Ciao friends!!!! It’s been more than two weeks since our return from Italy and I think I have finally got back to business and caught up from the jet-lag and sleep changes… yes, it took awhile I assure you.
Before we get down to the nitty gritty of all things Rome, I wanted to hop on here and say a huge THANK YOU for following along on our Italian adventure–it was truly THE best trip of my life so far and gallivanting through Italy with my best friend for two weeks was more than I could ever fathom… seriously dreamy, exciting, and helped us focus on us as a couple–something we so desperately needed since this current stage of life has been so dang hectic. But I loved hearing from you, listening to your recommendations of things not to miss/places to visit and I am thrilled to get to share the play-by-play and recap everything for anyone heading to Italy anytime soon!
P.S. a ton of you have reached out asking about our itinerary and travel agent… we’ve used Laura Crafton and her team for years and they are BEYOND wonderful to work with. Great at what they do and they never miss a detail. We were blown away by every single bit of our Italian adventure and I would highly recommend using her for all of your travel needs.
OK so let’s do this–first stop… Rome! This was my top destination to plan for when we decided to head to Italy. One because I’m obsessed with everything to do with the Coliseum and two because as they say “when in Rome.” We stayed at Forty Seven Hotel in the historical center of Rome–the location was out of this world great and we were able to walk to most of the monuments and places we wanted to see so it was ideal for us! The rooftop bar and restaurant, Circus Roof Garden, quickly became an afternoon hub for happy hour cocktails [the Hugo and Aperol Spritz are my new favorites] and we loved to come back to the hotel to rest and rejuvenate before dinner each night.
I’ll have to admit, Rome was beyond anything I could’ve imagined… so rich in history and traditions, but still modern with its architecture, shopping and things to see, it boasted so many incredible finds, museums and monuments, here are a few of our personal favorites:
Must See Spots in Rome
Circus Maximus, the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, Piazza Venezia, The Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, Verano Cemetery, St. Paul’s Basilica and the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument
the top of the stairs of the Vittorio Emanuele II Monument gave the best views of the city
The Pantheon… a must-see visitor hotspot and don’t miss a chance to go inside!
The Trevi Fountain… make a wish and toss coins into the pool of water-this was STUNNING
and I was mesmerized as to how it’s tucked into a tiny piazza
The Spanish Steps… gorgeous and all the florals were blooming so it was perfect for picture-taking
Outside the Vatican Museum
So many incredible things to see inside the Vatican Museum… you could spend days in here
St. Peter’s Basilica definitely disappoint… absolutely breathtaking within every single inch of this church
The Roman Forum–we had the best weather that day and it made for the perfect opportunity to walk everywhere
Bucket List Item #1.. done and done
The Non-Catholic Cemetery… it was BEAUTIFUL and I am so glad we had the chance to visit!
Famous authors John Keats and Mary Shelley are buried there as well
St. Paul’s Basilica
All the Eateries | Forty Seven Rooftop Garden Grill [really good for happy hour and gorgeous city views], Hosteria Costanza [my friend Jaime recommended this to us and it was our favorite eaterie in Rome–get the chateaubriand!], Vinando [amazing and quaint with great mussel pasta], Tempio Bar [great gelato and cocktails for people watching next to the Pantheon], Popi Popi [incredible carbonara pasta and proscuitto pizza in Trastevere]
Tips and Tricks, Favorite Things about Rome | One thing I loved about Rome was how walkable it is… very flat for the most part and so many wonderfully quaint neighborhoods that comprise the city center–our favorite destination was a tiny village called Trastevere, which was full of food eateries, tiny stores and great coffee shops! Lots of shopping available throughout the city, where it’s fun to get lost a bit and see what you find!
We never had to use a taxi at all during our stay, and I think we clocked in 30+ miles just in Rome alone–so get your most comfortable shoes out my friends [yes, my Audrina wedges were PERFECT for all-day walking, too]. Even better, our travel agent booked a private tour guide for two of the days we were there, and with that came a chauffeured car to take us to and from the monuments/museums/other places we wanted to visit and I cannot recommend that service enough… we got to skip lines at St. Peter’s, the Vatican Museum and the Colisseum and bypass everyone else = saving time and stress and enjoying every single minute of vacation!
P.S. I’ve had a lot of you inquire for me to share my favorite things about each city that we visited and hands down the Colisseum was my #1 for Rome… it’s been the biggest item to knock off my bucket list in life and it didn’t disappoint. So much history and I was just awestruck over the architecture and design, thought process of the Romans, and how a structure built so long ago is still fairly intact, all things considered–definitely a high note for me!!
Secondly, I can’t leave without mentioning the Sistine Chapel… another must-visit destination for Rome and one that i’ll never forget… the artisty behind Michelangelo’s greatest achievement, the detail of each and every one of the paintings within the ceiling [I could go on and on for hours and wish they allowed photography so I could share!!]
All in all, Rome was the perfect place to kick-off our Italian trip and I know one day we will be back. Come back next week and I’ll take you to Tuscany and Florence!