Most bigger airlines will fly to Rome’s main airport, Fiumicino (also known as the Leonardo da Vinci airport) and that’s where we landed too. It’s a really big airport but everything is clearly marked so you shouldn’t get lost…
Fiumicino is also very well connected to the centre of Rome – there’s a train every half an hour taking 32 minutes in total, as well as different buses taking about an hour. The buses are much cheaper (about 5€ whereas the train is 14€ one way) but if you can, I’d opt for the train – it was super comfortable and there was lots of space for luggage. Both the train and (most) buses will take you to Rome’s main train station, Termini, so it’s worth checking in advance how to continue your journey from there.
We booked our hotel, the Romanico Palace, through Secret Escapes with a really good discount. We paid about £100 per night for a deluxe room with the rate including breakfast, welcome drinks and access to their spa for one day. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to trial the spa, but if it’s anything like the rest of the hotel, it should be pretty great.
The location of the hotel is really good, too. It’s only a short 15 minute walk to Termini station, which is pretty essential when you’re carrying luggage, and it’s also very close to lots of restaurants and the beautiful park and museum Villa Borghese.
Generally, I’d recommend staying somewhere close to Termini station just due to convenience. I’ve been to Rome three times now and always stayed around this area and I’ve always been really happy with the location. It’s not too far from all the sights and because most transport will stop at the main station, it’s a really good home base.
So many vespas!
My favourite area in Rome is Trastevere, on the other side of the river, due to its bohemian feel and many, many eateries and bars. I’m not going to go into much detail as I’ve already written a little guide to Trastevere, but I will say that it’s definitely worth a visit and a little wander – the best places can be found on the little side streets if you just allow yourself to get a bit lost!
One of our favourite restaurants in Rome was a vegetarian and vegan friendly place called Rifugio Romano that was recommended to us by our friends. They do amazing pasta dishes, the most delicious tomato bruschettas and really, really good vegan pizzas (they do cater for meat eaters too though!) and I couldn’t recommend it enough. The service is amazing too, and you even get a little glass of complimentary Limoncello at the end of your meal.
I’d also really recommend checking out my friend Megan’s guide to eating vegan in Rome here – she has some great tips!
We spent most of our holiday eating, walking (a lot!) and ticking off sights. Our version of sightseeing is admiring things from the outside though as we didn’t feel the need to queue and pay to get in to any of the attractions. On my first ever trip to Rome I queued everywhere and honestly, I’m not sure if it’s worth the time and money.
Rome is such a beautiful city and for me the fun is getting lost in its little alleyways and admiring the historic architecture on every corner. One of the oldest, of course, is the Pantheon, which is so beautiful and you can go inside for free and without any queues too. Win win! St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican is gorgeous too, and worth going to go see even if you don’t plan on going in.
Most tourist attractions, like the Spanish Steps, Fontana Di Trevi or the Colosseum are so busy and I would recommend visiting them really early, if you can. I got really frustrated with the crowds and the amount of people trying to sell us stuff, so if ever I go back to Rome (which I’m sure I will!) I’ll try to do these as early as possible.
Piazza del Popolo
The Spanish Steps!
St Peter’s Basilica – isn’t it beautiful?
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