Nick & I went to Rome a couple weeks ago for a whirlwind trip, spending 4 days in the beautiful Italian city. Rome was one of my Mom’s favorite places on earth, so Nick & I went to remember her on the year anniversary of her death because sitting home crying and drinking did not sound conducive to a healthy life. It was also our first trip away from the girls, so that was pretty amazing. As much as we love our little family and missed the girls the whole time, carving out time for just Nick & I is essential to our marriage and keeping our entire family happy.
I highly recommend picking up the Roma 72 hour pass (or 48 hour if your time is shorter) You get free admission to 2 sights (like the Coliseum & the Forum) but MORE importantly, you skip the terribly long lines. The pass also includes free metro use and discounts to other museums. We liked those advantages- but just skipping hours waiting in line was worth purchasing the pass. We joked they should charge an American impatient tax on the pass, because we would all still buy it!
We did the audio tour of both the Coliseum & Forum. They were just ok, the audio tour at the Coliseum was better, but I would not purchase the Forum one in hindsight.
The Pantheon is free to see and there are a ton of tour guides outside that charge about 10 euros for a tour, which totally seemed worth it. Unfortunately, the day we went there was a loud protest where they kept blowing air horns, so we declined the tours because it was terribly loud and chaotic.
Another beautiful site to see is the Borghese Gallery– an art museum housed in a 17th century villa. You must book your tickets in advance and they sell out. If they are all sold out for English, add yourself to one of the foreign language tours if available- you do not have to go with the tour guide and are allowed admission. It was beautiful and the audio tour was worth purchasing and gave valuable and interesting information about all the paintings and sculptures.
|Daphne being chased by the god Apollo is turned into a Laurel tree to be saved 🙂|
Leave time before or after the museum tour to visit the surrounding gardens. They are so beautiful. We rented a mini bike/car things at the gardens. Nick would go fast down the hills and there are no seat belts or helmets and instead of being scared, we laughed the entire way, we felt like ridiculous tourists and had a blast. The gardens are large, so the bike was an easy way to cruise around. They also have a carousel and many kid areas if you are with your children. They also have gelato stands (this is true pretty much of anywhere in Rome)
For my Mom’s day, we went to one of her favorite restaurants- Ristorante al 34. It is classic Italian food. We toasted to my Mom and had a lovely meal.
The restaurant is near the Spanish Steps, which is a hot tourist stop and filled with people hanging out.
Trastevere is a neighborhood with ivy lined streets and so much good food. It really takes off at night and is an awesome hot spot to visit. Try Pizzaeria Ai Marmi for some delicious thin Rome pizza. Which I did not get any pictures of because Nick is obsessed with pizza and inhaled it as soon as any landed on our plates.
And there you have it- our 4 day whirlwind trip! We also ate our weight in pizza and gelato. The food is phenomenal. You may notice the Vatican/Sistine Chapel is missing from the travelogue. Both Nick & I have visited it before and it is gorgeous and you should totally see it. However, with only 4 days, we did not want to deal with the lines there and wanted to try other things!