Our family just returned from a wonderful trip to Rome. None of us had ever been to Rome before, which made the trip even more special. I thought that I would share with you some of our positive experiences.
I have a wonderful friend from Rome, who basically planned our trip. Being savvy travelers and jaded New Yorkers, he knows that we are not typical tourists. We enjoy authentic restaurants and special sites. He also knows my husband is a foodie and can be picky and difficult. Furthermore, traveling with two teenage daughters can be challenging to say the least.
We stayed at the most beautiful quaint and comfortable bed and breakfast called Buonanotte Garibaldi. Please take a look at the website if you are interested. It was spectacular and very reasonable.
As I mentioned, we are big foodies, so I did a great deal of research on where to eat. A few of the highlights included Roma Sparita. Incredibly authentic on a side alley in Trastevere. Another magnificent meal was Da Olindo. It was in the tiniest restaurant, where mama literally still cooks the food. Buonissimo!
Ok, when in Rome you have to see the Colosseum and The Forum. If you have two teenage girls and a potentially cranky husband...
- Buy tickets for The Forum in advance. You don't necessarily have to go inside the Colosseum. You can walk around it and get the gist of the expanse of it. Some disagree and must go in the Colosseum, but we just walked around it.
- Enter the Forum on the side Of Via Di Saint Gregorio. There are no lines there, and for some reason, very few people know to enter that way. Oh and don't tell anyone about this entrance of course...
- Take time to walk through The Forum. It's mind blowing.
The Vatican is unbelievable, but it is very big! For those, who have very little patience, I recommend the following...
- By tickets for the vatican in advance so you don't wait on line.
- Bust through the vatican museum fast. It's awesome, but long and crowded. So if you are with a family like mine, without the best patience, rip through it like a New Yorker walking down 5th Avenue.
- At the end you will find your prize of the Sistine Chapel. Walk in with your head down looking at the floor until you get to the center, then look up. It's AMAZING! MIND BLOWING! RIDICULOUS!
- Spend some time in Saint Peter's Basilica. Truly spectacular, and the dead Pope's are really creepy.
The Borghese Museum and park are a must do and see. Simply go online and purchase tickets in advance to walk leisurely through the magnificent mansion. Then walk, rent bicycles or segways through the park. Bike rentals are easy and inexpensive. It was a great experience.
Finally, Rome is for walking! We walked everywhere. Each block is more beautiful than the next. Here is a list of a few stops along the way.
- Piazza Navona: A stunning piazza. The neighborhood is filled with quaint boutiques and restaurants. (This what Soho should still be...)
- Trastevere: A lovely neighborhood on the left side of the river.
- The Spanish steps- A little too crowded for all of us, but very swanky.
- Piazza Popolo: If you want to be fabulous, have lunch at Da Bolognese.
- The Jewish Ghetto: Great simple restaurants. The ruins are incredible as well as the culture and historical significance of the area.
- The Pantheon. It's so old, you can't believe it.
- Pretty much anywhere else in Rome. I mean it's Rome...