With almost 10 million visitors a year, Rome is one of the most visited cities in Europe and with so many sights, it’s pretty much a giant outdoor museum. We recently spent a long weekend here and enjoyed some of the most beautiful sights… with queues to rival Disneyland!
Things to do in Rome
You’d be hard pushed to not find places to visit in Rome, it’s so steeped in history that even a week wouldn’t be enough. From The Vatican to The Colosseum, The Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain and The Spanish Steps – pick your chosen sights and put them into a Google map to make sure you don’t miss anything out!
- Bring comfortable shoes and adaptable clothing. Shoulders and knees need to be covered in certain churches.
- Book tickets in advance online for the Vatican museum and Sistine Chapel. Don’t book in advance for St. Peter’s as although the queue looks long and exhausting, it moves very very quickly. Avoid the ticket touts. They prey on the impatient and charge almost twice what you’d pay in the normal queue. For example, they charge €33 each to skip the queue and gain access to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Pay online for the same and it’s €20 or stand in the queue and pay €16. I’d advise to book before you arrive as we waited int he queue for 45 minutes.
- Be assertive but careful when crossing the road. If there’s traffic lights at a stop you must adhere to them when crossing the road however if there’s no lights it’s Russian roulette with cars. Basically they have to give way to you but they won’t stop so as you’re on the road cars will be nipping round you… at speed.
- Rome is well known for its water fountains, however what you may not know is that you can’t walk more than 5 minutes without coming to a drinking fountain. These fountains take many forms but they all provide fresh drinking water that flow freely into the ducts below.
- Unfortunately Rome is also known for its pick pockets. Unsuspecting tourists are often the victim of stealthy hands, particularly in crowds. If you’re at a tourist hot spot always know where your belongings are.
- Sightseeing buses will show you around the city but the underground Metro will take you within 5 minutes of anywhere you want to be and cost a fraction of the price. A 48 hour ticket with unlimited use within the city limits is around €14.50. Trains are clean, safe and regular.
- Crazy Cat Lady / Man? Rome has made ruins into a cat sanctuary and it’s wonderful. Make time for a visit to Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary, you won’t regret it
Places to Eat in Rome
You won’t be stuck for restaurants in Rome but if a restaurant has a view of any major sight then avoid it like the plague. Prices will be at least double and food is rarely good.
Bonci‘s pizza is famous in Rome, there’s even a location in Chicago (why, I don’t know!). There are two locations in Rome – the famous ‘Pizzarium Bonci’, which is dedicated to all things pizza and ‘Panificio Bonci’, which will fulfill all your pizza needs alongside providing a beautiful array of everything you’d expect from a traditional bakery. Both are conveniently located close to the Vatican but if you want to avoid queuing, I’d recommend heading to Panificio as it’s much quieter and isn’t as busy with tourists. Here the pizza is made from only a few ingredients and the base is crispy beyond belief. You pick your pizza, how much you want and then pay for it by weight. Hands down the best pizza I’ve had anywhere including Sicily.
Cacio e Pepe have no menu but they don’t need to. Just order their signature dish (cacio e pepe) or carbonara and you’re sorted. 2x mains and a carafe of wine each cost just €20. Oh, and they speak very very little English. Go, have fun and enjoy the best pasta in Rome.
Lost Food Factory is a small eaterie serving delicious paninis with fresh cured meats. Rated the 5th best restaurant in Rome on Tripadvisor, it’s a great friendly place to pick up lunch on your visit to the Pantheon. 2x paninis and 2x Peronis will cost you approx €18.
Tommi’s Burgers can be found in several cities around the world and Rome is one of them. They do a great burger and fries and their staff are next level friendly.
There are literally hundreds of places for great charcuterie in Rome but for a great time visit I Pizzicaroli.
So that’s pretty much everything. We really enjoyed our time here, so much so that we’re planning our main holiday next year to Italy already with a driving tour around the coast – can’t wait!