Where do I even begin? Rome is the perfect solo-travel spot. There are tons of touristy things to do, and more importantly, opportunities to submerse yourself in local culture during the mornings and evenings. Because of this, Rome can be incredibly overwhelming. My advice? Pick a couple of things you really want to do and go from there. I was lucky enough to be there for a week, so I was able to venture some of the offbeat spots that turned out being my favorites (like the aqueducts, the Trastevere neighborhood, and so on). For a great introduction to the particulars of each site, check out my favorite book Rick Steves’ Rome. Rome is wild and beautiful and a must see on any Italy adventure.
Essential: The Roma Pass provides you with unlimited transportation (within certain zones) for 3 days and admission to two sites of interest. Depending on the sites you wish to visit, this is a true money-saver. Best of all, it lets you jump to the front of the line! If you’re visiting in Summer, this is hugely beneficial. Oh and with the unlimited transportation? Anytime I got lost I just hopped a bus that was headed to Termini… eventually.
My “Must Sees”:
Colosseum and Palatine Hill The Colosseum is unforgettable. It’s grandeur, history, and just all around awesomeness cannot be denied. This was the first of many trans-formative travel experiences I’ve had.
Campo d’ Fiori A beautiful market square with friendly vendors and lots of free samples of local items. Step right up and don’t forget to say grazie!
Galleria Borghese and Gardens This museum and the gardens were fabulous. You should reserve an entry time ahead, but the gardens can be roamed and picnicked in freely (as I noticed locals doing).
The Aqueducts I followed these directions to a T and had one of the best days of my trip. Bringing a picnic complete with cheese, dried fruit and meat, and small boxes of wine is essential. Be sure to explore the surrounding area to truly get a taste of the real Rome.
The Pantheon This is a innovative Roman architecture at its finest, and it is FREE to visit. It is especially incredible at night followed by a glass of wine on a side street nearby).
The Vatican The Vatican and St. Peters, and of course the Sistine Chapel are really worth the expense and crowds. Try your best t o get there at opening time. Also, Vatican City is amazing! I loved shopping here, so be sure to stick around after your visit to the Vatican.
Fun neighborhoods to explore:
Jewish Ghetto Via del Portico d’Ottavia (Incredible food!)
How about you? Have you been to Italy? If so, what are your must-see spots?