In the end of August my sisters visited. They wanted to scratch Rome from their bucket list. I’ve also never been to Rome before and I am always eager to see a new city. Rome, of course, is a must-see in Italy. So, I used the opportunity to write my Rome Travel Diary for you.
Here are some things that we’ve packed for Rome.
Rome Travel Diary Day 1: Departure, Arrival, and Colosseum
We had six hours of car ride ahead of us, so we decided to leave early in the morning. Because we were coming from Genova, we took the high way along the coast. This had the advantage that we saved some toll money, as the high way ends in Grosseto. We noticed immediately that we were not on a toll road anymore… The street had a lot of holes and was uneven. Yet, for us, it was worth it.
If you also go down the coast, you could stop by in Cinque Terre. Check out my Travel Guide.
When we arrived in Rome, we were able to immediately check in. We were so glad! Because of the car, we took a bed & breakfast in the outskirts of the city. That’s why we wouldn’t have known what to do in the meantime. But everything went smoothly and we were in our room in no time.
As I had some troubles with my credit card the week before, we didn’t buy the tickets for the Colosseum yet. So that was the next step to take. On this website, you can easily reserve your tickets for the Colosseum. Even though it there is an English site, it is all in Italian. But we managed. I paid the full price of € 14.00 (€ 2 booking fee), my sister paid € 9.50, and my other sister, who is a student of Archeology, got a free ticket and paid only the € 2 booking fee. We didn’t waste any time and went straight to the Colosseum.
But first we had to get our ticket for public transportation. We discovered that it is possible to buy a 24, 48, and 72 hour ticket or a 7 day ticket. As it was already late in the afternoon, we decided to buy the 48 hour ticket for € 12.50. We took line C to the terminal stop Lodi, where we already met the first problem. There was not direct connection to the next metro line. We had to walk about 1000m to reach Re di Rome. Yet, there we found out that Line A would not work until the 1st of September. But they provided buses to get from station to station. We were so lucky!
But we wanted to walk for a bit. On the way, we saw a part of the city wall and the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran. We wanted to go in, but we weren’t dressed according to the dress code, so for today we only saw it from the outside. We still had to find the next bus station and walked on. Soon we saw a Gelateria. Me and my sister, we felt like ice cream, but my other sister didn’t. Still we bought some and it was amazing. All way to the metro station, we were talking about how good it was and were eagerly eating our gelato.
Finally, we hopped on the bus and went to Roma Termini. There we changed to line B that goes to the Colosseum. Immediately, when we stepped out from the station, we saw it. It was huge and it was beautiful. Of course, there were many people and many people who wanted to sell us the world to us, but we all ignored them and went to the entrance.
I’ve imagined hours of waiting in the burning sun, but we got in very quickly. We found the right line, we went through security, we picked up our tickets, and we were in! Maybe five minutes passed. We were so amazed that we took the wrong entrance and started downstairs. Usually, you go up first. But like this, we were able to fill up our water bottles which were empty already.
The Colosseum was amazing. I was especially fascinated by the middle part below, where the gladiators lived, as my sister told me. I took a lot of pictures, always trying to avoid the people. From upstairs we could also take pictures of the Arch of Constantin and the Roman Forum. But it was too late to visit the latter today.
Therefore, we went to the Hard Rock Café. It is close to Barberini station, from where the Trevi Fountain is also not far. We bought some stuff, but it was not possible to eat there. After such a day, we were not prepared to wait one hour for our table and then even longer for our food. So, we went to a near restaurant and had a pizza. My sisters took a Fungi and I took a Napoli, which comes with anchovies.
We were thinking about going to the Trevi Fountain that night, but we were too tired. Tomorrow we would go.
We got home very late, but we were really happy. Still, I found some time to write my Rome Travel Diary.
Rome Travel Diary Day 2: Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, and Gelato
Because of the mess with the metro yesterday, we tried the bus today. Number 105 should go straight Termini and after half an hour we were there. On the way, I saw the perfect gift for the sister of my boyfriend. She loves Chinese noodles, but only from the brand Shin. They were expensive, but they were worth to see her reaction when I told her that I brought something from Rome for her. Muhahahahahaaaaa…
From there we went directly to the Roman Forum. Again, we found the right line, went through security, and we were in. We didn’t need to get the tickets because the ticket to the Colosseum also includes the Roman Forum. So great!
I must say the Roman Forum fascinated me even more. Okay, most of the buildings were ruins. But the conscience to be in the center of the Roman Empire and to imagine all the emperors that walked those streets was awe inspiring. I really enjoyed the walk around the Forum. Again, we took a lot of pictures.
The best place to take pictures of the Colosseum is from the Roman Forum. There is a terrace that is apparently not so popular or nobody notices it. Still, from there you are able to take pictures without all the people crowding the place.
After the Roman Forum we took the metro to the Trevi Fountain. Well, we wanted to, but it turned out that the metro was closed also in that direction today. Do you notice the pattern? After our trip, I told my boyfriend about the situation with the metro. His comment was “Yeah, I know. The metro is always broken.” So, be prepared for some stress.
