Oh how beautiful you are Roma.
The architecture, the history, every inch of you is a masterpiece.
After dropping my bags off at the Airbnb I headed straight to the centre for food and a walk around. Within 2 hours I had managed to almost get hit by 4 cars as my eyes just did not know where to look first!!! The architecturally beautiful buildings, historic ruins at every corner, narrow streets lined with black iron balconies, ivy covered walls and more food establishments than one could eat through in a lifetime.
My eyes were tired just trying to take it all in.
And the food … The Italians re-defined the term ‘fast food’ from greasy unhealthy slops to excuisite food masterpieces! Made fast and fresh, in front of your very eyes, and not too unhealthy at all.. now I know why Italians are known for being such big foodies!
I can't quite fathom just how old the structures really are.
I fell in love with this city and I am now more determined than every to travel to more of beautiful Italy.
I won’t write my itinerary because everyones schedule, location and travelling intentions are different and I have never personally found it helpful reading other peoples daily hour by hour expeditions.. (but if you are interested message me on the contact page and il be more than happy to fill you in.)
What I do find helpful is learning how to budget for a trip in such a well know touristic city. So below are the amounts I spent on my stay and a few tips and recommendations I have.
When in Roma...
The best way to really see Rome & get a feel for the city is to walk around. When I put my map away and walked towards the beautiful buildings, narrow streets and sparkly lights is when I enjoyed myself most and really explored the city.. and found a museum with 3700 skeletal human remains organised in a floral mosaic 5 room shrine. See you never know what you will stumble upon.
That being said there are a ton of brilliant FREE walking tours, I did 1 or 2 every day and they were simply marvellous! So wear comfy shoes, in fact don’t even bother bringing uncomfortable shoes or clothing, no-one needs that angst in their life
So your on a busy street in Rome, the price at each restaurant is roughly 10Euros for a main course…. Now walk off that street and find the small back streets where all the Italians are eating and buy the exact same food (probably better) for just 5Euros.
Staying slightly further out from the direct centre is a lot cheaper and lets face it, how much time do you want to spend in the hotel anyway when your in Rome. I stayed in an Airbnb that was just 15min walk from Tiburtina metro stop, which was perfect! Local atmosphere, not as busy or noisy as the centre and dramatically cheaper than staying in the centre. On this point, the italian metro is superb, so staying near a stop on the line is ideal really.
Dress respectfully. If you wish to enter some of the historic sites and churches, bare shoulders & midriff, low cleavage tops, and those Riri short shorts are going to get you stopped at the gates. Italians are known for their classy, slick fashionista appearance. The big shades, dark lip colour, classic black silhouette clothing, smart shirts and trousers for the men. Etc etc. So what better time to dress your very best than in Rome? That was rhetorical, there is no better time or place.
The centre of Rome can be a little intense, like I mentioned there is SO much to see and learn and many many tourists, tour groups, food places... It can be tiring, so I recommend pacing yourself. Just like that intelligent turtle racing the hare. To experience Roma you don't need to spend 1000's of euros visiting every museum and historical site. Simply pick a couple historical sites, a few tours and then relax in the late summer sun with a slice of pizza and glass of wine at an Italian restaurant with the locals.
Wheres the flippin' loo?!!! So, long story short, there
aren't any public toilets around or easily locatable ones conveniently close to attractions. If there are, the queues mean it will probably be nighttime by the time you get out. Travelling alone, I found it easiest to put on my sweetest smile and very politely ask a nice waiter at a close by establishment where I could find a restroom. 100% of the time they allowed me to use theirs without fee or queue. Now this doesn't mean groups of 3+ should stampede in. Be considerate and don't ruin it for the rest of us, split up and go in groups of 2 or less, be subtle about it guys.
How much I spent..
The most expensive thing will be the food, because you will want to try everything!!!! No? Just me walking around looking like mike from monsters inc then?
Bus & train from airport to termini Station I.e. central Rome
6 euro (return)
Unlimited public transport pass for 7 days 24 euros
15 euro food & drink
18.50 euros food & drink , 7 euros museum entry, 15 euros tour guide tips
37.50 euros food & drink, 19 euros entrance fees , 5 euros tour tip
33.50 euros food & drink, 1 euro toilet entry
3 euros food 1.50 water (I had eaten so much over the past 4 days I wasn't hungry for 30hours after, yes I have problems)
Flight £33 (return)
Accomodation for 4 nights/5 days £120
I could have easily saved money on food as two meals I chose to eat a slightly pricier restaurants, and I didn't need to eat quite as much ice-cream as I did. Next time I will consider the Roma Pass possibly, but I certainly didn't feel like I missed out not going into more museums.