My trip to Rome this summer was a part of a larger trip that I took to Italy and Greece. I only had two weeks and I wanted see as many cities as possible with out missing too much that each city has to offer. That left me with only 2 days to conquer Rome and I am proud to say it was a success!
First, I looked at many attraction maps to find out where everything was located. I’ve added a link below to the one that was helpful to me.
Then I started with the two biggest and must see attractions in Rome, the Vatican and the Colosseum. I noticed that they are not located near one another. The Vatican is a huge area that is a city itself, and I only wanted to see the Museum. The Colosseum attraction also included Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. I realized it was impossible to see both areas in the same day, unless you really wanted to wear yourself out.
I was trying to decide if I should do the Colosseum the first day and the Vatican Museum the second or vice versa. I knew the first day we would be jet lagged and a lot of walking right way would be hard (but possible). So I started looking into night options. Both attractions offer night passes, however the Vatican Museum’s was only on certain days. It just so happened the Vatican night pass was available on the day we were arriving, plus reviews said there were no lines at night, and the price was cheaper. I knew I wanted to take pictures at the Colosseum and see the ruins with daylight since it was outdoors so this was perfect! We would go the Vatican in the evening on the first day and go to the Colosseum the next morning, which would give us the rest of the day to see everything else.
There are a lot different prices and options for tickets. I just wanted basic entry without all the add-ons and didn’t need a guided tour. (I like to explore on my own) I got my admission tickets online from the official websites, which are linked below. We ended up purchasing the audio guide at the Vatican Museum when we arrived.
Vatican Museum Night Pass 16 euro per person with 4 euro fee (only on fridays nights, skip the line)
Colosseum Ticket 12 euro per person with 2 euro fee (valid for 2 days, skip the line, and include Palatine Hill & Roman Formum)
The other attractions in Rome were all in the center of the city and after the Colosseum it wasn’t very far to reach to everything else. I wasn’t sure if we could walk or not so I looked up some bus routes or figured we could hop in a taxi if we were tired.
Where to Stay:
I decided to stay by the Colosseum and the Roma Termini (main train station for Rome) for a couple reasons. First, the main train station for Rome is where we were taking the train from Rome to the next city, Naples. Second, The airport where we arrived was also connected to the train so we can bypass the expensive taxi ride, or inexpensive but long bus ride into the city and take the train from the airport straight to the Roma Termini. I found a quite few hotels near the Colosseum and the train station. Found a Bed and Breakfast that was 15min walk to Colosseum and had a local subway stop down the street that could take us any wear in the city. I like the Bed and Breakfast vibe better than a hotel because you get to experience Rome like a local, the host was super nice and gives you a lot of good information, plus they usually make some delicious homemade treats for you!
Arrived in Rome at 1030am
Figured out where the train station was and took the train from airport to Roma Termini.
Arrived at Rome Termini, bought a map and walked to our hotel (was quite a hike with luggage and very confusing!)
Met with B&B owner who took us to our room, gave us info on what was around, plus another helpful map.
Sleep, sleep, sleep. (took about a 2hr nap, set many alarms)
After we got up and ready, we took the local train to the Vatican Museum stop. We decide to find some quick food before heading in and found this amazing Pizza shop.
The mom didn’t speak english so her son came out and helped us order, plus told us a cool area to check for nightlife after the museum called Camp de’ Fiori.
It was beyond amazing!
Next, we walked to the Vatican Museum. After getting turned around, I found the entrance and there was no line! 😉
(This is what the line normally looks like)
This is the main square inside the Vatican Museum.
View of the city from inside the museum.
We had 4 hours to explore but after about 2 we had enough lol.
After the museum, we got on the wrong bus to go to Camp de’ Fiori , then decided to take a cab. At first it doesn’t seem like your at the right place and then after following a narrow alley your a led into huge cobbled stoned square with many resturants and bars.
Had our first Italian meal and it was amazing!!
We hung out at a bar in the square, met some americans, jammed to the DJ’s tunes and even some of our own request.
Got some amazing Gelato before negotiating prices with taxis to take us back to our B&B since we had no clue where we were lol. (They will try to overcharge tourist)
Woke up early to get ready for the Colosseum, but the rain was ridiculously heavy. We tried to leave and halfway down the street we were soaked. We went back to hotel to wait a while. A couple hours later headed back out with fresh clothes and bigger umbrellas, the rain started to get lighter.
After walking 15min we are almost there!
Colosseum (buy pass from the link above to skip the line)
Pataline Hill and Roman Forum (rain stopped and sun started to shine!)
After exiting, we found a street with a bunch of restaurants and stopped for lunch.
Continued to Via Del Corso, a long cobblestone road with great shopping, or in my case window shopping.
Found the Fountain of Trevi.
Kept “roaming” around through Rome lol. Followed crowds and found some other cool attractions.
After we couldn’t walk anymore, we headed back to hotel to relax.
We were supposed to go to a nightclub but we still had five other cities to explore, so we had dinner down at a cute mop and pop restaurant down the street and threw in the towel.
Advice and Suggestions:
- When you first arrive in the city, whether by train or bus, take a cab to your hotel. Its not fun dragging all your luggage around while not exactly being sure if your a walking the right way.
- Get a train map, stay close to a train stop, and figure what trains to catch before you leave your hotel. I used the wifi at hotel to google map directions on train, then screenshot them before I left.
- Ask locals where to eat or hang out. The tourist guides don’t tell you everything, only main places they want you to spend your money.
- Connect with other tourist as well, they can give you advice, reviews or recommendations based there trip so far or just be fun to hang with.
- Don’t trust everyone’s directions, got told the wrong way to go a few times.
- Plan rest time in the day, wear comfortable walking shoes, and stay hydrated.
- Try to purchase attraction tickets from the official site for that attraction to avoid being overcharged by tour companies.
Wander, and have fun!