When In Rome!
Rome is an incredible city that is full of energy, history, and life! There is something very haunting about the city when you think about the pretty incredible past and culture of Rome’s history. As with most of my European destinations, I didn’t really know what to expect when I went to Rome and that’s usually the way I like it. Because of this, I think I had a great Roman experience and I hope you can use this guide to get your through your time there!
Once arriving in Italy, Rome was my second stop. Taking the train to the major metropolitan cities in Rome is very easy, affordable, and really relaxing. In Rome there are two stations which makes it easy to get to where you need to go. The train stations are also the subway terminals. Termini and Tiburtina. Termini is likely the one you will use the most. It is very central and easy to navigate. NOTE- UBER IS NOT A GOOD OPTION IN ROME! According to our cab driver, its technically illegal there but I can neither confirm or deny that. Buses and trains are easy and cheap so stick with that.
Where to stay.
I was not in charge of booking the Rome portion of our itinerary which means I didn’t select our lodging. I would have picked something else. We stayed at the Idea Hotel close to the Tiburtina station and it’s a bit of a ways outside of the city. Though it was close to a bus stop and train ride, there wasn’t much to do/experience unless you really want to see how much people in Rome live. I would recommend spending a few extra euros and get a spot in the city center. Trust me, you will thank me when you feel like taking a nice leisurely stroll at night through the haunting city streets near the colosseum.
Where to eat.
Like most of Italy, the food in Rome is delicious. What is important to know is that while you’re eating your pasta and pizza, it is very easy to eat very poorly there so keep that in mind. That being said, sometimes you just have to deal with it and eat your heart out. My favorite meal was at what some would call a tourist trap. La Fontanella Sistina is only a few blocks from the Trevi Fountain and there was a guy pulling tourists like myself off the street. We stumbled upon this gem looking for a dinner spot in Rome and we are so happy that Francisco pulled us into the restaurant.
First of all, everyone that works here is incredibly warm and welcoming. The restaurant is cute and quaint. Service was quick. Everyone speaks English really well so there isn't a language barrier but it's also very authentic Italian food AND the prices are great. AND THE FOOD IS FANTASTIC. I ordered the lasagna and was very impressed and satisfied after. My friends got the spaghetti carbonara and fettuccine with salmon and were very happy with their choice. Honestly, I have no idea why this place only had 3 stars as it was a fantastic find for us. If you are in Rome and want to get away from the bustle for dinner, come here!
Remember, Yelp doesn’t work the same in Europe so you can’t always trust a yelp review; sometimes it’s best to just take a chance.
What do to.
So, as I typed the headline, I realized that there is no shortage of things to do when in Rome; so here is what I did. When we got back to the city center after dropping off our bags, we inquired about the Hop on Hop off bus tour. I DEFINITELY recommend doing that and the best piece of advice I can give you about that is if you are travelling during the warmer months on a sunny day, sitting on the top seems like a good idea but it’s NOT! It pretty hot and you are directly under the sun so try to snag a seat on the lower level if you can unless you don’t mind the heat. You can buy day passes that are good for 24 hours and it’s a fantastic way to see the sites and get a tour out of it as well. It’s also just a great way to get around the city. Rome is one big circle and the bus stops at places that are very easy to get out and walk to. The tour also gets you to the main tourist attractions in the city. For a more authentic experience, you should get out and just walk!
On the first day we were out, I stumbled upon the coolest vintage thrift store, Humana Vintage that had really awesome prices. Next time I go out of the country, I’m packing lightly so I can buy clothes while I’m there. As we were exploring the city, we stumbled upon one of the many churches that happened to have a sign out front which advertised a free opera concert the next day so you know I was up in there! After the concert, I allowed myself to get lost on the streets of Rome and take in the city. Trust me, give yourself an hour to just meditate on the history of that city one night. You will get chills!
You MUST go to Vatican City while you are there as well. Fun fact: Vatican City is actually the smallest COUNTRY in the world. I learned that on the Hop On Hop Off Tour. Of course there are a lot of touristy vendors there but it is also where the Vatican is and St. Peter's Basilica. When we went, I was lucky enough to get a glimpse of the Pope as he was speaking.
Next time I am in Rome I am going to book as many tours and I can because I am dying to learn more about this incredible city. I love Rome and I think you will as well. As, always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!