ROME: The Eternal City

“The City of Visible History”

In someway I don’t know where to start… and yet I don’t know where to stop.

 

We flew into the heart of Italy-ROME! (Day 3)

The first thing we had to see was the Colosseum – plus- its better to go in the morning when its cooler out. Walking up to this manmade wonder of the world was life changing and completely took our breath away.

PRO TIP : Buy your ticket through the Colosseum website ahead of time and NOT a 3rd party. Cheapest with no lines your welcome 🙂

Interesting Fact: The fighters in the Colosseum were sponsored just like athletes are sponsored today.

Built in 80 AD- held 50,000 people- only 1/3 of original Colosseum remains due to natural disasters. Animals were kept in cages under the floor– (even hippos!!) The crew would hoist the animals up through trap doors to surprise fighters in the ring and add a new obstacle.

Pro Tip: Download this free app “Rick Steve” to hear about any historical site in Italy! We used this app for many of our tours to skip lines and save time/money. This was especially nice when you do Rome in 24 hours.

WALK THE CITY: We opted not to take any transportation once we were in Rome, yes.. we walked 12 miles– BUT Rome is fullll of tourists, walking is the ideal way to meet the locals and experience the true culture of Rome. (plus the best food is in the back streets) The above picture was taken in a random alley of Rome, everywhere you go is breathtaking!

Piazza Navona: An open square filled with the hustle and bustle of the city- Grab a pizza and find a spot to sit back and people watch.

Vatican City-You could spend DAYYYYSSSS just in the Vatican alone. However, we used our trusty app and went at our own pace. It was surreal to see the battle of religion over time displayed on walls through paintings and architecture.

Trevi Fountain -if possible  try to see the Trevi fountain at night. These pictures do not do it justice- but the light illuminating the fountain in the dead of the night made this experience even greater!!

Walk around after and explore the different vendors and places to eat down these side streets.

DON’T FORGET – make sure you throw your coin in the Trevi Fountain! You can’t come all this way and not have your wishes granted. . .

Random Fact: The tradition of throwing a coin in a fountain originated with travelers throwing coins into rivers, fountains, and water. This would make the gods of water favor them on their journey and help them get back home safe.

Where to Eat:

  1. Nostre insalatoneauthentic local bar close to the square.
  2. Crepes & Waffles- basically the best gelato in all of Italy- it was off the beaten path and right outside of our Airbnb
  3. Cafe 081- Ate there for a quick breakfast
  4. Whatever you do … don’t eat by the Pantheon- the BIGGEST tourist trap

Must do:

  • Colosseum and Palatine Hill/Roman Forum right outside- make sure to book your tickets through their website- they were around $12 when 3rd party tickets would have been $50. Palatine Hill and Roman Forum are included in your Colosseum tickets
  • Pantheon- Seeing this at night was beautiful-   the square’s atmosphere was filled with the sound of a local artist. (Free – hours are 9-7:30pm closes at 6 on Sunday)
  • Vatican- Buy your tickets ahead of time. They require your shoulders and knees to be covered- so ladies bring a scarf!
  • Spanish Steps- They were under construction when we went-

Ballin’ on a Budget Tips:

  • Book an Airbnb with air (if you go in the summer) – also- there is a “city tax” when you arrive so make sure you have Euros. We would not recommend staying by the train station- this was the one area we didn’t feel completely safe.
  • Uber if you HAVE TO, but try to walk to experience the culture..and to walk off those carbs 😉
  • Download Rick Steve’s app to save time and money on tours
  • Buy a big water bottle for 3 euros and then keep refilling it throughout the day.
  • Download google’s translate app- then download italian to be used offline. This will help you read signs and menus! The locals love when you try to speak in their language and it was so easy to pick up!

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