Featured, Travel

2 Days in Rome

January 29, 2020

Rome is a wonderful city filled with history and beauty. You could spend at least a week exploring Rome, but I only had 2 days. My family and I stopped at Rome briefly on our way to Israel, but we made the most of our 2 days! This mini trip was part of a larger 2-week trip to Rome, Israel, and Jordan. Here’s what we did in Rome:

Trev Fountain

Day 1: Vatican Museum and St. Peter’s Basilica

We actually flew into Rome on Day 1, so the first day was more like a half-day. If you are in Rome, you must see the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica!

The Vatican Museums

The Vatican Museums display the art and artifacts collected by popes throughout the centuries. The museums include the incredibly famous artwork such as the Sistine Chapel, Laocoön and His Sons, and frescos by Renaissance artist Raphael.

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

If you Google “Vatican Museum Tickets”, you’ll see a ton of different tour companies offering different guided tours, tickets, and “skip the line tickets”. We bought Skip the Line tickets and a guided tour from Maya Tours. Skip the Line tickets are worth getting because you really do get to skip ahead of a giant line waiting to get inside the museum.

The Vatican Museums can get really crowded during busy seasons, and even with the Skip the Line tickets, it took us about 45 minutes to actually get inside the museums. We did a guided tour because the tour would allow us to go straight inside St. Peter’s Basilica after the museums rather than waiting in another line. The tour guide was great, but it was so crowded that it was difficult to pay attention and appreciate what we were seeing. I would have rather done the museums without a guide, but it was ok.

Laocoön and His Sons is one of the most famous ancient sculptures.

Saint Peter’s Square in Vatican City

St. Peter’s Basilica

Catholic tradition believes that St. Peter’s Basilica is the burial site of St. Peter, and the basilica is one of the holiest sites for Catholicism. Entrance is free, and the basilica is a must-see when in Rome. You can either enter the basilica with a guide after the Vatican Museum like we did or visit the basilica separately. Lines can get long though, so plan to go either in the morning in the evening. St. Peter’s Basilica is home to

We were visiting at Christmastime, so we got to see St. Peter’s square decorated for the holidays!

St. Peter’s Square decorated for Christmas

Pizzeria Da Baffetto

We stayed in an Airbnb near Navona square. For dinner, we ate at Pizzeria Da Baffetto, and it was fantastic. This little pizza shop serves thin-crust delicious pizzas that are perfect after a day of exploring. We just happened to find this place on accident, and we loved it!

 

Frigidarium

Frigidarium is my absolute favorite gelato spot possibly ever. They dip your whole cone/dish in chocolate and it is mind-blowing.

 

Day 2: Colosseum, Trastevere, and Pantheon

The Colosseum

You must see the Colosseum. Picking a ticket type can be confusing. We bought a 45-minute guided tour ticket directly from the Colosseum’s official website. I loved the tour, and it was the perfect length. We decided not to book an underground tour because they were mostly sold out, and you can catch a glimpse of the underground from the regular viewing area.

The Colosseum is absolutely amazing. A few facts I learned about the Colosseum on our tour:

  • During its time, the Colosseum was covered in slabs of white marble and decorated with artwork and statues. The holes in the Colosseum walls are where the slabs were attached.
  • The gates were numbered so that attendees would know where to enter.
  • Gladiators were slaves and owned by wealthy people.
  • Games would go on for several days and it would be like a festival in the city during the games.

After the Colosseum, you can walk to the Roman Forum. I did not do this because I didn’t feel good, but you should definitely see the Forum, and admission to the Forum is included in your Colosseum ticket.

Trastevere

After the Colosseum, we went to Trastevere, a beautiful, funky Italian neighborhood. You can walk there from the Colosseum in about 30 minutes. We ate lunch at a place called Grazia & Graziella, and it was amazing. Highly recommend.

After lunch, we walked around the neighborhood and saw the The Basilica of Santa Maria. This church is one of the oldest in Rome with the basic floor plan and wall structure dating back to the 340s.

The Pantheon

Then we walked to the Pantheon, one of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings of all time.

Inside, you’ll find the tomb of Raphael and the massive domed ceiling.

Raphael’s tomb

Raphael’s tomb

The domed ceiling of the Pantheon

Trevi Fountain

I was skeptical about going to the Trevi Fountain because it is so touristy, but I’m SO glad I saw it! The fountain is breathtaking, even though you will probably be surrounded by tourists taking selfies. We went around 8pm at night, and it was still crazy. I’ve heard that if you go at sunrise, it is much less crowded. The Trevi Fountain is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world.

Trev Fountain

And that was our whirlwind tour of Rome! After 2 days in Rome, we flew to Israel for another 8 days.

More Photos

Castel Sant’Angelo

St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City.

St. Peter’s Square decorated for Christmas

View of St. Peter’s Basilica from the Vatican Museums

A guard in Vatican City

St. Peter’s Basilica at night

A doorway in Trastevere

Castel Sant’Angelo

Tiber Island

Column of Marcus Aurelius

Santa in the streets

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I'm Abby, an arthritic introvert living in Delaware and traveling the world with a chronic illness, a camera, and a love for ice cream. I'm passionate about outdoor adventures, and overcoming obstacles to make those adventures accessible.

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