One year ago my husband was deployed in Italy. We had not seen each other for three months, and had four long months left. Then, the Lord heard our prayers! I received a text from Adam saying, “Come to Rome next week.” So I cleared my schedule and off I went!
Rome is a city full of history, famous art, breathtaking architecture, and gluten-free food. Before vacation, I normally pre-schedule tours and develop an itinerary of things we wish to see and do.
Well.. not this time. Why?
I was excited to see my husband and finally relax.
I was nervous about flying stand-by oversees for the first time.
I had no idea how much he needed to work.
So we planned nothing.
Long story short, for this blog post, I do not have a set schedule of what to do, but I do have a few tips!
- Tour the Colosseum. It is one of the seven wonders of the world! The line to get inside is insanely long. A lot of people will approach you trying to sell you a skip-the-line tour. I highly suggest it! It is not a trick. They literally take you right up to the front of the line. Once you are inside, the tour guide fills you in on the history and tells some fascinating stories. Once he is done talking, you are then allowed to explore on your own and take pictures.
- The tour then takes you to the Roman Forum. Bring your walking shoes, because the ruins spread out for a few blocks and consist of a lot of stairs. Confession: Adam and I were exhausted from the day. We bailed on the tour and just tried to find the highest point in the forum. Then we could over look everything and see it from afar.
- Eat at Angelino Ai Fori. It is a short walk from the Colosseum and the atmosphere is amazing. We ate here three times! There is outdoor seating and the food is amazing. They even have gluten-free pizza.
4. Attend a football match at Stadio Olimpico. Whether you are a soccer fan, or not. This is one way to immerse yourself in the culture. The atmosphere is intense and electrifying. It is hard not to get emotionally involved in the game, but if you don’t, people watching is just as amusing. Football is no joke in Italy. If you are staying in the city center, the stadium is a quick train ride away.
5. Looking for date night ideas? Start the night off by visiting the Trevi Fountain. The fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city. At nighttime, it is lite up and has a romantic vibe. Just keep in mind that is surrounded with people. I get overwhelmed in crowds, but saw the fountain in The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Yup. You read that correctly, The Disney movie, featuring Hilary Duff, inspired me to see the fountain. We quickly admired the fountain, took a photo, and made our way to a quiet café for dinner and wine.
6. Walk inside the Pantheon. We stumbled upon it when walking around one night. It is free to enter, so you can come and go quickly whenever you have time one day.
7. Spend at least one day in Vatican City. We bought tickets for a tour a day in advance. That way you can skip the lines to enter, and the guide will explain the history of each piece of art. Tip: Make sure your tour includes St.Peter’s Basilica AND the Sistine Chapel. The chapel is absolutely breathtaking to see in person. The city is easy to get to by train, if you are staying in Rome. There are a lot of cute shops and cafes. So go before your tour, to walk around the city!
8. Where to stay? I have friends who have had great experiences with Airbnb in Europe. It is normally cheaper, and you can find some that are right in the heart of the city. Adam and I stayed at UNA Hotel Roma. The location is amazing. It is right by Roma Termini, so you do not have to walk far with your luggage from the train. It is also within walking distance of the Colosseum. And just in case you aren’t sold yet… they also offer free breakfast!
Rome can be overwhelming, because there is so much to do, and crowds of people everywhere you go. Spending a week there, allowed us to relax, take our time, and enjoy the culture. We hope to visit Venice next. So if you have any recommendations, let me know! Have a great week. SALUTE!