When in Rome you MUST get these five things out of the way. They showcase some of the best things about this beautiful, bustling city.
1. Visit the Spanish Steps. I ate a slice of pizza on them, but lunch is not required. They are always crowded, so it’s almost impossible to race up and down them to burn off all the carbs you’ll be eating, but just seeing these steps makes me feel like Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.
2. Stop into the Colosseum and Forum. Buying a ticket into either gets you into both, so don’t skip one. Guided tours are available, but I like to wander and imagine. The Colosseum is massive and knowing some history behind it may help you appreciate it more. Lines are pretty long at the Colosseum, but much shorter for the Forum (Old City). These ancient city ruins are a stark contrast to the modern day Rome that surrounds them. Looking at some of this ancient history is something I thought was important to understanding Rome today.
3. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain. Throwing one coin ensures that you’ll return to Rome, two will supposedly make you fall in love, three is rumored to get you a marriage proposal. The fountain is covered in enormous sculptures, and even more enormous crowds of tourists. Stopping at the fountain is mandatory; sitting on it while eating gelato is optional, but encouraged.
4. Get lost in the streets of the city. You never know what you’ll find just leisurely walking around. A specialty pasta store? An antique market? The popemobile? All these and more. Put down that map and just start walking.
5. Eat and drink like there’s no tomorrow. Romans enjoy themselves, and you should, too. Whether you’re in Rome for business or pleasure, you need to have a good time and good meal in the city. Try anyplace the locals seem to be heading to, or better yet, ask one where you can find the best food in the city.