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Have you ever been to Rome?

Roma Dr G and I are off to Rome for a week in September! Well not precisely to Rome. More like a crappy campsite in commutable distance to Rome. But it's free accommodation (long story) and I've never been to Italy before so I am the late Big Kev excited!

I'm drowning in guidebooks and travel websites at the moment so was wondering if anyone out there has been to Rome? What did you see? What did you do? What did you imbibe?

You were previously goldmines of good ideas for New York and Australia so I couldn't resist asking again! I will totally reciprocate whenever you ever need to know the best place to spew up your kebab in the Ancient Scottish Capital of Dunfermline.

Things I am interested in so far:

  • tasty food
  • visiting the Pantheon
  • finding places from Roman Holiday
  • tasty food

Things I am not interested in:

  • visiting the Evil Pope.
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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


48 thoughts on “Have you ever been to Rome?

  1. i was in rome ages, and ages and ages ago. so no supersmart current foodie tipps from me, unfortunately. however here are three things i really loved:

    castel sant’angelo – great views (especially if you want to avoid the vatican, which you totally shouldn’t, evil pope or not)

    sistine chapel – the reason you have to get to the vatican. the crowds sucked and back when i visited, they forced you to walk through the entire vatican museum beforehand (full of great art, though), don’t know whether they still do that, but that thing is AWE-INSPIRING. bring a mirror, otherwise your neck hurts from looking up. and read the michelangelo bio-novel by irving stone beforehand, makes you appreciate that thing even more.

    villa borghese gardens – also great views, shade, general loveliness

    forum romanum – lots of roman ruins, woohoo!
    but the best thing (yes, really)

    loved rome. totally want to get back. and soon.

  2. Yes! I seriously recommend a trip to Pompeii — it’s eerie, fascinating, and beautiful (the gardens there are lovely). Get a tour if you can — they’ll explain a lot about the ancient civilisation, including some of the rude doodles you can see in the walls and ground 😉 Just amazing.

    I really liked the Roman Forum next to the Colosseum (though don’t go in the middle of the day if it’s hot as there’s no shade). They have those tour guide tape things, so you can walk round and find out what all the ruins are — some are just rocks, others have a lot more structure, gorgeous columns etc. I’m not a history buff by a long shot and I loved it.

    Also, you have to go to the Spanish Steps/Trevi fountain area, although it will probably be crammed with tourists and you’ll be lucky if you can throw a coin in, but it’s traditional and you need to buy *some* overpriced tat. Careful you don’t get run over by a Vespa here, btw — pedestrianised areas don’t mean no scooters! (People in Rome are a bit hyper, must be the espresso…)

    I can’t remember where we ate other than that it had a yellow awning and was delicious and we went there a lot! But it’s not hard to find great food, especially pizza and pasta and gelato — the gelato is fantastic.

  3. Yes! I have been to Rome and it’s my most favourite place in the entire worruld. The Pantheon is amazing but won’t really take up much time to visit. It’s also situated near (arguably) the best coffee shop in the world, Sant’ Eustachio. When ‘im indoors had a coffee there, he rubbed shoulders with Bill Murray. I didn’t see anyone famous on my wee trip there but the wee coffee and the atmosphere of the whole place was brilliant. http://www.santeustachioilcaffe.it/en/locale.php

  4. Went there more than 10 years ago and saw all the usual thing. My one tip is to bring a cardigan and a pareo if you plan to visit any churches. You see people trying to make do with maps and they look ridiculous.

    When we were there, Americans seemed to be the only ones wearing shorts. I was much more comfortable in capris or skirts. It was blindingly hot but the Italians were all very well-dressed and somehow didn’t sweat. I was at a heavier weight then and sweated through my clothes at an alarming rate.

