We are finally on the last leg of our Italy trip! Whew – it seems like a total whirlwind just reliving it through these posts and so trust me when I say that living it was even more go-go-go! That said – we had the most incredible trip, so if you are new here, be sure to start in Venice, then head with us through Tuscany and Florence! From Florence, we took the train straight down to Rome. We were on one of the last train’s of the day and after clocking about a million steps with our friends, we just slept the whole way there. I couldn’t even tell you what our seats were like, because I was just so dang tired. Nonetheless, we got to our hotel around midnight, checked in and zonked out. No wild first night in Rome for us! The next day and a half is a total whirlwind, so buckle up as I take you through the high points of our “Roman Holiday” 😉
2 Days In Rome
We got out of bed super early the next day for reasons that are still murky to me, because we got barely any sleep the night before after the late train, hotel check-in and bidding our friends adieu! But alas – we were up before the sun, dressed and ready to take on Rome (or as much of it as we could in a single day). We had the evening of our arrival, a full day on Saturday and half of a day on Sunday, so in reality – not a ton of time for dilly dallying around. We wanted to make the most of what we did have, so we made sure to make reservations at all the high points including the Colosseum and Vatican City. I’ve linked each one so if you’re currently planning a trip to Rome you can book more easily. When I was trying to figure out the booking process for those, it seemed a little bit confusing to be honest! So hopefully that’s helpful for someone reading 🙂 We did self-guided tours for both and were pretty happy with it!
Despite having a reservation time for the Colosseum bright and early (the first of the day), we still had to wade through a sea of people and had read online that it can get crazy, so we got there extra early and still had to wait around a bit, so just keep that in mind if you, too, are trying to fit in a bunch of things around Rome. Even with the waiting and security, we were absolutely amazed at every turn of the Colosseum. I mean – how can you not be? It’s architecturally stunning and just being surrounded by so much history is surreal. Everything inside is very well marked, but if you don’t feel comfortable there are plenty of tours you can book!
We knew we had other places to stop that day, so we only spent about an hour and a half inside checking things out. There is so much to see and read, that given the opportunity you could easily spend half a day inside just reading it all. But – we didn’t have that kind of time to spare, so we saw what we wanted, read what we could and headed out.
I was starving at this point, so we walked a little ways from the Colosseum and found the most adorable little cafe right across the street to grab a quick lunch. We are typically pretty against eating at places right near attractions, but this place gets my total seal of approval (Royal Art Cafe for anyone looking to head there!). We had two delicious pizzas, burrata, limoncello and homemade tiramisu with a stunning view. Can’t beat it!
From the Colosseum, we wanted to make our way toward Vatican City for the afternoon, but we made a few stops along the way to check out the Pantheon, Forum and Piazza Navona. It’s one thing to see these historic sites on the internet and it’s an entirely different thing to see them in person. I just kept snapping photos, because I felt like I was in a dream. It’s truly surreal and I struggle to put into words how cool it felt seeing some of these places!
If you’ve ever walked around Rome, you understand the undertaking that seeing it by foot means! At this point in our day, we were both exhausted, it had started raining, I was cranky and we still had an entire afternoon and early evening reserved for Vatican City, so we soldiered on, but I would be lying if I said that either of us were enjoying the walking at this point. We finally arrived for our entrance time at the Vatican and let me just say – it’s confusing as all get out. There are a few different entrances and where you go in is entirely dependent upon what kind of ticket you have. We weren’t able to make it into St. Peter’s Basilica, but we walked the grounds, saw the Sistine Chapel and walked the entirety of the museums, which was really cool.
They don’t allow photography of any sort in the Sistine Chapel, so there are no photos from that, but trust me when I tell you that it’s the most beautifully designed place I have ever laid eyes on. It’s remarkable to me that something so beautiful exists and the time and effort that went into the creation blows my mind. If you ever get a chance to go (religious affiliation aside), I cannot say enough positive things! When we were finished (around 3 hours later), we grabbed a quick treat at the cafe next door before calling a taxi back to our hotel. I jokingly referred to it as my holy cannoli 😉
We didn’t have a ton of time at the hotel (more or less to change out of our wet clothes) before we were off again to our dinner reservation at Maccheroni, which came highly recommended from friends. It did not disappoint and I would also recommend it for dinner if you plan to be in Rome! It’s tucked away in a neighborhood and the food is delicious, the staff is friendly and the house wine is THE BEST!
I am drooling thinking about our dinner there – so dang good! I think Dane and I will probably talk about it for many months to come. We had gelato for dessert on our minds, so we decided to walk back to our hotel and managed to catch a glimpse of the beautiful Trevi Fountain all lit up at night. We had plans to catch it at daybreak the next morning (never happened – we slept in), so we didn’t make a wish. Next time 😉
We had been so spoiled by the delicious gelato in Florence that we passed shop after shop until suddenly I realized we were back at our hotel and we had gotten no dessert! #fail – oh well, I had seriously eaten my weight in gelato by that point that maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing 😉 We made plans to get up early the next day to hit the Trevi Fountain again at dawn and tool around the city a bit before it got crazy busy again. None of that happened, because we overslept our alarms and enjoyed a really slow Roman morning from the comfort of our hotel room. I have to admit – it was GLORIOUS!
Though not typical of us, I think recharging that morning was the best possible solution to a little bit of traveler’s wear and tear we were experiencing. We covered a TON of ground in our time in Italy. From Rome, we took the train back up to Venice (a long train ride) to fly home the next day back to Hawaii. It’s safe to say this trip was everything we hoped it would be and so much more and Dane and I are both grateful for the experience. SO much so that we are already planning our return trip next year sometime! It’s true what they say that once Italy gets in your system, you cannot get enough! Thank you for everyone who has followed along on this amazing journey with us and for bearing with me through these lengthy, photo-filled posts 🙂 Feel free to shop the post below and please let me know if you have any questions!