Wow, Rome was such a romantic and amazing city. There is so much history, good food, and places to see that you never have to search for things to do, you just walk outside and see it all. I loved every second of my trip there, and I hope everyone who is reading this gets a chance to go in their lifetime! Here are some recommendations and things I learned from my first trip to Italy.
1. Walk, don’t drive!
You can easily walk to all the attractions in Rome, especially if you stay at a hotel that is central to everything. Jack and I stayed at the Terrace Marco Antonio luxury suites and it was only a 10-minute walk to the Trevi Fountain. Around every main tourist attraction, there’s shops, gelato parlors, restaurants, and wine stores so you can easily find a nice place to eat. We would just stop in whatever restaurant or bakery that looked good on our way to the site we were seeing, and I don’t think we ever had a bad meal. Of course, the restaurants closest to the attractions would be more expensive, but if you walked further into one of the backstreets you’d always find some place a bit cheaper with the same sort of menu. The only time we were in a car was from the airport and back, and the traffic was pretty crazy both times. We were constantly moving but we were constantly weaving in and out of people and it took 45 minutes just to go a few miles. There’s not a whole lot of people who drive in the inner city though, and if they do it’s usually a moped or small car! The streets are very hilly and are narrow and cobbled, so it makes a lot more sense to walk. Jack and I walked an average of 8 miles a day, but it wasn’t bad if you wore the right shoes because of all you got to see! We would head out early to beat the crowd and would head back to our hotel in the afternoon to chill and get ready for dinner, and that worked well for us!
2. Do what’s free!
A lot of the sights we saw were free to the public, like the Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, and the Spanish Steps. Jack and I saw all of those the first day because they were in the same area, and it didn’t cost us anything! The Colosseum has free admission on the first Sunday of every month, however, the lines are pretty long. We did end up paying €50 for a tour so we could skip the lines, and to us, it was worth it. We ended up leaving the tour once we got inside and just ventured off on our own, which was what we wanted to do! Afterward, we ventured around the Roman Forum and saw some amazing ruins of ancient Rome! There's a spot on a hill on the way to the Piazza Campidoglio that has a view of the Forum and the Colosseum, and it's beautiful! You can pay to walk through the Forum but Jack and I walked around it and got to see everything from the top of the hill. On the third day, we walked to Vatican City which was also an amazing sight to see. We did pay €10 to walk up to the very top of the dome in the church- which was a STRUGGLE. That was some serious cardio, because it’s inclining stairs the whole way up, and they spiral up in a circle so I even got dizzy! It was worth it though because the views from the top were incredible. Probably the most expensive part of our trip was the hotels and eating out, even though the food isn’t terribly expensive it does add up if you eat out for every meal (and get gelato in between lol). Italian food is my favorite though, and I never had a bad meal!
3. Try Allllll the Foods
Besides all the glorious sights, the food was my next favorite thing about our trip to Rome. We had the best pizza I’ve ever tasted, amazing coffee, gelato every afternoon, some really unique pasta dishes, and one of my favorites: Nutella crepes. Hazelnut flavors were huge there, and they put it in coffee, gelato, deserts, and chocolates! There was a Lindor chocolate store that we came across, and we May or may not have gotten 20 pieces each of those individually wrapped pieces of Heaven. My favorite was the vanilla flavor wrapped in purple, it was the best chocolate I’ve ever tasted! There are plenty of places to eat and of course the ones closer to the tourist attractions bump their prices up a bit, but nothing was ever outrageous and we never had to wait to be seated because there’s so many options. The menus are outside the restaurants so you can see if anything sparks your interest and choose accordingly. If you’re wanting to plan a trip to Rome but have a budget, I would definitely go cheaper on the hotel and plan on doing a lot of the sight seeing for free/cheap and plan more for food!
The only thing Jack and I struggled with sometimes was the language barrier when we were trying to find things like soap or shampoo, we had to ask the lady at the pharmacy to help because everything was labeled in Italian! It made me wish I spoke a second language a lot more, and it’s kind of humbling to think about how there’s so many other cultures and lives out there besides just yours and the one you’re used to. People are pretty friendly or they keep to themselves for the most part, there are some guys who try to con you into buying shiny things or fake purses, but if you just ignore them they go away haha. Overall I absolutely loved my first trip to Italy and I can’t wait to go back and see other parts of this amazing country!