First mistake when booking this trip: Only giving myself 2 days in Rome. There is literally NO WAY you can see everything in 2 days. (Unless your a little crazy and on a mission like me and zip around the city as fast as you can, getting the “gist” of things. In that case you can see quite a lot but still feel unsatisfied and look into booking your trip back on the plane ride home. )
I don’t know in what world I thought I could squeeze everything into 2 days while creating my itinerary, but lesson learned. On a whole I feel like I did see a lot however didn’t get the opportunity to enjoy it as much as I would with an extra 2 -3 days. SO we begin the journey from Venice to Rome bright and early. The high-speed train takes just under 5 hours to get there and at some points I thought the train was going to zoom right off the tracks, it was so quick. We had booked a bed and breakfast type hotel and it was great and all but when we arrived, he wasn’t home so we had to call him and wait with our entire luggage in a pizzeria. That was a bit of a time waster, so when we finally got settled in we jetted back out-since it was now about 1pm and time was of the essence! We started through the streets and since our hotel was near The Vatican, we took a stroll through and OH MY LORD the line was INSANE. If you want to visit The Vatican, go an hour before it opens OR do what we did the next day and buy tickets off the sketchy guy walking through the line telling people he works for an agency where you can by-pass the 10 hour line. He was telling the truth. Anyways, that’s jumping ahead. The line astonished me so we decided to do that the next day, and hit up the coliseum, that day instead.
On our journey to the Coliseum, we checked a lot of attractions off the list. We visited The Pantheon, Sat on The Spanish Steps, Threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain and basically visited anything highlighted on the map we bought. Helpful hint- buy the map. There are SO MANY THINGS to see just wandering through Rome. There are ruins from the year 400 just hanging out EVERYWHERE. It’s insane. The oldest thing where I’m from is like the McDonalds down the street. There are piazzas everywhere (City squares) with amazing sculptures, fountains and adorable cafes/pizzerias. Basically walking from your hotel to get a coffee is an adventure, there is something to see everywhere you look. Finally we made it to the Coliseum, and it was incredible. The line was decently big but it moved quickly. If there’s anything you do in Rome, you need to come here. The history of the building is just insane, you need to see it in person. After strolling around inside for a while we headed over past the Arch of Constantine and into Palatine Hill, which is one of the most ancient parts of the city. These are ruins in which history shows people began living here since approximately 1000 BC. It was so surreal, another site that should not be skipped. I am not a huge museum girl, but this kind of blows the mind!
After taking a literal walk through history we headed to do some shopping and grab some food. Learning really makes ya work up an appetite- and I could probably eat the food here every day of my life its so amazing. We went to this ADORABLE place near the Spanish steps called ”Grano Frutta e Farina”. They had pizza where you tell them how much you want and they cut it and weigh it. You need to try the pesto and pine nut pizza it was to die for. After the re-fuel the shopping began on the streets near the Spanish steps (Via Condotti) then continued to Via Borgognon and Via Cola di Reinzo. After placing the purchases back in the bed and breakfast then freshening up, we went on a quest for fine Italian cuisine, which could be had pretty much anywhere. Since I am obsessed with Gnocchi that’s obviously what I was looking for (surprise, surprise!) We ended up going to this cute place called Taverna Del Seminario, where we got a delicious 4-course meal including wine for 20 euros. They don’t give a deal like that back home that’s for sure.
After a great last dinner in Italy, we started walking back towards the hotel, stopping in the many souvenir shops. Crazy enough there was this huge Italian music award show being held in one of the Piazzas that night, so we got a taste of the Italian pop music culture. We didn’t stay too late because we had an early morning planned at The Vatican before our evening flight that day.
The next day we packed up our lives and headed bright and early to The Vatican half an hour before opening to find a 2 HOUR LINE- seriously?? This was not going to work for me because we had a tight schedule and needed to be at the airport by 2:30pm. SO as I said earlier, I risked losing my spot in line when this sweet talking British man with a “tour guide” pin on his shirt told me he could get me into The Vatican Museum ahead of the line. Luckily he was legit (Those other suckers who ignored him probably got nice and acquainted in that ridiculous line up) He took us to this seedy office and then we headed to the front of the line and got in. It cost about 10 dollars more then the ticket would have cost, but the time we saved, I would have paid him 50! Needless to say the Vatican Museum was amazing. I come from a Catholic family so I could really appreciate everything I was seeing. It was however SO busy it was like herding cattle through the halls. That’s what I get for going in the summer. After going through the museum we continued into The Vatican and it was surreal- definitely a great end to a great trip.