  5. Oh, I forgot to say — really be careful about pick-pockets/bag-stealers, that’s not just a rumour, they are rampant, or were when I was there. More than one person in our tour group got caught out. Sometimes they just nab in a restaurant, but sometimes (when I was there anyway, they might have changed their approach since then), a group of grubby-looking kids (or adults) waving cardboard might surround you, chanting in Italian. If this starts to happen, shout NO! and run off. Don’t stand there looking gormless and thinking “what the heck?” like I did. 😉 (Eventually I shouted “no!” and ran off.)

  6. Hi! Long-time reader, first-time commenter, so its time I came out of the woodwork. My wife and I met in Rome lived there for 8 years before moving up here to Umbria, where we live now, so here’s a few tips for starters;

    Tasty food: Good restaurants that aren’t too expensive; L’Amatriciana, just off Piazza San Lucina in Lorenzo (a nice pedestrianised piazza halfway along Via Del Corso). La Rustichella di Carlo near Metro Cipro/Vatican Museums is a jewel in a sea of rip-off restaurants near St Peter’s, serving pizza, pasta and fish.
    Avoid ‘la cucina tipica di Roma’ on menus unless you like eating offal. An exception is Saltimbocca all Romana, assuming you’re not a veggie.
    For cheap eats, remember it is OK to just order a starter and pasta. You don’t have to have the meat course (secondo) and dessert. It’s not strictly necessary to leave a tip. Romans don’t. Most groceries and delis’s will make you substantial panini to order at just the cost of the ingredients- good for picnics. You can drink the water in the little roadside fountains from the Mussolini era (its fresh from the springs in the hills) – take a water bottle to refill at them.

    Pantheon: A spot-on choice, Shuana, both for the building itself and its piazza. The restaurant on your left as you face the Pantheon is reasonable and the finest location in Rome to eat at and not mega-expensive. Don’t be afraid to linger! (There is a MacDonalds facing the Pantheon too, if you must.) Have a Granita di Caffe topped with cream from at the Tazza D’Oro nearby for the world’s most divine coffee experience. Nice narrow streets to wander around in the vicinity.

    Boozing tip: Sit-down tables with waiter service in places like Piazza Della Rotunda charge a premium. The way to get the most bang-for-your buck is to eschew beers and wine for shorts and cocktails; the Negroni -a mixture of three high octane shorts – is the supreme champion. Choose a nice spot, order your drink and soak up the atmosphere.

    Walking/resting: You can walk the whole city if you plan your route. If you overdose on churches or wear your feet out, do yourself a favour and rest in one of the parks; Villa Borghese, above the Spanish Steps, is a favourite, or Celimontana, above the Colosseum. Both have trees for shade.
    The stretch of the Appia Antica that runs from just outside the walls to near Ciampino Airport is a fabulous walk, dotted with breathtaking Roman monuments. There’s an ‘Archeobus’ that runs there and you can also hire bikes.

    Have a wonderful time!

  7. Hi! Long-time reader, first-time commenter, so its time I came out of the woodwork. My wife and I met in Rome lived there for 8 years before moving up here to Umbria, where we live now, so here’s a few tips for starters;

    Tasty food: Good restaurants that aren’t too expensive; L’Amatriciana, just off Piazza San Lucina in Lorenzo (a nice pedestrianised piazza halfway along Via Del Corso). La Rustichella di Carlo near Metro Cipro/Vatican Museums is a jewel in a sea of rip-off restaurants near St Peter’s, serving pizza, pasta and fish.
    Avoid ‘la cucina tipica di Roma’ on menus unless you like eating offal. An exception is Saltimbocca all Romana, assuming you’re not a veggie.
    For cheap eats, remember it is OK to just order a starter and pasta. You don’t have to have the meat course (secondo) and dessert. It’s not strictly necessary to leave a tip. Romans don’t. Most groceries and delis’s will make you substantial panini to order at just the cost of the ingredients- good for picnics. You can drink the water in the little roadside fountains from the Mussolini era (its fresh from the springs in the hills) – take a water bottle to refill at them.

