Italy

Five Days in Rome, Italy — My 5 Favorite Sights

Rome, Italy
This entry is part 11 of 30 in the series Italy

As soon as I stepped out of the train into Roma Termini, the main train station in Rome, Italy, I felt a huge sense of relief. Don’t take it personally, Naples — but I really needed a break. As they say, it’s not you, it’s me.

Scott and I were in Rome for a hot minute in 2019. We saw more in 24 hours than seemed possible, but this time around we were excited to have more time in the historic city.

Our location was perfect. The apartment we’d found was located just a short walk away from Campo de Fiori, a square known for its busy market. It was a great place to visit, and a wonderful way to get some fresh fruit for the kids after carb-loading for a few weeks. 😆

A short walk took us across the Tiber River into Trastevere, a neighborhood known for its cozy, funky style.

We were also close to the bus lines so we could quickly head out for sightseeing.

My Favorite Sights in Rome, Italy

When Scott and I were in Rome a few years ago, we were visiting in September. Italy feels completely different this year, as we’re here at the height of summer. It’s been extremely hot and if you visit Rome, I highly recommend you bring a water bottle and use the Roman drinking fountains (nasoni) to fill it up periodically. Just be sure it’s not from all of the other Roman fountains! 😆

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain Rome, Italy

My favorite spot in Rome is Trevi Fountain. Why? Simply put — because it’s Trevi-frikkin-fountain. It’s huge, it’s beautiful, and it has amazing aqua-colored water surrounding its base. 

There’s a long story behind the construction of Trevi Fountain, but the one we know today took about thirty years to build. A variety of interruptions slowed the progress, and it was completed in 1762.

Trevi Fountain UndergroundVicus Caprarius aka The City of Water

We heard about an underground experience near Trevi Fountain that showed the remains of ancient aqueducts and runs throughout the Trevi district, so we had to go! It was pretty incredible to see, plus a nice way to cool off during the hot part of a Rome summer day.

Pantheon

The Pantheon isn’t far from Trevi Fountain and it’s my second favorite site in Rome. I love how you’ll be walking down some skinny, windy street and suddenly open up onto a square where you’ll find this ginormous building in the middle of the city. It’s incredible to see and free to go inside. You do have to book a spot ahead of time if you’re visiting over the weekend.

I was amazed to learn that it’s still actively used as a church. Pretty impressive for a building that’s nearly 2,000 years old.

Piazza Navona

This famous square was a short walk from the apartment. It’s well known for its three fountains and it’s an amazing spot to sit with gelato or coffee and just enjoy the surrounding charm.

Colosseum

Rome, Italy Colosseum

Visiting the Colosseum is a must in my opinion. As amazing as it is to see in person, the kids weren’t too impressed. By this point in the trip, they’d seen a lot and it’s hard to grasp the significance of one building from another at the age of eight and ten. So I couldn’t really blame them for feeling hot, tired, and cranky. But, of course, we made them go anyway. 😆

It took only between 7-8 years to build, which boggles the mind for such a massive structure. The Colosseum was completed in 80 AD and is nearly 2000 years old.

St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica

Funny story — it’s actually pretty busy when you visit St. Peter’s Square on a Sunday around noon.

We chose this day for our outing based on the weather, but when we got there we were surprised to see lines for metal detectors and security. Water bottles weren’t allowed inside the square with us, and people were sitting on steps and lined up in the shade. We realized we must have timed our visit for a day when some sort of event was happening.

Eventually, we made it inside St. Peter’s Basilica — which is definitely a sight to see. The sheer size of the building is jaw-dropping from the exterior, but then you step inside.

I’m always amazed that structures like this could be built in times with no electricity. Or for that matter, times when chamber pots were emptied into the streets. If they could build St. Peter’s Basilica in 1506, surely they could figure out some other place to dispose of their sewage? I’m just sayin’. Maybe aim for both feats of engineering at the same time?

After touring the Basilica, as well as the Papal Tombs, we made our way back out to the square. We planned to pick up our water bottles at the security point we’d come through and when we were nearly there, we heard a ruckus and then a voice coming over the loudspeaker.

We turned and saw what everyone was there for — the Pope’s Sunday address at noon to the people in St. Peter’s Square.

Ooops. We’re obviously not Catholic. 🤦‍♀️

But we watched him speak from a window that was so high up he looked tiny, and it once again brought home how incredibly enormous the building truly is.

Food in Rome, Italy

The pasta in Rome is amazing. I’m definitely a fan of carbonara, so it’s possible I overdid it in that department. Max and Annie loved it too, and it was really fun to have them enjoy some of the same foods we like.

A favorite restaurant we tried is Le Grotte, and it’s a place we went to on our trip a few years ago. One of the best parts of this trip has been showing the kids some of our favorite places — especially when they love them, too!


Rome was incredible, but after five days I was ready to leave. I’m just not a big city person, and I was ready for the countryside. So it was a good thing we were renting a car and heading to my favorite place — Civita di Bagnoregio!


Up Next: An isolated town perched upon cliffs, with the only access via footbridge. Plus, lots and lots of cats! 🐈 To see more photos of our trip, follow along on Instagram.

Series Navigation<< Pizza, Pompeii, and Chaos — Our Time in Naples, ItalyCivita di Bagnoregio, Italy — One of The Last Best Places on Earth >>

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