CITY GUIDE : THREE DAYS IN ROME
I am back with a complete Rome city guide, in which I will give you all my tips and advise to visit the Eternal City in three days. I was lucky to spend a long weekend there at the beginning of November with my boyfriend Gleb. I had been dreaming of visiting this city for a long time, and it was even more beautiful than I could imagine. With no doubt, the prettiest capital I’ve ever been to so far !
- 10am-12am : Colosseum
- 12am-4pm : Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
- 4:30-5:30pm : Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano
- 11am-2pm : Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Tiber River
- 2pm-5pm : Villa Borghese
- 11am-3pm : Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Square
The hours mentioned are approximately how much time we needed for each visit.
THE COLOSSEUM (+ Roman Forum + Palatine)
- Reduced price for the UE citizens between 18-25 : 7,50€.
- Full price : 12€.
BASILICA SAN GIOVANNI IN LATERANO
- 10€ to visit the cloister, the Basilica’s entrance is free.
- Full price : 16€ (+ 4€ of online reservation fees).
- Buy them on the website of the Vatican’s ticketing and avoid the line.
TIPS TO VISIT ROME
- Wear comfy shoes because you are going to do a lot of walking…
- It may seem obvious, but try to gather your activities depending on your location to avoid loosing time in the public transport.
- Beware of pickpockets in touristic areas ! The ideal is a small shoulder bag the you can keep closed.
- Some bars and restaurants situated near the touristic locations are real tourist traps ! In one, the waiter refused to serve us because we just wanted to order two San Pellegrino bottles. In an other, the said bottle (50 cl) cost… 6€ !
- Regarding the Roma Pass : this pass, valid for 3 days, gives you a free entrance in the two first museums/monuments of your choice and unlimited public transport, for a total of 36€ per person. I had been advised to buy it, but after a quick calculation, I noticed that it wasn’t worth it in my case. Indeed, our visits and subway trips cost us less than 36€ per person (I didn’t count the Vatican Museums because it is not included in the Roma Pass). Therefore, I’m a bit skeptical regarding the real benefit of this pass. It might be worth it if you want to visit a lot of paying monuments, or if you need to use the public transport a lot ?
GOOD PLACES IN ROME
- La Pecora Pazza
Situated near our B&B, we ate there 3 nights over 4 ! Great italian food, pizzas bigger than me and reasonable prices. The only down side was the young waitress who was really unpleasant toward us and the other customers, which is too bad since the other members of the staff were lovely.
- Pasta All’uovo Kitchen
A great discovery ! This place is a delicatessen shop where you can find excellent italian products. In the evening, tables are set in the shop and you can come and eat. Do you believe me if I tell you that this wast the best meal of my life ? Bruschettas, pasta a la carbonara, lasagnas… Everything was divine. And the waitress was really nice too !
- The beer Angelo Poretti n°3
Well, this is not an address, but if you enjoy nice beers like Gleb and I do, take advantage of your stay in Rome to try this one !
WHERE WE WERE STAYING
To enjoy a real and typical italian atmosphere in a little building full of charm, we decided to book a B&B. You can’t imagine how glad I am I did ! We chose the Aldebaran B&B, situated in the center (10 minutes away from the Colosseum and right near the subway).
Our room was big and quiet, really nice, with a super comfy bed and two big windows with a view on a pretty italian courtyard. Our bathroom was also huge and spotless (with a bathtub !). All of this for less than 50€ a night… I strongly recommend this lovely and perfectly situated place.
Our hostess, Laura, has been really kind and helpful when we needed some advice regarding Rome. She even prepared a take away breakfast for us on the day of our departure because we left really early to catch our flight home.
– 1st day –
Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine,
Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano
For our first full day in Rome, we started with the Colosseum. I was expecting to wait in line for a long time because I had read on the internet that the line to enter the monument was… colossal.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that this wasn’t the case this day ! Probably because it was early November… Anyway, in twenty minutes, we were in the Colosseum with our ticket in the pocket.