    Pantheon: A spot-on choice, Shuana, both for the building itself and its piazza. The restaurant on your left as you face the Pantheon is reasonable and the finest location in Rome to eat at and not mega-expensive. Don’t be afraid to linger! (There is a MacDonalds facing the Pantheon too, if you must.) Have a Granita di Caffe topped with cream from at the Tazza D’Oro nearby for the world’s most divine coffee experience. Nice narrow streets to wander around in the vicinity.

    Boozing tip: Sit-down tables with waiter service in places like Piazza Della Rotunda charge a premium. The way to get the most bang-for-your buck is to eschew beers and wine for shorts and cocktails; the Negroni -a mixture of three high octane shorts – is the supreme champion. Choose a nice spot, order your drink and soak up the atmosphere.

    Walking/resting: You can walk the whole city if you plan your route. If you overdose on churches or wear your feet out, do yourself a favour and rest in one of the parks; Villa Borghese, above the Spanish Steps, is a favourite, or Celimontana, above the Colosseum. Both have trees for shade.
    The stretch of the Appia Antica that runs from just outside the walls to near Ciampino Airport is a fabulous walk, dotted with breathtaking Roman monuments. There’s an ‘Archeobus’ that runs there and you can also hire bikes.

    Have a wonderful time!

  8. I went to Rome this winter, and I agree with a lot of the above suggestions. I did a little bit of “Roman Holiday” stalking, too, and was surprised to see Via Margutta (G Peck´s street) turned into a very high-priced specialty shopping district, off the Spanish steps. The Sant Angelo bridge is also where they go dancing at the end, though it´s sadly barge-less now. Other than that we just wandered around marvelling at all the old stuff.

    Food-wise, our biggest hit was Dar Poeta: http://www.darpoeta.com/

    Enjoy!

  9. Can’t remember where I ate but I do remember having a lot of issues finding public toilets when I was there. Macca’s is always good for it or ask in shops – they usually let me use the staff one.

    (too much pasta = upset tummy)

    You will love it!!

  10. Another long-time viwer and now first comment, plus fellow Aussie to boot! I’ve been to Rome 3 times over the years and recommend the Pantheon – make sure you visit Rafael’s tomb there. My must-see’s are;
    Vatican Museums
    St Peter’s (no-brainer but mainly for Michaelangelo’s Pieta).
    St Paul’s Outside The Walls (less people and more beautiful than St Peter’s).
    San Pietro Vincoli (near the Coliseum, has St Peter’s chains – hmm, but must see is Michaelangelos’ carving of Noah).
    Piazza Navona – amazing.
    The Forum – but don’t bother paying to go in, you can see as much as you need from the street.

    For a great outside Rome trip I’d go to Tivoli up in the hills and visit the Villa D’Este. The fountains alone blow your mind.

    Avoid – Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain. Cheesy as all hell, not that great to see, crowded, and full to the rafters with local gypsy pick-pockets!

    For food go over the Tiber to Trastevere. Full of locals and some of the best Italian food I’ve ever had. It’s also just great to wander around the old streets there.

    Have a great time and make sure you watch your pockets – all the stories about the local pickpockets are pretty true and they’re unbelievably good at relieving you without you knowing they were there!

  11. The Maestro says take the tours the first day or two (there should actually be a “Roman Holiday” one available)…yeah it’s touristy, but it’s usually the best and most economical way to see the legendary sites in Rome. Once you’ve done the sights, then wander the streets on your own and really discover Rome off the beaten track or go back to the sites that hit you the most on your “tour”.

  12. Try to see the Bocca della Verità, not overly exciting, but I so loved that scene in the movie. We went to Rome for one week in August last year and tried not to miss one cheesy/touristy/fabulous thing! I imbibed a lot of Pinot Grigio with ice to fight off exhaustion.

  13. Go for it – Rome is one of my favourite cities. Unlike others, it’s the type of place you could just walk around for a few days – then go back another time and enjoy it just as much.

    I’ve been there twice and barely gone INTO a thing each time – it’s a fantastic outdoor city. I walked everywhere when I was there – no need for public transport when you’re in town.

