It’s time! You’re finally planning your dream vacation to Italy and you’re determined to get a true taste of “la dolce vita” when in Rome. The Eternal City will amaze you no matter what but, if you’re ready for it, you can make even more out of a temporary stay.
Planning doesn’t have to be boring. We’ve got some ideas to get you pumped up and prepared for your best Roman holiday – and we’re sure you’ll be happy that you followed this simple guide.
Do Some Homework on Rome’s History
The Trevi Fountain is just the tip of the iceberg in a city with millennia of history to understand
To make the most of an adventure in Rome, it helps to understand the true depth and complexity of the history that transpired within the city’s ancient walls. Doing just a bit of research, or simply refreshing your memory about the things you learned long ago in school, can certainly enrich your Roman experience.
Even if history is not your favorite subject, things get a lot more interesting when you can see them, rather than read them. Making your way through Rome allows an opportunity to connect the dots between emperors, artists, architects, and more.
With just a bit of background, you’re able to absorb so much more when you come face to face with the city’s most remarkable monuments, churches, and artworks. Browse through our blog for the most intriguing facts about the Vatican, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and more.
Get Familiar with Rome’s Urban Landscape
Knowing the lay of the land will allow you to experience Rome from a variety of perspectives
Watch classic films to discover some of the locations that make Rome so very magical and love out some of the most cinematic scenes! Surely, “Roman Holiday” will have you racing to the Spanish Steps, “La Grande Bellezza” will inspire a trip to the Holy Stairs, “To Rome With Love” will persuade you to roam the streets of Trastevere, and “Gladiator” builds up the anticipation for a Colosseum visit.
But, whatever you do, don’t even think of reenacting the famous “La Dolce Vita” scene where Anita Ekberg takes a dip in the Trevi Fountain. See our Top 10 Films for Rome Lovers for some serious inspiration!
Immerse Yourself in a Rome State of Mind
Beyond the monuments Rome itself has a vibe like no other city in the world
What better way to know the reasons to fall in love with a city than by listening to the lyrics of some of the best musical artists of the modern century? The Eternal City made a lasting impression on big time stars like Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin – and lending an ear to our Rome Lovers Playlist will let you in on the deep love that they each felt compelled to express about bella Roma.
Prepare Your Rome Travel Bag to a “T”
Now you don’t want to get up here to find that you forgot your camera or a bottle of water
Though we’re always sure to pack our “chic-est” travel attire, sometimes we forget about the essentials. When it’s time to pack your bags, we have a few recommendations that you can thank us for later! Roman summers, for example, can be scorchers – so, in addition to the usual sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen, we recommend a refillable water bottle, which can be refilled at various drinking fountains around the city center.
While cameras and comfortable walking shoes are obvious choices, ladies may also wish to carry a thin scarf to cover their shoulders when entering the city’s Catholic churches. Chargers and adapters will certainly come in handy, but if you’re a fan of spicy food, you may want to bring your own hot sauce, too! Roman cuisine doesn’t offer many truly “piccante” options.
Organise Your Trip to Experience Everything You Can
Make sure your Roman experience isn’t one filled with tourist traps
When it comes to some of the best sights the city has to offer, like the Borghese Gallery, Vatican Museums, and Colosseum, reservations are either required or skip-the-line, pre-booked tickets are highly recommended. Be sure to look up local holidays and opening hours of each location so you don’t miss out on something truly spectacular!
For an even better experience, pre-book a tour for an interactive excursion with access to exclusive areas, like the Colosseum Underground.
As many large, international cities do, Rome offers a tourist cards which work something like all-inclusive passes. In fact, there are a variety of choices, including the basic Roma Pass or heftier options which include Vatican access like the Omnia Pass or Rome Combo Pass. See what each one includes and maybe you’ll find the perfect option for you! And keep in mind that, if your museum entrance is included in your pass, you can still book a tour with us and we will simply waive the ticket fee from the total cost of the tour.
Our final note is on a very important topic: food. If you really want to avoid tourist traps, it’s well worth the time to do some research and book reservations in advance. Low quality, high cost, underwhelming restaurants are aplenty in Rome, but it only takes a little digging to find the true culinary jewels. Trust us, you will not want to leave without digging into some authentic Roman cuisine.
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