Rome travel agent tips

Staff member: Jess and Amanda // Trip date: Dec 2018

Our final stop on our Grand Tour of Italy was the ancient, cosmopolitan capital city, Rome. It was only a short train ride from Naples to Rome and we were there in about forty minutes. It was dark by the time we reached Rome but thankfully our hotel was close to the train station. We were staying at the Starhotels Metropole which was another beautiful property under the Starhotels brand.

We found a cute little restaurant down the street for an apertivo and then made our way to Black Market 101, which was a funky bar a few blocks away. Packed with locals, this bar was spread out in an old terrace house and each room was filled with comfy couches to relax at. It was nice to discover a place that wasn’t filled with tourists.

The following morning we set out to explore the city. First stop was the lovely Trevi Fountain which was about a 15 minute walk away. We planned to leave early to beat the crowds but even at 8:30am there were still lots of people all trying to get that perfect selfie. After the Trevi Fountain we walked down to the Pantheon and then up to the Parliament Building. We stopped for a quick coffee break before walking over to the Spanish Steps, where the crowds of tourists were starting to get crazy! All the walking we’d done this morning was starting to take its toll so we found the pick-up point for the Hop On-Hop Off Bus and caught the bus all the way back to the train station. We had a Vatican tour planned for that afternoon so wanted to have a little rest back at the hotel before more sight-seeing. Not before the most delicious pesto pasta of our lives though! There were so many great restaurants right near our hotel – it was the best location!

After a much needed rest, it was time for our Vatican tour. Our tour guide gave us an in-depth insight to the history of Vatican City and all the iconic buildings located there. We started in the Vatican Museums including the incredible Hall of Maps before making our way to the Sistine Chapel. We finished up in St Peters Basicilia just as it was getting dark. It was hard to comprehend the huge amount of history that surrounded us and all the footsteps that had walked the floors we’d just been on. It was truly a humbling experience.

The next morning it was time to visit the glorious Colosseum – a building that created so much pain and entertainment all in one spot. Arriving early paid off as we got to witness the sun rise through the columns, it made some fantastic photos! There was a café just opposite the Colosseum so we sat and drank our coffee with the most picturesque view - It was hard to leave!

There was one final thing we wanted to do in Rome and that was visit Della Palma, the gelateria with over 150 flavours!  There were lots of adventurous choices like prickly pear, champagne or basil but after much consideration I went with Kinder Surprise, Ferrero Rocher and Strawberry. They were absolutely delicious!

After our gelato adventure it was time to get our bags and make our way to the airport. It was such a whirlwind trip through Italy but an amazing one. Travelling by train was easily the best way to get around and we got to see plenty of countryside in between!

Must know info

  • Rome Termini Station is HUGE! Get there early to make sure you know which platform to get to. The Leonardo Express is a non-stop service to the airport and leaves every half hour making it a super easy way to get in and out of the city
  • You need at least two nights in Rome – minimum three if you have clients wanting to visit the Vatican. Rome is a city to wander and explore, so don’t rush through it!
  • Rome is huge so location is everything. Advise your clients to stay in centrally located properties to avoid additional public transport costs and inconvenience.
  • Don’t miss Pizzarium for cheap and delicious pizza. For a night out without the tourists, check out Black Market 101 – great for cocktails and yummy apertivos!

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