A weekend in Rome… It sounds very beautiful and very romantic but also, when you think about it a bit more, it sounds a little bit overwhelming too, especially if it is your first visit to the city. What to see in just a weekend, which places to visit, where and what to eat? The choices are endless and there is so little time. You can spend days, weeks or even months discovering the corners of Rome and you would always find something interesting and new. So, what can you do in just a weekend?
After trying to research a little bit and reading a lot of the materials on what is the must see and must do in Rome, I decided to take it slow enjoy and make most of my short stay. And even before the trip I already somehow knew this wasn’t going to be the only time I would visit Rome.
There are many different beautiful areas where you can stay, depending on your preferences so we chose a nice small boutique hotel in the center of the city to be able to move quickly and walk around – after all the ‘Eternal city’ is a museum out in the open and just during the walk you can already see masterpieces of art and architecture, feel the rich history of once a mighty Empire, a center of art and thought throughout centuries and one of the leading European cities now in contemporary times.
The great thing about Rome is that everything is so well connected, and though the city is big it seems not so far away from each other. one of the first places that we stumbled upon were the magnificent Spanish steps that just mesmerized us with their beauty as well as the famous Bernini’s Barcaccia Fountain at the foot of the steps. We were so enchanted by it that we hardly even notice all the luxurious shops arounds. However, if you are a fashionista, Rome is definitely a place to be.
Passing through the small, charming streets of Rome, be sure to look at facades of the buildings around you – you will see numerous small balconies and terraces beautifully decorated with a lot of vegetation. Palm trees in the streets as well as a seagull here and there will remind you that this is a Mediterranean city very close to the sea.
Try getting lost in the streets, it is the best way to know the city and for sure one of those streets will bring you in front of Pantheon, ancient Roman temple that was dedicated to all the gods of pagan Rome. Must be a beautiful thing to go inside however because of the long lines we decided to do it another time.
One place where every visitor definitely comes to see when in Rome is the Forum Romanum, the political economic and cultural center of ancient Rome. Just under the Palatine hill, one of the seven hills that Rome was built on you will see the history spreading before you and it is a breathtaking sight indeed.
A few steps away there is the mighty Colosseum – you will recognize it immediately. A place of games, glory but also immense suffering this is the place where gladiator games were held and many Christians lost their lives. It is a very special feeling standing on this ground, making you feel humble and appreciating life.
When strolling through Rome you will see a lot of beautiful architecture, beautiful palaces and the churches just appearing in front of you. And though it is impossible to visit all of them, make sure to try and have a look inside of a courtyard or a garden – you will be impressed by the elegance of the architectural forms that are supreme even to this day.
No matter if you are a religious person or not, a visit to Vatican City is a must, if not for anything else, then definitely for the extraordinary art and architecture. Just a pure look at the Saint Peter’s Square and the Saint Peter’s Basilica will take your breath away – the mastery of the architects and artists, geniuses such as Bernini, Bramante and Michelangelo will leave you speechless.
Entering the church feels like a supranatural experience – you will be mesmerized by all the beauty and grandness of the interior and, even if you’re an atheist, one look at Michelangelo’s Pieta will make you feel God’s presence at least for a while, as a talent for such creation could only come from the Creator.
After visiting Vatican take a stroll along the mystical river of Tiber and enjoy the views opening before you – you can only imagine how many events have happened here that even determined the course of history.
Nice walk in the open air will open your appetite which is exactly what you need when arriving to Trastevere, a picturesque Roman neighborhood in a row bustling with small restaurants perfect for a dinner or a night out. And though there are restaurants with different types of cuisines fromm all over the world here, we deceided to go with the old saying ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’ and go with the traditional Roman cuisine.
I would certainly recommend Osteria Cacio e Pepe to try the signature dish it was named after – as the name says it, it is pasta with ‘cheese and pepper’. And though this traditional dish sounds simple and very easy to make, it actually take quite a mastery and long practice to do it right. And here, you will for sure get the real deal. To round it up and bring the Italian food experience to perfection, for a dessert try famous Italian tiramisu or delicious panna cotta.
When in Rome, one thing not to miss is for sure the legendary Trevi Fountain – if not for the beauty of it and historical significance of being the mark for the final point of Aqua Virgo, which is one of the earliest aqueducts in Rome, then for the fact that the legend says that if you toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain – you will return to Rome someday. And since my coin is sitting there, I am not feeling anxious about not seeing yet all the other magnificent things like Santa Maria Maggiore or Villa Borghese as I know – I will be back someday, hopefully soon.