Rome: A journey into the past
Rome, the “eternal city”, is so called because it is a place of great beauty, contrast and life. Rome is an eclectic city: the religious world centre of Catholic Church, the fabulous ruins of the centre of the Roman Empire, and modern, bustling Rome. All three seem incongruous, yet they live inside and beside each other with great ease. You will soon realise Rome was build to rule and dominate the world. Everything is on a massive scale, solid and “eternal”. A trip to Rome is about relaxing into the city’s Mediterranean rhythms and idling around the picturesque streets. Whiling away hours at street side cafes and people-watching on pretty piazzas are an integral part of the Roman experience.
Wander the Colosseum – Even though the line of tourists can seem endless, The Colosseum, one of the most famous sights in all of Italy is not to be missed. It is nearly 2000 years old, and it is the largest amphitheater in the entire Roman Empire. If the line at the Colosseum is long, head over to the entrance of the Forum where you can buy a combo ticket for both sights. Else to have hassle free entry, why not pre-book skip the line tickets for the Colosseum and VIP Tours through Viator and get red hot discounts. You can browse for more such trips and can Save up to 40% off on tours and activities in Rome.
Stroll through the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill – Explore the seat of Ancient Rome and experience the Forum from where Rome administered its empire. Next to it is Palatine Hill where the Roman aristocracy lived. You can combine a visit to the Colosseum with Palatine Hill. It is also worth getting a guide here to give you context and bring the ruins to life. Admission is 12 EUR and includes entry to the Colosseum.
Hang out on the Spanish Steps – The Spanish Steps are a long and grand staircase in Rome to the Piazza di Spagna at the base. The stairway was built in the 1720s. The Spanish steps have become a social hub for both tourists and locals to hang out and people watch. This place is a popular place for pub crawling too.
Enter the Pantheon – The Pantheon looks today much like it did nearly 2,000 years ago, making it a marvel all in itself. Marble floors, a plethora of history, and by far one of the best-preserved buildings in the world.
See the Trevi Fountain – Probably the most famous fountain the world, the Trevi Fountain is always crowded, especially at night when couples come for a romantic picture. The best time to see this beautiful fountain is before lunch, when the crowds are thin. Don’t forget to throw two coins over your left shoulder in the water (one for love, one to return to Rome) while you are there.
BIG BUS Tours:
If you do not wish to visit the above mentioned places on your own you can always opt for BIG BUS tours.
Big Bus Tours is the largest operator of open-top sightseeing tours in the world, providing sightseeing tours in 18 cities across three continents. Big Bus Tours’ sightseeing formula has been designed to provide a flexible approach to city discovery. Each open-top bus tour provides a hop-on, hop-off facility at a variety of interesting locations and, wherever possible, Big Bus Tours looks to enhance the visitor sightseeing experience by providing complementary experiences.
Book your BIG BUS tours for Rome in advance to avail amazing deal.
Where to Eat:
There are three things that everyone wants to try upon arriving in Italy: Gelato, Pizza/Pasta and coffee; not necessarily in that order. Knowing where to go is the first step to attaining your goal for the best of the best.
La Gelateria Frigidarium – Gelato is, it is the Italian word for Ice Cream. I love ice cream of all types, but the Italians have done something magical with their Gelato. Gelato is made with milk, cream, various sugars, and flavoring such as fresh fruit and nut purees. Even though Italians call it ice cream it is nothing like US brands. Gelato recipes usually include more egg yolks, more milk, less cream and no air. It actually has less fat than regular ice cream, but gelato’s low overrun makes for an extremely dense, rich and creamy treat. During our stay we went back and had Gelato everyday. If you are in Rome, don’t miss it, it is located Via del Governo Vecchio just off Piazza Navona. It is not difficult to find, just look for the line.
(You can check out their website by clicking on the title).
Piazza di Spagna (Pizzeria somewhere in the city center)- The well-known Roman-style pizzas are light, thin and crispy…and yes, not unlike a cracker. Finding an excellent pizzeria on your own is an easy task when in Rome.
Sant’Eustachio – The Italian coffee tradition doesn’t need any introduction, but where to find the best espresso in Rome? If you ask me I’ll tell you it’s Sant’Eustachio caffè without hesitation.
Sant’Eustachio Il Caffè is an ancient Coffee Shop and Roaster that dates back to the thirties. It is located in the old town center of Rome at the back of the Pantheon. There are many coffee choices, from regular espresso to its famous Gran Caffè with cream. I suggest you to enjoy your coffee at the bar counter because sitting at the tables outside is far more expensive due to the cover charge.
Pasta Imperiale – If you are visiting Rome (for just a day or even longer) – you don’t have to search hard to find good pasta. One gem which serves tasty traditional, homemade pasta is Pasta Imperiale. Tucked in a small alley behind Piazza Navona, close to the Tiber River – Pasta Imperiale serves fresh pasta in a small storefront that is very easy to overlook. They have a selection of 5-7 pastas which you can mix and match with a selection of 5-7 sauces. You can top it off with a heaping pile of Parmesan cheese or even have it plain.
Driving in Rome is in an exercise in controlled insanity, and should not be attempted by anyone. So it’s not that bad, but it is chaotic, frustrating, and intensely stressful.
Romans, it is often said, drive like maniacs, but this isn’t entirely true. Only half of them drive like maniacs. The other half drives extremely aggressively and according to Italian traffic laws and norms, to which you simply are not accustomed. Rome is not a city you want to drive in. There is no street parking in the historic center.
Frankly speaking we being from India felt like we are home(India is famous for its traffic too) and so it wasn’t very difficult for us to get accustomed to the insanity.
My advice: If you arrive by car, fight your way to your hotel garage or a public lot, dispose of the car as quickly as possible, and spend your time in Rome car-free.
Where to Stay:
One of your biggest travel expenses and time-consuming tasks is booking accommodation, and we all want to save time and hopefully some money when searching for deals online.
Whilst there are plenty of websites these days to help you search for accommodation, some are more trustworthy than others, and some are easier to navigate than others.
I’m sure you are already familiar with Booking.com, they are my all time favourite with lot of different types of accommodation you can book on their website: Hotels, Apartments, Resorts, Villas, B&B and Guesthouses.
In my opinion, not only are they are the best hotel booking site, but the best accommodation website.
And if the above options aren’t enough for your style or budget, you can even book Lodges, chalets, luxury tents, campsites and more.
It is an online marketplace and hospitality service, enabling people to list or rent short-term lodging including vacation rentals, apartment rentals, homestays, hostel beds, or hotel rooms.
Unforgettable trips start with Airbnb.
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Along with Rome you can always take day trips to Tivoli or Florence to explore more in Italy. With Viator you can get the lowest price for Day Trips to Florence.
More in Italy and Vatican City-