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In June, I surprised my other half with a trip to Rome for her Birthday. Thankfully, we had an incredible time, and this led to both of us falling in love with Rome! From the food, drink, history, and culture… this may be as close as we will get to the perfect holiday. You immediately feel transported back to Ancient Rome as you arrive in the city. However, there were a few minor points that should be mentioned, which I will cover later in my short weekend in Rome travel guide.
Alternatively, you can have a look at our recommended 3-day itinerary. I have also posted a quick review of the wonderful guesthouse we stayed in during our time in Rome.
We awoke bright-eyed and bushy-tailed around 4 am on Friday morning for our 6 am flight from Edinburgh… so of course, the inevitable was shown on the departure board… “delayed”.
After the mandatory pre-holiday drink, and a quick airport breakfast, we eventually boarded the flight. Next stop … Rome!
We arrived into Ciampino Airport a little later than expected and were greeted by the driver we had pre-booked through booking.com. As I performed the inevitable research before the trip, I noticed a few fellow travellers had been ripped off by the local airport taxi. To avoid any of these potential issues, I pre-booked the transfer from the airport to our accommodation in the city. As an FYI, by law, there is a fixed price an airport taxi fare should be, providing you are staying within the Aurelian Walls (The historical centre of Rome). This should apply to most travellers who are there to see the sights). These costs are:
- Fiumicino Airport to within City Walls: €48
- Ciampino Airport to within City Walls: €30
- Anywhere outside the City Walls: Metered (and may go up fast!)
- Our pre-arranged transfer from Ciampino to accommodation: €45
Our pre-booked transfer cost £38/€45, so for the peace of mind knowing our pick up would be waiting and the cost was fixed, it was well worth it! When we arrived at the car, the driver produced a much needed complimentary bottle of water for us which was greatly appreciated!
Where We Stayed in Rome
After researching numerous hotels in Rome (via Booking.com), AirBnBs and all sorts of accommodation, I decided to book Sun Suite Pantheon Apartments… and the accommodation fantastic! Right from check-in, everything went as smooth as can be! Location, staff, room, comfort, just everything was perfect for our weekend away! The longest walk was to Vatican City, and the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon were within 5 minutes walking distance. Everything else is roughly between a 5 and 20 minutes wander through the streets of the Eternal City. We never took any public transport for the whole weekend we were there! Find out more on our accommodation.
Why Visit Rome?
Without stating the obvious, it’s Rome!
The short answer may be: Rome is PACKED with things to see and do and, due to the layout of the city, you can cover a great deal of the city on foot. The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Spanish Steps, Piazza Del Popolo, Piazza Navona and many more sights are all within walking distance of each other. And once you have burned some calories, you deserve as much pizza, pasta and wine as you can consume!
The slightly longer answer would be: Rome is steeped in history and culture. Likewise, Rome hosts 12 of Italy’s 55 UNESCO world heritage sites. From a religion (and art point of view), Rome also hosts Vatican City; which is not only the world’s smallest nation but also the centre of the Roman Catholic Church. Within Vatican City, lies some remarkable art ( and that’s coming from a not-so art lover). Or, if you are like me and more a lover of movies and TV shows like Spartacus and Gladiator, a trip to the Colosseum and other ancient Roman sights are a must.
Rome Travel Guide!
I’ve added this Rome travel guide to highlight the key points I feel are slightly more unique to Rome than other tourist destinations.
What Are Your Top Tips for Visiting Rome?
- Carry a Water Bottle: Rome has over 2,500 water fountains around the city. This helps save some cash, and is also just really convenient!
- Book in advance: Some queues get massive fast! Don’t spend your valuable time waiting 2 hours to enter the Vatican Museums/Sistine Chapel when you can plan ahead and book your tour!
- A different point of view: Try experience as much of the sights as you can both day and night for a different perspective on them! Seeing them lit up at night is sometimes even more impressive.
- Finally… Walk! : There is so much more to Rome than just the top 5 or so attractions. Walking between places rather than public transport gives you the flexibility to discover your own top sights.
Where To Stay in Rome?
After staying there, it has to be Sun Suite Luxury Pantheon. However, for a general area, I would recommend anywhere around the Pantheon to allow easy access to top sights. From a sightseeing perspective, anywhere within the outlined area below will get you pretty much in the middle of the action. This comes at a slight price though! For a slightly more budget-friendly alternative, Trastevere is also has a lot going on during the day and at night with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from.
Pretty much all main sights in Rome are located within the area below:
When To Travel To Rome?
Now, you have probably read elsewhere that you shouldn’t travel during the peak season (Summer/June to August). Coming from experience, I can now 100% get on board with this!
Firstly, the hoards of tourists (like us) made navigating our way through some of the most iconic sights slightly.
In contrast to this, my brother and mother visited Rome around February and (at least first thing) in the morning had major attractions to themselves!
Secondly, it can get VERY hot in the summer. Now, I’m not going to lie, being from Scotland and in 32°C / 90°F was not ideal for a city break! I would much prefer that kind of temperature for lying on a sun lounger than squeezing my way through masses of fellow travellers.
Recommendation: April to June or September to October will give the best mix of smaller crowds and nice weather!
Is Rome Safe?
As with any hot tourist spot, some people take advantage of the keen holidaymakers which can make the most joyful trip turn sour.
In my time in Rome, I did not witness first hand any pick-pocketing (or anything of that nature). Now that is not me saying you can wander freely without a care in the world. However, a sensible, common-sense approach much like anywhere else should be fine. If you are self-aware and mindful of your surroundings, then you will have a memorable trip to Rome for all the right reasons!
If you enjoyed this quick Rome travel guide, check out my itinerary for how to spend 3 days in Rome. Let me know what you think in the comments below!