Hi friends! Last month we got to go on a trip of a lifetime to the Amalfi Coast and Rome and we are still dreaming about it. We had so much fun and loved being submerged into the Italian culture for 10 days. We did all of the touristy things we could squeeze in with that short amount of time.
We purposefully flew from Dallas to Rome and then headed to the Amalfi Coast for a week. We wanted to be able to come back to Rome to see the city before catching our flight home. We had 2 days in Rome and took full advantage of it. I’m here to tell you, it’s possible to get a good glimpse of Rome in 2 days.
We stayed at the Domus Liberius bed & breakfast and it was in the most perfect location to all the sights we wanted to see. We checked in and the hosts were very helpful and gave us a map of the city and showed us the best routes to take. We could walk to the Colosseum and to several other landmarks and not have to take a taxi which was a huge plus.
Guys, the room was teeny tiny! I’m going be honest, I did not feel very safe in Rome to begin with. We came from the Amalfi Coast where it’s a small town feel and very touristy. Rome is very touristy too but it’s a huge metropolitan city. Everywhere we went they kept telling us, “watch out for pickpocketers” and it kind of put me on edge. So to come into a tiny room in a sketchy city was not very reassuring. But overall it was fine! We literally where in our room to sleep and shower since we were out and about all day exploring.
ROME ITINERARY & TRAVEL GUIDE
We arrived to Rome from Naples around 1pm and hit the ground running after we checked in and dropped off our luggage at the hotel. We stopped by a little shop to get some snacks and water while we walked around the city. Buy your waters or snacks at the little stores found all throughout the city… it is so much cheaper than buying from the vendors on the streets corners.
Colosseum + Roman Forum + Pantheon + Giolitti Gelato
Like I mentioned above, the location of our hotel was fantastic and it really enabled us to walk everywhere. The Colosseum was just a couple of blocks down and although we had an excursion booked for the next day to go inside, we still wanted to see it and take some photos.
It was so much bigger than I thought! It was very beautiful and Raymond was geeking out! We hung around there and took photos and walked down the street to get a peek of the Roman Forum. We strolled around the city taking in the views and the perfect sunny yet cool weather.
We heard of an incredible gelato place in Rome from a girl we met in the Amalfi Coast who was actually from Dallas studying abroad. She told us to not stop at any gelato shop in Rome and save it for Giolitti’s, and boy was she right! It was the best gelato we’ve ever had. They have so many flavors and we ordered the small and it came with two scoops and sweet cream for 3€. I got the Nutella and strawberry and Raymond got chocolate and strawberry. We we’re so happy!
After walking hand in hand for hours around the city and seeing cute little cafe’s, street artists, and taking plenty of pictures, we took a taxi to the charming neighborhood of Trastevere.
Pro Tip: Download the mytaxi app when you’re in Rome. It’s basically like Uber and so much easier than flagging down a taxi along with several other tourists trying to catch one. Depending on where and how far you’re going, it can be pricey so just be conscious of taking a taxi vs walking if you’re on a budget (aka me! always on a budget… all my life… live like no one else that way later you can live like no one else)
Trastevere is a cute and charming neighborhood that has cobblestone streets and town homes in shades of orange, green and pink. There’s ivy climbing the walls and plenty of restaurants. We had planned to have dinner at Grazia & Graziella but that same girl we met in the Amalfi Coast that told us to go to Giolitti’s told us not to go to Grazia & Graziella because it’s so touristy. She said their sister restaurant is right across from it and it’s more authentic. This girl gave us all the good recs (thank you so much and sorry I can’t remember your name!).
We had dinner at Tonnarello and had our socks blown off. This was the best meal of our entire time in Italy! We ordered clams to start and Raymond ordered the lasagna and I got the cacio e pepe and an Aperol Spritz of course. It was so yummy and really affordable. The food in Rome was way and I mean way cheaper than in the Amalfi Coast. After dinner we headed back to the hotel to rest up for our full excursion the next day.
We booked an entire day long excursion to guide us around all the historic landmarks. We booked through Expedia and it was about $200 for both of us to get skip-the-line tickets to the Vatican City, the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palentine Hill.
