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:
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.
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.
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!
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 is my absolute favorite gelato spot possibly ever. They dip your whole cone/dish in chocolate and it is mind-blowing.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
And that was our whirlwind tour of Rome! After 2 days in Rome, we flew to Israel for another 8 days.
I'm Abby, a traveling photographer and writer, and I'm most passionate about connecting people with the outdoors, and I started this blog because I believe in the power of visual communication to move people from awareness of the outdoors all the way to stewardship of natural resources.