Rome is beautiful. It is one of the world’s most remarkable cities. There is history in every step you take here in the Eternal City, so your visit to Rome is overflowing with possibilities. With that in mind, whether you are visiting Rome for the first time or indeed for the tenth time, it is worth setting aside a little time to plan your vacation. I’m a tour guide with Gray Line I Love Rome – and along the way, I’ve learned a few tricks about planning vacations in Rome. I know that those who plan ahead still leave wanting to see more, but at the same time, they’re happy with the gift their time here in Rome has given them. So, here’s my advice on how to plan your vacation in Rome. Follow these recommendations and you are sure to get the most out of your holiday in Rome.
Don’t waste a moment in line
Rome is a bucket list destination. We are lucky enough to welcome many visitors on a daily basis. This means that it’s a busy place, too. So, to plan your vacation in Rome, make a list of the sights you want to see (more on that later from me), and book a tour of Rome’s main attractions, and pick up some skip the line tickets in the process. There is absolutely no need to waste your vacation standing in a line at somewhere like the Colosseum, where the line snakes around the whole building at times. Instead, you can book ahead and be fast-tracked in when you arrive. Where can you find out more about skip the line tickets? Well, visit our Gray Line I Love Rome website – we’ll help you get into the Vatican and the Colosseum without wasting a moment in line, and we’ll show you around, and share all those incredible stories when you get there. It’s a win, win!
The Colosseum, Rome – home of the infamous Gladiators.
Timing is everything
In a place as popular as Rome, timing is everything. Beautiful, iconic locations like the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps are usually quite busy, so it’s a good idea to go to these kinds of places in the morning or the evening – when they are a little quieter. Similarly – consider visiting the Vatican very early in the morning. At Gray Line I Love Rome, we can organise a first entry ticket to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. It’s a particularly special experience to be first on site.
Maximise your vacation time by thinking about how you will get around town. Taking the Metro means you won’t really get to see anything as you travel. Walking is a great option, as you’ll see lots as you go, but it is time-consuming, so one of the best alternatives is a hop on, hop off tour of Rome. It combines sightseeing and transportation - and is flexible enough for you to mould your itinerary around it.
Make a list of Rome’s top sights
Now, when it comes to Rome’s top sights – my advice is to make a list of your must-see attractions and group them into areas. Do this, and you’ll have a Rome top sights plan.
The Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Spend at least a day focusing on Ancient Rome – the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Circus Maximus. It is here particularly that you feel the sense of Rome’s history most intensely; since the Colosseum dates back to 70AD, and the Palatine Hill was once home to those famous Roman Emperors we have heard so much about from history. Skip the line tickets for the Colosseum are essential, and in addition, getting an expert to show you around the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill can mean you’ll get more out of the experience as the ruins can be overwhelming.
Arch of Titus at the Roman Forum
The Vatican City is an incredible location and an absolute must. The world’s smallest independent state, and home to the Pope, has an extensive list of historical treasures for you to survey. It’s home to the Sistine Chapel, the Vatican Museums, Saint Peter’s Basilica and Saint Peter’s Square. My advice is to start your day at the Vatican as early as you can.
The Vatican City
The Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain are perhaps best reserved for the evening. Time your Pantheon visit for later in the day, as the crowds begin to ebb away. From there you can move on to the Fountain and the Steps. I personally feel that the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish steps have an added sense of atmosphere in the evening, as the sun begins to go down. The gelato shops around the fountain are usually still open, however!
The Pantheon, Rome
Make time to wander
Finally – Rome’s top sights are often not just her most well known. I would urge you to make time to wander – spend a day exploring the areas away from the large attractions – find those small churches and wander inside. Rome is full of hidden gems like this. Make your way through some of Rome’s neighborhoods – like Trastevere. It’s a fascinating area – the quiet cobblestone streets give a hint of its medieval origins, and it’s here you’ll find Rome’s first Christian church, the Basilica di Santa Maria and Gianicolo – the eighth hill of Rome – from where you’ll get wonderful views of the entire city.
We’re as excited about your trip as you are. For information on our tours of Ancient Rome, and The Vatican, please hop over to our website for more information. You’ll also find details there about our useful and popular hop on, hop off bus tours of Rome, too.
We thoroughly look forward to welcoming you to Rome!