With all the options available today, especially those online, you may be wondering what to do in Rome Italy before or after your cruise.
It may seem like 3, 4 or 5 days in Rome is forever and that you can fit in so much when it comes to sightseeing in Rome. All the sights in Centro Storico...and then a little bit of Vatican...and then there are some hip neighbourhoods like Trastevere everyone's raving about...you want to see it all!
And, oh, let's not forget all the other popular Rome things to do: strolling the old cobblestone streets at your own leisure, window shopping in Via Condotti, having the best gelatto in the city of Rome, having an espresso in a real authentic Roman cafe from the period of La Dolce Vita, having THE best pizza in town, not just some tourist trap pizza...and maybe even tasting the local cheese and salami somewhere, that would be nice, too, wouldn' it?
I could go on and on...oh, I forgot taking a Spritz making class! You want that too, right?
How do I know? Because that's what I wanted when planning my stay in Rome in October 2019 on my honeymoon.
Can you have it all in 3-5 days? Well, almost all. I got my Spritz making class, look...
If you really want to do a lot because you won't be coming to Rome anytime soon, you need to...
Time does slip by easily. Lots of time is lost trying to find your way around, searching for toilets, standing in line for a toilet, fighting with rude locals jumping the line when getting your gelatto, searching for a suitable restaurant to eat (not a tourist trap, please, something stylish and charming, and, oh, not too expensive, either), waiting for buses or metro trains.
Those are the things you pretty much can't control.
But here's what you can control before you start planning all the fun stuff and what to do in Rome.
1) Book your accomodation. And book it close to all the most attractive places to see in Rome. Which I didn't, thinking 8 metro stops are not a big deal. Which also resulted with not being able to find a table in the one and only restaurant we found in this residential area. Staff in this really cool cocktail bar across the street from where we were staying saved us from starving with these imaginative nibbles that came with drinks...
2) Book your transportation from the Rome Fiumicino airport to your Rome accomodation or the other way round (did that!).
3) Book transfer from your Rome hotel to Civitavecchia port of call (it's doable on your own but have in mind it takes some time and planning to get to San Pietro station where you catch the train to Civitavecchia).
4) Purchase Roma pass card to enjoy free local transportation and free entrances into two major sights to see in Rome (did that, and I was happy I did it, it even gave us free train ride and entrance to Ostia Antica, an archaeological site outside Rome).
5) If you are staying in or close to Centro Storico, you won't be needing the metro or even the local bus service. Still, Rome sights can be 2-3 kilometres distant from each other and Hop on Hop off rides are a great way to get around that. Even if you don't use the public transportation, Roma pass is still a good choice, if nothing else then for the free entrance into two Rome attractions (Vatican excluded!)
Ok, we've done the framework, now let's do the fine-tuning. You can now go ahead, think about what to do in Rome and book your guided tours and sights admissions.
When we're talking about what to do in Rome, for a first timer in Rome Italy it will all boil down to a few top things to do in Rome. Pick your favourites:
1) Having a highlights type of Rome Italy Tours - it can be either a walking or a driving tour. It gives you an overview of Rome's Centro Storico and you can cross some things off your list while at the same time decide to come back to others.
2) Visiting the Colosseum, Roman Forum and the Palatine hill - this is a must! When thinking of what to do in Rome this is one of the first things that come to your mind. You can visit the Colosseum on your own but I found myself eavesdropping on other groups' tour guides while walking around the Colosseum and regretted not being part of the tour. The Roman Forum is spread over such a vast area (it's actually more forums that various emperors built over a period of centuries), and without someone knowledgeable you have no idea what you're looking for.
3) Visiting the Vatican - there are a few ways you can visit the Vatican:
But, if you get on a good private skip-the-line tour, you can get both well informed and beat the two hour line.
Here's a few that have stellar reviews:
If this is not your first time visit to Rome, don't worry, you won't be disappointed when planning what to do in Rome either!
Now, you can start filling in the gaps in your first-time experience by...
So, start at the top, booking your accomodation in Rome Italy first and finish with cream on top: planning what to do in Rome!