Gelateria S.M. Maggiore near Cavour, which is from far my favorite! The ice creams were so yummy and tasty, that it was hard to choose which flavors to get!
Have you ever been to Rome? If yes, what was your experience?