This Christmas (December 2017), my family and I took a trip to Rome for 4 days. We managed to see most of the main attractions, and by buying some tickets online beforehand managed to skip some queues and prevent some hassle.
Our itineray is below for inspiration should anyone else want to do Rome in a few days!
Day 1: Travelling/local area:
A large part of this day was spent travelling and checking in, however we found a lovely restaurant to eat dinner in and wandered around the area local to us – it was nice to get a feel for Rome on a weekday evening without having much of a purpose.
Day 2: Papal Audience, Spanish Steps, St Peter’s Square, Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica:
Most Wednesday mornings the Pope gives a Papal audience, which my mum and sister went to see – tickets have to be picked up beforehand on the Tuesday afternoon and queues can get lengthy on the Wednesday morning, however they assured me it was 100% worth the wait and a magical experience, especially as they are religous.
On the way to St Peter’s Square we saw the Spanish Steps, which provide some of a view over Rome and are nice to wander around.
Most of this day was spent going around the extensive Vatican Museums and St Peter’s Basilica. The Museums also include the Sistine Chapel, which, although was less impressive to me than I had expected, I wouldn’t have missed going to see. The tombs underneath the Basilica are also worth having a look at if they are open, and contain lots of former popes’ tombs.
Day 3: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Baths of Caracalla
The Colosseum was lovely in the morning and not too busy at first – I was truly impressed by it and it was easy to imagine events as they had been held there years ago. We bought our tickets online which was relatively hassle-free, and the queue wasn’t bad at all.
Near the Coloseum there is also the Roman Forum which is interesting. It’s fairly large so takes a while to walk around, but I found it really cool to have such old buildings and monuments in the middle of the city – it was an odd feeling.
We also did the baths of Caracalla, which are well worth a look. They do close fairly early in the afternoon (as we found on day 2), but do not take too long to look around and are quite extensive.
Day 4: Catacombs, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon
This day we went to see the catacombs of St Calixtus, which was one of the highlights of the trip for me as it was really interesting to learn more about some of the lesser known history of Rome, and seeing where people were once buried was definitely an eerie thought. The tour guides that take all visitors around the catacombs were also super knowledgable and friendlt, which really enhanced the whole experience.
We also visited the Trevi Fountain, which is one of the largest in Rome and truly stunning. Not only is it beautiful to go and see, it marks one of the aquaducts from Ancient Rome and so (much like everything in Rome) has some interesting history behind it. Definitely worth a wander past!
Near the fountain is also the Pantheon, which is a dome-shaped church (once a temple) which is very impressive just because of its sheer size. The inside is also decorated nicely, and I am glad we looked in as it is particularly well preserved for it’s age.
Overall Rome is a lovely city and pretty easy to navigate on foot/some public transport. If we had had longer I would have liked to see some of the other catacombs perhaps, and spent more time just wandering. 4 days however I feel was a perfect amount of time to get a feel for the city and enjoy some great pizza places!