While living in Florence, I had the opportunity to get away for the weekend and explore Rome. Thankfully, public transportation is so easy to use in Italy and it’s only an 1.5 hour train ride.
Hold your bags or keep an eye on them at all times on the train. I had my overnight backpack stolen on the train to Venice (read about that here)
and it was the worst.
Since I only had two days in the city, I wanted to make sure I saw all the main attractions with time to spare to roam free in this historic city.
I hope this guide helps you plan your perfect weekend trip to Rome!
We stayed in the CUTEST Air Bnb with a patio that overlooked the Vatican. Our host was so kind, he even left snacks and a bottle of wine (I’m still trying to figure out what those little rosemary circle crackers are because they were incredible.. if anyone knows please mail me some) Here is the link for that air bnb.
To save money, we packed oatmeal and bars for breakfast or stopped at a cafe to pick up a croissant and saved our appetites for bigger meals later in the day.
Ristorante Napul’e – Viale Giulio Cesare 89/91, Rome
Okay real talk: this meal was one of my absolute favorites from the whole time I lived in Italy. Probably because I can never decide what to order and with this option, I got to choose 2. Half Pizza, Half Calzone. and you better believe I finished the whole thing. Everything my table ordered looked DIVINE.
Even though I was about to pop, my waiter convinced me to try their famous flourless chocolate cake… when in Rome right?!
For us, the City Sightseeing Hop on Hop Off Bus Tour was the best option because it included all the major sites we wanted to see and was our transportation to get from one place to the next.
Otherwise we would have had to get a taxi to each place and that would have added up. Rome is really spread out and there are only a few places that are within comfortable walking distance to one another.
We did this two day option
that included Skip The Line pass for the Colosseum, The Forum and Palantine Hill.
It was POURING down rain when we arrived at the colosseum so we were soaked to the bone. However, the stadium was incredible and the whole time I wanted to break out into song and dance to “What Dreams Are Made Of”.
Palatine Hill and The Forum
Right next to the Colosseum is Palatine Hill and The Forum. Palatine Hill is one of the most ancient parts of the city and The Forum is a rectangular plaza surrounded by ruins of some important government buildings at the center of the city.
We spent about 2 hours just walking through the ruins imagining what life would have been like during New Testament times and it ended up being one of my favorite parts of the whole trip. Give yourself a lot of time to explore here.
Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums
The Sistine Chapel is one of Michelangelo’s most famous frescos and is the site where the new pope is selected. These incredible paintings that cover the interior of the chapel are worth the visit but because of it’s popularity, you can spend all day in line for this.
Since we were short on time, we booked a Private, Skip the Line morning tour
that let us see the chapel before it was open to the public to have the rest of the day to explore.
This was a LIFESAVER because our tour guide gave us so much background and context about the Vatican that we would have never known if we just went in by ourselves. Plus we got awesome pictures without a ton of people in them. 😉 No pictures were allowed in the sistine chapel; sorry about that.
What’s a Fresco??
A technique of mural painting that must be applied on freshly laid or wet lime plaster. Since the plaster dries within about 20 minutes, the painter will apply a small section of plaster and paint only a portion of the mural and then continue in this pattern until the mural is finished. It is so fascinating! We got to paint our own mini frescos!
This VIP tour ticket also includes entrance to St. Peter’s Basilica.
St. Peter’s Basilica
The largest church in the world and regarded as one of the Catholic’s holiest shrines. This church is unbelievable, I got chills walking through it.
Ahhhh the classic fountain from The Lizzie McGuire movie. Close your eyes, toss your coin and maybe your Paulo will be waiting for you when you open your eyes!
I wasn’t even looking for the Pantheon and then my friend and I rounded a corner and literally bumped into this massive structure.
This iconic temple is mind blowing because the front looks as if the building will have a triangular shaped roof but when you walk in and look up, you see a massive dome. The place contains Renaissance tombs including Raphael’s.
135 steps linking the Trinity dei Monti church up top and the Holy See below. If you go up and down these a few times you’ll have your workout in for the day, but by the looks of how much walking you’ll be doing, you probably won’t need to!
I can’t imagine what stories the stones in this city would tell if they could speak because this city is oozing with life and wisdom.
The combination of history, culture and beautiful architecture makes Rome a perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
Headed to Florence or Venice? Check out these articles to help you plan your trip!
xx Nicole #DoStuff