    Recommendations:

    The Colosseum – didn’t go in but you have to see it. From there you can walk up through the impressive Roman Ruins (which are actually bigger than the “unruined! buildings in many countries) towards the Il Vittoriano (which is actually quite new).

    I second the recommendation for the Piazza Navona – great for a meal and a rest.

    Even as more of an Agnostic, you can’t do Rome without a visit to the Vatican – apart from anything, with all the tourists it’s about as far from a religious experience as you’re going to get. St Peter’s is fantastic (architecture and art) and, if you’re REALLY patient, you can queue to get onto the roof for a fantastic view. It is a REALLY long queue though – you queue to get into the next queue before you actually get up there. In the sun the queuing can be hell unless you have a hat and a drink (also the Vatican has dress rules of a sort – I think you can’t have bare shoulders or something).

    The area south of the Vatican – Trastevere – seems to be very “Italian” – lots of restaurants that the locals use rather than tourists. Fun to explore.

    The Pantheon is awe inspiring – especially given its age.

    The Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps just to say you’ve been there (you’ll feel a bit of an idiot if you see a film with Rome and say “I’ve been there!” then get asked about those places and say, “no, didn’t go there…or there”). They’re pretty – just packed with tourists.

    Food – ice cream 🙂 And at this time of year you’ll NEED ice cream! It’s everywhere there. There are fantastic restaurants around too. You’d do badly to find a bad one really.

    As for security – my super-traveller Mum who is always paranoid about being pick-pocketed … got pick-pocketed there at the main station. The station is the worst (and is where the buses and trains from the airports come in). My first visit I dressed down (probably didn’t look worth robbing) and the second I had no problems either. I think I’d just be very careful and make sure your bags are in sight and closed!

  14. For reference, my other favourite cities are Barcelona, Krakow, Sydney, and my old home town, Auckland 🙂

    Scott F 🙂

  15. Also love Rome! Really want to go back there, it was ages since I went.

    While you are in Italy it’s really worth getting a train to Florence for a look – it’s a totally different atmosphere, much smaller and quieter. The trains are fast and nice (much nicer than good old Scotrail!) and there’s loads of great wee hotels if you want to make it an overnighter. I know it’s not the city you said but I went there for 2 nights from Rome and it was definitely worth it!

    Drink the water from the fountains, it’s delicious and free!

    Also, read ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert before you go, not sure if you’ve heard of it but she spent 4 months there and writes about it beautifully!

  16. Hey hey,

    I’ve just come back from Rome with my boyfriend and we had a lovely, but very expensive, time.

    The Pantheon was amazing as was the Colosseum.

    The view from the Dome at St. Peters was amazing although climbing the steps wasn’t. I’ve never felt closer to cardiac arrest! Wait til you’ve got your breath back before the obligatory photo sesh, or be stuck with horrendous sweaty-tomato head pics like mine!

    I wasn’t wowed by the Forum at all so would suggest just viewing from the street rather than paying to go in.

    Had a very nice bottle of wine and snacks at Cavour 313 (Via Cavour) Brilliant atmosphere, very authentic and reasonably priced.

    The Honey Ice cream at ‘Gelateria di san crispino’ was out of this world! Its right by the Trevi fountain so well worth a visit if you go there. all the Ice cream shops deserve a mention for piling the gelato so high in the tubs. It makes it ten times more appealing!

    The Spanish steps area was lovely although a tramp tried to tie a piece of string around my boyfriend’s finger? very odd. Watch out for string bearing tramps.

    Have a lovely time!

    Ella

  17. Sounds like a lovely trip. All that talk about food is making me hungry. And, I miss my Italian friend Vincenzo-a wonderful cook.

    I haven’t been to Italy yet. But, when I do-I’ll look into renting a Vespa scooter to run around in. I ride my Vespa wannabe to work. Modern scoots have automatic transmissions & are easy to ride.

