Tips for A Weekend in Rome

Earlier this month, I went to Rome for a long weekend.  It was such a wonderful trip that I suggest anyone interested in art, history, and/or food try to recreate it as closely as possible.

The Tips

  • Visit in December.  Obsessive readers of this blog might remember that I went to Venice last summer and hated it because of how overcrowded the city was.  I’m happy to report that there is a huge difference between visiting Italy in December compared to August.  There were definitely tourists and lines, but nothing too overwhelming.
  • Include the first Sunday of the month.  Many of the big attractions are free on the first Sunday of every month.  We saved nearly €50 by accidentally going to Rome the first weekend of December.
  • Stay somewhere close to Termini.  There are a LOT of hotels in the area to choose from, and it’s perfectly situated for easy public transport use.  The buses from the airports end there, so you don’t have to think while riding them.  If you need to get somewhere early in the morning, you are right next to the metro and bus stops.  And the Termini Station is full of cheap coffee shops, stores, and grocery stores, so you don’t have to go far for basic necessities.
  • Walk more often than you use transport.  When preparing for Rome, I had in my head that the city was massive.  It’s not!  We took about one public transport per day (either early in the morning to beat the lines or late at night when our feet were exhausted), and the rest of the time we walked.  In addition to saving money, this allowed us to get a real feel for the city.  I had such a fun time realizing that we were passing a building that led up stairs to a piazza that we walked to the day before.  By the end of the weekend, I felt like I knew Rome in a way I never would have if I’d been stuck on buses or metros.
  • Use audioguides.  The sites are incredible, but without context the amazingness can blur together.  At the Vatican Museum and Coliseum, I had an audioguide that made the experience MUCH more meaningful.  I recommend an audioguide over a human guide because it allowed my friends and I to split up when necessary and focus on the displays that most interested us individually without worrying we were boring the others.

 

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