Rome may sound like a mainstream destination, but trust me – it’s a classic and definitely a must-see! Even if you’re not into old ruins and ‘stones’ – which are basically everywhere in Rome – the city’s charm and magical atmosphere will make you think twice. I’ve been to 3/4 biggest European capitals (Paris and London, Berlin is still on my list) and by far Rome is my favourite (okay, and maybe Paris, too). Of course, if you want to see everything and get the most of the Eternal city’s magic, you’ll probably need at least 5 days. But sometimes we only have 3 days at our disposal and here I’ll show you how to use them properly and get the best of Rome!
When we first arrived we went to the hotel and left our luggage. Then we took the subway to Piazza Barberini. That’s actually the station you need to get off to go to the Fontana di Trevi (it’s the closest one). It’s a nice large piazza with a fountain (like everywhere in Rome). We first went to Hard Rock Cafe which is 5-10 minutes away from the piazza. From Barberini you can go either to the Trevi fountain or the Spanish steps and we first chose the fountain. We needed only 5 minutes to really feel we were in Italy – strolling down the little narrow streets, leading to the fountain, with motorcycles here and there. And with every step we could hear the sound of water and babbling tourists and after some time – maybe 15 minutes or so – we were finally there. To be honest, it was not what I had expected – the piazza seemed quite small to me, it was so full of people that you could barely find a way to go through. And on that small overcrowded place a giant and marvelous piece of art stood there in all its beauty and splendour. It was definitely bigger than I had expected. When you go there make sure to throw a coin, so you’ll one day return to Rome. I personally threw 2-3, I really didn’t want to leave.
Then, crossing Via del Corso (it’s the best place to go shopping, stores like Zara, Vans, H&M and etc are everywhere), we went to another famous piazza – Navona, again with a giant fountain, The Four Rivers by Bernini.
From there you can go to 3 other important sites – the Pantheon, Campo de Fiori or the National Museum of Rome. We went to see the Pantheon which is an architectural wonder – in the center of the roof, where the dome should be, there’s a big hole. It was believed that standing under that hole when praying, people would be closer to the gods and their prayers would be directly heard. In front of the Pantheon once again you can see a fountain with an obelisk – Rome is the place with the most obelisks in the world, 8 of which were made in Ancient Egypt and were brought in Rome after the roman conquest. Once you’ve seen the Pantheon there’s one place you cannot miss – Gelateria della Palma. It’s quite busy but for a reason – you can choose from 150 flavours of gelato (that’s more than one could imagine). The most expensive cone will be €5 for which you’ll get 3 or 4 balls of ice cream.
After this quick ice-cream break go back to Piazza della Rotonda (where the Pantheon is), head to Via della Rotonda, which later turns into Via di Torre Argentina, and you’ll find yourself at Largo di Torre Argentina. It isn’t a famous tourist point but to explore a city is to find ‘secret’ places like this one. It is like a mini forum and also the land of cats. It’s actually a cat sanctuary where 150 cats live and are taken care of every day. You can look around, see the cats or even adopt one. Largo di Torre Argentina, where once the Curia of Pompey stood, is also thought to be the stabbing site of Julius Caesar according to recent studies. Only 5-10 minutes away from there you’ll find the Campidoglio square which will prepare you for the majesty of Piazza Venezia and Il Vittoriano. The latter is the monument of Victor Emanuel, the first king of unified Italy.
Piazza Venezia and the monument actually take a very central place in Rome – north of the piazza is Via del Corso, the Trevi fountain and all the other places I already mentioned. Behind the monument are the Imperial forums, The Colosseum and the Roman Forum with the Palatine hill. You should have in mind that the Imperial forums and the Roman Forum are not the same. The Foro Romano was the center of ancient Rome, and considered center of the world, while Fori Imperiali include the forums of Caesar, Trajan, Augustus and Nerva.
On our second day in La città eterna we visited the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. From the Palatin hill we had the chance to see Rome from above and we could only imagine what it looked like thousands of years ago looking down at the Forum. That day we also sat at a random restaurant we found and had some Italian pasta for lunch because what is visiting Italy without eating some pasta? Note that eating in a central place like 5 minutes away from the Colosseum will be much more expensive than somewhere else. The price range for pasta and basically everything is between €9-10 and €12-15.
We then made a Dan Brown inspired tour, but I’ll describe it in details in a separate article.
Another place I really wanted to see were the Spanish steps, but we had the misfortune everyone visiting Rome fears – the steps were being restored. Half of the staircase was closed and its charm was lost. However, we did manage to see the beautiful view from above the steps. The sun was setting down, the whole city was covered in warm colours and only the Saint Peter’s Basilica stood above the rest of the buildings.
At that point we were very tired from all the walking and we had already seen everything we had planned for the day, so we decided to just take an unknown street and see where it would lead us. We eventually found ourselves near the Tiber and sat for some time admiring the charming atmosphere of Rome.
Continue reading here.
Pin this for later: