Just me and my selfie stick at one of the seven wonders of the world. Back in 2015 after graduating from Midwifery school, I set off on a 6-week solo adventure around Europe and SE Asia. Three fun-filled days in Rome, Italy kicked off my journey, and it was exhilarating to visit a country I dreamt about for so long. The city is great for history lovers (me), food lovers (me again), and architectural lovers (totally me!). I soaked up so much culture, authentic Italian food, and of course, decadent gelato. I was solo but never really felt alone as the summer is their busy season and there were crowds everywhere! Seriously, my tour of the Sistine Chapel consisted of walking shoulder to shoulder through the corridors. If you don't mind the cold, definitely consider going in the off season so that you can avoid crowds and enjoy sightseeing at a more leisurely pace. Still, I had a fabulous time and am happy to detail what I did in this amazing city!
No trip to Rome is complete without visiting the famous Colosseum. This amphitheater was created in A.D. 70-72 as an entertainment center where citizens could watch gladiator combats and animal fights. It was barbaric, but these ruins offer great insight to how life was for ancient Romans. I absolutely love visiting ruins (History was one of my favorite subjects in school) as I always feel like I'm being transported back in time. If you love ruins as well, you will certainly get your fill in Rome as there are plenty preserved sites. The Colosseum is the most iconic, but here are two others I visited during my 3 day trip:
Roman Forum - center of the city in Ancient Rome. Senators and clergy would meet there, shopping could be done, processions, speeches, and of course gossip.
Pantheon - ancient Roman temple (please wear something respectful as it's a church)
The churches are also extremely beautiful and true cathedrals. The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City is where you can see the famous ceiling painting by Michelangelo. There are plenty of churches in Rome, though, that are open to the public and you may even catch a service. It's nice to go in, enjoy the intricate details and artwork, and say a prayer.
Another famous landmark that I was excited about visiting was Trevi fountain. It's absolutely gorgeous! Rumor also has it that if you throw a coin in the fountain, you will return to Rome. Well imagine my disappointment when I visited and it was closed for construction. I was unlucky, but if you make it to Rome, definitely stroll by and toss in a coin.
I also highly recommend doing a food tour to not only taste authentic Italian food, but lots of different types of it. I enjoyed a 4 hour evening with Food Tours of Rome, where I indulged on pasta, meats, cheeses, pizza, pastries, gelato, and wine! You also learn a little bit of history during the tour, but really, who doesn't go to Italy for the food?! And yes, gelato is everything they say and more.
It's also great just to walk around and soak up the city's stunning architecture. One morning I popped into a local cafe, enjoyed a pasty/coffee, and watched life in Rome unfold. I also stayed in a hostel to save money and went on a bar crawl one night with other people staying there. It was actually pretty lit as we drove a party bus around, but I'm kind of past those partying days at this point. I'm definitely past the hostel days.