    Have a wonderful time!

    Belle

  18. alas, shauna, i am a non-traveling loser. i have nothing to offer–not even a smartass quip. forgive me?

  19. Seriously, is the Pantheon in Rome? Not Greece?

    Also, why are all Italians well-dressed? Did they send the badly dressed ones to Melbourne?

  20. Kathryn, I too was confused the time I went to Rome! In spite of writing educational books for children about BUILDINGS. The Parthenon = Greece, Pantheon = Italy. All those Ps and Ths and Hs.

    ANYWAY, Shauny baby, I went to every tourist trap thing, and it is all bloody gorgeous. Do something romantic at the Trevi fountain. Swamped with tourists, yes, but still gorgeous. Tim and I chose it as our meeting place – he from Singapore, me from London, when we did the splits all those moons ago. It is beautiful!

  21. I love LOVE Italian ice cream especially lemon ice cream. Please eat a big scoop for me. Nobody makes lemon ice cream like the Italians do :-). Its not a creamy flavour. It’s made with egg white instead of cream and kinda sticky. Really sour lemony (without the dish wash flavour) and dead tasty. Excellent for a hot day.

    Enjoy!

  22. Shauna, I just love Rome!

    I am a big fan of old stuff. No not the Romans but their ruins and things like this.
    Rome is wonderful. Perfect people – as long as they don’t run you over with their vespa, perfect food – well I just love it.
    I really enjoyed walking through Colloseum, Forum Romanum and the Capitol hill. Wonderful old ruins and a quiet place in a busy city. I also liked the Vatican. It is really nice and impressing even for not really Catholics like me (because Austria is a Catholic country but I am not so into it – basically not at all). When it rains or you have some spare time the Vatican museum is also worth a trip.
    It also nice just to sit in front of the Pantheon and watch the people. Some really crazy people around.
    I wish you a wonderful trip. I am soooo jealous. Enjoy Italy. It is a really fab country.

    All the best,
    Karin

  23. Aw, c’mon, you know you want to leave a flaming bag of dog poo on the Pope’s doorstep! At least, could you do it for me? 😉

  24. Ooh, perfect timing with this post! I too will be heading to Rome for the very first time, at the end of June. Only just starting to get off my arse & do research, so I think I’ll steal some of these tips your lovely readers have given you if you don’t mind! 🙂

  25. Been crazy at work so only just catching up on the comments… THANK YOU BAZILLIONS! I really appreciate your thoughts. Going to ponder over the weekend. THANK Yyyyyoooouuuuuuu!!!!

  26. Gosh, don’t have time to read all the others so apologies if I’m repeating others but..

    I would do St Peter’s myself. We didn’t actually meet the Pope – I’m not sure he hangs out with tourists. But get yourself on a guided tour if you do – not all that pricey as far as I remember and you get to skip the huge queue. Lots of amazing artwork and then there’s the Sistine Chapel. Gasp.

    We got our guide by weakly agreeing to a guide we met outside the Colleseum – he was quite good and interesting but then he directed us to the St P’s lady for the next day and she was very good.

    Pantheon – amazing and also free.

    Just wandering about is good too. You turn a corner and there’s a bit of ancient Rome down a hole, just sitting there looking old. (I’m quite good at sitting there looking old too.)

    Have fun!

  27. For food, probably best to google good food rome. Or maybe go on a food tour of Rome if they have one. Good op to see where the locals eat, and check out the produce as well as the restaurants. We did a food tour of Greenwich Village in New york which was great. Food tours rock, and you walk off all the food.
    Get your squat muscles on – They like squat dunnies in Italy and also in Asia FYI. Get Gareth to hold your bag and coat when you go in; I would not trust the cleanliness of the floor.

