Trip Snapshot: Rome

My sisters and I just returned from one of my favorite cities and I thought it would be perfect for this weeks trip snapshot. 

Destination: Rome, Italy

Fly, Drive or Train? 

I’ve done all 3. I think there are benefits to all 3 options. It really depends on what type of trip you are taking.
A whirlwind trip through Europe- train.  A few weeks or months in Italy – drive. A weekend hop over – fly. I think there are also drawbacks to all the options.  Italy is famous for strikes, when the trains go on strike it can mess up your whole schedule. All strikes are listed here.  Driving can be difficult too, the chaotic mess isn’t for all drivers, if you are brave, I say go for it but there is no need for a car in Rome, so once you get there, park it.  Flying, of course, is the fastest option but probably the most expensive too. It really just depends on what time of vacation you have planned.

Home Base?
 Our favorite place to stay was in a Bed and Breakfast just outside of Rome in Palestrina.  It was perfect in so many ways, a break from the hustle of Rome, delicious non-touristy restaurants, a place for our dog and car, and most of all Anne the owner.  I won’t sell the B&B anymore because unfortunately they have moved to the bottom of the boot in Puglia. We for sure will be visiting Anne there.

So we have moved onto other locations. This last trip we stayed close to the Colosseum at Rome B&B. It was a good location, price and clean so for that I would recommend it. 

A must see?

There are some obvious sites that you will want to see, The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Basilica . The costs can add up quickly, I would definitely
recommend getting a Roma Pass.  This pass is 25 Euros ($36) and good for 3 days on the buses and trains in Rome, also your first 2 museums/sites visited are free and then many after are discounted. You can also skip the lines and that pays for itself.

 I would get your tickets to the Vatican Museum ahead of time.  Our first trip to Rome we waited in the line for 2 hours, lesson learned. The ticket is 15 Euros ($21) and includes admission to the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo has painted to Last Judgment.  If you are one for tours and haven’t pre-ordered tickets, I’d recommend taking up the offer for a private guide by one of the many colleges students offering tours. Don’t worry you won’t miss them, they are everywhere and you too will get to skip the line but it will cost you.

While at St. Peter’s Basilica if you get a chance to climb to the top, it’s well worth it. The line can get long though, I haven’t found any tricks for skipping it either.  Visit the Catacombs below too. Mail a postcard from the Vatican if you can. The Vatican is it’s own country and Grandpa and Grandpa may really enjoy a post card from there.

 The food in Rome can be amazing if you are willing to eat off the beaten path.  We have stumbled upon top notch restaurants before.  If you want ambiance and the experience of eating in a Square you won’t get the quality. We’ve had some of the worst pizzas ever sitting next to the Pantheon and also in Piazza Navona.  But we have had amazing meals lost in the heart of Rome too. You have to go away from the tourists. Ask the locals for recommendations.

Rome can be overwhelming but doesn’t have to be.Take the time eat a gelato on Michelangelo’s steps and people watch on the Spanish Steps, or picnic in Villa Borghese Gardens, it will make your trip.  There is so much more to say about Rome but for sake of this “snapshot” this will suffice.

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