Rome was our final destination on this Italian adventure and honestly I don’t think prepared for the energy needed to do this famous city up right. It was a wild juxtaposition of a modern city with ancient excavations sites and cultural landmarks sprinkled throughout. I really had no expectations going in besides knowing some of the well-known features such as Vatican City, the Coliseum, the Forum and piazzas galore. We only had 2 days here and packed it full of checking out everything possible by foot.
We hopped on another high speed train from Masa to Rome and it took about 3 1/2 hours to arrive. There were many stops along the way but it was timely and travel was smooth. We did grab an Uber from the station as our apartment was not in walking distance. Driving in Rome is really its own thing. I think there are rules and laws but it was hard to tell. It felt like crazy race or battlefield but no one was running into each other. Driving in Rome is not on my bucket list nor will it ever be.
Where we stayed…
Our amazing tour guide Leonardo in Florence graciously recommended we stay in the hip Trastevere neighborhood. We found one of our best Airbnb here and our host was lovely. It was newly renovated had the most amenities of any of our Italian stays (other than Hotel Hartman of course).
There were tons of restaurants and shops just outside our place and it was a quick walk across the River Tiber to the main city center.
What we did…
Surprise, surprise….more walking, sight seeing, and enjoying local food and drinks!
I think our favorite adventure in Rome was touring Vatican City. We chose to join a small group tour and were glad we did. The variety and amount of art collected here was insane. The guide was very helpful and made it less overwhelming. I personally loved the paintings on the ceilings, Raphael’s rooms, the marble sculptures and the architecture that changes with each new pope. Seeing some mummified popes in Saint Peter’s Basilica was just a cherry on top 🙂
The sights in Rome were spectacular and gave you such a unique peak into the past and how civilizations evolved and built upon each other. I enjoyed the fountains around as well. The photos below say it better than I can.
What we ate…
We did have some fairly good food on this leg of the trip but nothing spectacular to be truthful. I think my favorite memory eating in Rome was just sitting at a tiny table in an alley enjoying the little snack they give you while sipping on some yummy local red wine.
Here’s a highlighted list of some of the places we visited.
- Restaurant in Trastevere – Locanda Tonnarello, since 1876 (nannarellaroma.it)
- Ristorante Il Ciak (superbexperience.com)
- Osteria Cacio e Pepe
- La Tavernetta 29 by Tony and Andrea – Ristorante Roma | Italian cuisine near me | Book now (eatbu.com)
Rome was not my favorite part of our trip but I am absolutely happy we made the time to visit. It is a vibrant city, I just don’t think it was completely my vibe with how chaotic it is all the time . I was surprised by the amount of graffiti everywhere. They seemed to be trying to frame it as an art but it didn’t do it for me. For anyone planning a visit to Rome, I would do it at the beginning of their trip while energy tanks were on the fuller side.
My memory of our departure does make me smile though. We had a seasoned driver who zigzagged his way out of the city going at speeds of 120km/hr+ in a car that really had no business going that fast. The flight to our connection in Finland was filled with fittingly rowdy Romans but it did make the clean, calm, organized Helsinki airport feel like an oasis. We also were able to enjoy a beautiful meal before boarding a near empty plane and see the longest sunset I’ve ever experienced. It was a perfect way to end a trip of a lifetime.