Rome is my favourite city of Europe and is one of the most popular and most travelled cities of the world. It is famous for its amazing food, iconic historical monuments and its beautiful architecture. Do you see yourself wandering around with a Gelato in your hand, on your way to a local Pizzeria where you can eat the best crunchy and airy pizza you have seen in your life? Time to get to Rome!
So the last weekend of October we finally went to Rome, we have seen all the highlights we planned to see and have eaten the best Pizza, Pasta, Gelato and Arancini. We booked our hotel with a discount through Voyage Privé and stayed at a beautiful hotel with mixtures of the Italian and Modern architecture. Hotel Ariston is located in the historical city center of Rome, only 10-15 minutes walking from the Colosseum and 2 minutes from the termini train station. #TIP1 There are many sites where you can find hotels for a cheaper price, Trivago, Voyage Privé, Tui, Groupon and more. Or find a place on Airbnb!
We had the airplane of 7 in the morning at Rotterdam airport and arrived around 9.30 am at Rome Fiumincio airport. We took the Leonardo Express to the Termini Station and arrived at 11 am at our hotel. Hotel Ariston already had our room ready (normal check in 2 pm) and thus we could already drop our suitcases and discover the city. The first day we planned to go to the ancient monuments like the famous Colosseum, the Altare della Patria, the Roman Forum and Palatine Hills. At that time (11.30 am) we were so hungry that we just decided to walk in the direction of the Colosseum and just find a place to eat on the way. We ended up not far away from the Colosseum at a student café with a cute terrace. I ate a Ravioli Salsa Rosa and Kevin had a Spagetti Bolognese, the food was so delicious! #TIP2 Smaller, local shops and restaurants are often very good and even better than the large establishments close to monuments and tourist attractions.
After we had our food we went to the Roman Forum & Palatine Hills were we got our ticket for those attractions and the Colosseum at the same time. #TIP3 The ticket for the Roman Forum, Palatine Hills and Colosseum is combined, but the queue is way smaller at the Roman Forum than at the Colosseum, so go there first, than you do not have to do the large queue at the Colosseum. And! #TIP4 Rome has many free monuments, but for the paid monuments, EU young citicens of 18-25 years old pay a reduced price of €2,-, so you can go in the Roman Forum, Palatine Hills and Colosseum all together for only €2,-.
From the Palantine Hills you can see magnificent views from the Ancient Rome, and thus from there you can see a large white building with sculptures of Roman gods and horses on top. So after the Colosseum we decided to go there. Altare della Patria is magnificent and huge. If you walk through the building you get to the back side, where you find a glass elevator. This gives you access to the roof of Altare della Patria where you can see amazing views of Rome. In the evening we had Pizza close to our hotel and real fresh Gelato!
The second day we decided to go to the city center of Rome and of course to watch the sunset. I had researched it all at home in the Netherlands what we'd like to do and where the sunsets are beautiful. On our first day we discovered the Uber bikes. I looked out of our window this morning and noticed 3 Uber bikes in front of our hotel. So we decided to try them. #TIP5 The Uber bike is your new type of transportation when city tripping, public transport is in the past! It is so easy, you unlock it with the app, it is not expensive and at the destination you put it at the side of the street and end the usage in the app. The bike locks again and someone-else in the region can take it.
So we cycled to the center, drank an Italian Espresso and went to the amazing Trevi Fountain - Note: It's crowded! Be there very early, 9 am is already late... - and then to the Pantheon, which is close to the fountain. The Pantheon is an incredible monument, in the past it was a Roman temple and now it functions as a church. In the middle of the Pantheon is a large hole which functions as the only light source, it is completely open and thus if it rains, the water comes in to the Pantheon. We walked through all the little cute streets, ate the best Pizza ever at the most simple snack bar in one of the little streets in between the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon, the Pizza's had a perfect balance in flavour! Then we went to the Piazza Navona, the shops, we ate Arancini - fried rice balls with mozzarella, delicious! - at a local bakery close to the river. Then we went to the Borghese Gardens, which is just outstandingly beautiful! From the Pincio terrace, located in the Borghese Gardens you have a beautiful view and apparently sunsets are beautiful there! All these destinations we did by the Uber bike.
However, I had another idea, I wanted to photograph the San't Angelo Bridge with the Vatican in the background during sunset. If you want to see the sunset here, be a little early because it can get quite crowded, but it was so beautiful! Afterwards we had pasta - I had Ravioli again, of course LOVE IT - in one of the little streets of the center and we drank cocktails at an amazing bar.
So the last day we decided to take it chill, as we had been running around for 2 days, so we enjoyed our hotel, went to have Pizza as breakfast at a bakery just in front of the train station. How awesome do you think that is? Haha! And then we went to the Colosseum where we had lunch on a rooftop, and drank a Mojito. #TIP6 In Rome there are some places where they let you pay to sit there, be careful, some really ask high prices, this restaurant (Royal Art Café) asked us €2,- to sit there and the prices of the foods were reasonable, so I think that is fair for such a beautiful place! After that we took the Uber Bike to the Vatican where we went inside the Sant'Angelo Castel and we went to the Vatican City, the line was so long though that we did not get in, if you want to get in I suggest looking for tickets in advance. We also went to a famous Pizzeria which was highly on my list, it is called Bonci and you can eat delicious pizza's there with all sorts of toppings!
That was our stay in Rome, we loved it! VENI, VIDI, AMAVI.
My last 2 tips for you:
The best time to go to Rome is in spring or autumn, we went end October and it still was 27 degrees and sunny! What do you want more?
Sadly enough there are many pickpockets in Rome, the best is to wear your backpack on your front or to wear a fanny pack for your important belongings. They always act in pairs, one will distract you when the other will steal for you. Be aware of this and your stay will run smoothly :)
I hope I inspired/helped you with this blog! If you have any questions hit me in my Instagram DM @Lisa_Kiburg