I love Rome. Beautiful city, exquisite arts, rich histories and mysterious stories… no wonder Rome captures the hearts of many travellers. It is a must-visit destination in the lifetime! The famous Colosseum and Trevi Fountain are incredibly impressive… Also, go wandering and get lost in the city, and you may be surprised that you find another lovely piazza again. I would definitely return to Rome.
Rome is the capital of Italy. It is a very big city, so you should plan as much time here as possible. Since Rome is a popular destination for people all over the world, most of the major attractions are crowded. Also, the traffic is chaotic.
I stayed for 4 days in Rome, including a day trip to The Vatican City. I think 4 days in Rome is a ‘minimum’, it is better if I could stay longer. There is no need to worry that you will get bored here, as it is such a lively city with so many things to see and do. You just need more time to feel the city and appreciate the Roman art and architecture.
The Colosseum is almost 2000-year-old and is now one of the most famous attractions in Rome. It was used as an amphitheatre for 390 years – a place of entertainment, such as gladiatorial contests and animal fighting. It could hold between 50k – 80k spectators to watch the game.
The panorama view inside the Colosseum:
About 400k people and 1 million animals died in the Colosseum for the ‘entertainment’. To be honest, I don’t know what is so fun about those cruel games killing so many people and animals… Anyway, it is a history.
Despite the painful history and the dumb games, the architecture is actually pretty impressive. But, the Colosseum is partially ruined because of the damages caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers.
About the entrance ticket: The ticket price is €12 for an adult. When I was queueing, a few people were pursuing me to ‘skip the line’ by joining their tours. That costs about €30+ and I didn’t accept. I waited for about 45 minutes in the end without reserving any ticket in advance. It is quicker if you reserve the ticket online but you still need to queue (the queue line is shorter). It is a good idea to reserve a ticket online during peak season.
The €12 ticket that I bought in Colosseum includes the admission to Roman Forum and Palatine (this is the only ticket available for purchase). When I came out of Colosseum, I walked to Roman Forum which takes only 5 minutes.
Roman Forum is a marketplace in ancient times. It is a rectangular square surrounded by the ruins of several government buildings in the city centre of Rome.
It was a shame that I did not spend much time here because the weather was too hot. There was hardly any shade in Roman Forum, so I just did a quick walk and snapped some photos and left.
Trevi Fountain is really beautiful; the detailed white stone sculpture and the sky blue water… it is indeed the most beautiful fountain that I have ever seen! No wonder it is one of the most famous fountains in the world.
There is a romantic legend – Toss a coin into the fountain from your right hand backwards over your left shoulder, you will definitely return to Rome.
What happens to all the coins in the Trevi Fountain? Well, the city of Rome donates the money to charity, so this is another reason that you should toss a coin into the fountain. 🙂
It is however, very touristy… which makes it not so romantic. In fact, it always looks like this:
Yet, it is worthwhile to visit this lovely fountain. I did not spend too much time here because it was overcrowded. Instead, I spent more time eating ice cream and shopped for souvenirs, as there are many restaurants/ café and shops nearby.
There are many piazzas (squares) in Rome and each of them is unique. But Piazza Venezia won my heart. The Palazzo Venezia served as the embassy of the Republic of Venice in Rome. It is easy to pass by this Piazza, as it is located in the heart of city centre and close to the other major attractions.
You need to walk up many steps to get to the top. It is tiring but you will be rewarded with the magnificent view.
You will see many sculptures as you walk. Those sculptures are so beautiful… Each of them is so detailed and impressive.
An elegant lady sculpture. I like this so much.
When I was at the top of Piazza Venezia. I just wanted to say one word: amazing.
I also got a stunning view of the city with the statue:
Pantheon is the best preserved temple from ancient Rome. This building is almost 1900 years old and is now a church. There is a hole in the roof and it is the only source of light here!
The City of Rome in the night
I met a nice Korean gal at my hostel. Since we were both travelling alone, we explored Rome together at night. I would not come out alone at night as I feel unsafe; Rome is actually quite a messy city and has many pickpockets. I was so glad that I met her.
We walked for about 3-4 hours and visited some of the most popular places in Rome. It was a surprise. Exactly the same place, but totally different views at night…
I especially love Trevi fountain in the night, which is more spectacular as compared to the day view.
I did not recognise that this place is one of my favourite places (Piazza Venezia) that I visited in the afternoon. I realised this only when I was arranging the photos later… Oh my god, it looks so different during the day and night!
In my opinion, Pantheon is more beautiful at night too…
Yummy Italian Food
You will never get hungry in Rome!! There are plenty of good food everywhere. Italian food is very tasty. The pizzas here look so tempting…
Italy has the best gelato in the world…
I am addicted to Tiramisu in Italy. My Korean friend recommended the Tiramisu from Pompi. It was very yummy, although it is not the best tiramisu that I have had…
And I can’t remember how many spaghetti I have had in Italy…
A small advice: always check the tipping culture before going to a restaurant in any country! In Italy, you don’t have to tip (as it is often included in the bill) or you can leave a tip of 10-15% of the bill.
I had my lunch at restaurant Trattoria Vecchia Roma. Their spaghetti Carbonara was really delicious and the staff was friendly, so I wanted to give €2 euro as a tip (my bill was €19.50). But he asked me to give him €5 and told me this is how Italian system works. In the end, I gave him €5 (which was more than 25% of my bill). When I found out the tipping culture, I felt that I was ripped off which was a bit disappointing.
Wandering around Rome
Sometimes, less planning is good… because it opens more possibilities for you that you may have never thought of.
In Rome, there are many piazzas and each of them is unique. I love walking around and discover another beautiful piazza again with different arts and sculptures. It always surprises me!
I found the Spanish Step when I was looking for Pompi’s tiramisu. It was very crowded… I found a good spot so I sat down here and rest.
Arch of Constantine… It is very close to Colosseum. And it is another exquisite piece of art again!
Just like most of the places in Europe, Rome is full of talented artists and buskers 🙂
Since Rome is big, it is a good idea to get around the city by Hop-on-hop-off bus. I was on a budget trip so I explored the city by foot every day; except that I took the bus once to The Vatican City. I stayed in the city centre and I walked (slowly) for 5-6 hours a day. I think I have covered the essence of Rome and had a great time… Read information about transportation and the passes here.
Every destination has its story. When I think of Rome, an image of a pretty and mysterious lady appears in my mind – she may be a brave warrior, an elegant princess or an innocent girl. Perhaps many of the Roman sculptures emphasise the feminine beauty, so I feel as if there are endless stories behind those exquisite sculptures.
Rome is undoubtedly beautiful, and I love it very much (I knew I said this many times) … There are so many things to see and do in Rome. And good food. You can also do a day trip to the Vatican City and you won’t regret it.
I want to return to Rome again. I tossed a coin into the fountain, so I would definitely come back to Rome again? 🙂