If you’ve been following me on Instagram (shameless plug), you know that my family went to Rome last week for a quick vacation. Italy was one of the countries I wanted to visit before we left Europe and everything seemed to align so we made an impromptu trip. I’m so glad we did because we were able to see so many beautiful places and eat some amazing food! We were there for 1.5 days (I know, crazy! I wish we had more time!) and had 2 children with us (age 4 and 1).
Where we stayed:
We found a cute 2 bedroom-ish apartment in the Prati neighborhood, right next to the Vatican via Airbnb (How to Book your Airbnb/HomeAway like a Pro) about a week before we left. Although there was a bunch of homes available for the weekend, this one was still priced incredibly low, had great reviews and was booked up except for days we needed so instead of bargaining the price down, we made sure they had a baby bed available and reserved it as quickly as possible. I am more than happy to share the details with whoever is interested, just drop me a comment below!
What we did:
Because we had already done a bit of traveling and we knew the kids were already pretty tired, we decided this would be more of a sight-seeing, picture-taking, stuffing our faces kind of trip and forgo any tours.
- Vatican. The apartment we stayed in was extremely close to the Vatican so we passed by often! If you’re looking for a bite to eat afterward, I suggest heading down Via dei Gracchi. There’s an awesome inexpensive sandwich (and wine) shop called Panino Divino (they don’t have much seating so plan on grabbing your food to go) or a few doors down, there is a sit down restaurant called Rendez-Vous Ristorante where we ate outside and enjoyed the atmosphere.
- Colosseum. We walked around the exterior but if you want to go inside, I hear the tickets book up quickly and especially if you visit over the weekend, I suggest reserving your entry online (here).
- Spanish Steps. These were under construction unfortunately, but we were still able to admire the beauty.
- Trevi Fountain. Man, was this place crowded but oh so beautiful! We made our way down to the fountain to throw in a coin (or two – Monkey’s obsessed with throwing money in fountains) and took a few photos.
- Pantheon. The square was full of life with music playing and people everywhere but going inside the pantheon was surprisingly quite easy. It was free and it was a quick in-and-out experience (we got in within a minute of standing in line). If you’re looking for an amazing restaurant near here, I suggest heading to L’Insalata Ricca on Largo dei Chiavari where you can dine outside, eat amazing, fairly priced food and people watch.
How we saved money:
- Do as the locals do! We skipped eating in front of the tourist attractions and found dining along side streets. The food was amazing and we didn’t have to deal with a ton of tourists while we ate. Pricing was way better and so was the flavor!
- Carried water bottles (especially for the kiddos!). There are water fountains everywhere with great tasting water and it can add up to keep buying new bottles.
- Everything we saw in Rome was free (most are) but if you do plan on something that costs money (inside of Colosseum) make sure to book all tickets in advance, online.
What I wish we had time for:
- Tours. Although the buildings’ exteriors held so much beauty, I would have loved to admire the inside as well.
- The Senate
- Sistine Chapel
- Ostia Antica (This is a day trip in itself as it is located 20 miles from Rome)
- Explora Museum (Great fun for kids)
What I would have done differently:
- Bring a stroller. We walked over 11 miles during our trip here with a 4 year old whose legs were so tired and needed to be carried and a 1 year old who refused to be picked up and wanted to do all the walking.
- Bring a 4-wheel suitcase. Although everything fit in my duffle bag, it became difficult to lug that over my shoulder along with my purse, camera and holding the baby on our trip to and from the airport on the metro (and walking!). If you have a brand recommendation, I would love to hear it as we’re in the market for buying one!
- Stay longer! Although, it wasn’t possible this trip, it would have been great to relax a little and soak in the culture (oh, and eat more gelato!)
I know there are so many things I missed. This is such a magical, beautiful city and would love to go back! Have you had a quick vacation to a place you’d love to revisit or have you been to Rome and there’s something else I need to add on my list for our next trip?