Ahh Rome…la dolce vita! Lots of you have probably already been to the Eternal City, but in my opinion, a trip to Rome is always worthwhile and who isn’t dreaming of summer at the moment? So, let me take you on a trip to the Italian capital and tell you what you shouldn’t miss out on!
1. St. Peter’s Basilica
I’ll start off with something really touristy, but the cathedral is just THAT building you’ve got to visit in Rome. I’m a total church nut and need to visit most of a city’s churches, so I’ve been to quite a lot…let me tell you this: St. Peter’s is breath-taking! Of course, it’s also really crowded, but the splendour of this place will make you forget everyone around you. Make sure to also climb the dome – the people down in the aisles look tiny from up there (but don’t take the elevator – that’s a waste of money!).
2. Palatine Hill
This is also a well-known place, but it was honestly one of my absolute highlights. In the middle of the city, right next to the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill is like Rome’s backyard. It’s like you’ve stepped through a hidden door and found yourself in another world. You don’t hear a single car. The hustle and bustle of the city is forgotten – it’s just you (okay, and the other tourists), plants and flowers and ruins. It’s perfect to relax a bit before you make your way back to the buzzing streets.
3. Discover things off the beaten track
Yes, that sounds pretty vague at first. What I’m trying to say is that there are things to discover at pretty much every turn! So, don’t follow the main routes. Instead, turn into a side street (not a dubious one of course!) and be surprised. And when in Rome, why not take on the Italian lifestyle? Take things slowly (piano in Italian), sit down at a café and treat yourself for lunch or a really good Italian coffee (I’m not exaggerating – coffee is SO good in Rome!). Just because you deserve it.
4. Enjoy the view!
This is something I can recommend not only for Rome, but for every place you visit. Get on top of things and marvel at the city from a bird’s-eye view. This literally takes sightseeing to another level. My travel guide’s insider tip was to get on top of the Monumento Nazionale a Vittorio Emanuele II – judging from the amount of people up there it’s not an insider tip anymore – but it’s still awesome. I spent a couple of hours up there watching the sun set and it was worth every second. Supposedly another great place to relax and enjoy the view is on top of the Pincian Hill in North Rome.
5. Take a stroll in the dark
Rome is amazingly beautiful in the daytime, but at night, when everything is illuminated, there’s a whole different atmosphere to it! It’s awesome when it’s still warm in the evening and people sit outside cafés and bars. You should definitely join them at one of Rome’s great bars or clubs and enjoy a cocktail outside, maybe even with a monument in sight…
So, whatever you do, have fun and let the beauty of the place impress you. It’s pretty much impossible not to fall in love with Rome. Don’t believe me? Go and see for yourself!
Author & Pictures: Henrike Wilhelm