When in Rome, you do as the Romans do, by calling it Roma. Okay, cool, now that we’ve got that out of the way lets get into this Roma recap, shal we? I spent about two and a half days in Roma and I have got a TON of things to share with you, grab an espresso- this is a long one– and join me!
Weather: Hot in the summer, warm in the spring & fall (rainy in fall), cool, but comfortable in the winter.
// It is very easy to get around Roma. Although the city is very large, it is easily walk-able. Plus, you can always grab a bus, a cab or the metro to get back to where you started. A word of caution though, there are many illegal cabs so be sure to get a legal one so you don’t get ripped off! Legal cabs are all white, have a light on the top that says taxi and has the cab’s licence number on the doors. Or, you could just Uber it.
I got around the city by walking and riding the metro. As long as you know what stop you’re getting off at you’ll have no issues. Plus, I was solo a lot and rode the metro very early in the morning (6am!) with my luggage and didn’t have any trouble, and I had the same experience at night.
If you’re traveling into the city by plane, chances are you’re coming into the Leonardo da Vinci Airport (FCO) which is just a short 20-30 min train ride away. The main metro station is Termini and that’ll get you literally everywhere in Rome, and it’s the stop that the train station from the airport brings you right into!
Yellow Square, Via Palestro 51
Rome, Italy 00185
// If you’re looking to stay in a hostel, I highly suggest this one. I only spent one night but, the bed was the most comfortable out of all the hostels we stayed in. The bathroom in my particular room was honestly the worst of all the bathrooms on my trip, but I visited some of the other girls rooms and their bathrooms were way better. The bathroom wasn’t bad, it was just tiny. Like, I could touch all 4 walls at once tiny.
What will really sell this place for ya is the breakfast. Deeelicious. If you’ve read my other recaps you know I hated the breakfasts basically everywhere. In addition to the amazing breakfast, there is a bar in the hostile. Like, a good bar. And for all you fellow New Yorkers out there, they have Brooklyn Brewery beer on tap. I was one happy lady.
The Yellow is only about a 5 minute walk to the Termini station making it super central.
Via Aurelia 458
Rome, Italy 00165
// I couldn’t give this place a more positive review. When I go back to Roma I will be staying here again for sure. It was inexpensive and I got treated like royalty! The whole place is stunning, just go look at the pictures. The only downside is that it’s a litttttle bit outside of the main section of the city. There a metro station just around the corner (right next to an amazing gelato place) though. I stayed here for 2 nights and loved everything, especially the beautifully tiled bathrooms. It was heaven. The woman at the front desk was endlessly helpful. She printed out all the tickets I needed, helped me figure out the best way to get to the airport. This woman even snagged me a super early breakfast because I had to check out at 6am and they didn’t start serving 7. I highly, highly recommend.
// Now, it wouldn’t be a Leanna recap if I didn’t say that I should have paid more attention to where we ate on this trip would it? Luckily, the included dinner we got wasn’t the best food I had whilst in Roma. It was amazing and I could tell you the neighborhood it was in. Do I at least get points for trying to find it on Google for at least an hour? No? Didn’t think so. Anyways….
Just look at that pizza above. It doesn’t matter where you get pizza in Roma, as long as you get it. And lots of it. Actually, scratch that. It does matter where you go. Don’t go anywhere right near the tourist attractions. They’re expensive and not worth it. If a waiter has to harass you to get you to sit down, avoid it. Also, always, always double check your bill. If you eat somewhere touristy they will often charge you more, I’ve heard so many bad experiences with this. Trust me, find somewhere way away from the big destinations, or use the staff your hotel/hostel for recommendations.
I was wandering aimlessly trying to find a metro station when I saw an outdoor cafe that was super packed and off of a main street. I sat down, got a glass of wine and stuffed my face with this whole pizza. No shame. No expensive bill. And, I got to practice my Italian with the waiter.
Okay, now ignore everything I just said and eat here:
Largo Corrado Ricci 40/ Via dei Fori Imperiali 25
Rome, Italy 00184
// I know, I know. It’s right smack in the middle of touristy stuff. With the Coliseum up the road and the Roman Forum and the Victor Emmanuel Monument right across the way but I swear, the food was great. And, the outdoor seating was amazing. It was like eating in a secret garden. The staff was fantastic and the bill wasn’t any more than I would expect to pay for the food I received. I had the best risotto of my life there. And their aperol spritz wasn’t half bad either.
