To say Rome was a whirlwind is putting it lightly. We had about two and a half days here before we headed to the Amalfi Coast. We packed in SO many things and I have rounded up my top ten things to do! I got a lot of my tips from Emily, who came last year (see her post here). Let’s get right to it…
What I Wore:
- Take a private tour of the Vatican. We booked this tour through The Roman Guy. Honestly, if you don’t have a tour, it’s just silly to wait in the lines. It’s about two and a half hours to get into St. Peter’s and another two and a half to get into the Sistine Chapel. Everything was beautiful and we didn’t have to wait in any lines. I grew up very very Catholic, so to see all of this was truly a once in a lifetime experience. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. The good news is, you only have to go once. I’m not sure I could deal with those crowds again — and we were let in an hour before they opened to the public.
2. Take a guided city tour by car. Again we used Emily’s tour company (Pegaso) and it was a game changer. Our driver was so sweet (request Ottavio), extremely knowledgeable, and showed up in a wifi equipped Mercedes van. It was SOOO hot so the AC was a life saver. We got to see: the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Forum, Victor Emannuel’s monument (in my opinion, the most gorgeous building I have ever seen), and some secret spots that aren’t as well known. He took us to see where people think St. Peter was actually crucified, some amazing views of the city and told us the stories of all of the Egyptian obelisks we passed by. The whole tour was amazing.
3. Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain. Let’s face it, I’ve been wanting to do this since I saw the Lizzie Maguire movie. The fountain was super crowded but it was so worth it. Bucket list item!
4. Visit Borghese Gardens. The gardens were so massive, I was in shock! They were so gorgeous. If you have kids, there is plenty to do here: a carousel, a lake that you can rent rowboats on, puppet shows, a stage etc. I wish we would have had time to rent bikes and explore more! There’s always next time.
5. Eat Gelato. I feel like this one is obvious. We stopped at so many different shops, I don’t have one in particular I recommend — they’re all so good! We got into the habit of having gelato as a little snack right before dinner. Anything to beat the heat, right?
6. Shop at the Spanish Steps. I love exploring shopping in new cities, it is my favorite part about traveling (I know that’s weird). The shops here are all incredible! Everything is close by in one little area — I was particularly impressed with the Fendi and Valentino stores!
7. Turn down every alley and take photos. Some of my favorite parts of Rome, were ones we stumbled upon accidentally. You never know what beauty lies ahead of you, and that was really fun for me!
8. Eat cacio e pepe at Ristrorante alla Rampa. We also went to Felice a Testaccio which is supposed to be the best cacio e pepe in the world — but I preffered alla Rampa’s! They were both delicious though! I would eat this dish every day if I could!
9. Go inside every church you pass. On the last day, we were all really tired and kind of out of things to do. We headed back to Rome after spending a week on the Amalfi Coast because we flew out of FCO the next day. We had already seen all of the touristy places, so we headed to Trastevere because I wanted to see St. Cecila’s. I’m so glad we did this! We got to walk along the Tiber and then into the church where a nun was playing the organ. It was so magical!!!
10. Sleep in. The only regrets I have about our trip was not exploring more at night. We woke up so early every day (mostly because I had to post to Instagram at our usual West Coast time which happened to be like 5 AM in Italy). But it was SO hot that it’s almost not enjoyable to be out in the middle of the afternoon! After dinner, we were all so tired, that we just went straight home and to bed. Next time, I want to sleep in and truly take in the city at night too!
Some other amazing places we ate: Cotto, Osteria 44, Taverna Antonia and Eataly (don’t judge me).