Rome Travel Guide

Rome Travel Guide

Rome, the Italian City filled with intrigue for centuries will always have a place in my heart but, maybe not for the reasons you might think.

Of the many beautiful places on my list to visit in Italy, Rome was close to the top. The City itself is indeed beautiful but, like any other City it also has it’s rough edges and homelessness and pick pockets appears to be as rife as you’d see in any other cities around the world. However, this shouldn’t stop you visiting these beautiful cities. If anything, that boost to economy that us tourists bring will/should contribute to it’s society, politics aside.

My partner and I came to Rome during our birthday week (we are literally 4 days apart!) and this was our joint birthday present to each other. Clearly unbeknownst to us at the time we booked it what was to come a year later, that being COVID. This post itself is not about the pandemic per se but that of our time here during it.

We had booked a nice little apartment through Airbnb about a five minute walk from the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. The location itself was quite central to everything we wanted to see and everything was within walking distance. Everything in the news about COVID up until this point in the UK didn’t appear to be taking it as serious as Italy were during our time here. Everywhere was very quiet by normal city standards. In some ways, selfishly, it was great to get round all the attractions we wanted to see with few tourists in the photos. The ‘tourist’ littered photos of the Spanish Steps felt like a thing of the past as we walked up them numerous times free of stepping on anyone’s feet. The famous Colosseum free of ‘selfie’s’ pointing at the stunning arena and the empty street leading up to St Peter’s Basilica.

Italy and it's lockdown

It became evident about half way through our time in Rome how serious the Italian government were taking it. Social distancing and cues outside the local supermarkets became a popular site and even a curfew at night! We had the basic language understanding of a few keys words but certainly not enough to understand the local news channel. The curfew only became apparent to us when we went to visit the Trevi Fountain at night (because i thought it would be a great photo lit up) and we were shouted at by the Police to go back to our apartment!

The following day Italy had changed overnight. The streets were unbelievably quiet. St. Peter’s Basilica had news teams outside stopping people to ask about their thoughts and were they stranded in Italy. This caught our interest as at this point we were unaware that Italy was about to lockdown it’s country. We then found out that our tour operator advertised their last flight out of the country was for the following day (a day earlier than scheduled). Our trip suddenly lost it’s sparkle while we tried in vain to get in touch with our tour operator to make sure we were on the last flight to the UK. Luckily, after my partner’s suggestion, we tried their online chat to secured the last couple of seats home.

Rome is without doubt a beautiful city. If you like Architecture, Museums and History then our Rome travel guide has it all. We literally visited everywhere with ease and in some cases visited some places more than once. The footprint of the main attractions is small. We hike a lot in general so to us it was easy enough to get around with ease and without rushing. However, there were many taxi’s, buses/trams available should you wish to hop on and off to save your feet a little pounding.

We also stopped many a time to admire the views either with a coffee or aperol spritz! The food is to die for so certainly took advantage of some true Italian dishes along with our new found love for Pecorino Toscana…cheese! Which we have since discovered is hard to come by in the UK and only found in Fenwicks Food Hall or Italian week at Lidl!

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