  28. Oh – it has been about 10 years since I was a backpacker in Rome. Loved it. Might have been something to do with the cute swedish guys in the hostel… but I digress.
    I went on a couple of tours – one of the Vatican, ok, glad I did it, but not mind blowing. The other was of the ancient roman baths – which was great. I also saw lots of info on a great bike tour which i wish I did, which sounds like it would be right up your and Dr G’s alley. Trying to remember the name of the tour…had a google and couldn’t find it, but maybe someone else may have a better idea.
    Other than that, go off the beaten track, find a little coffee shop and make like a local. Also go out late for dinner.
    Jealous, Jealous. Have a wonderful time.
    dani

  29. I am now stalking you from Mondo Beyondo, so we are co-stalkers.

    Wow, have a fabulous time and eat a lot of food. I have never been to Rome, but I read Angels and Demons and saw the movie, so I am pretty much an expert 😉 Can’t wait to read all about it!

  30. Thank youuuuuu dear Dani, Isabelle and Cilla!

    And good to see you Christie! I shoulda bought Angels and Demons instead of the Fodor’s Guide, mwhahaha.

  31. I hate to say it, but I didn’t like Rome much. Grubby, and full of begging gypsies and pickpockets and tourists.

    Be very very careful of your wallet. My mother got hers stolen on a crowded bus. Luckily they took the snazzy glomesh number with only some token money for gifts for rellies, and missed the velcro one which had our hotel money.

    Seriously = harden your heart to the gypsies holding babies, who will crowd around you at railway stations etc. If you hesitate, your wallet will be gone.

    Pompei though – amazing! go there for sure if you can.
    And the lemon and strawberry gelati is fabulous stuff.
    In fact take-away food in general is amazing stuff = vans sell rolls with mozzarella and fresh tomato and basil – no frankfurts for the italians.

  32. ack, just 48 hours eh??? I was there for less than 24, definitely not a lot of time… but, there was this awesome little church on the top of a little out of the way hill just near the stadium… I went at the end of the day and they have the stations of the cross and it leads up slowly… the end of the path, there is a tiny, tiny church that maybe fits 10 people max… once the doors are closed… the silence is absolutely deafening… I can’t give you the name of it but – i can find on google maps it for you. It’s only about a 5 minute walk in total to get inside the church but oh so worth it! I went at night, when the sky was changing such awesome colours. The sunset is much more vibrant in Italy than canada… the vatican is cool too but – I prefered just walking around, checking out things. I also suggest perhaps a 1/2 day tour… they usually last about 3 hours, costs about $50 maybe, max… but, you drive around all over the place, “see” the major things and you can get the story on certain places… essentially you see a lot in a short while. Then, go back for the remaining times to things you want to investigate much more clearly!

    Heaps of fun!

    Are you going to see Julia at all?? You’d really need more time, she lives in a beautiful area which has more fields and stuff… I’d love to go in the summer next time to see it all!!

    There was also a lovely restaurante that I went to, where the waiter was super cute and hitting on me… haha, and serenading me with music from the singing guitar guy. Was probably my highlight… the food was excellent, not expensive (comparing to other places, very pricey there)… again, i don’t know the name but can find it on google maps easily!

    Finally… be very very wary of pickpocketers and people who will try to con you out of money. I lost $5 with the one guy but – it was worth it for me to lose it because, I managed to get away from him very quickly… could have been a much worse situation. And, if you get someone coming to you who won’t leave you alone, pretend to not speak english and just make up a language. They’ll leave you right away.

    HAVE FUN!!!! Enjoy and – let me know if you want me to find those two things for you!

  33. Is the crappy camping ground, by any chance, Plus Camping Roma? I stayed there a couple of weeks ago, and it was a lot of fun, although the commute was a bit of a bitch, but it means you pack your days!

    I normally shy away from tours, but I highly recommend doing a Tour In Rome tour (could I say “tour” any more?) of the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. Both places are awesome but have no informative signs, so the guides tell you all kinds of awesomeness. Just rock up to the Colosseum and the touters are wandering around.

    Head to the Campo d’Fiori, a piazza off the tourist stretch. They have awesome fresh food markets most days, and all of the restaurants lining the square are delicious and cheaper than the tourist traps.

