Italian Trifecta: Insider tips for visiting Rome

by Sonja Faul

Ever since I saw Gladiator in the cinemas, way back in 2000, I’ve been obsessed with visiting Italy, particularly Rome and, of course, the Colosseum. As the capital, Rome is the most visited Italian city and home to some of the world’s most iconic attractions. Here are my best tips for visiting the Eternal City.

There is no escaping the crowds in Rome.

Insider tips

  • Make peace with the fact that all the attractions are going to packed full of people. The only way to dodge the crowds is to get up early AF!
  • Rome can be a budget-friendly destination as a lot of the attractions like the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Spanish Steps and St. Peter’s Basilica are free to visit.
The Spanish Steps. In my opinion, it’s a little bit overrated.
  • My two personal favourite attractions in Rome are Piazza Campo de’ Fiori and the Pantheon. During the day, Campo de’ Fiori hosts one of the best fruit and vegetable markets in Rome and by night, it’s a terrific spot to enjoy a meal. As far as well-preserved ancient buildings go, the Pantheon is one of the best in the world.
The Pantheon at night.
  • Carry cash with you. It’s the easiest way to pay for everything.
  • Eat as much gelato as you can! For some reason, the gelato in Rome is just more memorable for me. Also, it’s available and enjoyed throughout the year, not just during the summer.
  • I don’t recommend using the subway in Rome. It’s super crowded and uncomfortable, particularly the stops around the Colosseum. Instead, use buses or get in some exercise and just walk everywhere. The city is big so make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes.
From the inside of the Pantheon looking out.
  • I’m just going to say it: the ancient ruins are boring! You may disagree with me and that’s okay. Each person is entitled to his or her own opinion. Even with a terrific guide, you’re basically staring at piles of rocks and asked to imagine how the structures looked like thousands of years ago.
  • If you want to visit the Vatican (which is worthwhile for the Sistine Chapel alone), I highly recommend that you purchase tickets in advance online. If you don’t, be prepared to wait in line for hours. No, I’m not kidding! It’s the longest line that I’ve ever seen in my life.
Fiumi fountain in Piazza Navona.
  • Take a day trip down to Naples, if only for the pizza at L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele. Yep, that’s the pizza place from the movie Eat Pray Love. The reviews online are mixed and yes, you’ll wait at least 20 min to be seated and yes, there are only two options on the menu. But as cliché as it’s going to sound, it’s one of the best pizzas that I’ve ever eaten.
  • The Colosseum is the most visited attraction in Italy, but because they limit the number of people inside at any given time, it never feels crowded. Again, purchase your ticket ahead of your visit online.
Inside the Colosseum.

Over to you. I want to know, what is your favourite attraction in Rome?

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Andrea Peacock March 6, 2019 - 10:58 pm

Rome is so awesome isn’t it?? I was actually surprised with how much there is to see there when I went. I totally agree waking up super early is the only way to avoid the crowds! One of my favourite things was probably the Trevi Fountain, just because it was so much bigger and more beautiful than I imagined!

Andrea |

Sonja Faul March 7, 2019 - 2:56 pm

Hi Andrea! I agree, there is so much to see and do in Rome. And the Trevi Fountain is so beautiful.


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