One of the first trips I took with friends was back in my second year of university, when my housemate and I spontaneously booked a long weekend to Rome in January to beat the post-Christmas blues!
We got a pretty cheap deal from TravelRepublic so flights + accommodation (including breakfast) came in at under £200 each. We stayed at the Andreotti Hotel which is conveniently placed by the Termini Station and a walkable distance to all main attractions. We spent our first day walking around the city getting our bearings with no particular itinerary in mind as there are so many beautiful buildings to gawp at, it doesn’t feel like a wasted day so I’d recommend taking some time out of your schedule – if only a few hours – just to have a stroll and enjoy Rome without the pressure of needing to see X, Y and Z tourist spots next. We stumbled upon a couple of great free museums which are worth a visit if you pass by and of course, they are a great option for those on a tight budget.
But this is a post about Rome so a few well-known sites have to be mentioned! In terms of main tourist attractions, we went to see the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum and took a walk up the Spanish Steps. Although these were all amazing places, I have to say that the Trevi Fountain was particularly breathtaking and stands out for me whenever I remember my Rome trip! I don’t really think photos can do it justice but here goes…
I’d really recommend going in the evening so that the lighting around the fountain can be fully appreciated, this really adds to the already magical atmosphere. (I also had a slight fangirl moment here, as the Lizzie McGuire Movie is set in Rome and Trevi Fountain is where Lizzie first meets Paolo! Ah young love! Anyway…)
The Colosseum and the surrounding area was lovely – to be expected! – and I’m sure you don’t need me telling you that it’s a must-do, if only to get a great photo! There’s lots of areas of ruin nearby which are interesting and any history buffs out there may want to pay these sites a visit.
There were great views from the top of the Spanish Steps, it’s certainly worth the exercise and there is a picturesque cathedral to go to once you’ve done the hike of precisely 135 steps! Unfortunately there was some building work going on at the bottom by the road however it is still quite the view across the city.
On an evening stroll we also came across the most beautiful square surrounded with restaurants and gelato cafes. There were lots of artists around here and I wish we’d discovered it earlier as it would be a great place to spend the day drinking coffee and people watching! We noticed there was a walk up to a viewing platform area, which we were lucky to get to just as the sun set so there were some pretty magnificent views if I do say so myself…
We didn’t really experience the nightlife on this trip mainly because apparently Rome clubs close during the winter months but also, eating a diet of Italian food was quite indulgent so we tended to crash out back at the hotel after dinner – when in Rome a food baby just has to be accepted!
There are so many delicious pasta, pizza and gelato shops on what feels like every street (apologies for the cliche but it is actually true!) so I won’t recommend any in particular however I would advise to explore restaurants in smaller side streets rather than the main areas as these are often just as delicious but at a lower price.
That just about wraps up my experience of Rome – tweet me @evierosetravels if you’ve been recently or comment below!