It’s the end of my great Italian vacation. Two weeks spent in Italy in August passed by in the blink of an eye. First a week in the south of Italy – on the Amalfi Coast, followed by another 7 days in the Eternal City and the surrounding area. How did I spend this time? I ate delicious pizza, feasted on a prosecco, caught many sunrays and saw many wonderful places. . . And I checked if all these roads actually led to Rome. Would you like to find out what is was like? Then keep reading!

What to see in Rome?

We reached Rome by train from the Italian South, from the city of Civitavecchia. The journey took about an hour (the ticket cost is 5.10 €). We arrived at Roma Termini at around 13 o’clock and immediately headed straight for the tourist information to buy the Roma Pass card. Given the benefits (and savings!), which it offers, it is my opinion the basis for visiting the Eternal City, which is why I’m mentioning it in the very introduction.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

What is the Roma Pass?

Roma Pass is a tourist city card, which entitles to free travel by public transport (including the metro!), several free entries to museums and many discounts. We chose the 72-hour option, which allowed us to move around Rome without additional charges for 3 days, and visit two museums for free (we received discounts for visiting other attractions). This option cost us 38.50 €. Details and purchase options for Roma Pass are described at www.romapass.it.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

Is it worth buying the Roma Pass?

Sure thing! It is quick and easy to calculate how many benefits this card offers. A 72-hour ticket on public transport in Rome is a cost of 18€, visiting the absolute ‘must see’, which is the Colosseum and the Roman Forum (as part of a common ticket) – another 18€. The standard price for entering a museum in Rome (we treat it as ‘museum no. 2’) – 10€. Together, that’s 46€! At this point I save 7,50€, top that with discounts for subsequent museums (for example, you pay 5€, instead of 10€ for a ticket to the Museum of Modern Art). I recommend this with all my heart!

Attraction no. 1: Colosseum

Metro station: Colosseo
First, we went to the Colosseum. Upon entrance, we learned another advantage of having the Roma Pass – we skipped the queue!
The Colosseum is the symbol of the Eternal City, one of the most important places in Rome. This former amphitheatre, arena of games and gladiator fights makes an amazing impression. See for yourself. . .

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

When touring the Colosseum, the weather played a trick on us as it began to rain. When we left its walls, we were awaited by many sellers of raincoats featuring the image of the Colosseum signed Roma. What an outfit! And in several colours to choose from! While I was choosing a blue coat, I wasn’t quite aware that I would have to wear it more than once.
After touring the Colosseum, we sat on a nice wall with a pleasant view and took a lunch break.
Rome delights at every turn! This was our way back home – I should have taken pictures of everything on our way!

Attraction no. 2: Roman Forum and Palatine

Metro station: Colosseo
We began the second day of our stay in Rome with visiting the Roman Forum and Palatine. It is worth mentioning that tickets for these attractions are sold in a package with a ticket to the Colosseum. We have two days to visit these three attractions, each can be seen only once.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

Upon entrance we stumbled across a huge queue, so we went to the next gate. Here, the crowd was much smaller – we waited a moment, scanned our Roma Pass cards and began sightseeing. First, we went to Palatine and later to the Roman Forum. It was very hot! And beautiful!

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

After visiting the Palatine and the Roman Forum, we went towards the Vatican. The weather did not pamper us, which is clear in the pictures. Well, sometimes there’s sun, sometimes there’s rain.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

Attraction no. 3: Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica

Metro station: Ottaviano
We wondered for a long time whether to visit only St. Peter’s Basilica or perhaps spend more time and see the entire Vatican. In the end, we decided only on the Basilica, but with the option of walking out to the dome and enjoying the view of Rome from above. The queue to enter was indeed enormous, but it moved at a fast pace and after less than 20 minutes we found ourselves in the second largest church in the world.
The Basilica stands at the famous St. Peter’s Square with a spectacular colonnade designed by Gianlorenzo Bernini – an Italian sculptor and architect who left his mark on the appearance of the whole of Rome.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

As in most sacred buildings, also in the Basilica, it is worth paying attention to your outfit. Many people do not do this and tour the church just like any other place worth seeing. It is true that the staff does not say anything to the tourists, but nevertheless, seriousness is recommended in a place like this. On that day I was wearing a dress revealing my knees, so I bought a scarf for 3€ and tied it at my waist.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

After visiting the inside of the Basilica, we went to the ticket offices to buy tickets to the top of the dome. Tickets cost 6€ for the stairs and 8€ for a short lift, with the option of taking the stairs for the rest of the way.

