Italy has been a country that I have always wanted to visit. I finally got the chance to visit this gorgeous country last week, however due to work and other commitments I got a chance to only experience the magic of Rome and the Vatican city. But so far, so good. Like they say, to do justice to an entire country, you either do an extended trip, or visit multiple times, and include different cities in your itinerary each time.
PS: If any of you want to do a quick weekend getaway to Rome (or the Vatican), then you’re in the right place!
First, and foremost, my suggestion is to either stay at the heart of Rome around the Trevi fountain or Pantheon, or at the Vatican City because most landmarks you need to see are in and around these places. The city is a 45 minute drive from the airport so plan your stay accordingly.
Additionally, Rome is a city that can get really hot so avoid going in July if you can (Unless you fancy getting cooked in a furnace) as it is the hottest month then with temperatures going upto 40 degree celcius. June and August are fine if you’re used to a tropical climate (The temperature goes upto 33 degrees and it is bright, and sunny on most days), but if not, your best bet is visiting Rome in the cooler months starting October to April.
All set for our Roman holiday!
All set for our Roman holiday!
We kickstarted our roman holiday by flying Swiss Airlines (They have some great deals, and are punctual so this is your best bet) via Zurich. We were in Rome in less than 3 hours (Including our layover), and we spent the first day exploring the Vatican city.
The St. Peters Basilica stands majestically as captured in the above pictures, and please note that while it is fine to spend an evening soaking in the gorgeousness of the place, you will need at least 3 hours to explore the inside of the basilica, the sistine chapel, the Vatican museums, and the several other galleries associated with Michaelangelo and Raphael’s beauteous works. What I must mention here is that you cannot expose your shoulders while entering the basilica, and sistine chapel. You also have to take your hats, and sunglasses off your head so it is advisable to dress accordingly when you visit the insides of all the above places. If you’re however exploring the area from the outside then feel free to wear what you like (Like I have worn a dress in the above picture).
We got a feel of the Vatican city on our first evening, and we spent the next day exploring the famous Spanish steps, Fontana Di trevi (Trevi fountain), Pantheon, Colosseum, and Piazza Navona.
At the Colosseum
Fontana di trevi
Facing the spanish steps
I highly recommend taking a tour of the Pantheon with http://www.italywithus.com. They do a fabulous 30 minute English tour of the Pantheon, and before you know it, you’re a history whiz and know everything about the Pantheon.
If you are a shopping person, then the area around the Spanish steps is a must visit. Italy is home to some of the most iconic fashion brands of the world like Dolce and Gabbana, Fendi, Giorgio Armani, and Bvlgari to name a few, and this square is filled with the choicest of boutiques for you to pick and choose from!
Additionally, just outside the Pantheon, there are a ton of gorgeous little Italian cafes, and while this may sound like the biggest cliche, Italy does make the best pizza and pasta in the world, so while in Italy, do get your hands (and teeth) on the best culinary experiences that these delicious little cafes have to offer! Oh, and by no means should you skip having he Tiramisu here!
Since we had not explored the St. Peters Basilica, Vatican Museums, and Sistine chapel on the first day, we went in for an intense 3 hour tour of the same on Day 3, and while the sun gods were blazing down upon us with full vigous, we did not let that dampen on spirits. My suggestion here is to approach one of the English speaking tour guides (at the Vatican city entrance), and sign up for their tours. They cover the Vatican Museums, Sistine chapel, Other galleries, and St. Peters Basilica in a 3 hour tour, and you also get to skip the lines at all these major attractions. Totally worth it, considering the lines are really long, and can take an hour or two before you can even get in!
The galleries leading to the Sistine Chapel
The glorious Sistine Chapel
Please note that pictures are strictly not allowed inside the Sistine Chapel, and the above picture is from Google. They’re very strict about the policy, so while you will see a few people secretly using their phones, please don’t attempt the same.
So that brings me to end of our short and sweet vacay to Italy! Feel free to write to me for more suggestions, and recommendations and here’s wishing you a wonderful trip to Italy when you visit!
Some more pictures from our fun vacay! 🙂 x