The best of Rome|Explore the sights in 3 days

The Pantheon Rome 3 Days
The Pantheon Rome
St Pauls Cathedral Rome
St Pauls Cathedral Rome

Firstly – Why Rome? 

Rome was the second leg or our first epic Italian adventure.  We flew into Naples on Easyjet from Manchester and then took the train up to Rome to begin our 3 days exploring this wonderful city.   We would then continue our Italian adventure by taking a ferry to Palermo, spending a few days on the Aeolian islands and then travelling back up the Amalfi coast to Naples.  3 days in Rome starts us off on this epic Italian adventure. 

Where did we stay for our 3 days in Rome?

Our hotel in Rome was extremely central and only a few hops skips and jumps from the Trevi Fountain. A perfect location for first time visitors to Rome.

Hotel Boccaccio is an Ecoworld hotel and like a lot of hotels its an old townhouse that’s been converted into rooms and let by the owner. It was perfect and had beautiful high ceilings and big expansive windows and was perfect for our first stay.

We didn’t have an en suite in the room but the bathroom was just down the hall and adequate. The bed was incredibly comfortable and the hostess was lovely.

Hotel Boccacio Rome
Hotel Boccacio Rome
Hotel Boccacio Rome
Hotel Boccacio Rome

How did we spend our 3 days in Rome

Everyone knows the famous sites in Rome but let us give you our take on them.

The Colosseum  

An absolutely magical site that you have to go to and have to go in however don’t be duped by joining a tour.  you don’t need to be part of a tour as that will cost you an arm and a leg.  Its much better just to have a wander round and there are plenty of signage in several languages so you’ll know what you’re looking at.    If you’ve got a guide book then that will be a good point of reference too.   As with most sights – get there as early as possible before the crowds and tour buses. 

The Parthenon  

This is Chris’s favorite building and it is incredible.  Built around 113 AD its the oldest building in Rome and when you get up close you can see history in the cracks, the colouration and the bullet holes.  It has the biggest brick dome in the history of architecture.   When inside, look up as its a fabulous view.  Oh and its free to enter. 

Lynne at the Colosseum Rome
Lynne at the Colosseum Rome
The Pantheon Rome
The Pantheon Rome
The Spanish Steps  

The Spanish Steps are a set of 135, yes we counted them, of steps. Named the Spanish Steps as the Piazza di Spagna is at the foot of the steps and the Spanish Embassy is there.  Cool Fact Alert!

We liked to see the Spanish Steps in the evening, all lit up, with the fountain at the bottom.  Yep the evening was really special. 

The Trevi Fountain 

The Trevi Fountain is a fountain in the Trevi district in Rome, Italy, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi and completed by Giuseppe Pannini and several others. Standing 26.3 metres high and 49.15 metres wide, it is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.  When we visited we noticed a door open at the side and snuck in and saw some of the inner workings behind the fountain, shhhhhhh! 

Spanish Steps Rome
Spanish Steps Rome
Trevi Fountain Rome
Trevi Fountain Rome
The Forum 

A forum was a public square in a Roman municipal area reserved primarily for the vending of goods;.  Its a marketplace, along with the buildings which were used for shops and the streets would have had open stalls.   

Piazza Navona (My Favorite Piazza, Ever!) 

Rome is filled with Piazzas but this one has a special place in my heart mainly because its built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian built in the 1st Century AD.a public open space in Rome, Italy.

It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in the 1st century AD.  At the top end of the square you’ll find the Stadium of Domitian museum and its really worth a visit.

  • visit the underground levels of Piazza Navona, first opened to the public in 2014
  • descend 5 metres beneath street level into the excavations, at the time of the Roman Empire;
  • admire the ancient ruins of the first and only masonry stadium in Roman history;
  • learn more about the history of the Stadium/Piazza Navona/ancient Roman sports.

We visited again on a weekend trip and you can read about that here.

