First off, I have a few announcements.
- I have started a schedule and will put out a new blog post every Thursday.
- I started a Facebook page for my blog to make it easier for my readers to follow. It will also include some extra content. Click here for my Facebook page!
- Finally, I really appreciate feedback, whether it be ideas for organization, what you like, what you don’t like, what you would like to hear more about, etc, I want to hear about it! Thank you for reading!
We loved Rome. The history there was incredible. I took a Roman History class a few years ago and finally being able to see Rome with all the structures and history I learned about was unbelievable. Overall, Rome is a fantastic city, obviously a lot to see, and just a pretty great place to visit.
We stayed at the Grand Hotel Olympic. It was a really great hotel, friendly staff, and awesome breakfast. It was in a very nice area right near the higher end shopping. There is one aspect that may or may not be a downfall about it’s location. The hotel is near the Vatican which is pretty far from the rest of the big tourism destinations. I personally liked it that way though since walking through a ton of tourists in the streets gets tiring after a while. It was nice to “get away”, per say, while still being in the city.
We visited Rome for 2 full days and for me, that was more than enough. We saw pretty much all of the main tourist attractions as well as a few others. Unless you love cities, I would say 3 full days would be the optimum length of time for your visit. I am not a city person so we like to get in, see everything, and get out.
(St. Peter’s Basilica in Background)
I highly suggest the bus tours, but the company Green Line Tours, who we used and our hotel promoted, was not that good. We had to wait twice as long for one of our buses than all of the other companies. It was nice to be able to hop on the bus and have them take us right to each attraction though. However, if you decide to get a hotel near the other attractions, such as the Colosseum, you likely do not need to do the bus tour because everything is within walking distance. If you wanted to go to the Vatican one day you could just get a taxi or take a really long walk.
My biggest, and most important, piece of advice for Rome is to get your tickets for the Colosseum and the Forum at Palatine Hill! The line to get into the Colosseum is a mile long, but if you start at Palatine Hill there is usually no line. You get a 3-in-1 ticket there and can bypass the entire line at the Colosseum. Palatine Hill is really interesting anyway, so you might as well start there.
It’s important to get a good map with all of the attractions on it, too. We just took a free pamphlet from a bus company and, voilà, free map!
The Trevi Fountain was one of my favorite sites to see.
You may hear a lot about pick pockets in Rome. We had no problems the entire time we were there. Just take some basic precautions and you should be fine.
First, have at least one person in your family/party with a hidden pocket/belt to put your passports and credit cards in. Second, don’t put things in your secret pocket that you will be using a lot. It’s not a secret if you keep whipping it out and showing everyone while you pay for things. Lastly, if you are buying something don’t pull all your money out. No one needs to know how much money you have on you. The only money anyone should see is what you hand the vendor.
- Don’t wear a backpack as a purse, it’s on your back and you can’t see it.
- Have a purse that has a strap that goes over your head. (see my purse in pictures)
- Have a purse that closes all the way. A purse that has a zipper and a flap with clasp is the best. At least try to make it difficult for a pick pocket.
- Keep your purse at the front of your hip, don’t swing it around back. Same reason you don’t want to have a backpack.
- Don’t put your wallet in your back pocket.
- Slim down your wallet so it only has what you need in it, take all those papers and receipts out of it. A huge, hulking, wallet showing through your pants pocket is like a “Here’s my wallet!” sign.
Overall, just be aware of your surroundings and where your items are and you should be fine. I know people who have gone there without the secret pocket and they came home unscathed, but I would rather take that precaution, especially with hard to replace items like credit cards and passports.
Rome is awesome! Everyone should definitely try their hardest to make it there at least once in their life. It’s the heart of Roman history and a beautiful city.