09/11/2018

The Ultimate Rome Travel Guide

I don’t know what is wrong with my family. The only place I would go with them in the Summer was Algarve (the southest place in Portugal, where all the fun is during this caliente season). In the past few years, it all has changed. I now know more italian cities than portuguese ones. Last July, after my eighteenth birthday, I went to Rome! I ended up going to Bologne too in the same trip, but that’s a hell of a story.

View from the Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy

Essential tips

  1. Pack fresh and comfortable. In the summer, it gets really hot. Like, really hot. That being said, don’t pack jackets, sweaters, you know, all the things you would need in Northern Europe, just not in Italy. Bring snickers in your bag as you will find that you will walk a lot.
  2. Buy a transit pass. You can use all of Rome’s public transports by buying a daily transit pass. It’s price is 8€ per day. Rome’s transports aren’t the best, but they can take you literally anywhere in the city without having to spend a penny in private transports.
  3. Do not eat near tourists attractions. You’ll find food too expensive in the city, in general. However, near tourists attractions like the Colosseum, things get outrageous. If you are into snacks, there are some good coffee shops with paninis, pizzas, and other italian goodies. You won’t get the full italian experience, but your wallet will thank you.

Before you get disappointed

Rome is great, don’t get me wrong. However, it is not what everyone tells you or what every influencer shows you. I don’t know if it is because I’m used to the portuguese hospitality or so, but I wasn’t pleased with their sympathy. They are not as nice as they were, for example, in Palermo.

The streets are quite dirty, you can easily run into a dangerous neighborhood, poverty is right before your eyes. That’s just how the world works, unfortunately.

On the other hand, you can feel the italian vibe, their authencity, their traditional side mixed with their metropolitan, busy lifestyle (traffic is crazy). Just the sensation of walking on a street and having by your side Roman ruins is worth every bill spent. 

I can’t explain to you guys why I love Italy so much. A few days after I left, I had mixed feelings about the hole experience. I loved the monuments, the landscape, the vibe, but I was shocked with the lack of careness for such an amazing city (and country). Some historical parts of the city (and a significant group of people) are just decaying and government authorities seem not to care. Don’t get scared, it is great and it is beautiful! I’m just warning you that it is not a perfect place. Don’t expect it to be paradise.

The 3-day travel guide

You can see Rome (at least it’s most importante places) in three days.

First day – Ancient Rome

After you’ve drank your cappuccino (Rome has the best cappuccinos ever), it’s time to go to the Colosseum. Please, buy a skip the line ticket. You will regret not buying one forever. Buy a ticket with entrance to the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum for the full roman experience. If you are into history, buy a guide or ask for a payed guided tour – they barely have free informative brochures. If you would like to step on the arena, you can pay extra. Personally, I think it isn’t worth the price as you will not actually step on the arena, but on a wood deck above the arena.

Get some lunch in the surrounding area, far enough from the sight.

Come back to the Colosseum, it’s time to explore the Palatine Hill. This will take you the whole afternoon if you wan’t to fully enjoy it. Once again, try to buy a guide or do your own research on the place.

Second day – The Vatican

After you’ve skipped the line (please do), go into the Vatican Museums. You don’t need to be catholic or a theist to like it, it is more of a history museum than a religious museum. There you can testify a good use of the Church’s money. From egipcian and etruscan artefacts to pop arte, you get it all. Plus, you get to see the mesmerizing (and always crowded) Sistine Chapel. This will take a lot of your day.

If you want, you can eat in one of their restaurants.

Walk yourself through the beautiful gardens and go into the Saint Peter’s Basilica. I forgot to tell you! When you are visiting churches, cover your shoulders and knees. If you don’t, you have two options: pay for a scarf that you didn’t need or stay outside the monument.

Third day – Explore the City

Get one of those free tourist maps, use the metro and start exploring! The most famous sights, like Trevi’s Fountain and the Spanish Steps, are near each other. You will only need to use the metro to get to the first sight and to go to your accomodation. Don’t worry about water, there are plenty of drinking fountains downtown. Nowadays, due to our world’s condition, you will see militar tanks for your security. Be careful with your own belongings, although I do not think it is so dangerous as people say it is.

And that’s pretty much it. You will love it as much as I do! This is not a sponsored post, but if you find it helpful I bought my tickets in www.tiqets.com. I flew with TAP (my flight back got cancelled, but I got a huge deal and it’s the safest company I know) and I booked my hotel (a 3-star one near the Termini train station) with Agência Abreu. You’re welcome! Oh, wait. I have a question for you! Where should I go next? I’m thinking of New York. Is it worth it?

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Hi! I'm Inês, a near Lisbon based brunette, currently starting a Law degree. If you want to get exclusive unpublished articles (such as my lasagna recipe), a lot of freebies and a monthly update on what's going on in here, don't forget to sign up to our newsletter.