Chris at the Forum Rome
Chris at the Forum Rome
Piazza Navona Rome
Piazza Navona Rome

3 days even leaves you time to explore the Appian Way by bike 

We hired bikes and spent the day exploring the Appian Way – Rome’s ancient road.   Click here to find out more and how you can do that to .

cycle the Appian Way Rome Italy
Chris cycling the Appian Way, Rome
Appian Way Rome Italy
Appian Way Rome Italy

Make sure you have the Vatican on your 3 day Rome itinerary – 5 cool Vatican facts 

 
The Vatican City Is The World’s Smallest Country

It sits in just over 100 acres and is the smallest country in the world.  Its status as a sovereign city-state is recognised under international law.  Approximately 800 individuals live within Vatican City, including the Pope, and around 450 people hold citizenship. 

It Is Home To The Largest Religious Building In The World

St Peter’s Basilica (Basilica di San Pietro) in Vatican City is the largest religious building in the world, covering an area of 227,065 square feet. The magnificent dome of St Peter’s Basilica was designed by Michelangelo and based on Brunelleschi’s Duomo in Florence. 

The Ceiling In The Sistine Chapel Took 4 Years To Paint

Perhaps the most famous work of art by Michelangelo, the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel is one of the main draws to Vatican City. Painting began in 1508, but the Renaissance master had to take a year-long break in 1510 due to the toll of such a monumental project. Michelangelo eventually completed the 12,000-square-feet frescoed ceiling in 1512. To this day, his work of genius inspires the millions of visitors, pilgrims, and artists who visit Vatican City each year.

The Vatican’s Popularity Is A Threat To Its Artwork

Vatican City attracts more than 20,000 visitors per day during the summer, which is an inordinate amount for such a small place! To protect its most precious work of art—Michelangelo’s ceiling in the Sistine Chapel—the Vatican has had to limit the number of people permitted to enter the chapel to 6 million per year. This is because dust, carbon dioxide, and body sweat all pose a significant threat to this historic and delicate masterpiece. Climate control systems were also introduced to filter the air inside the chapel.

It Has Its Own Post Office And Bank

Vatican City has its own passports, postal service and stamps, bank and euro, telephone system, radio station, pharmacy, and national football team! The postal service is actually one of the most efficient in the world, so much so that many Romans go there specifically to post their mail. In 2000, the Vatican adopted the euro as its official currency. It is also permitted to mint its own euro coins, which are legal tender throughout the eurozone. The Vatican Bank ATMs instruct users in Latin, so when the display reads “inserito scidulam quaeso ut faciundam cognoscas rationem”, you are being prompted to insert your card!

St Pauls Cathedral Rome
St Pauls Cathedral Rome
Vatican Rome
Vatican Rome

Food is a massive part of our travel and 3 days in Rome meant we had plenty of time to eat.

Any trip to Italy has to involve food and our first trip to Rome we immersed ourselves into the most fabulous food. We did however make a mistake on our first night there and ended up in a tourist trap restaurant where the food was not that great but it taught us a valuable lesson. We didn’t finish our meal, paid and left to find something more authentic. Its a good idea to do a little research on where you’d like eat, what type of food you’d like to eat and ask at the hotel for something authentically Italian.  Ask the hotel staff where they like to eat for a meal out. 

Here’s a couple of places where we absolutely loved:

The first restaurant was over the river in Trastevere and was called Il Ciak. It was a steak restaurant but had all the Italian specialities you’d expect to find in a traditional trattoria. The service was impeccable and the waiter helped us order explaining what each dish was and how it was prepared. We opted for our usual meats and cheeses to start with and then we had pasta followed by desserts. It all was delicious.

You can’t visit Rome without having a Gelato and the best place we found was Gelateria Valentino. Great Gelato, Great Flavours, Great Service and best of all it was round the corner from our hotel. Result !

Il Ciak Restaurant Rome
Il Ciak Restaurant Rome
Best Gelato in town, Rome
Best Gelato in town, Rome
A selection of posts from our travels

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