Sunday, 12 March 2017

The Ultimate Guide to Rome


Very few cities evoke the sheer wonder of Rome. Visiting Rome is like taking a journey into the past with ancient history, outstanding art and religious ruins at every corner. It's streets are like a museum themselves, and there's a whole other world to discover underneath. With so much to see, do and eat in Rome, the real trouble will be fitting it all in. In today's 'Ultimate Guide' I'm sharing my top things to do, as well as where to stay and the basics you'll need to know before visiting Rome...




The Basics

Currency: Like most of Europe, Italy uses the Euro. If you're coming from the UK, then you'll know that since Brexit the exchange rates on the Euro have not been in our favour, however hopefully my next point should ease the pain slightly. At the moment, you'll get around 1.14€ for every £1. 

Prices: Rome really doesn't need to be an expensive city. If you book all of your tours beforehand, you can save £££ on the attractions (and avoid the lines which can be hours long!) and eating out can be really inexpensive. If you avoid eating at the restaurants directly opposite the main attractions and head down one of the back streets, you'll be looking at around 10€ for some seriously good food. 

Temperature: Like most of central Europe, the temperature varies a lot throughout the seasons. In the summer, Rome can get seriously hot so if thats not your thing, then it's best to travel out of season. We were in Rome at the end of February and in the sunshine it was around 14 degrees, but it did get very cold in the shade and at night. 

What to wear: I wouldn't normally include this section, but for Rome it's quite important. A lot of the attractions (mainly anything to do with the Vatican) require you to cover your knees, shoulders and sometimes hair so it's important that even in summer, when it's over 30 degrees, that you pack something to cover these areas. I'd suggest a long, loose fitting dress and a thin scarf. There's also a lot of walking involved when you're visiting Rome, and those cobbled streets are not kind to your feet, so be sure to pack some comfortable shoes!


Getting Around

As a city, Rome is pretty spread out. You have the ancient part of the city on one side, and then the vatican on the other, and then the modern city sprawling out in front of you and if there's one thing that is expensive in Rome, it's Uber. Instead of relying on Uber and the local taxi companies (they drive like maniacs!), we bought tickets on the 'city sightseeing' hop on and off bus. It may sound like a cheesy touristy thing to do, but it was the cheapest way to get around, and it drops you off right outside of all of the major attractions, and you can walk everywhere else from the bus stops. 



Where to Stay

If you're planning on visiting Rome, then I'd really recommend taking a look on AirBnB. We stayed in this beautiful apartment, complete with our own roof terrace and around 5 balconies - it was perfect. Staying in an apartment also meant that we could move at our own pace, not having to be up at a certain time for breakfast, etc and it allowed us to spend some lazy evenings out on the roof terrace...a pleasure we'd have had to pay over the odds for at a hotel. The apartment is £123 a night, which isn't bad when you split it between the 5 that it sleeps. It was also located right next to the Trevi Fountain, meaning we could rush down there early in the morning and late at night to catch it before the crowds descended. 

If you are looking for a hotel though, this article by the Telegraph Travel rounds up some of the most beautiful rooms in Rome. 


Top 5 Things to Do

1. Throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain - This was the one thing I really wanted to do when visiting Rome and it did not disappoint. The Trevi Fountain is beautiful, and although it's oddly wedged in-between a built up area (that, I did not expect), its a truly magical place. More on my time at the Trevi Fountain here. 



2. Visit the Colesseum - Visiting the Colosseum is something you have to do whilst you're in the Italian capital. It's amazing to see it in all of it's glory, and even more amazing that its been kept in such good conditions over all of these years - a must see for anyone interested in history. 

3. Go on a private tour of the Vatican City - The Vatican City is beautiful, and so full of history, but if you're walking round without a guide it can be extremely overwhelming. If you were to spend a minute with every item in the Vatican Museums, you'd be there for four years straight, to put it into perspective. We booked our guided tour here, and it was brilliant. Our tour guide, Maria, explained everything so well and really bought the museums to life through the stories she told. 



4. Eat gelato on the Spanish Steps - Walking around Rome can get exhausting, and the best way to take a step back from it all is with gelato...and lots of it. I became slightly addicted to the raffaello gelato whilst I was there and my favourite place to enjoy it was on the Spanish Steps. 

5. Watch the sun set from Villa Borghese - If it's a good view you're looking for, then Villa Borghese has the best, and they're particularly good at sun set. Watch the sky turn from blue to pink to red over the Vatican City from this unique vantage point, then head to one of the wine bars to have a tipple before dinner. 


Where to Eat

I'll be doing a separate post all about where to eat in Rome, but my advice is simple really...avoid the tourist areas. One of the biggest mistakes you'll make is walking into the first restaurant you see outside of the Colosseum or Vatican City, they're often overpriced and the quality is so far below some of the restaurants that are a two minute walk away. Some of the best food we ate in Rome was from little backstreet cafes, quietly tucked away from the hustle and bustle - the kind of places where their grandma was still cooking the food in the kitchen. 

If I had to recommend one place though, it would definitely be Angelina a Trevi. Located just a stones throw away from our apartment, it was the best pasta I've ever had in my entire life - seriously. 

Becky xo

2 comments :

  1. Everything looks stunning! I'm hopefully planning a trip to Rome in a few months as well as the Amalfi Coast - this has made me so excited! x

    www.yourealreadyinvited.com

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    1. Thank you Zohra - Rome really is a dream! Ahh I'm so excited for you, I've wanted to go to the Amalfi Coast for years now! xx

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