Travel Diaries: Rome, The Eternal City

I literally don’t have any words to describe how incredible my trip to Rome was! 

Rome completely stole my heart. I left it there as I got on the plane back to the UK… and I cannot wait to one day return and make my heart whole again (melodramatic I know but that’s the feels right now).

3979AF66-C90A-498B-9724-394A80CEB6B7(Janiculum Terrace- Panoramic views of Rome)

I booked Rome as a surprise birthday present for my boyfriend. He literally had no idea until it turned midnight on his birthday when he opened his card! I really don’t know how I managed to keep it a secret for so long but it was so worth it to see the look on his face.

We flew out at lunchtime and landed mid afternoon in Rome. I had booked accommodation through a private host that I’d stumbled across online & it was honestly perfect.
It was called “Le Stanze Di Elisa”  and I booked the Jacuzzi Suite. It was right in the center of Rome, and the Jacuzzi was perfect to relax in after long days full of walking and exploring.
The host, Ugo, was amazing and so friendly. He had breakfast ready for us every morning & whilst we were eating he would sit and recommend places to see and things to do that I hadn’t even heard of when looking into activities & sightseeing must’s in Rome… One of them being ‘Janiculum Terrace’ (pictured above) which offers Panoramic Views of the city.

hotelLe Stanze Di Elisa: Jacuzzi SuiteClick Here To View Hotel Website
(Booking directly through Ugo himself works out cheaper than going through an agency-site, e.g. booking.com)

We spent 5 days in Rome, Monday-Friday, and I honestly could have spent another 2 weeks there, it was just incredible. The food, the people, the architecture, the views, the weather, everything was just perfect. Because we only had 5 days, each day was absolutely jam-packed. Here are some places/things I 100% recommend you see/do if you visit Rome.

  • Janiculum Terrace- As mentioned above, this was not something I had on my list when I had made plans beforehand. This was recommended to us by our host, Ugo, at breakfast on our first morning & it was actually the first thing we did on our trip. It’s quite a tough walk, very uphill (& up some extremely steep stairs, I’m warning you girls, wear comfy shoes) but it is soooo worth it.
    The views from the top are incredible, you can see out over the entire city and it offers some amazing photo opportunities.
    There’s also an ice cream man stationed at the top so you’ve got to grab yourself an Italian Gelato whilst sitting on the wall admiring the beautiful city.
    A must do when visiting Rome.
    30590947_158343571667099_8264746584906924032_n(1).jpgPhoto Cred- Milaina_ (Instagram) 
  • Torre Argentia Cat Sanctuary- We stumbled across this completely by accident whilst out exploring on our first day, and it was one of the highlights of our trip. It is a sanctuary for stray & feral cats, it is built underground and the cats have free roam of the ruins nearby.
    If you go down into the sanctuary, you are allowed to go into the “bedroom” area and sit with the cats and give them some loving. A lot of them have some quite bad injuries from living on the street, missing limbs, or blind/deaf, but they are all super friendly and love the human attention.
    It doesn’t cost anything to go in here but the sanctuary does run off donations and so it’s always nice to leave a donation on the way out, after all, the work they do is incredible.
    Definitely make time to add this into your trip, a proper cute little stop-off.381.JPG

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  • Spanish Steps- I’d researched the Spanish Steps before vising the city and was so interested by the History behind them. It consists of 138 steps, climbing a steep slope that joins the Piazza di Spagna – Piazza Triniti dei Monti. Try a visit early if you can (like 6am early) as you will get to see them empty and can admire the full effect.
    When we arrived the steps were jam-packed full of locals and tourists alike. Little tip, don’t try to eat or drink anything whilst on the steps, there are police officers stationed at various points on the steps and they will come and tell you off.
    Definitely fit a visit to the Spanish Steps into your trip, preferably before or after visiting the Trevi Fountain because there is only about a 5 minute walk between them.

img_6436Spanish Steps- Piazza di Spagna

  • Colosseum & Roman Forum- These 2 go without saying, probably the most well known attractions of Rome and they definitely don’t disappoint.
    I’d recommend dedicating a very large chunk of one of your days to doing a tour of both of these together. You can buy a double tour ticket (not guided) outside the Colosseum & Forum for about $6 each.
    Actually going inside these is sooo worthwhile because there’s only so much you can admire from the outside. The queue’s may seem huge but don’t be put off, they go down super quick.
    Me & Sam actually enjoyed the Roman Forum more than the Colosseum (we thought it would be the other way around). The Colosseum is extremely impressive from the outside, but we found when we went inside it was a bit of an anti-climax. The Roman Forum however doesn’t look much from the outside, but once you get into it & actually start walking around it, it’s HUGE & looking at all the ruins is so fascinating.
    I would definitely recommend planning more time to view the forum over the Colosseum, it is massive and you would need at least 2 hours to get around the whole thing. The Colosseum is much more interesting and Picturesque from the outside and it doesn’t take long to walk around the inside of it.

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  • Trevi Foutain- You’ve GOT to visit the Trevi Fountain in both the daytime and at night. It is two completely different experiences, but both are magical. Both times we visited it was packed, to the point it’s hard to even stand still just to try get a picture, but is truly is beautiful.
    Tips: Don’t try sit on the edge, you’ll get the officers blowing their whistles & shouting at you.
    -Watch out for men offering to take your picture, they’ll whip out a Polaroid camera, snap a couple of shots and charge you $20 without even asking you. 
    -Watch out for pickpockets, the place is so packed and everyone is so close together, I heard so many people complaining that stuff had gone missing, so just be really careful.trevi fountain.jpg
  • Vatican City, Sistine Chapel & St Stephens Basilica- These are worth devoting a whole day too. They are located on the opposite side of the city to the Colosseum & Trevi Fountain etc. The Sistine Chapel is beautiful, but walking through it takes over an hour and unless you like really artsy stuff then this can seem to take an age, as beautiful as it is (it did for us, we aren’t very artsy people).
    One thing we could appreciate was the beautiful ceilings. The whole walk through the city & into the chapel is full of incredible tapestry after tapestry, its incredible to think that every single one was hand painted. The same goes for the Basilica, everything about is is just beautiful, and if you are into art, you will fall in love.
    Tip– Make sure you bring a jacket or something with you if wearing short sleeves- You aren’t allowed into the Sistine Chapel unless your shoulders are covered. 548.JPG
  • Last Tip- When considering places to eat, steer clear of restaurants/cafe’s close to major tourist spots. These were mega expensive and the food quality wasn’t great. Aim to go for Restaurants down cute little side roads, away from hot-spots. We went out for an incredible meal on our last night at this tiny little, well hidden restaurant, but the food was out of this world. So don’t be scared to branch out of the center of the city.

Sorry for the length of this post, It’s just so hard to try and narrow down so many amazing places and activities into one small blog post.

Hope this helps if you are off to Rome soon or planning to visit at some point.

Please drop this a like and leave a comment below letting me know your thoughts.

TTFN,

Lizzie x

10 thoughts on “Travel Diaries: Rome, The Eternal City

    1. How insane is it 😭😭 most amazing place I’ve ever been, I wanna go back again and again and again! I’m really hoping within the next couple of years me and my partner will be able to fit in a roadtrip of Italy, and Florence is definitely included within that, it looks so beautiful 😍 xx

      Like

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