This city has been on my European bucketlist forever. Somehow I never got the chance to visit Rome but when I planned my Greek Island hopping tour a few months back, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to fly via Rome. With only 2 days to discover this Italian capital, I needed to plan a little ahead to make the most of it. After all, 2 days may seem too short for a city with so many things to see but it can be done! How?
Here’s my guide on how to make the most of your visit to Rome when you only have 2 days:
1. Book yourself an Airbnb and stay in an area just outside the centre.
You’ll proberly stay in an authentic italian house with a local host. This way you get real inside tips and information.
I stayed at Mario’s Place which was located at Trastevere. Great walking distance to most must see attractions and next to the tram 8 which takes you to the centre in just a few minutes. Breakfast contains of fresh cakes and pastry’s and is including within the price. (Just make sure you get the directions right as Mario will send you a full and clear description at the time of your booking. I booked a few months ahead so I already forgot about them and ended up calling him a few times as I couldn’t find his front door.)
My flowery Airbnb accommodation in Rome
2. Bring comfy shoes.
Rome is very accesible on foot and every area is near to eachother.
But Rome wasn’t build in a day so expect to walk a few extra miles! I didn’t use the tram a lot so I walked an average of 7km(!) a day and in this case you might end up with blisters if you bring those: they-only-look-good-shoes.
Caught in an exhausted “moment”
3. Buy your tickets for the main attractions like the Colloseum online a few days before.
This way you can skip the que. I did it the old school way and ended up in the front suddenly! How weird!
Both impressive: The Colosseum and the 2000 year old Pantheon.
4. Eat where the locals eat.
This is my biggest tip for all destinations. Don’t eat near the tourist attractions as the food will be overpriced and you won’t taste real authentic food. I had my first pizza at Mirrors pizzaria. Pizza’s cost 6 euro’s and were cruncy and delicious!
I had a lovely dinner at Baylon Café where they serve homemade pasta with a twist. I was the only “tourist” in the restaurant (i see myself more as a traveller) and I enjoyed watching the beautiful people of Rome eating and drinking wine. Perfect night.
Enjoying the Italian cuisine at Baylon Cafe in Trastevere.
5. Save cash by using the free tab water.
Rome is hot, and in summer it’s boiling. Thank god for the free and very drinkable tap water that you will find throughout the city in little fountains. I filled about 4 bottles a day and I saved money at the same time!
One of the many life savers in Rome!
6. Keep it real Italian
Go to a little bakery/delicatesse shop like Giselda Forno and taste the fine italian cuisine and even better, take it with you while you wander round. Sit in the shade and enjoy!
Help, too many to choose from at Giselda Forno!
7. Check the Rome events calendar for special celebrations or nights.
When I was there, I enjoyed a special art cinema night by the river with music and films.
I found this great website here you can easily see what’s on and when.
8. Walk alongside the Tiber river at night
Have a cocktail at one of many cute bars alongside the water. Make deals with the temperamental market sales men and listen to the occasional karaoke.
One of the many outdoor bars you will find on one side of the riverbanks
9.Visit one of Rome’s many markets.
From vegetables, herbs and fresh fruit to wine, kitchenware and art.
The most famous markets are Piazza Testaccio and Il Trattore. The less crowded but also great are San Teodoro – Circo Massimo and Ponte Milvio.
Colorful vegetables and pasta’s at the Piazza Testaccio market.
10. Last but not least; if you can, do not visit Rome during summer.
Why not? Well, because it’s just so bloody hot!
30 degrees is a high temprature if you have to walk around in Rome. It was a sticky experience sometimes and it’s not the dry heat you will find in Greece for example. Lucky for me, I like the heat (perhaps it’s because I have indonesian blood?).
If you must go during this period, then you should be aware of this and dress accordingly.
They still exist!
I hope you can use these tips and keep an eye on our blog as I will be posting the rest of my island hopping adventure over the next couple of weeks!
Ciao Ciao wanderlusties!