Trevi Fountain + Spanish Steps + Spanish Square + Inside the Vatican + Colosseum + Roman Forum + Palentine Hill
After a good night’s sleep we were ready to hit the town again! We woke up incredibly early to see the Trevi Fountain before it got packed. We were there by 6:15am and there was maybe like 10 people. We got cool pics without the crazy crowds. We loved seeing the fountain and both of us made a wish and threw a coin in the fountain.
Fun Fact: An estimated 3,000 euros are thrown into the fountain each day. In 2016, an estimated €1.4 million (US$1.5 million) was thrown into the fountain. The money has been used to subsidize a supermarket for Rome’s needy; however, there are regular attempts to steal coins from the fountain, even though it is illegal to do so.
After admiring the fountain and making our coin contribution, we headed to the Piazza di Spagna where the Spanish Steps and all the designer stores are. We walked around for a bit and of course all the stores were closed because it was 7am, but we got to see it and spend some time there. After seeing the Spanish Steps, we stopped by a cafe for cappuccinos and a croissant for breakfast while we waited for our tour to start at 8am.
We started our tour at the Vatican City and the Vatican Museum. It was so cool to learn about the painters of the day and why they painted giant maps and carved statues of babies and other interesting significant rituals. My favorite part was the Sistine Chapel. How in the world did someone paint on the ceiling the stories in the Bible with such detail and precision, is beyond me.
We broke for lunch after and it started pouring and we stumble across a cozy restaurant for pasta, pizza and wine called Angelino Ai Fori dal 1947. Guys, I’m telling you the food in Rome was delicious and cheap! Well when I say cheap it’s not like cheap cheap but we probably spent about €40 for lunch. I got the pasta carbonara and Raymond got a pizza and we scarfed it down immediately. After lunch we went to a cafe to have dessert and yup you guessed it another cappuccino.
I mentioned this is in my Amalfi Coast Guide, but the cappuccinos in Italy were to die for! I normally do not like cappuccinos because they are so strong but in Italy we drank 3 a day. I add a tablespoon of brown sugar and their delicious.
After lunch and dessert, we met up with our tour to see the inside of the Colosseum, the Roman Forum and Palentine Hill. It was so cold and rainy but when in Rome right? The Colosseum tour was so cool but my favorite was Palentine Hill. Palentine Hill is one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stand tall above the city and it’s 63 acres of ruins and it used to be a palace. There are marble treasures everywhere and beautiful gardens. I can just imagine how majestic and grand it must have been at the time. It was beautiful!
We loved the tour! It was a total of 8 hours and we broke for lunch in between. It was very interesting learning more about ancient Rome while in Rome! Definitely recommend spending the money to go on a guided tour especially if you’re only in Rome for a short period of time. We got all the spots we wanted to see checked off and had a wonderful time. We stopped by a little hole in the wall for dinner after and ordered bruschetta and pasta bolognese and fried cheese. Ha! You can take the girl out of Texas but you can’t take Texas out of the girl.
I think you’ll be surprised to hear that Rome was not what I expected. All the sights were incredible to see, don’t get me wrong but think of New York city for a second. It’s crowded and dirty but the sparkly glass skyscrapers have a wow factor to them. Well Rome is just like that but old. It was very packed and dirty since everything is historic it just felt very old. It’s hard for me to just say I didn’t like it because we were only there 2 days and did not get to experience the city in full, but from what I saw, I wasn’t totally in love. I did like it and I’m so glad I got to see it and had the best time ever with my best friend, but it wasn’t my favorite city. Raymond loved it because he’s a lover Roman history and he’s a total nerd about it. LOL
Overall, we had a blast! I feel so incredibly grateful to be able to travel experiencing different places. Traveling and seeing the world has really become one of my life passions and goals. I joke that my travel bucket list is a mile long, but really there isn’t a place I don’t want to see. I’ll leave you with this quote that sums up how I feel.
“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.“
Thanks for reading friends! Let me know if you’re headed to Rome soon and if you have any questions!