This visit has been my favourite of our whole stay ! We took the time to explore the monument by ourselves. I am allergic to guided tours that remind me of a shepherd and his sheeps (or school trips, even worse).
Because of its beauty and history, the Colosseum is an exceptional place that deserves to be seen.
Then, we visited the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. We were so absorbed in the beauty of the roman architecture that we didn’t even stop to eat. Your ticket for the Colosseum also gives you access to these two locations, so keep it !
I enjoyed the Palatine a lot : the weather was gorgeous (24°c in the afternoon) and this stroll among the ancient ruins and the lemon trees was somehow magical. From there, you can also discover an amazing view over Rome !
To end this day, we went admiring the architecture of the Victor Emmanuel Monument, took the time to enjoy a gelato and headed to the Basilica San Giovanni in Laterano, situated near our B&B.
The Basilica is sumptuous, surmounted by impressive statues, and the inside is just as beautiful. There is also a little cloister that is very pretty buy paying. Honestly, I found the entrance price (10€) a bit expensive for what it is…
This day, we walked for more than 7 hours straight ! Sore legs, buts sparkles in our eyes. This city is amazing.
– 2nd day –
Trevi Fountain, Pantheon,
Piazza Navona, Villa Borghese
We started our sunday with the Trevi Fountain. I wasn’t expecting to see so many people there ! It was difficult to take proper pictures, but we managed to get closer to throw a coin in the fountain and make a wish.
Then, we headed to the Pantheon situated a few streets from there. An impressive building that you can’t miss if you are staying in the Eternal City !
For the afternoon, we had planned to visit the Villa Borghese garden. To go there, we walked by the pretty piazza Navona and went along the Tiber River. I don’t advise you to walk directly on the banks : if you already went there, you know why… It’s better to stay near the streets.
After we arrived at the Villa Borghese, our legs were hurting so much that we rented a sort of electric bike with two seats, conceived to attract the tired tourists. It was really funny – and restful ! – to visit the park this way, even if we almost crushed a few innocent people in the action. But hey, I’m not the one who was driving… 😉
– 3rd day –
Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Square
For our last full day in Rome, we went to the Vatican Museums. Thanks to the advice of une Cocotte à Rome, I had boughten my tickets in advance on the website of the Vatican’s ticketing. Thank you Cocotte, because it was a good thing to do ! They cost exactly the same price with a nice advantage : you don’t need to queue (or at least not for long). Be careful however, because these tickets are not valid to visit St Peter’s Basilica.
During my visit, there was a huge line of people waiting to buy their tickets, but I guess that it was nothing compared to the summer time. Anyway, Gleb and I didn’t queue for one single minute since we already had our tickets ! I encourage you to buy them in advance too.
When you will be approaching the entrance of the Museums, you will see Vatican employees on the streets, they are there to help you and guide you to the right entrance. However, some people – who are not staff members of the Museums – will try to pass as them. They will tell you that your ticket isn’t correct and they will try to sell you guided tours, or really expensive priority-access tickets (which you don’t need since the ticket you bought on the internet is already priority-access !). Beware of them, because they are very insisting. Don’t believe them if they tell you that your ticket is not valid, and only speak to the Vatican employees that you can recognize thanks to their badge. They are really nice and helpful.
Regarding the Vatican Museums, I especially enjoyed the greek ancient pottery, the map gallery and the huge tapestries, but I was expecting to see more major works of art from the italian history. I’m surprised there weren’t more statues and paintings. But the Museums are grandiose and I don’t regret my visit. And the magnificent sight of the Sistine Chapel will be forever etched in my memory.
Then, we went on St Peter’s Square to admire the famous St Peter’s Basilica. With no surprise, the line to enter was monstrous and we only enjoyed the Basilica’s façade. We will try to visit the dome during our next stay in Rome !
We intend to go back to Rome as soon as possible because we fell in love with the Eternal City. Next time, I want to visit the Capitoline Museums, the catacombs of St Calixtus and the Trastevere area !
Have you ever been to Rome ? Would you like to visit this city ?