7 days in Rome. When I said to my friends that I’m planning on going to Rome for a full week, their reaction was pretty much expected: “It’s too long. 4 days are enough for Rome. What are you going to do a whole week there?” I’m going to experience that La Dolce Vita mixed with Dolce far niente feeling. And that’s how it really was. I meant every word I’ve said. I experienced Rome the exact way I wanted to. Wandering around, eating, sightseeing, and than eating a little more.
Yes, there was a lot of sightseeing, well, a lot of free sightseeing, not many museums. Not any museums, to be particular. As this was my second visit to Rome, I’ve already seen Vatican Museums and Catacombs which I highly recommend, btw. But this time, it was all about indulging all of the senses. All of the time.
Seven days in sunny Rome. This is how I’ve spent my Roman holidays. It’s like you’re reading the Eat, pray, love but only actually the eat part. Yeah, I found that pure La dolce vita feeling in the Italian capital. Wanna find it for yourself, read on.
Seven days is enough for Rome. It is a big city but not that big. Everything in Rome is well connected but actually, you don’t even have to use any of the transportation as all the main attractions are very close and you can get them by foot. And walking in Rome is pretty spectacular. Now that I’ve said it, really you have to walk through the Rome to experience it the best way. The right way.
Before you go
- find accommodation in the city center. This is the first time I’ve actually found a hotel a little further away from city center, but still in the metro line. And even the hotel itself was good, the fact that I couldn’t walk to it and the fact that it wasn’t right in the heart of Rome, made me sure not to make such a booking again. Last Metro train leaves at 23:30 and that is just too early to go home. Especially when in Rome and it’s Summer. Just too early. I booked my hotel on Booking.com using this link: https://www.booking.com/?aid=1312684. Btw if you traveling somewhere and wanna get the discounted price for any accommodation in the world, use this link of mine for booking: https://www.booking.com/s/efcb62e7 and save 25Euros. You’re welcome 🙂
- be aware of the breakfast. The usual Italian breakfast is just a croissant and coffee. But you can find the continental breakfast, too. Just know that there is a difference. It’s important to have a full meal early in the morning before all of the walking and sightseeing. At least for me.
- book the attractions online. You’ll get to skip the line which is a big deal since you don’t have to stand in huge lines on midday sun in June. Colosseum and Vatican museums especially. Btw I bought my online tickets for Colosseum as soon as I got there and sat the line in front of it. Showed the guys there my tickets confirmation and immediately entered the fast line. And was in Colosseum in a matter of minute. For vatican museums you need to select the exact time you plan to go. And there is also a online booking fee. So have in mind that.
- take a pair of lightweight shoes, not flip flops and stuff as you’ll be walking a lot and to be honest Roman streets are not the cleanest ones I’ve seen. You’re feet will be thankful, believe me.
- hat is the main accessory to bring if you plan to go sightseeing at the midday which is not something I’d recommend as it is too, too hot in June. My watch leather strap was literally melting on my hand one day I decided to go sightseeing at noon. Never again.
When you arrive
- buy a metro/bus card (if you know you’ll be using the metro or buses most of the time while in Rome). I got one for all the 7 days. 24 Euros. Great price. You can get it on any Tobacco shops, newsstands etc. I got mine on Rome Termini when exiting the bus from the airport.
- be careful of your wallet and backpack. Rome is a safe city but be aware of pickpockets.
- download TripAdvisor and Yelp on your phone if you haven’t already. These are life savers as you’ll know where to eat and what to eat there. Rome is full of great restaurants but then again some are better than the others.
- have a little planning. Not much, but still. Find the attractions you want to visit and find them on the map. See what attractions you can get in the same day or same afternoon. As I’ve said already, all the main attractions are pretty close to each other so you’ll get to see them many times of your stay.
Things to have in mind
- most of the restaurants close at 1 or 2 pm and re-open at 7pm. That’s the Italian siesta. That I didn’t get to use to it to be honest. It was hardly to plan a lunch that early for me but luckily some of the places remained open through the whole day. So plan accordingly.
- the best Tiramisu I had here
- some good pastas can be found here
- the best Pizza I got to taste here (make reservation if you wanna seat on terrace)
- more about the whole eating experience in Rome with the exact restaurants addresses find in my previous post here:
Attractions I visited
St. Peter’s Basilica
Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Fontana di Trevi
Piazza di Spagna
Piazza del Popolo
Monumento a Vittorio Emmanuele II
Giardino degli Aranci
Campo de’ Fiori
Bocca della Verita
- Trastevere. Don’t miss it. Often overlooked but it is probably the most beautiful neighbourhood in Rome. Just across the bridge over the river Tiber and the little Tiber island.
- With tickets to Colosseum you get to see Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, too which, in my opinion, is even greater experience than Colosseum itself.
- Have a thing for sunsets? Parco degli Arranci or Parco di Villa Borghese, near Villa Medici al Viale di Trinita dei Monti 1 is your place to be.
- Here WeGo app with Offline maps (download Lazio, Roma) is a great help if you don’t wanna get lost. With Metro stations and attractions marked.
- Prices of the food in restaurants are already on the cheap side even in the heart of Rome, but you can find them even cheaper on some combo menus where you can get Pizza or Pasta and Bruschetta and drink for 10E. Not a bad idea when on budget.
How did my day look like
Waking up at 8. Full breakfast, eggs, fruits, cakes. Usually some sightseeing in the morning, but not much as it was too hot already. By the noon or 1pm I was back to my hotel. Shower and rest. AC felt like heaven. Finding some restaurant for a 4/5pm lunch was not the easiest but manageable. Eating somewhere around Vatican and having my daily Tiramisu at Pompi was almost a routine. After that I was ready for another round of sightseeing and just wandering around for miles through the old Roman streets.
As the sun went down, there were more and more tourists exploring, as it was finally manageable to breathe easily and walking was doable without searching for shade every few minutes. But more importantly, as the sun went down, Rome was in it’s full glory. Everything was re-opening, all those pizza and pastas smells started to follow you again wherever you go and the streets were greeted once again by many street artists and musicians that gave the streets of Rome that extra flavour.
Sitting in front of the Pantheon, at old Roman streets, having my Aperol, at the sunset listening to the Sotto il cielo di Roma was unbeatable experience. No guide or museum can give you that extraterrestrial feeling. It was the best thing ever. The experience I wanted to have every night of my Roman holiday. And I did. I was ending the night on Piazza di Spagna, sitting there on the steps, eating some more, drinking and trying not to think I’ll be missing this kind of lifestyle once I go back home.
Yet, once again, I was more than sure that Italians just do it much better than the rest of us. Italia is everything. The food, the people, the cities and villages, their sense for style, their way of life… they have it all. Amo Italia. Amo Roma. Spere che ci ritornero presto.
I booked my hotel on Booking.com using this link: https://www.booking.com/?aid=1312684. If you traveling somewhere and wanna get the discounted price for any accommodation in the world, use this link of mine for booking: https://www.booking.com/s/efcb62e7 and save 25Euros.
You’re welcome. Have a safe trip 🙂
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