So I finally made the trip to one of the most famous cities in the world. And just for you, here’s my roundup of things to do in Rome.
It has always been high on the list as a perfect long weekend getaway, and Rome didn’t disappoint.
With wall-to-wall history, and more old buildings than new, Rome exudes more ancient culture than London could ever provide. In the big smoke we have skyscraper buildings and a city skyline. Rome boasts precious few new builds, with most castles, palaces, and even the coliseum relatively intact.
Now in Rome there’s clearly so much to do, and luckily we experienced most things, so here’s my summary of things to do in one of Europe’s highlights…
Things to do in Rome #1 – Visit the Vatican
The Vatican at night
Arguably one of the most famous sights of Rome, the Vatican is a must see for any visitor. The former home of the Pope and the location of the Cistine Chapel, the Vatican exudes an air of mystique and a sense of history.
Boasting stunning architecture, the Vatican makes for a great backdrop for an evening walk, but it’s what’s inside that’s the real revelation. The Vatican is home to monuments from all over the world, whether it’s an embalmed mummy, or the statue of a Greek god.
Strange statues at the Vatican
But the best bit is the bespoke artwork adorning the ceiling and walls of the historic site. I can go on, but it’s best you kind of see for yourself.
Things to do in Rome #2 – Throw a coin in the Trevi fountain
The Trevi fountain is a great place to visit. But unfortunately we didn’t appreciate it fully as it was surrounded by scaffold – clearly it was time for a refurb.
The Trevi Fountain – in the midst of a refurb
Things to do in Rome #3 – Sit on the Spanish Steps
The Spanish steps… a welcome seat for tired feet
Another great place to go to in the evening. Sitting on the Spanish steps in the summer is a pleasure not to be underestimated. In the heat of the day, the Spanish steps are busy with tourists and couples alike. In the evening, it’s a great place to sit and cool off after a long walk.
Things to do in Rome #4 – Take in the Coliseum
Made famous by the Gladiator movie, the coliseum is one of the must see sights of Rome. While a lot of it lays in ruins, the main structure is there and you can see where the gladiators lived and where the noblemen sat. Walking around the coliseum is breathtaking, hopefully the above pictures can do some justice…
Things to do in Rome #5 – Eat gelato
Gelato…reason enough to visit Rome
An amazing ice-cream parlour
Honestly, when people kept telling me that the ice cream in Rome was delicious, I wondered how good, or different to the UK’s offering it could really be.
However, after visiting an ice cream parlour – just a few times – I realised what the fuss was all about.
Their gelato is full flavoured, creamy and dreamy. We visited one parlour, which charged around £2 for the best ice cream I have ever had. The cone is first filled with a choice of sauce – milk, dark or white chocolate or hazelnut were just a few of the options.
Then you were offered a dizzying variety of ice cream flavours to fill your cone. The £2ish cone affords you four scoops, but the real trauma is around the choice, as there is so much and each flavour is amazing. Banana tastes like actual banana, yoghurt is authentic, but chocolate was a little heavy for my liking. My standout favourite flavour was mixed berry – a zingy, full flavoured sorbet-like concoction with real berry pieces. It is the best ice cream flavour I’ve tried, hands down. I’ve since hunted for a similar flavour in the UK but haven’t had any luck.
The ice cream joint we frequented was called La Romana, and had queues out onto the road in the evening, testimony to its gelato credentials. Other places looked just as impressive but I just couldn’t tear myself away from that place, with its mixed berry magic.
Things to do in Rome #6 – Explore on foot
Like Paris, Rome is best seen by foot. With stunning historic architecture at every turn, you wouldn’t want to miss out by taking the metro. Here’s some of the sights we explored:
Things to do in Rome #7 – Explore by bus
For a speedy journey whilst still absorbing the sights, Rome has a pretty efficient bus service. This comes in very handy, especially in the evening if you’re tired out from walking and you’ve ventured a little too far from your hotel.
However a word of warning – the cobbled streets of Rome make for a bumpy and very noisy bus ride. So not for you if you want a serene journey.
Things to do in Rome #8 – Eat pizza and pasta
We didn’t struggle for food in Rome. Whereas Paris was a bit lacklustre as we were reserved to veg and pastry dishes, we didn’t miss meat in Rome. We got our fill of pizza and pasta, with the latter being some of the best I tried. We found one place which didn’t look very appealing from the outside, but in fact it had some of the nicest food, including a spinach ravioli in a rich tomato sauce, far more superior than any UK iteration.
I think the key to Italian pizzas is the sauce. In the UK we seen to skimp on tomato base and instead load up on cheese. This just makes for a very greasy pizza. The genuine Italian pizza is neither greasy nor bloating, but perhaps a little carb-y.
Food was also surprisingly reasonably-priced in Italy. I heard rumours that eating out is pricey, but time and time again we were proven wrong when the bill came to under £10 each, even in the very tourist-y areas. So if you make a trip to Italy, don’t hold back, eat it all and enjoy.
I’m a British-Bengali Muslim mum-of-two. My pictures aren’t filtered and neither are my words. I’m not a makeup artist, chef or lifestyle guru. I’m just me, sharing honest beauty reviews for brown skin, halal restaurant finds, travel inspo, mum life hacks, easy Bengali recipes and more. If that’s your bag, keep reading!