If I could change one thing about my trip, I would definitely have extended my visit to Italy’s capital, Rome. Having only stayed three days there, I can tell you it was certainly not enough time. My Italian adventure began in Venice and I thought, “Venice is so beautiful, I love it!” Then I went to Florence and thought, “Florence is incredible, I may even like it more than Venice.” That was until I arrived in Rome, the ultimate “bae” of my trip. There is something so magical about this bustling Italian city. I think it’s the fact that Rome is a city packed with such rich culture and history yet it runs just like any other modern city.
I walked my way through Italy but warning: it does take a bit of time and can be tiring.
Here’s what I got to see:
- Ah, the famous Trevi Fountain. It was actually one of the first things I saw and unfortuantly it was under restoration. Regardless, it was stunning because you could still see parts sculptures. I really wanted a Lizzie Mcguire movie moment where I throw my coin into the fountain and someone mistakes me as their ex girlfriend, who is also super famous Italian pop singer. *sigh* I guess that’s what dreams are made of, right?
- Santa Maria in Travstevere was a lovely church to visit. If you have time, go see it.
- Pantheon was a classic.
- Piazza Novona was one of my favorite piazzas. It is just so beautiful!
- Villa Borghese, which I did not actually get to see. I went on a Monday, forgetting they are open Tuesday– Saturday. But on my way there, I passed by the Piazza di Spagna, and Piazza del Polpolo (which is quite amazing.)
- Piazza del Polpol is near the garden of Villa Borghese. Be sure to climb up the stairs to the top because you get an a wonderful view of Rome.
- The best view of Rome, for me, was on the top of Castel Sant’Angelo. It is a must see!
- I had a whole day dedicated to the Vatican. Protip: Book your Vatican museum tickets online. There is nothing in the world more satisfying than walking right past a long line of people who don’t have their tickets and knowing you don’t have to wait because you thought ahead. Bamn!
- The Vatican Museum is amazing, of course. My biggest issue was the massive crowd of people inside. You’re trying to enjoy the overwhelming amount of art while trying not to get trampled over tours or other people. Also being suffocated by those who don’t realize they have bad body odor was not pleasant. I ended up speeding through the beautiful rooms, hardly getting a chance to enjoy them (keep in mind, I’m that type of person where if there is a massive crowd- I get a bit cranky).
- The museum leads to the Sistine Chapel. I have to tell you, it is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen. I walked in and my jaw dropped. Sadly, it was super crowded but I was lucky enough to snag a seat on the side of the wall and could take everything in from there. It truly is an awe inspiring work of art, every inch of that room.
- A style of painting I had noticed throughout Italy was fresco painting. The Sistine Chapel was so well crafted that I couldn’t tell if the ceiling actually curved because of the structural formation, or it was Michelangelo working his magic.
- Basilica di San Pietro is one of the most breathtaking churches I have ever been in. Churches tend to be quite impressive, especially in Europe I find, but this one had me at a loss for words. Not to mention “La Pieta” by Michelangelo is here. Normally, I’m not an overly emotional person. Dramatic, yes, but tears don’t come easily to me. Yet for some reason, in this church, I found myself fighting back tears. It was beyond anything I could have imagined.
- The church is free to enter so don’t let the guys who try to make you pay for things trick you! They are EVERYWHERE. Almost every three steps, you take you will find one of these guys trying to trick you out of your money. Just wait in line and put your bag through a metal detector.
- Protip: Most churches in Italy require you to dress appropriately (no shorts). So try to find something that goes down to your knees and to cover your shoulders. If you’re wearing a dress to your knees but have on a strappy top, just bring a scarf to cover up.
- The Colosseum was so cool! Another classic to add to your list.
- The Altare della Patria, known as the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II, is located in Piazza Venezia. It physically took my breath away, no joke. I was in awe for a long while and even when I came back to it later. It is a must see that isn’t mentioned in the tour books for some reason but I highly recommend it.
- Villa Farnesina is lovely, if you have some extra time stop by and go see it! The ceiling artwork is just stunning.
Ceiling artwork in Villa Farnesina
The view from the bridge to Castel Sant’Angelo
A view of Rome from the Castel Sant’Angelo