For me, Rome is where the heart is and it is such a beautiful city-historically, gastronomically and is definitely something you should try and visit at least for a weekend or as part of a RTW trip. Fantastic sights on every corner, beautiful weather, astounding food…what’s not to love?
NB: The transport options I’ve listed for each attraction are from Termini Station, which is the equivalent of London’s Kings Cross or New York’s Grand Central-you’ll usually end up here if you’re flying in from either Fiumicino or Ciampino Airport with buses to Termini costing between €6-€8 and journeys being 30-51 minutes, without traffic.
The Colosseum is a must-see, tickets cost up to €12 but is discounted for EU citizens and is around €7. DON’T make the mistake of queuing for tickets outside the Colosseum, especially in summer when crowds are large. Head to the Roman Forum (past the Arch of Constantine-the thing that looks a bit like the Arc de Triomphe in Paris) and keep walking then go to the right. The queue is way smaller and tickets bought from here are valid for the Roman Forum and the Colosseum-even until the next day.
Transport: Take the metro to the eponymous stop or get any of the buses from Termini station to “Piazza Venezia” which will take you to the Vittorio Emmanuel monument- go to the left of the monument and its only a few minutes walk to the Colosseum. The 85 bus goes direct from Termini Station but I usually prefer to walk from Piazza Venezia.
This photo really doesn’t do it justice but this is the Vittorio Emmanuel monument at Piazza Venezia. You can go all the way to the top and get some fantastic views of Rome for €7, but in my opinion, the best view is the monument! There are lots of benches in this area too, so a good resting spot before heading to its next door neighbour, the Colosseum.
Transport: The easiest place to get to, a hell of a lot of buses from Termini Station will go from here (40, 64) or take the metro or 85 bus to the Colosseum and walk from there (its easier to go from Venezia to the Colosseum then the other way around, as you can clearly see the building from a distance).
Just a stones throw from Vatican City, the views from here are fantastic! Tickets are quite pricey though and I paid around €15 for entry. If you’re pushed for time, I wouldn’t recommend this sight as there’s not much to do inside, but its lovely to view from the outside and here you can do a circuit from Vatican City all the way to the shopping districts, past the river.
Transport: Take the 40 express bus or 64 bus, both journeys begin at Termini Station.
Piazza di Spagna
Always a popular hotspot, Piazza di Spagna is always thronged with crowds, but is a good hanging out spot. It’s surrounded by tonnes of shops and right next to the Keats-Shelley House.
Transport: Get the metro to “Spagna” or take the 175 from Termini Station and there should be lots of brown signs pointing you to the Piazza di Spagna and the nearby Trevi Fountain, metro is easiest though as it’s much closer.
Popular during the day and the night, the Trevi Fountain never fails to draw large crowds (love to see it when its frozen over though!) Tourists throw coins in the fountain…apparently up to €3000 is collected each day from here. Near the Piazza di Spagna, so both can be seen within a few minutes of each other.
Transport: Get the metro to Barberini (La Fontana di Trevi) or the 175 bus. Alternatively, follow the signs from the Piazza di Spagna.
In a maze of side streets, the Pantheon is a very quick stop on your route around the Piazza di Spagna and the Trevi Fountain and is within walking distance of both.
Next week look out for the sister city guide to Vatican City.