Most things are not what you expect them to be, however, to me, Italy was exactly what I expected it to be, and more. When traveling to Italy, there’s always so much to see, and not enough time to see it in. To fully enjoy everything Rome has to offer, you should spend try to spend at least a week there. However, if you’re traveling from Florence, Venice, Naples, or even a different country, and only have a day or two in Rome, here is my personal list of top 5 things to do in Rome:
1. Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums
This is one of the more time consuming attractions in Rome. The Vatican Museums alone take about 4 hours to walk through, which includes Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel. Make sure to buy tickets online in advance in order to skip the line, rather than waiting for hours in line. Tickets for the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel are around 26 euros with a small online reservation fee. Saint Peter’s Basilica is the Papal Basilica in the Vatican, and has free admission– however if you pay to skip the line, you can save hours of standing in line. Saint Peter’s Basilica was one of my favorite things to see in Rome. There are a few small fees inside the basilica– to see the dome (which I highly recommend), and the Vatican Treasury. From the top of the dome, you have views of the Vatican, and a view of Rome. In the basement of the Basilica there is the tomb of Saint Peter, and all the other popes.
Views from the Top of the Dome
The colosseum is one of the oldest standing buildings around- but the inside is much more impressive. Like all things in Italy, you have to pay extra to skip the lengthly line. If you book online, tickets to the colosseum are about 18 euros. Palantine Hill, is just across the way, and has such a remarkable history, you wouldn’t want to miss it! You can enter Palantine Hill and the Roman Forum with a Roma Pass, or your ticket for the Colosseum.
3. Trevi Fountain
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world. At the Trevi Fountain, be sure to throw a coin with your right hand over your left shoulder to ensure that you will return to Rome. Legend has it that you should throw three coins in the fountain: the first to ensure your return to Rome, the second for a new romance in your near future, and the third coin will lead to marriage. The coins tossed in the fountain are collected and used to help the poor of Rome. There is plenty of food and shopping to be done around this area, and it was another one of my very favorite spots.
Trastevere is a quieter neighborhood in Rome, a little ways away from the Vatican. Trastevere gives you a better sense of the local Roman lifestyle. With more authentic food, and cheaper options, this is a nice area to wind down for dinner and dessert after a day full of sightseeing.
5. Spanish Steps/ Piazza di Spagna
You can find Piazza di Spagna at the bottom of the Spanish Steps. This is one of the most popular squares in Rome, and you’ll often find plenty of high-end shopping to do here. The Spanish Steps consist of 137 steps and they steps are usually very crowded with locals and tourists. This is definitely a huge tourist hotspot.