A few month’s ago I spent four wonderful days in Rome which made me fall in love with the city all over again having been once back in 2010. The city is steeped in history and there are so many Roman ruins you can explore that you’d need weeks to do it all but Rome is absolutely perfect for a long weekend break to catch the best of the best.
For me, it’s the kind of city which now I have seen I don’t think I’d be rushing back to but that’s because I noticed this time more than before how touristy the city is and even heading further out it’s hard to find many places which feel truly authentic.
Here are six things you have to do during your visit to Rome:
Take in the sights from an open bus tour
Anyone who’s read my blog before would have guessed this would come up but I am a huge advocate of the Big Bus tours and take them whenever there is an option with my destination city. The Rome tour takes about 90 minutes and is a great overview to give you some bearings around the city but also to give you some great information about the city that you wouldn’t know from walking around on your own.
Look at the sky through the Pantheon
The Pantheon is one of those quick visit places where you can be in and out within 15 minutes but that doesn’t take away from how stunning it is. Stepping into the building it just made me think of the Da Vinci Code as the curved ceilings tower high above with an open top big enough to see the sky from. Depending on when you visit it’s an incredibly atmospheric and beautiful spot to see the sun rise or set in (although easier to do in the Winter months when this happens during trading hours).
Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain
Yes, this is a so touristy but I always love to indulge in the tourist fads when I am away as well as discovering some off the beaten tracks things as well. You can’t go to Rome and not go to the Trevi Fountain, it’s like going to New York and not seeing Lady Liberty. You might struggle to actually get close to the fountain so first thing in the morning is a good tip, but throw in a coin and make a wish.
Grab some ice-cream from Giolitti
Not far from the Trevi Fountain is a fairly unassuming bakery/ café which is reportedly one of the oldest ice-cream parlours in Rome dating back to 1890 when Giuseppe and Bernardina Giolitti opened for business. Even today it’s still owned by the same family and there’s no surprise why it gets so busy as the choice of flavours on offer is incredible and the ice-cream itself was some of the best I’ve had.
Visit the Colosseum
Perhaps the most iconic image of Rome is the Colosseum and it’s somewhere you have to visit. I would recommend booking your ticket in advance as you can avoid all the queues outside and ignore those offering to sell you tours as the audio guide is the only thing you need to part some extra euro’s on as it guides you around the Colosseum giving you insight into what it might have been like during the Roman times.
The Colosseum itself dates back to 70AD and with a construction of this epic proportions, it’s incredible to see so much of it still standing despite everything the world has been through since. In terms of places to visit in Rome, it doesn’t get more impressive than this.
Explore the Roman Forums
When you get a ticket for the Colosseum you can access the Roman Forums for free and it’s an area well worth exploring as there’s loads of Roman ruins inside and stunning architecture of important governments buildings which surround the ancient plaza. It really made me think about the size and complexity of the city and how it would have functioned back in the Roman times.
You can head to Rome from a number of airports in the UK such as Ryanair departing from Manchester, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stanstead. British Airways departing from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Aberdeen, Manchester, Newcastle, Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow, Jersey and Leeds Bradford.