They say all roads lead to Rome….. but we had to take several trains to get there from Cinque Terre 🙂
One delayed train made us miss our more direct train route, so it took a bit longer – but it definitely wasn’t the end of the world. As I said, Cinque Terre is more of a remote location, so be prepared to be flexible if necessary. Now, onto Rome.
- Tour of the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica & the Sistine Chapel (Tickets start at €16 if you want to go on your own!)
- TRUST ME on this one. If you’re at all interested in seeing these things, go on a guided tour. The Vatican Museums are huge, winding & overwhelming, you’ll just end up wandering around missing all of the amazing details! Your guide will be able to answer any questions and explain in full anything you’re wondering about. We booked with Dark Rome & really enjoyed it.
- If you don’t care too much about the Vatican or Sistine Chapel, St Peter’s Basilica is always free – stop by for a few minutes and take in the majestic building that it is!
- Please take note that the Vatican is closed on Sundays, except the last one of the month – and some Wednesday’s. Check ahead of time before planning this part of your trip, or just stick to Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat. to play it safe 🙂
- Colosseum & Roman Forum (tickets start at €12, can be purchased here)
- We didn’t do tours of these due to lack of time, but these two sites are easily viewed from the street. The Colosseum is being refurbished currently, but still is so incredibly impressive.
- Pantheon (free!)
- Not to be confused with it’s Greek sister, the Parthenon (or the one in Nashville, for that matter!) is one of the best preserved Ancient Roman buildings. It was built sometime in the 1st century and is still completely beautiful! It’s been used as a catholic church since the 700’s, has the largest dome in Rome (it’s rumored that Bramante & Michelangelo made St Peter’s dome smaller on purpose out of respect for the Pantheon!). Also impressive, the dome isn’t reinforced at all… and it was built almost 2000 years ago. Incredible!
- Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps (free!)
- We weren’t so lucky on this front – both were covered in scaffolding! The fountain was even drained… bummer. But these are great, free things you can check out while you’re on a stroll to your next museum.
- Basilica San Clemente (€5)
- THIS was one of our highlights! Our Vatican tour guide told us about it and it sounded so amazing, we detoured our evening and made it over there. It’s a 12th century church built at street level – on top of a 4th century church – on top of a first century (likely earlier!) pagan temple. AMAZING. And you can go through all three levels! You aren’t allowed to take photos (as many ancient places w/ weary frescos), so I stole a few from their website. Seriously, put this on your list! It’s 5 minutes past the Colosseum.
We absolutely loved it. Even though the Trevi Fountain was drained, I snuck a coin in – which legend says ensures a swift return to Rome… so let’s hope it’s right! 🙂 Next is Florence & Tuscany!
PS – Our 48 Hours in Cinque Terre