So, we took the bus. Number 85 stops pretty close there. Of course, there were a lot of people again. But we did manage to find a place to throw a coin into the fountain. Only later, did we check what it means. Actually, you should throw three coins over your left shoulder. The first one ensures your return to Rome. The second one will take care of a new romance and the third will bring you marriage. As I only threw one coin over the right shoulder, I think I will have to go back to put it right.
By the time we left, we were starting to get hungry. We walked down the street on the right of the Trevi Fountain. There we found a restaurant that offered a € 10 lunch buffet; water and bread included. I almost couldn’t believe it. I mean we are in Rome. It is expensive here. So when the waitress approached us, I asked if it is really only € 10 and she said “Yes”. It was a nice restaurant with good service. Assaggi d’Autore was the name. They served pasta, zucchini, couscous, eggplant, tomatoes, and meat. It was good. We could take whatever we wanted how often we wanted. I would have expected a buffet like this for a good aperitivo.
After lunch, we went to the Spanish Steps. It wasn’t far, so we walked. Once there, we decided we didn’t like it at all. There were people everywhere. Taking beautiful pictures was a mess and even a selfie showed the masses of people. So we left.
My sister still wanted to see the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran. Today we remembered to put on long pants and appropriate shirts. Yet, for the first church ever built, few people were here. Still, there was heavy security at the entrance. The basilica was fascinating with its huge sculptures that led up to the altar. My sister told me the church the pope restored it in the 16th century. In line with that, the whole interior got a new design. So, we couldn’t see how the church actually looked like when Constantin built it.
As we were here already, we went to have another ice cream. This time around, I took the time to notice the inside. I saw that they manufactured their ice cream without using milk. From the taste of the day before, we were not able to discern that there wasn’t any milk in there. They used olive oil instead, making their entire ice cream vegan. It’s sooooo goooood. The name is Olive Dolci.
Today, we decided to head back to the hotel early. We are on vacation after all. Walking around all day is tiresome and we are not one of those who have to see Rome in one day. We intend to come back. That’s for sure.
I was very happy that I was able to write a bit more in my Rome Travel Diary.
Rome Travel Diary Day 3: The Vatican
It is true, you will need one day for the Vatican, but it is well worth it. We started with St. Peters. When we saw the line, we almost turned around. It went almost all around St. Peters Square. But we said to ourselves that we came here to see Rome and St. Peters is definitely a must-visit-location. So we joined the line.
Even though it was long, the wait was quite short with 30min. The line moved very fast forward, and the security did everything necessary to speed up the process. By the way, it is free to enter St. Peters, but you can also buy a skip-the-line-ticket, which is in my opinion a waste of money.
When we finally entered, we checked of all the things we have to see. St. Peters is huge, so make sure you see everything. We went to Michelangelo’s Pieta first and moved past the altar. The thing that intrigued me the most was the list of popes that you find down the corridor to the treasures. The long history of the Catholic Church was never so graspable. I noticed, though, that the Popes Francis and Benedict were not on it yet.
While moving towards the exit, we passed by the grave of Pope John Paul II. He is the only pope that I experienced before. Even though I am not catholic, I was sad when he died and followed the news closely during that time.
After we exited the church, we had our first disagreement. It actually surprised me that it took this long. We were arguing about what to do next. One of my sisters wanted to go shopping. The other wanted to go back to the hotel to relax. We were both against that suggestion, as it wasn’t even lunch yet. I wanted to continue seeing the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel.
To have a break, we went to have lunch in an overpriced restaurant near the Vatican. I had spaghetti aglio, olio e pepperoncino; very delicious and very spicy. During lunch I decided for myself that I won’t go home without seeing the Sistine Chapel. It’s been one of my dreams for a long time and I wasn’t prepared to miss this chance.
I told my sisters so and suggested that they could do something else. One sister insisted that she didn’t want to go back to the hotel alone. The other one, I think, just didn’t know where to go shopping. This meant that all three would go to the Vatican Museum.
Again, there were a lot of people who wanted to sell us skip-the-line-tickets. Also the museum offered them. But I read on Trip Advisor that they weren’t worth the extra 4€, so we went in just like that. It was the best decision we could do. The line was not long. Maybe five families were in front of us. We paid each 16€.
The museum was huge. You could literally get lost in it. But I was only interested in the Sistine Chapel. My sister, the one who wanted to go home, wanted to see the Egyptian part of the exhibitions.
As we were only interested in these two, were got pretty annoyed when we discovered that we had to go through the entire Museum to see them. We walked at least for half an hour before we reached the Sistine Chapel. But when I was inside, I was so amazed. I could’ve spent hours in there just looking up. Michelangelo really craved out the ceiling with paint. He played so magnificently with light and shadow. I really felt like the pictures were alive.
But I was there with my sisters, who cannot appreciate such a masterpiece, so I had to leave soon. Still, I will go happily to sleep tonight.
It was already late, when we left. Our ticket for the metro was expired, but one ticket valid for three hours only cost €1.50. We used it to return to the gelateria to have one last ice cream, before we went back to the hotel. After a well-deserved shower, I got down to write my Rome Travel Diary. Tomorrow, we would leave early to make a quick stop in Florence.
I hope you enjoyed the Rome Travel Diary. If so or if not, please give me some feedback.
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