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If you follow me along on insta, you saw I spent that last 16 days in Europe.  It was a trip to remember that’s for sure and one with many lessons learned, but that’s the blessing of traveling right?!  Not only do you learn so much about yourself, you learn what you would do differently and what you would do all over again! 

With that I wanted to give you my two euros on Roma.  Rome was the first stop to our European Vacay where we spent four days and honesty I thought that was the perfect amount of time.  Since Rome is pretty big I would recommend staying at least three to four days there.  It is possible to do in one day, but you might be paralyzed after all the walking you’ll do.  So lets check out my travel playlist to break it down into categories that I find helpful when traveling.  

  • Track 1 (Sight Seeing):  Because Rome is so big and overwhelming with tourists and long lines, we got a recommendation from our good friends to do the “Rome in a Day” tour from this company:  I HIGHLY recommend this tour for several reasons.  It was organized really well and the tour guide was insanely knowledgable and good with maneuvering such a big group around the massive crowds.  Our tour consisted of the Vatican Museums, Colosseum and historic center (Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona) and a self-guided visit to St. Peter's. If these are on your list, I recommend doing this tour because it just makes life easier for you.  Who wants to spend all day scheduling and planning out their itinerary anyway.  Just know you will be walking ALOT, from about 8:30am to 4:30 pm.  It’s a long day but totally worth it.  Don’t worry I am no history buff but this tour was awesome and you skip the lines everywhere you go. Not to mention it helped burn off my pizza and pasta from the day before. The cost: about $120 a person.  

  • Track 2 (Weather):  If you are planning on going in summer be mindful that in August it is about 90 degrees and super humid.  Not going to lie it definitely didn't make the days super comfortable but we managed, kinda. Let’s just say the outfits I wore in Rome were definitely not going to be worn again the rest of the trip. I’d recommend asking google what time frame to visit and going with what google recommends lol!

  • Track 3 (Food):  I am no food critic or foodie to say the least and honesty I might have missed some major places in Rome since we kind of just winged it, but I thought every meal in Rome was pretty delicious for the most part.  From the pizza, pasta, gelato and wine, you really can’t go wrong!  Obviously avoid the tourist trap restaurants that have really aggressive waiters outside hollering at you.  But honesty, just check the menu and make sure it’s not outrageously priced and has what you’re craving and you’ll be fine!  Order all the wine!!! OMG I can’t reiterate enough how amazing the wine is, it literally gives you NO headache or hangover.  “Blood of Christ”  Amen!! I’m Catholic relax, I am allowed to make religious jokes. But I am telling you from someone who doesn’t drink a ton, the wine in Italy is simply amazing.  It went down like water.  

  • Track 4 (Neighborhoods & Where to Stay):  If I could do my trip all over again I would definitely stay closer to the Spanish steps or this cute neighborhood called Trastevere.  Why?!  The Spanish Steps are pretty central to a lot of major monuments in Rome particularly the Trevi Foundation.  All the major shopping is around that area, high and low end designers.  Trastevere was another recommendation by some friends and it is on the other side of the river away from the tourist sights but close enough to the city where you can walk.  It is this cute trendy young neighborhood with a lot of action!  Picture coblestone alley ways covered in ivy with hidden bars and restaurants.  This area gets popping once “aperitivo" time hits and it’s a great time! If you want to hang out in the city, go to this rooftop bar near the Pantheon at the Grand Hotel De La Minerve. Pricier drinks but worth it for the view at least one sunset of your trip. Also go to the Saturday or Sunday markets in the city, they’ll have local vendors that make cute hand maid gifts. I got a few cute bracelets here that were customized to my size.

  • Track 5 (Shopping) : Again the major shopping is around the spanish steps, big tip for those of you who don’t know, if you like designer things, if it’s made in that country it will be cheaper and you get the tax back if you claim it at the airport, another bonus! For example: Gucci, Valentino, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Golden Goose, I mean the Italian list of Gods goes on. If it’s Italian and made there, 95% of the time it will be a few 100 dollars cheaper! I mean hell don’t twist my arm!

  • Track 6 (Transportation):  Taxi’s are obviously available but if you are out of Euros like me because I spent it on too much gelato and wine, Uber does exist in Rome! If you don’t want to be bougie or fork up the cost to get driven everywhere, Rome does have a train that can bring you into the city from the airport or other areas outside of Rome.  The train is pretty simple to use and it costs about 15 Euro one way.  

  • Track 7 (Nap time): Don’t get excited I wasn’t referring to you, or maybe I should since that is what the whole city is doing between the hours of 12-5 it seems like. Now I should have remembered this from living in Madrid, but Italy does the same thing where it closes everything down from around 12pm to almost 4pm. Europeans like to have an early morning and long lunch followed by nap time or shutting down their work, then opening back up again around aperitivo time which is between 5-7pm usually. They’re just living the dream over there aren’t they. Not going to lie, it was very hard for the American girls who were fighting jet lag, waking up at 11 and looking for a place for brunch. Let me tell ya we got turned away from everywhere and ended up going with lunch. Be mindful of this siesta period if you are scheduling your day around eating. Trust me we learned the hard way. Luckily in the city there are so many tourist you can find some places open for that american hungover crew rolling in at noon.

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So to sum it all up, my Rome Do’s & Don’ts:

Do’s: Definetly do a tour if it’s not the one we did use that company for sure they have a ton of different tours! Eat all the yummy food, gelato and drink the wine even if you aren’t thirsty! Go visit Trastevere and ask locals what other fun neighborhoods locals like to hang out in! Do some shopping around the Spanish Steps, and get a good deal, lol and by that I mean saving a few hundreds on your favorite designers (lol I’ll justify any expensive purchase at this point in my life) Go to rooftop bar and take in how gorgeous Rome is while taking a break from massive crowds.

Don’ts: Go in August, go when the weather is a little cooler and less humid considering how much walking you do there. Don’t stay away from the city to save money, because in the end transportation will add up. Don’t wear uncomfortable shoes or heals even if it’s for the gram, because I promise you the cobblestones and walking will teach you a lesson. Don’t eat at a tourist trap or take bate from the aggressive waiters or sales people on the streets (they’re very convincing). Don’t ask the gelato stands for samples of every flavor they hate it and will usually only give you one, so just use good judgment and hope your second choice is money!

Honestly when it comes to Rome or other major cities in Europe, walking around and discovering the little pockets of magic while getting lost, is half the fun!