For 18 odd years of my life France had been the place to go year on year but when family holidays come to an end the real exploring begins.
I’ve been so lucky to have visited some amazing places since those years ended but Rome has stolen my heart.
I can’t remember the last time I felt so content. It’s a city whose beauty truly leaves you speechless and in awe of every street you come across!!
Lucky for me this trip to Rome was a Christmas present but like most of our trips lately, it was booked through Click&Go. (www.click&go.com)
I can’t fault Click&Go for how seamless it is to book a trip away, it’s all there for you and they’re always so helpful through email if you’ve any questions.
Maybe you could get a cheaper deal by booking all parts of the trip separately but I love how Click&Go allows you to pay a deposit and pay off your holiday when it works for you.
Obviously there’s a deadline but we always make sure to pay it off little by little and soon as possible so it’s not something you’ve to worry about.
In terms of our flight, we flew with Ryanair into Ciampino Airport and the flight takes 3 hours.
When you get to the airport you have the option of taxis and bus/train.
The bus/train is €2.70 and brings you into Termini, the main transport hub in the City Centre.
To be honest, we never really opt for public transport from the airport. Early morning flights and dragging luggage around isn’t the most appealing way to start your holiday. We were staying about 30 mins away from the airport which would be roughly the same for anyone staying on the city. Our taxi to our hotel was €45.
In terms of getting around Rome there’s buses, metro, trains and trams.
We mostly walked everything, it’s a big city but you’ll find the tourist areas are quite close to each other so walking is definitely doable plus you get to see much more of the city. (Make sure to pack comfortable shoes as parts of the city are quite hilly) My favourite part was wandering down random streets, minus the crazy drivers!!
The only time we used taxis during our trip was to and from dinner. Prices get more expensive as the night goes on. A trip back to the hotel cost us as much as €15 for less than a 10 min drive.
The only times we used the Metro & Tram were our to visits to the Vatican and Trastevere. A 24hr ticket was €7 each which gave you unlimited use of all public transport across Rome! There’s also an option to buy a 48hr (€12.50) or 72hr (€18.00) ticket.
Victor Emmanuel Monument Viewing Platform
I’m putting this one first because it’s one I wasn’t aware of and one that isn’t pushed as much compared to all the other tourist activities we came across.
At the top of the Victor Emmanuel monument, there is a viewing platform where you get to see a panoramic view of the city. It’s especially close to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum so the views of those from above are extra cool. I won’t spoil it for you with pictures!
The line to get up roughy takes half an hour but only because there’s only 1 lift and it takes 6 people at a time. It makes the experience more enjoyable because there’s only about 20 people up there at once so there’s loads of space and no struggling to get a good view.
Tickets are €10 each but it’s such a nice little bonus after doing all the other touristy bits.
The monument itself is also such a beautiful building and you’ll get those steps in!!
City Bus Tour
Like most places we’ve been to, the bus tour of the city was first on our list. It’s such a handy way to get to know the city and see where everything is located. It’s really useful for helping plan out your days.
€23 for 2 24hr tickets.
Colosseum & Roman Forum/Palatine Hill
Obviously this is going to be on everyone’s list when visiting Rome so I’ll keep it short and sweet.
I bought our tickets for the Colosseum and the Roman Forum through Viator.com and they were €70. This gives you access to both attractions and fast tracks you which is a MUST!! You’re also given a time slot for your visit to the Colosseum.
The queues to get into both, especially the Colosseum, are crazy. The queue definitely had hundreds of people in it, I can’t imagine how long it would take to get in without a pre booked time slot!
Be ready for the chaos, there’s people everywhere!!
In terms of the Roman Forum it’s so impressive! We didn’t give ourselves enough time to go around it all before our trip to the colosseum so definitely give yourself up 2 hours in there. Including Palatine Hill, which is located in the same area, there is 5km to cover so make sure to have your walking shoes!
Possibly my favourite part of the trip, so much so that we visited it 4 times in the end! It’s incredibly beautiful and peaceful despite the crowds gathered around it at every hour of the day.
Again, it’s crawling with people. Much more than I would have imagined.
However getting a picture by the foundation is quite easy. People are good for slotting in and out quickly.
A visit both during the day and night are essential.
St Peter’s Square
To be honest I was more blown away by St Peter’s Square than I thought I would be. It’s incredible and so beautiful. (everything was beautiful but you know what I mean)
You can get quite close to the Basilica without going in and there’s plenty of steps surrounding the square where you can sit and take it all in. It’s very relaxing.
