As one of the most popular tourist countries in the world, Italy holds some of the most beautiful sites and richest history you could ever encounter. While planning this trip through Europe, we absolutely could not bypass Italy.
It was the second stop of the trip as my best friend and I flew from Barcelona to Rome. We had an apartment to ourselves that we rented through Airbnb for 6 nights. Airbnb or hostels are the way to go especially if you’re a younger traveler! We wanted to see so many things in Rome and 7 days was a perfect amount to do so before our next stop.
Traveling by metro and by foot are the best ways to get around this city. Since we were here for a week we purchased a week metro pass that would take us to any stop in the city for €26, not much at all! Or if you want the full touristic experience rent a moped! It was out of our budget at the time but if you have the funds, absolutely do it!
Rome is incredible, however, be prepared everywhere you go as it is very crowded. Tourists from all over the world flock here especially during the summer so plan accordingly.
Some of the MUST SEES of Rome:
- Colosseum/Roman Forum/Palatine Hill/Circo Massimo (all across the street from each other)
- Trevi Fountain (free!)
- The Pantheon (free!)
- Vatican City/St. Peter’s Basilica/ Catacombs (all free!)
- Piazza di Spagna/Piazza Navona/Piazza del Popolo (and every other piazza you can get to because they’re all wonderful and free! unless you eat and purchase souvenirs of course)
These are the top places in Rome we visited and should not be missed. You can purchase a ticket to see 3 sites (Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum) for around €20 however, if you want a tour guide it will be more around the €40-€50 range.
One great thing about visiting Vatican city is if the Pope is in town he has weekly addresses Sunday and Wednesday mornings in St. Peter’s Square that you can attend for free! Whether you are religious or not, it is a very moving experience. It is an indescribable feeling being surrounded by some of the most famous architecture and history in the world. It moved me to tears.
Along with the Vatican and Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon are also wonderful sites of architecture. On our last day in Rome, we walked to the Trevi fountain very late at night and it was lovely. There are lot less people and it’s even more beautiful lit up. The Pantheon is one of the most well preserved buildings of ancient Rome and is now in use for catholic church services. The amount of restoration and care that has gone into this incredible temple is astounding.
We took a day trip from Rome to Naples to see the ancient ruins of Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius. We were only 3 hours away and we thought why not! We took a charter bus down to Naples and toured the ruins of Pompeii first. This famous Italian port city still stands in ruins after the destruction from the volcano in 79 AD. Our tour guide was great and incredibly knowledgeable, she made the history of the ancient city even more interesting. Afterwards we stopped for lunch in the center of Naples for drinks and pizza which was incomparable! We then took the bus half way up Mount Vesuvius to the visitor center and we got to hike the rest of the way up to the very top and overlooking the inside. The view did not disappoint!
This was one of the coolest adventures ever experienced. This tour was about €150 and worth every cent! (transportation and meals/drinks included)
Our last night in Rome we ate at Obica Risstorante e Pizzeria , a few blocks down from the Trevi fountain. One sentence- This pizza will change your life! Make some time to stop at Siciliana Gellateria in south Rome by the Numidio Quadrato station because it has the absolute best chocolate canolis. Both of these are worth a visit!
Everywhere you walk in the eternal city you’ll discover something amazing. The food, the culture, and the architecture are truly one of a kind.