Now that you’re sufficiently stuffed with food, it’s time to go find some Gelato! No specific recommendations for you other than to stop everywhere and try everything to see which one you prefer. I had gelato every day I was in Italy and even managed to grab some at the airport before I left the country. Try multiple flavors every visit as well. Pistachio and coffee together was probably my favorite combination. Just sayin’.
What to do:
// This was built in 27BC. That’s right, I said B. C. Holy moly that’s old! Originally built as a temple for pagan gods, it then became a Catholic church. Now it’s just an amazing building/tomb for some royal Italians and the very famous Raphael. The artist, not the Ninja Turtle. Go inside, take a peek at the worlds largest un-reinforced concrete dome. It’s insane. We only had about 10 minutes to do a quick lap (hence no pictures, they’re all slightly blurry) but if you’ve got the time to slowly meander, go for it.
Roman & Imperial Forums:
// I highly suggest getting a guided tour through this and the Colosseum. I love learning about history and have a semi-poor imagination so having a guide was exceptionally helpful. We learned all about daily life of a Roman and our guide had pictures of what the buildings actually looked like back in the day before they were a pile of ruins. If you chose to go it alone without a guide, definitely take your time. The grounds are huge there is a lot to see. Do a quick Google search of the forums so you can know what you’re looking at.
// Ahh, there she is in all her glory. The beautiful Colosseum. Right next door to the Roman & Imperial Forums. Definitely do these both together. This is the largest Roman amphitheater that was once able to fit 50,000 people. You read that right, 50. Thousand. If you think it’s beautiful now, imagine it fully constructed with tiles and plaster everywhere! Pictures do not to the size of this building justice. Those people are teeny tiny specks! Even from the inside it’s hard to believe just how large the amphitheater is.
// You’re right, that is not a picture of the Spanish Steps above. It was closed for construction when I was there, and still is. It’s supposed to be opening soon so definitely look into that before you plan your trip. You can even look at a live webcam of the progress on the construction! Anyways, the Spanish steps are an amazingly beautiful giant staircase within the Piazza di Spagna in Roma. There is a ton of shopping and cafes in this plaza so you definitely need to check it out. And, although the staircase was closed, they do have a small section open so you can go to the top and see the magnificent view! At least you can say you were on the steps.
This was yet another thing in Roma that took my breath away. The size of this fountain is unbelievable. You turn a random corner, assuming you’re lost and BAM it’s right there. It is also incredibly crowded so be patient as you make your way forward to toss your coin into the fountain.
National Monument of Victor Emmanuel II
// Or whatever you want to call it. This monstrosity has a lot of names. Either way, there is literally no way you could miss this thing. It’s ginormous. I’m not sure if you can see just how small those people in front of it are. If you’ve got the time go wander around take a look at all of the beautiful statues. This is also the home of Italy’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Victor Emmanuel II was the first king of Italy and he’s one of those famous Italians buried over at the Pantheon. Supposedly That horse statue in the middle is so large that once the casting was completed they had a celebratory dinner inside the stomach of the horse. Not sure how true that is but the statue is massive.
You made it!!
If you’ll notice, there is no mention of Vatican City. And, that’s because it’s getting it’s own post! Everyone needs to visit the Vaitcan when in Roma, even if you aren’t religious at all. It’s such a must see place that it’s getting it’s own post so stay tuned!
Fun Facts/ Tips for Travel:
// Sunscreen is your best friend here. I got badly sunburned and it’s my own fault. You do a ton of walking and will be outside most of the time. Be prepared!
// The Pantheon is exactly as wide as it is tall!
// That ole coin tossing I mentioned at the Trevi fountain? It’s said that tossing a coin over your left shoulder into the fountain ensures a return visit.
// There are public water fountains all over the place. Take advantage! The water is tasty and at most restaurants you will pay for water.
// Did you know the Colosseum could be flooded for mock sea battles?
// Rome’s streets can be very confusing because they are so crowded. Be sure to circle everywhere you want to go on a map and the nearest metro stations. It’s hard to ask for directions if you can’t point out where you want to go on a map!
// The warning signs on the metro doors are my favorite of all. The guy tripping on the bottom right is my clumsy spirit animal.
Hope you enjoyed this extensive guide to Roma, Italy! Please Pin any of the pictures above if you loved this post! It would mean the world to me!