We didn’t bother with the museum or going into the Vatican as the queues were mental. I’m sure it would serve you well to pre book your visit as with the Colosseum to avoid the long waiting times. You also need to make sure you have appropriate clothing; you need to cover your shoulders and knees when entering any churches in Vatican City.
Trastevere is a cool little neighborhood where you get to experience old Italy at its finest.
It’s a lovely place to talk walk around the little streets and grab some lunch. We spent about 2 – 3 hours out there.
The prettiest steps you’ll ever see!! You get a lovely view from the top and it’s a great place to grab a little rest and soak in the atmosphere.
The Pantheon is free and worth a visit. There’s a small queue to get in but it moves quickly as people are constantly rotating in and out.
Where To Eat
I couldn’t wait to write this section. As silly as I sounds the food was even better than I thought it would be and definitely lived up to the hype I created for myself before going. 😂
We found this due to its close proximity to our hotel (it’s located on Via Nationale) and it was lovely. We found a lot of places we came across only had continental breakfast options so it was always a treat to find somewhere that served hot breakfast and it was good!
Possibly the best place we had breakfast and it was a really cool cafe. Loads of hot breakfast options and they served tea which is a bonus for me as I hate coffee!
Both reasonably priced.
Massenzio Ai Fori
We had lunch here the day of my birthday and it was so lovely.
The food was incredible, the staff were so friendly and they’re outside seating area was so pretty.
It’s close to the Roman Forum and Colosseum which would make it perfect lunch location.
We had lunch in Nannarella when we visited Trastevere and it was such a cute restaurant, again with amazing food! Given what we seen it was one of the most popular restaurants we came across out there.
Again with food and drinks, the price of both places were what you would expect them to be.
Two of my favourite and must visit restaurants were That’s Amore & Pizzeria Da Baffetto.
Pizzeria Da Baffetto
Pizzeria Da Baffetto is the place to go for pizza and the real Italian experience. Their pizza is out of this world and the restaurant is an old house which makes for a very interesting dining experience.
They try to fit as many people in as possible. We were seated in their upstairs area which was tiny and you basically sat at the same table as the people beside you! Cosy! 😂
We had 2 pizzas and 2 drinks for just €24!
That’s Amore was on another level to anywhere we ate. Possibly the best food I’ve ever eaten!! You would want everything on the menu which might explain why we ate there 3 times during our trip!!
It’s an extremely popular restaurant and with good reason. It’s such a nice setting, the staff are extremely friendly and there’s no long wait even though it’s extremely busy.
It’s quite difficult to get a table so I would advise booking a table a day or two in advance if you can.
It’s probably what I’ll miss most about Rome for sure!
Babbingtons Tea Room
Babbingtons Tea Room was something we came across when we visited the Spanish Steps and we didn’t realised what we were getting ourselves into.
It was on the pricey side at €44 for tea, coffee and 2 slices of cake but I’m glad we didn’t realise the prices before sitting down because it was worth every cent. 😂😍 The chocolate cake and lemon meringue pie were the nicest we’ve ever tasted.
Worth a visit, especially if you can afford to treat yo self!!
You can’t really get bad gelato but one place that had exceptionally nice gelato was Ice Crome near Pizzeria Babetto.
Magnum Pop Up
Something you could experience in any city but worth a visit all the same. You cannot beat ice cream loaded with goodness. It’s located just off to the side of Trevi Fountain but has nice seats to escape the madness for a little treat.
Where We Stayed
We stayed in Hotel Palladium on Via Gioberti, which is located very close to Termini Station.
It was a 4 star hotel and was very much Italian style and decor. The room was the same, old style but extremely clean.
The bathrooms were completely modern which gave it a little boost. I couldn’t really fault the hotel or the cleaning service.
We were just in the room to get ready for dinner and sleep as with most holidays so I never really bother with how the hotel looks once it’s clean.
The hotel had a nice little rooftop bar along the edges of the restaurant which was a nice little bonus.
In terms of location it was perfect for us as we were never really more than a 25 mins walk to anything we wanted to see.
It’s all just up to your hotel preference while away.
Also don’t forget to factor in the city tax into the price of your stay! It’s €6 per person per night.
Now I’m trying to beat the holidays blues already and dreaming about my next visit to Italy, it’s somewhere I want to explore even more now.
Hope you find this helpful and if you’ve any further questions I’d be happy to help!!
Next up, Lisbon!! 🇵🇹
Love, Laura x