Do as the Romans! We tried! Here you can see Ryan and I deciding the gladiators’ fate in the Coliseum and me giving my best gladiator stance with the selfie stick.
We loved Rome (I’ll probably say this every post about whatever I am talking about, because it’s true)! It is a classic beauty and worth the visit.
Day 1: We hit the ground running once our train arrived at Roma Centrale. Well not quite, there was a pretty big line for taxis. But once we got our bags dropped off, we hit the ground running!
Our first stop was the Borghese gallery. Put this museum on your Rome to do list. The palace is gorgeous, the frescoes amazing, and the statues are breath-taking. If you take my advice and put this on the itinerary, make sure you get tickets beforehand. Especially in the summer months, the gallery sells out days before.
Our next stop was high on my excitement list, Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, aka “the bone church”. This chapel is a monument to the Cappuccin monks and human bones are used as the decoration. It is eerily beautiful and a great reminder to honor life. Hopefully when you go you will get “stuck” between 2 English speaking tour groups like we did. Free tour! Because this is a holy place, make sure your shoulders and knees are covered. (No pictures were allowed)
After the bone church we did the typical tourist stops: Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Both are worth getting the photo op and then moving on.
We had a delicious dinner at Catinari in the Jewish Ghetto. It was late so we didn’t walk around much but next time I’d like to spend a little more time walking around this area of Rome.
Day 2: Coliseum and Roman Forum
So most travel guides will tell you to get your ticket at the Roman Forum first and then go to the Coliseum after. Those travel guides are absolutely right! We had no wait to get into the Forum, while less informed tourists stood in lines that almost wrapped around the Coliseum. You’re going to see both (hopefully), go to the Forum first.
Be ready to sweat if it is the summer, there is very little shade at either site. Take your time and take advantage of the free water fountains.
After a delicious lunch at Vinando (with air conditioning), we wandered through the Capitoline Hill Museum. Museums are a good way to keep seeing cool things while getting out of the sun in the late afternoon. The Capitoline Hill museum was just what we needed…air conditioned areas. Plus it had more frescoes, some really cool chandeliers, and a huge statue of Marcus Aurelius.
Dinner was at this quirky restaurant in Trastevere call Ombre Rosse. The wait staff was incredibly nice, food was amazing, and we enjoyed watching a woman try to “entrap” single men into buying one of her roses.
Day 3: Vatican City
Here’s another attraction where it pays to spend money on the tour. We booked a Skip the Line tour through Viator and it was worth every penny. It would be worth it just for the ability to get into the Vatican museum earlier than the public (which we did), but also because you get more information about what you are looking at. Our tour guide did a great job explaining how the Vatican complex evolved into what it is today and was able to move us through all of the things to see. Highly recommend going with the tour. After the tour ended, we went back into St. Peter’s and were able to climb the dome (so tiring, so worth it). When we came our of St. Peter’s the line to get in (similar to the Coliseum) cut completely across St. Peter’s Square. Go early and go with a tour.
We were starving and thirsty after the tour and so we made the poor decision to eat at one of the tourist traps near St. Peter’s Square. I didn’t go to Italy to eat at the Olive Garden and quite honestly the Olive Garden would’ve been better (and significantly cheaper). Hold off and move out of Vatican City to eat/drink.
We were done with the Vatican tour and lunch around 3ish and The plan was to go to the Castel Sant’ Angelo and then the Pantheon. Well, we walked over to the Castel Sant’Angelo decided to just take a selfie on the outside (we were hot and tired). Then we visited the Pantheon (and got some really cool pictures). We then opted to nap in our air conditioned room.
For apertitivo, we had a drink in the Campo de’Fiori, a large piazza with several restaurants. We decided to go back to Trastevere for dinner and found a cute restaurant. Trastevere is lively at night, there are a lot restaurants to pick from and the further you get from the bridge and square, the less touristy (less-expensive, better food), the restaurants get.
After dinner (around midnight), we had one last kiss on the bridge and headed back to the hotel. The following day was a big one, as we picked up the car and headed to Tuscany!