Two (unforgettable) Days in Rome
Roma, roma, roma... you might be my favourite city so far. With so much history and the BEST food it's no wonder! Putting together this blog post filled me with such strong nostalgia it has me wanting to plan a trip back ASAP. Hopefully you feel inspired as well!
There are 3 main sections to this post that will help you plan out your dream trip to the Italian capital:
1. Where to Stay
2. Where to Eat
3. What to Do
Where to Stay
We always prefer to stay as close as possible to the sights we want to see. We are all about that walking life to really take in as much of a new city as we can! Rome is more spread out than other European cities but still possible to explore mainly by foot.
We stayed in an hotel that was right between the Vatican and Castel Sant'Angelo. It was a terrible hotel, would not recommend, but it was the perfect location. A quick (5 min) walk to the Vatican museum and St. Peter's Square as well as some amazing restaurants! Also, it was easy enough to catch the subway to other areas of town when needed.
Where to Eat
My favourite section! I could talk (and dream) about Italian food all day long and Rome definitely boasts some of the best! Pasta, pizza, bruschetta, gelato, the list goes on and on!
We used Yelp a few times in Rome to find dinner spots as we didn't want to waste money on an average meal. It led us to an amazing seafood restaurant, Porto, pictured above. We loved this spot so much we went back for a second time!
Although Yelp is a trustworthy way to find spots to eat, there is something so exciting about stopping into random hole-in-the-wall spots while wandering around. Bruschetta is one of my favourite Italian snacks so, as we explored the streets of Rome, we would stop at any little restaurant that looked promising to try their version out. Honestly you can't go wrong! And it helps to keep up your energy while exploring in the blazing heat of summer.
What to Do
Rome is known for its history and it would be a crime visiting this city without exploring its amazing sights. With sooo much to see and do it can be a little overwhelming to know where start! We split our list of activities into 2 days based on the locations of each spot.
Day 1 - Vatican City
I grew up in a Catholic family and, because of this, the Vatican has always had an extra special meaning to me. Even if you're not religious, this is not a spot to miss. It is packed full of history and amazing art. There are several different sections to the Vatican that are worth checking out. Mainly, the Museums, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's.
Note: make sure to dress appropriately for visiting the chapel and basilica. Knees and shoulders need to be covered for entrance! I solved this issue by carrying a scarf with me to use as a shall when needed in certain areas.
We started this day at the Museums and, to our surprise, we were able to get in very quickly, even without previously purchasing skip the line tickets. We were mesmerized by the stunning architecture, vivid paintings, and cool sculptures. A least a couple of hours are needed to do this place justice.
The Sistine Chapel is also located in the Museum and is known for its captivating frescoes. My neck was a little sore by the end of the visit from craning to take in every inch of the ceiling. Be warned: the chapel itself is very tiny and will undoubtedly be crammed full of tourists. Also, pictures are not allowed inside the chapel.
After grabbing a quick lunch we tackled our next stop: Saint Peter's Basilica. Entrance is free but tends to have a long wait time. This was true on the day we visited anyways. To avoid this, try to visit earlier in the morning. Once we were in, we toured the massive church (shedded a few tears - me) and then made our way to the next line to go to the top of the dome. This does have a fee but, in my opinion, it is worth it. I love getting up high and taking in views of the cities I visit and this spot does not disappoint! There are also two different options: climb the stairs or take a lift. We chose the first, mainly because it is cheaper (8 euro vs 10).
Day 2 - Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon
This was by far our busiest day. We knew that the Colosseum and Forum were going to be the trickiest to see as they both require tickets so we made sure to be there first thing in the morning. Even so, we ended up in line for about 30 minutes to get in. Definitely recommend buying your tickets prior to going. You can do so here.
Give yourself lots of time to explore each of these historic places. We actually spent more time in the Forum than in the Colosseum. I was shocked at how expansive the Forum actually is, especially since it is preserved right in the middle of the city!
After taking in the sights at the Colosseum and Forum, we headed North on foot to find the next iconic stop of the day: the Trevi Fountain. It was a bit of a walk but everywhere you look are beautiful streets and buildings to appreciate so the time flies!
Then, when we finally made our way to our last stop of the day, the Pantheon, we rewarded ourselves with gelato! Note: we only admired the Pantheon from the outside and didn't go in. You can only do so much and this wasn't a priority for us.
On our final morning in Rome, we set out to find the iconic Spanish Steps. When we arrived, were disappointed to find them under construction and covered up. A little heartbroken but nothing more gelato couldn't fix! Also, it's a good excuse to return one day!
Have you been to Rome? What did you love about it? Let me know in the comments below!