Morning: After enjoying breakfast at your hotel or one of the many café’s Rome has to offer, make the Colosseum your first stop.You can purchase tickets online in advance to save queuing time but the price is the same if you buy at the Colosseum. We bought the combined ticket at €12, which includes the Colosseum and the Palantine Hill and Roman Forum; I would definitely recommend this ticket because both are extremely interesting and exceptionally impressive. Buying both also means that if you arrive at the Colosseum and it’s filled with people, you can visit the Palantine Hill and Roman Forum first. There are a lot of tourist traps around the Colosseum, including overpriced souvenirs – be careful not to get sucked in.
Once you have taken in the sights and information of the Colosseum and Palantine Hill, head over to Piazza Navono for lunch. There are a lot of lunch spots in this square, with everything from pizza, pasta, seafood, meats and bread; plenty of options for everyone. Piazza Navono is quite touristy so I would definitely recommend going for lunch rather than dinner. This plaza is also filled with decorative fountains and interesting monuments, as well as painters and market stalls; it is a great place to wander around and soak up the atmosphere – maybe even enjoy a drink or two!
After a busy day we didn’t feel like venturing far from our hotel, so we heading out with some recommendations from our hotel. Asking locals for recommendations is the best way to ensure that you will sample the best of what a country has to offer – make sure to say that you want something traditional. Once you have indulged in the local Italian delights, make sure to visit Palazzo del Freddo di Giovanni Fassi for desert (Fassi). Fassi is Italy’s Oldest Gelato Factory and should not be missed! The banana is a personal favourite of mine but it was all delicious, which is why gelato made it onto my Top 5 European Foods list.
Morning: Vatican City is the headquarters for the Roman Catholic Church. It’s also the smallest country in the world, which makes it a very appealing place to visit whilst in Rome. Make sure to make the most of your day by getting an early start – the queues can be extremely long! There will be many different tour operators trying to sell various packages for the Vatican, but (from personal experience) I would suggest waiting out the queue and going it alone. If you do decide to go with a group, it may be a good idea to book in advance, as you could waste more time on the day trying to find a tour you want to join. Like the Colosseum, the Vatican is a stunning site; all of the building work is hard to comprehend, but the Sistine Chapel is especially awe-inspiring.
The Spanish Steps are an impressive architectural sight in Rome and a great place for some people watching. There are also many restaurants and cafes you can grab a spot of lunch at. From there it is a short walk to the Trevi Fountain which you can throw a coin into and make a wish; legend says that if you toss a coin into the fountain you will return to Rome. Continue your mini architectural tour with a visit to the Pantheon, which is a Roman temple that was built in dedication to the Gods. End your afternoon by grabbing a gelato and going for a stroll along the Tiber River.
Make your last night in Rome one to remember with a meal at Osteria Angelino dal 1899. We were lucky enough to walk in and get a table but others were being turned away as it’s extremely popular, I would recommend booking a table to ensure availability. The menu is in Italian but the staff are very friendly and they will help to translate the menu. Osteria Angelino dal 1899 is a very small, Italian restaurant with a lovely, intimate feel, which makes for a relaxed setting. The food was also delicious and it was great to have an authentic Italian experience. It would be a crime not too fit in one last gelato visit for desert after your meal!