Not to sound biased, but I believe that no other city is as rich in history, architecture, and food as Roma. I had the opportunity to visit the capital of Italy earlier this month for a weekend, and it had been a challenge trying to fit the richness of Rome in a little under 72 hours.
Somehow, we managed to squeeze everything we wanted into our schedule and enjoyed our time in the city of love. If you ever have the chance to visit Rome, here are a few things I suggest you do as I tell you about the 72 hours I had spent in Rome.
Flight to Rome.
If you are going through the Rome Ciampino airport, I highly advise you against taking a taxi, unless you have some deep pockets and are not on a budget like we had been. A taxi from the airport to inside the city (we stayed by the Vatican) can cost you fifty euros at minimum. Not economically feasible if you are on a budget or wanting to save for better things.
I suggest you take the metro or pre-book your transportation. A metro ride from the airport to downtown Rome is about an hour but it only costs you € 1.90, including a transfer to trains if needed.
Dinner at L’Isola della Pizza.
If you are near the Vatican area or live nearby it, stop here. The lasagna is to die for. The prices aren’t that bad and the portions are just right. When we went, the restaurant was nicely lit, the place was lively, and we had a very jovial host who helped us feel welcome.
Don’t worry if you aren’t fluent in Italian since. Many speak English or at least understand it. Our waiter joked with us the entire night and even asked us about where we were from and staying.
The Italians are known to be very charismatic people but I didn’t have a hard time starting conversation with many of them (mostly guys, but that’s a story for another time), and they love to recommend things for you to do.
Visit the Vatican.
Visiting the Vatican is a must. You can either buy your ticket ahead of time, pay a tour guide to get you in, or wait in line. We decided to wait in line for our tickets and got in fairly quickly, but that was mainly due to:
- Staying close to the Vatican (it was a five minute walk)
- It was raining
- It was off-season for tourism
Always pay the reduced student ticket price if you can by showing a valid ID as proof. It can reduce the price to free or four euros for entry.
The Vatican is a fairly big place to explore, and we decided to go to the museum section to see the Sistine Chapel. Unfortunately, you cannot take pictures of the Sistine Chapel, but you can spend more than three hours just gazing and admiring the other art within and a part of it.
I highly recommend this experience for any history buffs, art nerds, and those interested in Catholic and Christianity artwork.
Walk around St. Peter’s, Spanish Steps, Piazza de Spagna.
In my opinion, you don’t really need to visit the church, but it is definitely worth visiting if you want to. We just admired the outside of St. Peter’s since by the time we got out of the museum, the church was closing up with its last tours for the day. It’s a beautiful central area to visit and the pictures you can take of it are simply amazing.
From there we got on the metro and headed to the Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna. It was drizzling at this point so the light shower thinned the herd of tourists climbing the Spanish Steps for a photo. Here, we stopped at a bar and restaurant for a brief lunch before doing more window shopping and looking around.
Trevi Fountain, Pantheon Piazza Navona, Transverse.
This area was similar to Plaka in Greece and there were many restaurants and tourist shops to visit. We stopped and had a crepe at a place called Don Nino’s (I loved them!) and followed the path to the Pantheon.
The Pantheon is free to enter! So, if you have the time or interest, feel free to make a stop inside it. We had a personalized guide to Rome since one of my friend’s twin brother studied abroad in Rome a semester before us. We didn’t go inside the Pantheon, but we felt satisfied with basking in the presence of this ancient site within the city.
We eventually made it to Piazza Navona. In my opinion, the Fiumi Fountain is slightly better than the Trevi fountain but equally powerful in its design. Both are equally beautiful but I love the statues on Fiumi Fountain more than Trevi.
Travel to the Coliseum and Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Forum of Augustus.
This can all be completed in one go. The coliseum lines are always long so I recommend going to the Roman Forum to get your tickets and then head over to the coliseum next. Remember that the first Sunday of every month for every museum and landmark in Europe is free! You can go on these days to save money but keep in mind that the lines will be long.
Let me know how you enjoy your time in Roma!