DAY 13, 15, and 16: ROME

Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither should exploring it. Although there is much to do in Rome, most sites are grouped fairly close together and can be reached by metro. We purchased the Roma Pass for 30 Euros that allowed us 3 days of unlimited public transit as well as advance entry into the Colosseum / Roman Forums / Palatine Hills and one other museum of your choice. It will certainly come in handy jumping the long line ups, you’ll feel like VIP.

Colosseo: It’s a shame this amphitheatre is in ruins now, but its structure is still impressive and iconic nevertheless. It’s thrilling and equally morbid to know gladiators once fought each other to the death on this sand, but it makes for good television and film. If you pay for a tour guide, they can take you to the top of the Colosseum ring as well as the main stage area.

Foro Romano & Colle Palatino: Pretty much all of the Roman Forums and Palatine Hills are in ruins, so you’ll have to use your imagination to visualize what once was Roman public life. This is where they held their elections, criminal trials, public announcements, and conducted their business affairs.

Pantheon: Also known as the “Temple of all the Gods”, this dome structure may look familiar to some of you gamers out there, best known from Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Built between A.D. 118 and 125, this is ancient Rome’s most well preserved building.

Fontana di Trevi: Throw a coin into this famous fountain and be sure to return to Rome one day. There are tons of tourists here and you can visit it pretty much any time of the day you want, as the fountain is well lit up. Just watch out for pick pockets.

Piazza di Spagna or Spanish Steps: The Spanish Steps to me didn’t quite live up to the hype that I’d seen in photos. I had imagined it with an abundance of fresh flowers, romantic lighting, and enjoying wine out on the patio. That wasn’t really the case – it’s just a large set of stairs with a lot of tourists sitting on it, not doing much.

Piazza del Campidoglio, Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo: These are just some of the famous squares with famous statues that reside all over Rome.

Shopping Galore: Shops in Rome are all over the place. Try the alleyways by the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, as well as the main shopping streets of Via del Corso (between Piazza Venezia to Piazza del Popolo) and Via Cola di Rienzo (between Piazza del Popolo to Vatican City).

Pasta al Forno; Pumpkin Tortelli; Grilled Beef with Apple and Cinnamon; Roasted Pig; Veal Chop; Grilled Beef Fillet

Puff Pastry with Mascarpone and Strawberries; Pistachio Caramel Panna Cotta; Black Chocolate Flan; Tiramisu

Food Recommendation: The best meal in all of Italy that I’ve had, not once, but twice, was at “Vineria Il Chianti” near the Trevi Fountain. Everything we ate was absolute perfection. The most surprising dish was the veal chop, as it had the most amazing sauce – I still don’t know what they put in it, but it was both mouth watering and mind blowing. I would strongly recommend going to this restaurant. The service could be improved, however, as the waiters weren’t the most attentive, but the restaurant inside and outside patio were always filled with happy customers.

And there you have it! 16 jam packed days of Italy! Time to head home and do some much needed laundry.

Interested in other cities?

Venice
Verona
Milan
Florence
Pisa & Lucca
Pompeii
Capri Island
Sorrento & Positano & Amalfi & Ravello
Vatican City
Return to the suggested itinerary and train travel guide.