Roaming Around Rome

Written by jessicaboucher March 21, 2024

I think there are likely a lot of people out there who have once dreamed of one day getting to visit one of Italy’s most famous cities. Of walking by the Colosseum and wandering through the Roman Forum. Of sitting by the Trevi Fountain in the morning when the air is warm and the sun is shining.

Speaking for myself, I have often imagined what it would be like to roam the streets of any Italian city. While I have had the opportunity to visit many great cities across this beautiful country, I have to say that Rome has been the one to fully give me the feeling I always expected to feel whilst being abroad.

I know that there are some people out there who have less than stellar things to say about the city, but after my weekend there I feel confident in saying that Rome has found itself at the top of my favorite Italian cities list.

Day One

Our first day in Rome was jam-packed with sightseeing and activities. First on the agenda was to visit the Vatican Museums. Rome is a huge city, and unfortunately, we were very far from the Vatican – it took us nearly 40 minutes to get there by bus. Since our tickets were scheduled for 9 AM, we woke up bright and early to trek across the city and get there in time. A bit of pro advice is that if you want to get inside very popular tourist spots, be sure to buy tickets in advance, or else you should expect to wait in a very, very long line.

The Vatican was very impressive, with some of the oldest art I have ever come across, and a wide variety of displays from different eras. It took us a good two hours to walk the entirety of the museum which ended in the Sistine Chapel, which I have to controversially say was a bit underwhelming.

After visiting the Vatican we hauled ourselves back over to the other side of the river to make it to the Colosseum for our 2 PM tour. We also purchased these tickets earlier in the week, and again it was the right choice.

Walking around the Colosseum was a surreal experience. This was one of those things that I had always dreamed of seeing one day but wasn’t sure if I was ever going to make it, so being there in real life was amazing. The Colosseum also has a lot of fascinating history that I thoroughly enjoyed learning about.

Right after that, we head just across from the Colosseum to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. While touring the Colosseum was great, I almost think I enjoyed the Roman Forum more. It has a perfect view of the Colosseum and fascinating ruins scattered about, and climbing up to Palatine Hill to view the rest of the city is breathtaking.

Day Two

Our second and last day was yet another day jam-packed with sightseeing. Our first target was the Trevi Fountain since we wanted to make it there before it became overrun with crowds. One thing we didn’t account for, however, was the fact that there was a huge marathon in the city that day that shut down all of the buses. We wound up having to walk 45 minutes to the fountain, but the weather was beautiful and it was well worth it.

The Trevi Fountain is rightfully one of the more popular tourist attractions in Rome. Even at 10 AM, there were still tons of people frequenting the area. (We wound up going back later around 3 PM and it was 10X worse then). When I was in high school I used to always see pictures of the Trevi while scrolling through Pinterest and I can now say that it is just as beautiful in person as it is online.

We spent the rest of the day bopping around the city. First, we walked to the Pantheon but only looked at it from the outside rather than going in. Then we went to Piazza Navona which was right nearby. Afterward, we went to Piazza Venezia and climbed the large monument in the center. Finally, we went over to the Spanish Steps, which were honestly nothing special.

Unfortunately, after the Spanish Steps, it was time for us to head back to the train station and come back to school. Rome is one of the few cities where I wholeheartedly wish I could have had an extra day or two to explore. While we managed to squeeze a lot in, I know that there is still so much left unseen. I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to return and get to see everything I missed.