Only 3 days in Rome? Here are my tips!
I was asked what to do in Rome in only 3 days! A challenge, indeed: how to cull all those things to do, see, taste and photograph in a mere 3 days ... In the end, I put together a list that looks like this.
Living the night life
The city you have seen during the day disappears as the evening approaches and night falls. Lit up buildings and monuments, local Romans out in the piazza for a late dinner, people strolling with the obligatory gelato ... The city is not done yet: you have so much more to see, taste and feel.
Tip: Like in every big city, for your safety, stick with places that are well lit or more popular, especially when travelling solo.
Walking seems a fair trade after all that calzone, formaggio, pane and salame we have enjoyed. Walk everywhere if you can, especially if you're not confident driving yet.
In reality, it's when you walk that you come across those little corners, hidden shops, unusual photo opportunities and local characters that you miss when driving or catching public transport.
Tip: Comfortable shoes might not look fashionable in Italy, but hey! they will keep you going.
Walking the Appian way
Possibly one of the least ‘advertised’ parts of Rome, the Appian way is where I truly felt the presence of Ancient Romans.
The first time I found myself on the Appian way ‘something’ inspired me to park the car and walk on the road ... for a few kilometres. It felt like I was walking on the steps of Romans. The history was not only in the buildings surrounding this road, but mostly on the road itself. Such much war, business and politics happened along this magnificent road, created to link the Eternal City to South Italy.
Before you enter this monument dedicated to all the gods, take a deep breath, take a step in and ... look up. I love this amazing building, if nothing else than for the astonishing effect of the hole in the centre of the dome. The most modern cement techniques were used to build this monument and that’s partially why this building is still standing today in all its beauty!
Tip: Read more about the Pantheon here.
If you don’t have enough time to visit all the most important and famous Roman buildings and sites (or if you have children with you), then the best alternative is to catch a bus tour that will take you see them all.
On one condition, though: you must get off when your little voice says: “Get off now and check this place out!”. It’s a matter of taste and interest, and different things will grab your attention. These tours, just like a menu in a restaurant, will help you select what to see.
Tip: Ask for headsets so you can listen to some information on the sites you are passing by.
Eat where the locals eat
If possible, avoid touristy restaurants (even though their food is still quite good, I might add.)
Ask ‘Dove mi consiglia di mangiare?’ (where do you recommend I eat?) to the shop assistant, the guard at the museum and the most local person you can find. A worthwhile exercise if you wish to taste the unforgettable.
Tip: Check out how to read an Italian menu
The Colosseum has a special place in my heart. It says ITALIAN in big capital letters, it says: "this is where it all started!”. Magnificent, rich in history, enormous...
Did you know that stones and statues were taken from the Colosseum and used to build San Pietro cathedral? - Tweet that. This can break your heart, but it lets your imagination run wild as you picture how it could have looked in its glory days.
Tip: Take your time, read up a bit of the Colosseum history or get some phones/headset to listen to the history during your visit.
I know there is so much more that we can add to this list, but I hope you are planning on coming back one day!