This post is completely out of the ordinary for me and nothing I’ve ever done before – a travel blog. I’m hoping that it’s something that interests many of you and even helps those going to the places I’ve been – I personally love recommendations for all things from where to stay, where to eat and where to visit.
At the end of June I went to Rome for six nights and thought that I’d share my tips and tricks for the things that matter most. This post will be all about where to visit and my next post will be more about the places to eat and the general culture/what to expect when you’re there. So if you’re on your way to Rome anytime soon, I hope you find this helpful.
Where to Stay
When looking for a place to stay within Rome, it was really important to us that it was as close to the centre as possible – without being too expensive. The website I always use is Booking.com. Not only does it show you how far away things are, it also gives you traveller ratings and reviews for the property.
We ended up going with the Blue Inn Luxury Suites and it was fantastic. It was about a 10 minute walk from the Trevi Fountain, in a quiet residential area and there was also some great places to eat just around the corner – this was great for the nights you didn’t want to go into town.
The owner Giuseppe was brilliant. He let us know all the best places to go, the best ways to get there and even advised us of his favourite beers. He really is a credit to the place!
If you’re going to Rome, I’d definitely advise checking this place out. We stayed in the comfort suite which had a massive bed, en suite shower and a balcony terrace – which was perfect for having an afternoon coffee/beer on.
Where to Visit
When going to Rome there’s the obvious places to visit so I’ll quickly touch on those first, before going into the places that may not already be on your radar!
We went to the colosseum on our first full day in Rome. As I knew a few friends who’d been to the city before, they advised the queue outside can sometimes be a couple of hours long and it was worth paying a little extra to get a skip the line ticket – so we did.
We met just a three minute walk from the Colosseum, they took us straight to the Roman Forum, giving us an hour to go around the place and discover everything we wanted. This was the perfect amount of time to look around and there was some great views of the Colosseum!
After this we met up with the guide and went to the Colosseum. The group queue took a mere 15-20 minutes rather than the hour long queue that seemed to be mile long for those who’s just turned up.
Once we were in, the guide told us where we could go and that we could stay as long as we liked as this was the last part of the ticket. The company was super friendly and the experience went without a hitch, it’s definitely something I’d recommend.
The Colosseum itself was stunning. It’s crazy to think about all the events that have taken place in there many many years ago.
I’ve been to an amphitheatre before in Croatia but it had nothing on this one.
If you’re off to Rome, you must go! It’s a definite once in a lifetime experience.
Vatican City and the Sistine Chapel
I’m going to be honest, religion isn’t my bag. However, this doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate and respect those who follow one, along with admiring the beautiful paintings and building that have been created for them.
When going to Rome, I feel that visiting Vatican City is a must.
As with the Colosseum, we again bought Skip the Line tickets with Head Out. These tickets were £35 each, gaining you entry into the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. As with the previous escorted skip the line, we met around a 10 minute walk from the Vatican Museum and after getting there we had our tickets are were through the door in another 10.
One thing I will mention is that we went on a Saturday – big mistake. It’s important to be aware that the Vatican is closed on Sundays – apart from the last one of the month, and in our case it had also been closed on the Friday, due to a ceremony (I believe). Due to this, there was a huge amount of people and all the way around, it was like walking in a cluster with no space to breathe. Not ideal, especially in 30 degree heat, and it kind of put me off looking at the beauty of everything around me, I just wanted to get the hell out of there.
I’m so glad that I’ve seen it all and it really was a beautiful place but honestly, I don’t think I appreciated it as much as I should have due to the circumstances.
For St. Peters Basilica, you do need a ticket to get in or if like us, you just wanted to see the outside, you can just walk up to it. It really is a breathtaking building! It’s about a 10 minute walk from where you come out of the Vatican Museums – it’s really something special so be sure to check it out.
Side note/handy tip: As the Vatican is a religious place, shoulders and knees must be covered – so be sure to outfit plan beforehand!
This isn’t necessarily something for everyone, unless you love a castle – and I really do.
The castle is about a 10-15 minute walk from Vatican City and the views from inside of St Peters Dome, along with the city itself are worth going for if anything else. The castle itself has a lot of history as it has been used as a fortress, prison and home.
To explain everything that’s gone on there there’s boards around the castle in English explaining what each room/artefact is for – meaning if you didn’t even know it existed (like me), you’ll get to learn all about it.
It’s also worth noting that the road leading down to the castle over the river is also stunning, it has angels all along and is extremely picture worthy – I’d definitely recommend going past to just see the outside, even if you don’t fancy going in.
Santa Marinella is a beach. Yes, there’s plenty of beaches in Rome – so if you’re there for more than a couple of days like we were, it’s definitely a great choice to go and relax for a day.
We got the train from Roma Termini and it took around 45 minutes to get to Santa Marinella and another 10 minute walk to get to the beach itself.
The beach we went on did have paid sun lounge hire and we got two for 25 euros, which is around £12 each for a full day. We then found a shop nearby, bought a load of beers and had a good old time. I’ll be honest, I burnt like a bitch but I’ll blame that on the beer and not the fact I only applied sun lotion once – ooops!
There was of course other places that we went to see such as the Spanish Steps, Pantheon (but not inside) and Trevi fountain but there’s not really too much to say about them other than – go see them when you’re walking around (if you’re walking around).
I hope anyone reading this who’s going to Rome finds this helpful and keep your eyes peeled for my next post which will be all about helpful tips whilst you’re there!
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