We had about 15 trips planned for the spring and summer of 2020. Thanks to Covid-19, all of them have been cancelled and I don’t have any plans to travel within the next few months, way too nervous! I miss it and I miss sharing our adventures so I thought it would be fun to share about a trip we did for our first anniversary that I have never shared before…Italy, Greece, and Croatia! Still to do this day, this is one of my most favorite vacations EVER! Our first stop was Rome which I will share about today! Please note these pictures aren’t the quality I usually share because this trip was in 2013 so the cameras weren’t what they are now. 🙂
How Long to Spend in Rome
We spent 2.5/3 days in Rome and loved every minute of this beautiful city! I would say 3 days is perfect if you move fast! If you want to take your time, you need 4-5 days but you could spend weeks here and never get bored!
When to Visit
I did a LOT of research on this and we decided October was the best time for us! Summer is VERY busy in Italy and winter gets very cold. October sounded perfect-beautiful weather and not too large of crowds, this proved to be right and we are so glad we visited then!
Number One Tip
If I have one tip to share about Rome, it’s prepare to walk everywhere! The city is very walkable! Besides taking a bus from the airport and one metro ride, we walked the entire city…no busses, no taxis, nothing! This is very rare for us. As long as you have comfortable shoes and are in good health, you can definitely do this. Plus, you see so much more on foot compared to riding in a car or metro!
Whenever we travel to big cities or cruise I always make itineraries. The only time I don’t is when we’re on a beach vacation or at an all-inclusive. I like to ensure we know what we’re doing, that we don’t miss seeing/doing something, and I don’t want to have to make any decisions while on vacation. I do TONS of research to prepare for, I mean a TON but it’s worth it!
We checked into our hotel (we stayed close to the Vatican which I highly recommend), took a quick shower to freshen up and then off we went to explore Rome! We were just so excited to be there!!
We walked by Castel Sant’Angelo. It’s beautiful!!!
Then headed to Piazza Navona for lunch (Rome’s prettiest square). Our first Italian meal was everything I ever dreamed it would be! The fountain of Four Rivers is located here.
Then we walked to Pantheon and got gelato (apparently this is one of the best spots in Rome).
We got a little lost walking to our next stop but we found it. The Trevi Fountain is even more beautiful in person! We both made a wish (I can now share that it came true a few years later, Hi Camden and Ella)!
Then it was to the Spanish Steps. We walked up and down these. Something to pay close attention to in this area, there are a lot of people trying to sell you flowers but they act like they’re giving them to you and then they get really pushy so be careful!
We took a stroll through Villa Borghese Park and realized that jet lag was starting to really hit us! We walked to Piazza del Popolo to eat dinner (another delicious meal of course) and then back to the hotel to sleep. We were in bed by 7, haha!
The next day, we had a LOT to cover! I bought tickets online to the Colosseum prior, which this is a must! If not, you will be waiting in line all day! With these tickets, you also get access to the Palatine and Roman Forum too. We walked around all of these, it’s a must see for sure! Beautiful and it will leave you speechless!
We then walked to Capitoline Hill/Michelangelo’s Campidigolio.
Followed by lunch at Campo de Fiori then onto the Vatican! Now, I can’t remember if we bought tickets ahead of time for this but I would definitely research this and try to buy tickets ahead of time, it’s a huge tourist attraction. We went through the museum and St. Peters Basilica. TALK ABOUT BEAUTIFUL!!!! We didn’t get to go to the Sistine Chapel but that’s on our list for next visit!
We had an amazing dinner at a place nearby and then we picked up our tickets for the Papal Audience the next day.
On our last day in Rome, we ended it with a bang. Long story, short. We had tickets to go to the Papal Audience at the Vatican. If you don’t know about this, it happens on Wednesday and you request tickets from the Pontifical North American College (you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org) ahead of time. We knew we were going to get to go but what we didn’t know until the evening prior (where you pick up your tickets) was that we were sitting in the newlywed section. We didn’t entirely understand what this meant but that night we had to go find a white “wedding” dress for me. We ended up getting to sit on the stage with about 25-50 other couples from around the world and at the very end of the Mass, we got to meet Pope Francis! It was one of those moments that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
Rome was an unforgettable city and we definitely plan to go back! Now on to Florence…I’ll share about our next stop on our Italy, Greece, and Croatia trip soon!