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Here’s the down and dirty about Rome – we love it, it’s historical, and you can totally see much of Rome in 3 days. Read on for more about what to do in Rome. (The three days does not include travel time to Italy)

Note: S and I went during the winter months of Rome (February to be specific), but don’t fret – it’s not as cold as you might think. It was actually the perfect time to go because:

  1. There weren’t too many tourists (meaning no lines to all the touristy sites!)
  2. It was warm enough to still be able to enjoy gelato
  3. I got to wear my Oxford heels and boots with super cute outfits

One of my best friends recently texted me about a trip itinerary to Rome – she literally said, “I have no idea where to go, and I could really use the help.” So, best friend to the rescue! Let’s get started….

Pick a home base:

We picked Rome as our home base because it was centrally located and it had a very convenient public transportation hub. We actually stayed in Bologna, which is a small Italian town about a 10 minute metro ride to Rome. It was cheaper than staying in Rome, and the bed and breakfast we stayed in had daily breakfast available to us, and because it was a small town, we got to experience what it really felt like to live in Italy (and it was safe).
 
From our home base, we then traveled to different areas of Rome and other parts of Italy. 
 

Things to see and do in Rome:

[ ] Colosseum – this is a no brainer. It’s totally worth seeing the history. It’s undergoing a renovation/restoration, but still totally worth it.
[ ] Trevi Fountain (throw a coin over your shoulder…it’s a thing)
[ ] Spanish Steps (sit at the spanish steps, they’re so amazing especially at sunset and just enjoy people watching). There will be people walking up to you trying to sell you roses (maybe this was because we went around Valentine’s Day).
[ ] Parthenon – lots of restaurants with patios that you can sit and enjoy a cappuccino
[ ] Vatican (also the sistine chapel is in the vatican; Your ticket gets you into the sistine chapel – it’s a holy ‘city’ (ie: papa frances will want you to dress appropriately (they won’t let you in with shorts/dress and exposed shoulders)
[ ] Roman Forum
[ ] Pallentine Hill
[ ] St. Peter’s Basilica – beautiful Church with great monuments; again, dress appropriately. It was easier to dress appropriately in the winter)
[ ] Borghese Museum – my all time favorite museum I have ever been to. this is where that famous statue Venus is located. its baroque art and you get to be so close to the sculptures, you could almost touch them if there weren’t museum officials everywhere.
[ ] Centro Storico – cobblestone streets, eat at the side streets restaurants outside…they’re so good
[ ] Campo di Fiori –  farmers market and restaurants and shopping. You can sit outside at any of the many restaurants that line the streets and alleyways to enjoy the atmosphere. Outside seating is also available in the winter – they use fire lamps and heated lamps to keep you warm!
 
Insider tip:
  • There’s an Italian pasticceria (Italian word for pastry shop) near the Rome hub Termini that has the epitome of Italian restaurants with an Italian grandma sitting in the front doing things for the restaurant. Best. Pastries. Ever.
  • You can get a 3 for 1 ticket at the Roman Forum for the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Pallentine Hill, which are all within walking distance and close to each other.
  • Italians are friendly and will strike up a conversation with you like you’re an old friend. Enjoy it and meet new people!
  • Italians also don’t give any F’s about time when it comes to dinner. Whereas in the U.S, restaurant waiters tend to try to push people out after they’re done eating so they don’t linger too long, Italians spend hours at the dinner table, drinking wine and having a good time
 

Optional Day trips from Rome:

  • Florence
  • Milan
  • Pisa
  • Naples – where Pompeii is located

Florence:

In my opinion, there’s not much to do in Florence so we just did a day trip (took the train from Rome and back), Florence is where you get the ‘classic’ look of Italy and its brownish/tan structures and quaint streets.
 
[ ] Statue of David. Keep in mind that the real one is in the museum – Uffizi gallery. The replica is in the outdoor square). You cannot take pictures in the Uffizi gallery, but we snuck a few (shhhhh…). There are plenty of museum officials standing around and walking around to yell at you for taking pictures, but they generally don’t kick you out. It’s worth a couple of minutes to sit and marvel at the splendor of that naked man.
 
[ ] Eat. There are plenty of places to eat; you cannot go wrong in any restaurant in Florence. The pasta is exquisite and Italians take great pride in their food!

Milan:

Other than shopping and that awesome Duomo Church (you know, that church you see in all those Instagram pictures), there’s not much to do than walk the streets eating gelato, and then enjoying a side street cafe sipping on an espresso. This was a day trip for us, and I honestly think it was plenty of time to experience Milan and ‘see the sights.’ We ate good food, drank good wine, and enjoyed good company for our day trip.

Pisa:

Of course, there’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa but other than seeing it, not sure if there’s much touristy things to do in Pisa. Full disclosure: Although I personally have been to Pisa, S and I did not go to Pisa together so all of my personal ramblings are speculation at best when it comes to Pisa.
 
Overall, we spent a a little over a week in Italy when accounting for travel time and day trips, and three days in Rome to see everything we felt necessary to experience. The train in Italy is easy to take, and we even used the bed and breakfast’s lobby computer to buy our train tickets. We had a great time, ate great food, met great people. The point of Italy is not to rush through to see those touristy sites, but to enjoy the culture and meander through the streets.