If you’re anything like me, then Rome was right at the top of the ‘destinations I must visit, list’. Unfortunately for me, I only got around to checking Rome out a few months back, and it was everything I could have expected plus more!
I spent just three days in Rome, in December 2015. I was expecting it to be cold, well not like the UK but cold enough to need a coat, I was wrong! It was t-shirt weather, well it was for me – the Italians were still wearing warm clothes. The temperature was a very nice 20°C, although it got chilly in the evenings.
As you’re probably aware Rome is full of history, what felt overwhelming for me was just walking down the streets passing major landmarks such as the Trevi fountain and our closest cash machine being right in front of the colosseum.
If you plan on visiting the colosseum I recommend getting your tickets before you go to save unnecessary waiting in the queues. The colosseum is an absolute must see and your ticket will cover your entry to there, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Once you finish inside the colosseum you will come outside to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Trevi foundation at night is an amazing sight and be sure to visit the Spanish steps.
I don’t want to ramble too much about how great the famous landmarks are, so I’ll try to contain my excitement and instead comment on how good the food and drink was. Before I left for Rome, I was told that food was expensive. However, when I arrived I had a different experience, the food we had was relatively cheap compared to UK prices. For example, one night we went to a local run traditional Italian restaurant and our main dish came to about £7 each, and the kind waiter gave us some complementary starter dishes and even better a free limoncello (definitely try the limoncello). We tried everything, from pizza, to pasta, to gelato and I can say nowhere does it better. I’m sure if you’re in the centre of the city by a main tourist attraction they’re going to charge you an arm and a leg – but that will happen anywhere. My advice would be to eat outside of the main tourist places. Not only is it cheaper, but you’re experiencing the real Italy!
The people of Italy were extremely helpful and would go out of their way to direct me in the right direction when lost. It’s something so simple, yet not all places in the world follow these common courtesies. The hotel we stayed in was so good for the price and we were even upgraded! The staff couldn’t have been nicer. It was a 15 minute walk from all the things we wanted to see so you won’t have trouble finding a good hotel.
Another great experience is to visit the Vatican, even if you’re not particularly religious, it’s still a great and unique place to visit. Consisting of more famous landmarks, and of course the Pope – it’s a charming place, that you could spend a lot of time just admiring the architecture and relishing in the history of the place. We walked 40 mins from our hotel, crossing the bridge over the river, and taking in all the architecture, which is unbelievable.
If you plan on visiting Rome, the summer months can get extremely hot, and the famous landmarks can get rather busy. However, don’t let that put you off as it’s a must see for anyone! I visited in the winter months, and was lucky to be blessed with amazing weather, and to top it off there were not many other tourists around.(compared to what you’d expect to see in the summer months).
I highly recommend Rome to anyone ,lone travellers, couples or even families with children, especially those children old enough to be learning about Roman times in school. It’s a shame I only got to spend a long weekend in Rome, but I did manage to cram most of the things I wanted to see in – but I’d highly recommend going for longer. Will definitely be visiting again soon!