Rome…. It has been my dream since I watched the Lizzie McGuire Movie (currently on Netflix for anyone in need of a refresh). It wasn’t until I got there that I realized the improbability of a concert happening in the colosseum. From the sights, to the food (i.e., pasta&gelato), to the art, you really have to see it all. Here is the perfect itinerary to do just that.
Get settled in, and get ready for all of Instagram likes. Let all your followers know exactly where you are by hitting the first day running and checking out a couple of the most notable sights. Get to the Roman Forum and the Colosseum easily by taking a tram (which may or may not be free, read more about it here). The ticket line is typically shorter for the Roman Forum, so you can save time by buying your tickets there and then heading to the Colosseum.
After getting a feel of ancient Romans lived, get a taste of how contemporary Romans live. Get the necessities, food, wine, and gelato. Then explore the neighborhood you’re staying in. Or, explore the neighborhood we stayed in. Trastevere is full of amazing restaurants and lovely piazzas with music and performers. Most importantly, Gelateria del Viale is also found in Trastevere and it is delicious. Finally, get some rest because day 2 has an early start!
Get an early cappuccino and head over to Vatican City. If you’re ambitious enough you can beat the line and explore St. Peter’s Basilica at opening hour (0700). If you’re not an early bird, and it’s a Wednesday, stake out a good spot to hear the Pope’s mass at 1000. Wednesdays he holds mass outside (unless it rains). Afterwards you can see St. Peter’s Basilica and explore all the treasures contained in the Vatican Museum. If you’re not scared of heights, plan a climb up to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica to get unique views of the Basilica and of Vatican City.
Before leaving that area of Rome, take a look at Castel Sant’Angelo. It was originally built as the Mausoleum of Hadrian and was once used as a papal residence and a prison. There still exists a covered passageway that connects to the Vatican to Castel Sant’Angelo from back when popes used it to flee from danger.
Okay, so this day is pretty instagram-able too. After you have a belly full of WPG (wine, pasta, gelato), go see my favorite part of Rome. The Trevi Fountain. The fountain is a little extra magical at night. Throw in a coin to ensure your return to Rome, two coins to get married, but throw in a third and you’ll get divorced (or so they say). Make sure you use your right hand over your left shoulder. And feel good about your coin toss since coins are collected everyday and used for charity.
If you haven’t seen the Audrey Hepburn movie Roman Holiday, do yourself a favor and watch it before you get to Rome! One of the famous scenes takes places at La Bocca della Verita. Legend has it, if you stick your hand in the monument’s mouth and tell a lie, the Bocca will slam shut and chomp your hand off! You can find this outside of Chiesa di Santa Maria in Cosmedin. You can also explore the small medieval church and it’s crypt.
The Pantheon is next on the agenda. The 2000 year old temple, which is now a church, is one of ancient Rome’s best preserved monuments. It is so well constructed it almost looks fake until you see the small cracks in the stone (only mildly concerning).
Nearby you will find Piazza Navona, arguably one of Rome’s prettiest piazzas. It contains two of Bernini’s fountains, Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, and Fontana del Moro (a Dan Brown fans dream come true). A third statue Fontana del Nettuno completes the piazza.
Last but not least, see another Roman Holiday highlight, the Spanish Steps. You can do some more WPG and hang out on the steps with the rest of the Romans. And if you’re looking to shop, this is the place to do it. Right outside of the of the Spanish Steps you will find any every high end retailer you can think of.
Enjoy Rome-ing around! Find a video version of our trip here.