If you’ve been following along this week, I hope you are enjoying my Italy Travel Diary (see Part One on Sicily and Part Two on the Amalfi Coast). Today I’m covering the final leg of our 10-day vacation in Rome. From a logistical standpoint, we wanted to end our trip in Rome for the easiest direct flight back to New York. We also knew we’d kick ourselves if we didn’t see some of the biggest, most well-known sights in all of Italy. It was a whirlwind 36 hours, so let’s dive in!
I mentioned in Part Two of our Italy Travel Diary that booking a private car service to/from Positano was money well spent. It was one of our biggest indulgences but worth it to make travel days efficient and low stress. Plus when our driver, Enzo got us to Naples an hour before our train to Rome, he took us to a nearby pizza place, set us up with a table (told the waiters we only had 45 minutes) and waited (!!) so he could then walk us back over to the train station and deliver us right to our track.
All I have to say about Naples is the pizza really is THAT good. I had margarita pizza with buffalo mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes. YUM!
The train from Naples to Rome was surprisingly easy, quick and inexpensive! We left Positano around 10:30am and arrived in Rome by 2:30pm, where we met back up with my in-laws.
I heard mixed reviews about Rome while planning our trip but knew we wanted to see some of the highlights at least once. With just 1.5 days in the city, we barely scratched the surface but walked over 15 miles during that time! We saw the Trevi Fountain twice because the first time I forgot to throw my coin in! We did our own walking tour of Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and Altare Della Patria. Along the way, we stopped for wine & snacks at Mimi e Coco (thanks Cara for the reco!), which was quintessentially tucked behind Piazza Navona in the cutest side street.
I’m a sucker for museums and tours so was glad we booked the early morning guided tour of the Vatican on our last day. We picked the middle price option titled “Early Entry.” I learned a lot and breezed through the highlights in 2.5 hours, leaving the rest of the day to explore and walk more. I might’ve liked to walk up the St. Peter’s Basilica dome but we had more sights to see. We strolled through Campo de Fiore, a marketplace filled with flowers, pastas and every variety of limoncello you could want. Then we headed for lunch at Roscioli Salumeria, another recommendation from friends. This place books up like crazy and we had to have a reservation for lunch! But once we tasted the pasta, we knew why. All 4 kinds were shared amongst the table; mine was basically mac & cheese and so SO good.
After lunch we stopped by the Colosseum. I actually wish we booked a tour because while impressive, it didn’t really wow me. Understanding all the stories about the construction and destruction of the building might’ve left more of an impression. After over 10 miles of walking and a pit stop for gelato at Giolitti (supposedly the oldest gelataria in Rome), we our day ended with sunset at the top of the Spanish Steps and dinner with family where tried three more homemade pastas — Amatriciana, Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe. And for those keeping track, that was 7 pastas in one day. I guess that’s why they say “when in Rome!”
Where We Stayed: With family outside the city
Towns Visited: Naples (just for pizza!) and Rome
Why You Should Visit Rome: Simply put, it’s iconic! It felt a little like we were checking things off an arbitrary list, but the sights are really “must-see’s” for a reason!
On My Next Trip: There are so many places to see in the world, including more towns in Italy (Florence, Venice, Pisa, Cinque Terre!) but I imagine I’ll be back through Rome again. I’d like to do a few more guided tours and of course, eat more pasta!