“Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.”- Giotto di Bondone, Renaissance painter
It left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it was fascinating. A city with many layers, Medieval, Renaissance, Imperial and Republic. History oozes out of every cobblestone. There are historical sites around every corner and you find yourself wondering - am I supposed to recognise each one? We downloaded Rick Steve's audio guides and explored the attractions under his guidance. We also did the "free" (no charge but tip expected) walking tours in Rome but were not as impressed as we were with them in Venice. Nevertheless, if you're heading to The Eternal City and are wondering how to plan your time, here's the perfect 3-day Rome itinerary .
On the other hand, I didn't realise how much I yearned for the South African bush until I was in Rome. The city was overrun with tourists and the chaos and crowds made me yearn for the solitude and serenity of the bush. We had some unsavoury experiences when my son forgot his new Florentine leather bag - containing his new tablet - on a bench near the Spanish Steps for a few minutes and it was stolen. Lightfingered Luigis also tried to open my husband's backpack on more than one occasion, on the Pickpocket Express (Bus 64) - while looking for valuables which they didn't find.
Nevertheless, Rome is a photographer's dream, with so much to see and capture.
1. Visit the Colosseum
2. See the Roman Forum
3. Tour the Vatican Museums
4. Stroll through the Borghese Gardens
5. Take in a show at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma
6. People watch at Piazza Navona
7. Marvel at the Trevi Fountain
8. Explore Trastevere
9. Learn about the city's history at the Capitoline Museums
10. Enjoy some gelato!
1, First and foremost, pack comfortable shoes. You'll be doing a lot of walking, and there's no shortage of cobblestone streets.
2. Speaking of walking, take advantage of Rome's many pedestrian-only areas. They're great for people watching and doing some window shopping.
3. If you are sightseeing in summer, do carry a sunhat and use sunscreen. It can get very hot.
4. If you still want to do some sightseeing before you check into your hotel, or after you check out of your hotel, it's a great idea to store your luggage in a safe place while you explore.
Inside the Colosseum, the most famous ancient Rome attractions
The Trevi Fountain was undergoing renovations. The pedestrian bridge had a long queue waiting to walk on it. We decided to go and eat gelato instead.
Did you know that there is a pyramid in Rome? It was built in 12BC
The Vittorio Emanuele II marble monument, built at the end of the 19th century is relatively new, compared to the other famous monuments in Rome.
The Spanish Steps were covered with tourists.
We spent half a day at the beautiful Villa Borghese Gardens, Rome's largest park. where we rode these family bicycles. There were also segways available.
Of course, you can't go to Rome and not enjoy some Pizza a Taglio - Pizza by the slice!
Have you been there? What are your thoughts about Rome ?
Here's how to see Rome in two days .
Find accommodation in Rome.
Download Rick Steve's audio guides.