  34. @liam – it’s a different campsite but hopefully we’re up for the commute. it’s reassuring to know you survived it! in our case couldn’t turn down free accommodation, more money to spend on gelato 🙂

    @anji – thanks! not sure where you got 48 hours from, it’s a whole week, woohoo!

    thanks all of you for those ideas… more frantic scribbles in the notebook! 🙂

  35. woah. shall be checking these out when I next (ever) go to Rome. What coolio tips. Just was going to mention that book, Eat Prat Love. She spends time in Rome…. so that might be an interesting read…..

  36. oh crap, not sure where I got the weekend either! Maybe I confused your trip with my friend who is in germany right now, I think she went there for two days…

    September, you’ve got some time to research! So excited for you, enjoy your trip! (And… something I didn’t realise, you need to have your passport with you if do end up staying in any hotels, etc. there, post 9-11… I didn’t bring mine with me, left it up north but – apparently it’s a law?) Though, being in an EU country, maybe they don’t make you do it… but, just be aware of it, just in case! You have to turn it in when you go, and when you leave. The let me stay there regardless but – it was weird! I’m not entirely sure it was kosher, maybe someone was just trying to screw with me… (this was at a hostel)

  37. Hi Shauna! I’m in Rome right now, first time here and it is INCREDIBLE!! You’ll love it. Just quickly, I highly recommend getting a Roma pass – gives free entry to first 2 sites, then discounts on others afterwards, plus you can use it for all public transport (bus, tram, metro) for the whole period you choose. we’ve found it invaluable, if only for the fact that we could bypass the queue at the colloseum! Man it felt good to walk past those poor people and skip the 2hr wait, heheh. We got the 3 day pass for 25 euro, and quickly made up the cost on our first 2 sites, so it was well worth it.
    Also, someone recommended wandering round the trastevere area, and I’ll second that! It’s full of gorgeous laneways with laundry flapping above, and cute little trattorias with Italians eating there, not tourists 🙂 it’s been one of my favourite areas so far. Will let you know of any other finds!

  38. I’ve just got back from Rome. I loved it! It was amazing and the food was great. We went to Est Est Est and had fantastic pizzas. I cant remember where it is sorry. I will post it if I find out.

    Get a Roma Pass. It is 25 euro and you get free trains, Metro and buses for 3 days, and free entry to your first 2 museums/archaeological places – colloseum included….I’ve just looked back and can see it has already been recommended! Sorry for the repeat, but it really was worth getting, if only for getting to bypass the ques.

    Make sure you save – it was very expensive, but worth every penny.
    Have fun!

  39. I’m a bit late to this, but my two cents worth would be:

    When in the Roman Forum, take advantage of one of the millions of students wandering round giving free tours. Yes – actually free. If you like them, you can tip them what you want afterwards, but it’s not required. Way better than the tape tour guides because those guys LOVE all things Roman!

    When it gets to a million degrees in the Forum and the neighbouring Colluseum, wander up the hill into the handy Pallatine Gardens – a shady, orange smelling oasis in the middle of the city, and a great place to chill for an hour or so and watch the lizards running round on the stone benches.

    Any gelato stop will be good. In general, the restaurants not on the main drag, and tucked away in the side streets are the best. If they write the order on a corner of the paper table cloth and rip it off to take to the kitchen, you’re onto a good thing ;o) Tomatos will never have tasted as sweet as in their simple pasta and pizza dishes.

    For any foodie, or green-fingered person, try and get along to the Campagnolo market in the morning – flowers and fresh fruit and veg hidden in sunny square – the smell alone when you walk in is worth it.

    Take a high factor sunscreen because you’ll probably burn your nose without realising it whilst sat around drinking coffee on the pavement.

    The tram / metro / bus system is good, but pickpockets are rife and REALLY sneaky – watch your stuff like a hawk.

    I think those are my top tips – enjoy – Rome is gorgeous!

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