I highly recommend the view from above on the Eternal City…

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

Attraction no. 4: Piazza Navona

The weather did not pamper us, but it did not make us sit at home. So, we headed for one of the most beautiful squares in Rome – Piazza Navona. It once served as a market place, and today, with good weather, it is an ideal place to rest. There are a lot of cafes and ice-cream shops, and besides, three famous fountains on the square: Four Rivers Fountain, Moor Fountain and the Fountain of Neptune. When the real downpour started, we hid in the nearby Museo di Roma.

Attraction no. 5: Fontanna di Trevi

Metro station: Berberini
Time for one of the most famous fountains in the world, the Trevi Fountain. We visited this place several times at different hours and we always came across crowds of tourists who wanted to take a picture of themselves here! Apparently, it is only before 8 am that there are no more crowds here, but since I am not one of the early birds, I did not get a chance to find out for myself.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

According to legend, throwing one coin in the Trevi fountain means returning to Rome, two – falling in love, and three – getting married! Millions of people believe in it, and in 2016 as much as … 1.5 million dollars were fished up from the fountain!

According to the legend, throwing one coin into the fountain means a return to Rome, two – falling in love, and three – a wedding! Millions of people believe in this, and in 2016 as much as … 1.5 million dollars were fished up from the fountain! The money was donated to Caritas’ account. For this reason, it is apparently cleaned every night. Apart from all the legends circling around it – Fontanna di Trevi makes a tremendous impression!

Attraction no. 6: Spanish Steps and Spanish Square

Metro station: Spagna
Near the Trevi Fountain there lies another symbol of Rome – Spanish Stairs located at the Spanish Square (Piazza di Spagna). They have 137 degrees and are the longest staircase in Europe and… are quite a challenge! The stairs lead from the square to the Church of the Holy Trinity, and their name comes from the former Spanish embassy located in the area.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

At the top of the stairs there is a wall – a great place to sit and savour the panorama of Rome. We used it to eat our dinner at sunset. It did rain a little, but we did not care at all. . . We bought our food at Pastificio Guerra on Via della Croce 8, right next to the Spanish Square. A portion of pasta cost 4€ and it was great! I recommend it!

Attraction no. 7: Villa Borghese

On Sunday, we visited the Villa Borghese Gardens – one of the most famous parks in Rome. What can I say about it? It is incredibly green and just beautiful! It’s the perfect place for a Sunday family relax.

The park can be visited on foot or by renting a bike or other technical miracles We chose the first option and it was not bad at all, as numerous guides had mentioned (apparently, there was supposed to be a lot of walking – absolutely not!). During the walk, it is worth taking a look at the Galleria Borghese museum full of works of art. Attention! Tickets must be booked by phone the day before! However, we decided on a visit to the Museum of Modern Art, but we’ll talk about that in a while.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

Attraction no. 8: Via del Corso

A paradise for shopaholics and fashion lovers! The street where you will find recognised Italian and global brands. Fashion houses, chain stores, ice cream shops, cafes. . . whatever your heart desires! I especially recommend the workshop with handmade cosmetics, which the visitors can test on site. Highly recommended!

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

Attraction no. 9: Trastevere

The Roman equivalent of Cracow’s Kazimierz, or the coolest part of the Eternal City! The centre of evening and night life. In addition, it is not so eagerly visited by tourists, so it is quite calm and you can feel the atmosphere of true Rome. A beautiful place! It was to these surrounding (and fantastic) places where we were going for dinner, which could extend to really late hours!

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

Trastevere is a really fantastic place. We ourselves have witnessed a situation in which the performance of a street artist turned into a party with many people dancing and playing on the street! I’ve never seen anything like it before.

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

Attraction no. 10: Museum of Modern Art

We chose it over visiting the Borghese Gallery. Do I regret it now? Absolutely not! Although I guess I would have admired many famous works of art there. A visit to Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma (MACRO) gives a lot to think about, and I will surely come back to the museum in the Villa Borghese Gardens someday!

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

What else is worth seeing in Rome?

What other places in Rome are worth mentioning? In between the first and the second downpour, we saw a few notable places, unfortunately I did not have time to take pictures. These include:
Piazza del Popolo – another of the iconic Roman squares,
Panteon – the best-preserved Roman temple, built on the plan of a circle (admission is free),
Piazza Venezia – an excellent landmark when visiting Rome, and besides – a really beautiful place.

