Spending a weekend in Rome is hard to do. There is so much to see and experience, that it just isn’t possible to see it all in two days. If you are planning a trip to Rome, give yourself at least five days, but I’d go with seven just to be safe.
Rome is one of the oldest, continuously populated cities in the world. Established officially in 753 BC, Rome has had quite the trip to the present day. From conquering nations spread across multiple continents, to being a major contributor to a lot of modern practices.
Since our job was IT, we spent a lot of time on the computer every day. When things would get slow, the first thing a lot of us would do was to look up flights or trip ideas.
One of my friends discovered that RyanAir was having an insane sale on flights to Rome in a few weeks. I’m talking $60 round-trip type of deals. This was a no-brainer. The opportunity to fly to Rome for only $60 doesn’t come around too often.
Now, this was flying out of Frankfurt. I lived and worked in Germany for two years, which allowed me to travel Europe with ease.
The thing with RyanAir is, is that their flights are very quick, and very cheap. You can really only travel with a carry on, and leg room and comfort is non-existent. For $60 though? I am absolutely not complaining.
All six of us flew out on a Friday evening, and returned Sunday afternoon.
Considering we arrived late at night on Friday, all we did was grab a quick bite to eat and settle into the Airbnb. The second day though, that was a long day of exploring.
Of course, the first place we stopped by was the Roman Colosseum. Being the largest amphitheater ever built, the sheer size of this thing was incredible. There were people everywhere. Unlucky for us, we didn’t get to go inside. Last minute tickets were pretty expensive, especially for all six of us, and we didn’t want to go with one of the tour guides soliciting tours outside of the Colosseum grounds.
So all we could do was appreciate from afar, unfortunately.
However, we did get to see the Arch of Constantine up close and personal. There is a fence around it, so we couldn’t break the touch barrier, but we still got close! It blows my mind how well these things were built, with the Colosseum being built in early AD, while the Arch was built in 315 BC. They are both still very well standing, and the Arch especially is in great condition.
Standing at about 70 feet tall, the Arch was dedicated to Constantine the First for his victory over the Roman tyrant Maxentius.
This is why I say that only two days is not nearly enough to fully experience Rome. I greatly wish I could tour the Colosseum fully, and spend more time learning about Rome’s super stacked history.
Either way, we had to keep moving. Following the Arch, we walked and walked all the way to Vatican City.
So, technically speaking, Vatican City is a country. The smallest country in the world actually, made official in 1929 with the signing of the Lateran Treaty. To put it into perspective how small it is, Central Park in New York is 842 acres; Vatican City is just over 100 acres. This means that the Vatican is 1/8th the size of Central Park!
Again, we didn’t have enough time to actually tour any of the museums or the Sistine Chapel, or even St. Peter’s Basilica. As much as I wanted to, and I really wanted to, we just didn’t have the time. Since we didn’t buy our tickets beforehand, we would have had to wait in the six hour long line to get into the Sistine Chapel. Let me tell you, this was by far and away the longest line I had ever seen in my life. We were standing in the city center, and the line reached us front the front doors of the Chapel.
After a jaw-dropping experience in Vatican City, we walked back to Italy (that’s weird to say), and continued on with our Roman tour. The next attraction up was Castel Sant’Angelo.
A short distance from Vatican City, Castel Sant’Angelo is a fortress located on the bank of the Tiber River. Built in the year 135, Castel Sant’Angelo doesn’t have very much history. There were some historical figures incarcerated here, but that’s about the extent of it. What this castle does offer however, is amazing views of the city, as well as expertly designed and constructed rooms.
We spent a good amount of time here, because the views really were out of this world. Eventually we did leave though, making our journey to the place I was most excited about: the Pantheon.
It is the best preserved building from ancient Rome, and if you know me, I love seeing history in person. It’s awesome to learn about history, but it’s a whole different level of cool to actually see, touch, and breathe history.
That’s why the Pantheon was number one on my places to see in Rome, it’s like walking through a portal back in time. With the giant dome, massive pillars, and multiple statues inside; many believe the Pantheon was a temple of some sort. A temple where the emperor would address the citizens of Rome.
If that really is the case, then the Pantheon got a whole lot cooler.
Last, but certainly not least, we saw the world famous Trevi Fountain. It is easily the most famous fountain in the world, and one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The fountain is actually taller than the Arch de Constantine, which surprised me. I had seen pictures and videos of the fountain, but seeing it in person puts a whole new perspective on it.
One of the newer landmarks in Rome, the fountain was constructed in the mid 1700’s. Funny how that is considered new, isn’t it?
We couldn’t get great views of it, considering there were people everywhere, but the few views we did get were spectacular!
After a long day of exploring this incredibly vast city, we headed back to the Airbnb to get some shut eye. Our flight left early the next morning, so we went and got a good dinner and called it a night. Overall, I was very pleased to have spent a weekend in Rome, however I so wish I had more time there.
One day, I’ll dedicate a whole week to Rome, to really indulge in the history and culture.
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