Destination 4: Rome – 3 Nights

Timeline: September 10 – September 13

Day 12: Took a Circumvesuviana train ride from Sorrento station to Naples and from Naples took a high-speed train (pre-purchased tickets) to Rome’s central train station. Arrived to Rome in the early afternoon. Checked in to hotel Relais Fontana di Trevi, prime location and very helpful staff. Located in the middle of the historic center, right by the magical Trevi Fountain, within walking distance from many of the Rome’s iconic sites such as Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Roman Forum, Altar of the Fatherland, Castel Sant’Angelo, Campo de Fiori, and major streets and shopping.

Rome

Hotel’s staff were so helpful with arranging Vatican and Colosseum/Roman Forum tours prior to our visit and providing guidance throughout the stay.

After a light lunch, started walking the streets of the historic center and enjoyed the beauties of this ancient city. Had gelato at the amazing Don Nino cafe.

Don Nino Cafe, Rome

Visited Pantheon, mesmerizing architecture and huge structure. Walked into the lively Piazza Navona and from there the with its fruit and flower market.

A Flower Stand at Campo de Friori Market
Fountain at Piazza Navona, Rome
Pantheon, Rome
Mason Valentino, Rome

Looking for early evening refreshments, suddenly entered to the one and only Roscioli . Fell in love with the place without any previous knowledge. The food and wine experience was fascinating as well as the interior architecture and wine collection. After some research learned about their fame in food, bakery, and pizza, it’s a must visit place for anyone in Rome.

Roscioli Restaurant, Rome

Day 13:  Woke up early for the previously booked Vatican tour starting at 7:30, included English-speaking tour guide and transportation, guided visit of the Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel and the St Peter Church. The pick-up/drop-off location was within walking distance of the hotel, and the tour lasted around 4 hours. It was a great tour, highly recommend. Visiting Vatican can be chaotic due to huge line-ups and crowd of tourists, which tours can bypass and save lots of time.

St Peter Basilica, Vatican
Vatican
St Peter Basilica, Vatican
Crowd of Tourists at Vatican Museum

In the evening, walked to the Piazza di Spagna and Spanish steps and the Villa Borghese park and promenade. Watched the city from the heights of the park, beautiful view of the St Peter, Altar of the Fatherland and the squares, glowing under the sunset light.

Spanish Steps after Sunset
Piazza del Popolo at Night

Day 14: Started the day by a light breakfast at the Trevi café by the hotel. Took a Hop-on/Hop-off bus tour ride across the city, had lunch and headed to hotel for our previously booked tour of the Roman Forum and Colosseum.

Colosseum from Hop-on Hop-off Tour Bus

The tour picked up from the hotel, provided transportation and a knowledgeable English-speaking guide. They covered visits to the church of San Pietro with Michael Angelo’s Moses sculpture, Piazza del Campidoglio and Capitoline Hill with Michael Angelo’s great architecture design, and then a walk to the Roman ruins and the Colosseum.

Roman Forum
Capitoline Hill
Moses by Michelangelo
Colosseum, Rome
Statute of Marcus Arelius

After the tour, headed to the hotel for a short break and getting ready for celebrating the last night of the unforgettable Italian trip in Rome.

Piazza Navona at Night

Summary of Rome Activities:

  • Day 1: 
    • Walked around the historic centre and visited Pantheon
    • Had dinner at Roscioli restaurant
    • Night stroll around Trevi Fountain, watched street art and shows, enjoyed great gelato
  • Day 2:
    • Tour of Vatican: St Peter Basilica and Vatican Museum
    • Enjoyed window shopping on the posh Via dei Condotti
    • Walked around the Spanish Steps and Borghese park
  • Day 3:
    • Explored Rome on Hop-on, Hop-off tour bus
    • Tour of Colosseum, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill and Church of San Pietro for Michelangelo’s Moses
    • Had dinner at Piazza Navona and enjoyed the late night crowd and shows at the Piazza

Some tips for visiting Rome:

  • Rome is a huge city, don’t expect to explore it all in one trip. Try to plan by visiting the most iconic sites, or divide your visit by neighbourhoods.
  • Use tours to visit Colosseum and Vatican. These sites can get overcrowded very quickly and line-ups will waste your time. Tours will bypass the line-ups and plan efficient visits. If staying at hotel, check with them for recommended tours and arrangements.
  • Do your research, book accommodations, transportations and passes in advance.
  • As I always recommend, stay in a central location. Rome is a huge city and transportation can be time-consuming and hectic. A central stay provides walking access to most of the sites and a lively experience at nights.
  • Rome is a big city, allow time for unexpected events when commuting.
  • Rome is a great city for food experience however, it can be very touristy. Always look and ask around for authentic cuisine from locals.

End of 16 days Italy itinerary. Look for more itineraries by itinhub in future posts.