Today’s post features my Rome Travel Guide, including how we got to Rome, where we stayed, what sites we visited, and where we ate. Let’s get right into it!
How We Got to Rome
We took the FlixBus from Siena to Rome, and it was an easy 3 hour ride. The tickets were just $17/person, which we thought was very reasonable. The bus driver’s announcements were all in Italian, but we were able to ask people to translate to make sure we weren’t missing anything important.
Once we arrived in Rome at the Tiburtina bus station, we got a taxi from the taxi stand outside the station, and drove about 25 minutes to our hotel.
Where We Stayed in Rome:
Chapter Roma is less than a year old, and every design single detail is beautifully executed. We booked a baby double room (their smallest room), knowing that we would likely be spending most of our days walking around Rome and not hanging out in our room. The space was small, but perfectly suitable to our needs, and the bed was extremely comfortable (something we really appreciated after walking 20,000+ steps each day).
The bathroom was equipped with a beautiful rain shower, luxury toiletries, and fluffy towels, all which made us feel as though we were at a spa.
We upgraded our stay to include the breakfast package (it is not included in the regular room rate), and we were so happy that we did. The breakfast buffet offered a plethora of breakfast pastries and breads (including gluten-free options!), eggs to order, fruit, juices, coffee and tea. If you stay at Chapter Roma, I definitely recommend trying their breakfast. It’s a great way to fill up before a busy day of sightseeing.
In addition to the beautiful rooms and fantastic breakfast, the staff at Chapter Roma were all incredibly kind and helpful. We felt very well taken care of throughout our four-day stay, including the offer of early check in, an anniversary surprise in our room, and an early breakfast on our last morning before our flight. When we visit Rome again, we will absolutely stay at Chapter Roma.
Note: We received a discounted stay at Chapter Roma, but all opinions and photos are my own. As always, I would only share something that I genuinely loved.
What We Did in Rome:
There is SO much to do and see in Rome! Unfortunately, Travis got sick towards the end of our trip, and we both were feeling a bit of non-stop travel exhaustion, so we didn’t end up doing as much as we initially planned. That said, I highly recommend making time for the sites below, as they offer incredible insight into Roman history.
For all the famous sights in Rome, we used the *free!* Rick Steves Audio Guides on our phones. You can absolutely pay for guided tours, but we found that the Rick Steves guides were very easy to follow, and offered just the right amount of information. Plus, they allow you to go at your own pace.
The Pantheon is one of the most well-preserved Ancient Roman monuments. It was built around 120 AD as a temple to the gods, and is now a church. No tickets are needed to enter the Pantheon; however, there is a security line that moves fairly quickly.
The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous fountains in the world, and one of the oldest water sources in Rome. This is a quick stop, but a fun one to people watch and take photos. Many people throw coins into the fountain, and the city uses the money to subsidize a local supermarket for the needy.
Visiting the Roman Colosseum was a must on our to-do list and it definitely lived up to the hype. In Ancient Rome, the Colosseum was used for gladiator battles and other forms of (gory) entertainment. It was very cool to see this ancient site in person.
We purchased ‘skip the line’ tickets to enter the Colosseum, and I would definitely recommend you do the same. These tickets allowed us to skip very long security lines and enter the Colosseum very quickly. After entering, we used the Rick Steves audio guide and toured the Colosseum at our own pace. We really enjoyed this audio guide as it provided a great depiction of what it was like to be a spectator at the gladiator games thousands of years ago.
Vatican City is the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and home of the Pope. We originally were going to take a guided tour, but after enjoying the Rick Steves audio guides so much, we decided just to purchase Skip the Line tickets (again, I HIGHLY recommend this, as Vatican lines are ridiculously long), and tour the Vatican at our own pace.
No matter when you go, the Vatican will be extremely crowded. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever toured a museum or historic site this busy. You’re required to cover your shoulders and knees out of respect, but keep in mind that there is very little air flow in the summer months, especially with the crowds.
Despite the crowds, the Vatican offers remarkable art and architecture and is a must-visit if it’s your first time in Rome.
The Jewish Ghetto is the oldest Jewish settlement in all of Europe, and where in the 16th century Jews were walled off and mandated to live. While the word “ghetto” can have a negative connotation, it is not an incorrect term, as this is what Romans (and the Jewish residents) call the area.
The small neighborhood is home to important (albeit, sad) Jewish history, a beautiful Jewish synagogue, and various Kosher restaurants. We really enjoyed walking through this area.
Where We Ate in Rome:
A word of advice: make dinner reservations before you arrive in Rome. Popular restaurants fill up very quickly, and since meals in Italy take longer, restaurants don’t turn tables as often as they do in the United States. If there are restaurants you really want to visit, make sure to book in advance.
Ombre Rosse is located in the fun, hip neighborhood of Trastevere. It has a lively atmosphere every night of the week and is a fun place to even just grab a drink. We loved our “Pinsa”, a Roman-style pizza, with lots of fresh veggies.
Mimi e Coco Trast is also located in the Trastevere neighborhood, and it serves classic Italian dishes, executed beautifully, and at a reasonable price. When we went there was a bit of a wait, but the hostess comes around and offers prosecco to everyone waiting in line, which is a very nice touch!
If you need a break from all the pasta and bread, Ginger is the perfect place to go. Their menu has many healthy options, including salads, juices, smoothies, and more. We went here twice during our four days in Rome.
Roscioli is one of the more famous restaurants in Rome, and you definitely need a reservation. We went for lunch and sat at the bar because there was nothing available for dinner at least two weeks before our trip.
We highly recommend the cacio e pepe and ALL of the complimentary bread they offer you 😉
Osteria da Fortunata is one of those no-frills restaurants that squeezes you in very close to the next table, but MAN is the food good!! There is a woman who sits by the front window hand-rolling the pasta daily, so you know it’s fresh. We absolutely loved the pesto pasta and chicken cacciatore, and had we had more time, we would have stopped in again. The pesto was truly the absolute best I have ever tasted.
If you’re looking for the best gluten-free pizza in Rome, look no further than La Soffitta Renovatio. The restaurant is located a few blocks from Vatican City, so we stopped here for lunch after our morning at the Vatican.
Travis ordered a regular pizza, and I tried the gluten-free, as the restaurant is well-known for having a separate gluten-free kitchen. The gluten-free pizza was unbelievable – you’d never know the crust was gluten-free! I asked our waiter if the restaurant sells their gluten-free flour, but sadly they don’t. I would have loved to purchase some to bring home.
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I hope you enjoyed reading my Rome Travel Guide! If you’re looking for more Travel Guides, make sure to visit the ‘Travel’ tab on the navigation bar at the top of this page.