Olympic Stadium – a must see for fans

During our stay in Rome we saw the match of the Italian league on Stadio Olimpico, the stadium of AS Roma and Lazio. I had no doubt that we just had to go there, as my boyfriend is a die-hard football fan, and I am a good girlfriend :). How was it? Quite nice! A lot of emotions, a cool spectacle and Arkadiusz Milik, who ran around the pitch and shot for Napoli. Was it worth seeing the game? Of course!

Rome

Rome ©Plaamkaa

Where to eat in Rome?

Quick association: Rome = Italian cuisine = delicious food! We usually found just the perfect place, and were fooled only once – in the area of the Trevi Fountain. We paid too much for a meal that was simply not the best. And all this because we hadn’t checked the place beforehand and walked in straight ‘from the street’. Do not follow our footsteps. First and foremost, look for places where you see locals, not tourists.

Recommended places on the map of Rome

We tested many of the places below ourselves, unfortunately some were not open in August because of the holidays. The list was created as a result of a really good research, which we carried out before our departure.

Pastificio Guerra, Via della Croce 8 – great take-out pasta for 4€, a place in the vicinity of Plaza de España
Taverna Parione, Via Di Parione 38 – the perfect place for lunch in the Piazza Navona area,
Mr. Brown, Vicolo de’ Cinque 29 – one of our favourite places at Trastevere – a bar where we stopped by in the evenings,
La Portineria, Via Reggio Emilia 22 – bakery,
Pinsere, Via Flavia 98 – pizzeria,
La Casetta a Monti, Via della Madonna dei Monti 62 – bistro,
Ristorante Colosseo ‘Luzzi’, Via di S. Giovanni in Laterano 88 – restaurant,
Il Margutta veggy food & art, Via Margutta 118 – a place with vegetarian cuisine,
Fabrica, Via Girolamo Savonarola 8 – restaurant,
Eggs, Via Natale del Grande 52 – interesting place with egg-based dishes.

What is it worth seeing in Rome?

Rome is already past us, now it’s time to see where we visited near the Eternal City and what we can recommend for sightseeing.

Nettuno

A charming town situated on the very seafront, named in the honour of Neptune. Here you will find a beautiful sandy and wide beach. Renting deckchairs and an umbrella cost 10€. We reached Nettuno on the penultimate day of our stay in Italy and. . . we regretted having discovered this place so late.

Nettuno

Nettuno ©Plaamkaa

Castel Gandolfo

A picturesque town, which is the summer residence of the popes. This is absolutely no wonder, because Castel Gandolfo is an amazingly beautiful place – calm, quiet and with a beautiful view at Lake Albano. We came, we walked and went on our way.

Tivoli and Villa d’Este

I knew that I just had to go there after seeing the photos on the internet. It was for the photo session right in this place that I had carried a long evening dress with me in my backpack for two weeks :). Villa d’Este is a Renaissance mansion built on a hill surrounded by fountains with a beautiful view of the area.

Tivoli

Tivoli ©Plaamkaa

Surroundings of Rome – what to see, what to skip?

All of the above-mentioned places are worth seeing, especially if you rent a car. It’s only a fraction of all the places that are recommended in guidebooks, but of course – it is impossible to see them all.

If you are looking for a sunflower field, visit Paganico. Rieti? It looks as if time has stopped – nothing happens there! The area around Poggio Mirteto is a great wine cellar, and there are stony beaches in Civitavecchia, where we have stayed before coming to Rome. That’s why during our stay in this area we went to Santa Marinella – here the cost of renting two deckchairs and an umbrella is 34€.

McArthurGlen Designer Outlets in Rome

Finally – a treat for shopaholics – a Roman outlet town! And in it, shops like Havaianas, Diesel, Burberry, Pinko, Adidas, Blumarine, Calvin Klein, Calzedonia, Furla, Michael Kors and many, many more.

How to fly to Rome?

All roads lead to Rome. And where do planes fly? Low-cost airlines usually go to Ciampino airport and cruise lines land on Fiumicino. Tickets for flights to Rome are usually quite cheap, although sometimes the offers are not so favourable. That is why it is worth checking the deals on flights to the Italian capital in advance, and not just that!

And that’s that. I hope I’ve encouraged you to visit Rome and get to know the charms of the Eternal City on your own!