Rome was one of the first cities I visited when I started to check cities off of my travel bucket list, and for the food alone it exacerbated my travel bug.
When arriving in Rome I quickly met a musician and became confused for an Italian pop super star… wait wait that is the plot to a Lizzie Mcguire movie…
My biggest advice about Rome is walk as much as possible, this is one of my biggest pieces of advice for any city, because you see way more and save a little cash on transportation. In Rome I specifically advise this for most areas because you turn a corner in this city and there is an ornate statue or building unlike anything you’ve ever seen that you never would have run into if you went directly to the big “to-do’s”, like the Trevi Fountain! When you get to the Trevi fountain make sure to make a wish in it to return to Rome one day, as tradition recommends! Near the fountain I would recommend Ristorante Abruzzi.
Another must see is the Colosseum, definitely go in, get an ear set, and buy the ticket that includes the forum because even if you aren’t into history, the view of Rome from the forum is incredible! Also, try to see the “Colosseo” lit up at night!
Even if you aren’t particularly religious I highly suggest touring the Vatican and getting a guided tour! The tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable and I guarantee you will learn something. If you are anything like me, with no guide, you will wander around getting pushed around by the crowds looking at marble heads and wondering how accurate the movie ‘The Gladiator’ is. I have booked tours through viator.com and whatalifetours.com . After your tour take the climb to the top of the basilica for a superior view of the Vatican and a much needed butt workout after all of the pasta (you can buy an elevator ticket for about half way up). You get to see the absurdly monstrous mosaics up-close and get a feel for just how unbelievable this place is! Also, if you are around the Vatican at noon on a Sunday go see the Pope give his blessing! NOW you are probably starving from all of the learning, it is time for my favorite restaurant.
Ristochicco, walking distance from the Vatican, serves their AMAZING pasta dishes in skillets, and I have not left one bite in those big beautiful pans – one word: carbonara. When I went to it for the first time with my sister we ended up sharing with two American tourists next to us so that we could try more dishes (can you tell we aren’t shy?).
If you are looking for more to do because you have seen all of the major sites, go to Trastevere, an adorable neighborhood and grab a cappuccino and a pastry. Find fiori fritti on a menu, they are squash flowers stuffed with cheese and deep fried #trust. Eat gelato, wander around, find a cute piazza for an insta picture and relish in this inconceivably ancient and beautiful city.