Whenever I get asked suggestions to go for a short Europe city break I nearly always suggest somewhere in Italy, nine times out of 10 it will be Rome. I visited Rome nearly three years ago now, but I fell in love and it has stayed my favourite European city since. The history, the friendly people and of course the delicious food makes for the perfect weekend break. There are many places to visit in the city, and I highly recommend creating a Rome bucket list while planning your trip to ensure you do not miss out on the best sights while there.
For your first visit it is not somewhere I suggest going off the beaten path, with so much culture it is very much a place, like New York, to go full on tourist and indulge in all the sights.
Attractions and sights to add to your Rome bucket list
Visit during the day for the tour but also take a walk back at dusk to see this incredible building lit up in all its glory. You know the buildings that kind of take your breath away? Yeah, the Colosseum did that for me.
Buy your tickets in advance to beat the queues at the Colosseum– this is especially important during the summer months in Rome. When you have finished the tour, just outside you will also find the Palatine Hill ruins, the highest point will provide you with a beautiful panoramic view over this part of the city.
The only ancient Roman temple that has remained virtually intact and it is also free to visit. When you go inside make sure you look up! The reason behind the Pantheon is still something discussed by historians today and still remains very much a mystery.
The Spanish Steps
The Spanish steps consist of 138 steps, they connect the lower Piazza di Spagna with the upper piazza Trinita dei Monti and have featured in many films including Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn.
Beware of the tourist scam: Beware of people trying to a put a ‘friendship’ bracelet on your wrist, it will be attached so that it cannot be removed and they will then demand money off of you. This scam happens in many places in Rome but in particular in the area of the Spanish Steps.
The Vatican city
First things first: If the Vatican is on your Rome bucket list you need to ensure you dress appropriately. For ladies, it is compulsory to cover their shoulders and knees and men must be wearing long trousers/jeans. You will not be allowed entry if you do not follow these guidelines. Also be aware the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel are closed on Sunday, so if these are on your agenda then plan your trip accordingly, always arrive early to beat the queues!
The Trevi Fountain
I don’t know how we messed this up, but we found this incredibly hard to find. For such an iconic fountain you probably wouldn’t expect it to be tucked away between some side streets. It is busy, but you need to visit and have that Lizzie Mcguire moment ( in fact most of my trip to Rome felt like I was in the Lizzie Mcguire movie, to be honest.)
Eat (lots of) Gelato
Italian food is king, a carb-loaded king, so when you are not indulging in fabulous pizza, pasta or buffalo mozzarella balls, then you really should be in one of the cities many gelato stores. With so many flavours to try, it would be rude not to try a variety – I personally recommend Ferrero Roche flavour.
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Take in the view of the Vatican City
Visit Castel Sant’Angelo for a secluded view of the Vatican city, we stumbled upon this place by complete accident while walking alongside the river, but I am so glad that we did. It boasts beautiful views over the Vatican city and is not overcrowded by tourists, a secret find that is a must visit.
Visit Torre Argentina cat sanctuary
Located in the middle of an island in the centre of the city, is a cat sanctuary. This particular rescue is a safe home for the stray disabled of the city, the home is open for people to visit and give attention to the cats as well as to drop off donations. Outside there are some free-roaming kitties that shelter amongst that ruins where the centre was built. It is amazing and like a miniature Roman cat city – well in my head anyway.
Looking for more fantastic things to do in Rome? Check out this 2 day Rome itinerary.
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Rome is a city I have never heard anyone say they have disliked; plenty of cultures, great food, wonderful weather have made it the popular destination it is today. With it being just a short flight from the UK, it is the go-to city break for Europeans, and with so many things to see your Rome bucket list will be never-ending.
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