OVERVIEW: You could spend a month in Rome and never run out of things to do but unfortunately we only got to spend two nights. Rome is a great city to fly into and is a good place to get adjusted to the time change before heading to other Italian cities. It reminds me a lot of Greece, where iconic historical buildings are right next to Starbucks. It is busy, a bit dirty, but still manages to capture a sophisticated Italian culture. We always felt safe but we were warned to beware of pickpockets when in crowds.
Pantheon: The word “Pantheon” literally means “all Gods” because the building was dedicated to every God in Roman times. The building is so beautiful from the outside but you really need to step inside to get a true feel of the building.
- Building is open on Monday-Saturday from 8:30-7:30, and on Sunday from 9:00-1:00.
- There is NO entrance fee. Seriously! How often does that happen??
- There are guided tours if you want to take one but they are not necessary.
Piazza del Popolo: This piazza is one of the best place to just take a seat and people watch. There are often artists painting or sketching the churches and they love to talk about their work (if you speak Italian). There is a beautiful fountain in the center with an obelisk. There are many conveniences like street venders, souvenir shops, and taxi stands. It’s a nice place to start your day.
Trevi Fountain: It is crazy how such a tourist trap can manage to be crowded, loud, romantic, and peaceful all at the same time. That’s exactly how you’ll feel as you stand in front of the ornate fountain that was recently restored to its original beauty. I think your best bet is to grab your child a delicious gelato, sit next to the fountain, and all enjoy how beautiful it is. Before you leave, don’t forget to have them throw a coin into the fountain because there is a legend that if you throw a coin into Trevi you’ll be sure to return to Rome.
Spanish Steps: This is another great place to people watch although I couldn’t tell you what is so special about it. It reminds me of the red steps in Times Square. We happened to be having dinner near these steps and had some time to kill before our meal. The steps are surrounded by designer shops. I would not go out of my way to go there but it was a neat place to stumble on.
Vatican/Sistine Chapel: You do not have to be Catholic to appreciate the absolute beauty of the Vatican. Every inch inside will keep you interested and in awe of the architecture, paintings, and statues. There is no words to describe the feeling you will have as you are standing inside the Sistine Chapel looking up at the “Creation of Life.” Michelangelo’s masterpiece is something everyone should have on their Bucket List.
- Tickets can be bought online so you can avoid the lines, but I think they are nonrefundable.
- There are no pictures allowed in the Sistine Chapel but sometimes a camera (no flash) just happens to go off when it is pointed at the ceiling when the guards are not looking…just saying!
- There are several lines you need to wait in so you may want to bring something for them to do. I saw some children with sketch books drawing what they saw.
Rome Bucket List
Colosseum (We saw it from the outside, but would love to see how amazing it is inside.)
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggione
Baths of Caracalla
Mouth of Truth
I’d love to hear you’re favorite places/experiences in Rome!