Visiting Rome will be - believe us - one of the trips that will bring you the most in life, since the Eternal City is a fascinating place, full of art and history and which, when visiting, teleports you to distant times making you feel the strength of one of the greatest empires in history.
But before immersing yourself in this journey into the past, let us guide you with these tips to visit Rome and get the most out of your visit.
St. Peter's Basilica at night
Visiting Rome is not like going to the Bahamas, if that's the kind of trip that you had in mind, you better change your plan.
Rome is a city that has a lot of substance and, to be honest, it never hurts to explore it having done your homework beforehand. Learning a bit about the history of Rome before your visit will help you significantly and you will enjoy it much more in this journey through time.
Knowing a little about who Julius Caesar, Augustus, Hadrian or Trajan were will come in handy when you visit the City of the emperors.
Rome is immense, both culturally and architecturally speaking, for this reason we recommend that you don't waste time in the city planning where to go and what to visit.
Is is best to plan ahead your days. You can always add or change some things on the fly.
We recommend that you to mark on a map the main places to visit and plan your routes based on that.
In Rome things usually start quite early, so try to have breakfast first thing in the morning and leave your accommodation no later than 8:30. It's essential to avoid queues!
Many of the places to visit open at 8:30, such as the Colosseum, or at 7:00, such as St. Peter's Basilica, so the sooner you start the better!
Keep in mind that most sites close early in the afternoon, around 18:30, especially in winter. That's why we always recommend that you start your day as early as possible, specifically the day you plan to visit the Vatican Museums because they open at 9:00, but if you want to buy the ticket on the spot and avoid a 2-hour queue it's better to arrive at least one hour before the opening (for this reason and for the amount of works it contains, it is advisable to take a guided tour).
Rome is a city that, without exaggerating, surprises you at every corner, therefore, walking is the best way to get to know it.
The city center is easy to navigate on foot and much of the important monuments are located in or around it.
Get lost in Renaissance or medieval areas such as Piazza Navona, the Jewish quarter and Trastevere; the most charming neighborhood in Rome.
Surely you have already heard about this from others. There are many who think it is exaggerated but the truth is that in holy places, such as St. Peter's Basilica or the rest of the churches in the city, if you do not cover your shoulders and down to your knees, you may no be allowed in.
On Sundays in most churches, Masses are frequent and some can not be visited during this time.
On the other hand, public museums are closed on Mondays, so take both matters into account when planning your visits.
Don't plan a day where you only visit basilicas, then another just Greek and Roman art museums, and another only plazas. For example.
Our advice is that you do a mix every day of everything that Rome has to offer. Otherwise you may find yourself overdosing on art. Dose well.
As we know you will continue the tradition of throwing a coin in the Fontana di Trevi to return to Rome, we recommend that you to leave things for your next visit. Even wanting not to do so would be impossible.
If it is the first time you come, take your time to visit calmly, savoring what you see and soaking up its meaning. Sometimes, less is more. Something necessary to enjoy the moment.
We hope that you will these tips helpful for visiting Rome, a unique city in the world and that although it is eternal you should not wait to visit it.
Celebrate Christmas Midnight Mass with Pope Francis at ST. Peter's Basilica after enjoying a semi-private 2 - 3 hour tour (max 10 people) of the Vatican Museums including the Raphael Rooms and The Sistine Chapel ending with a privileged entrance to St.Peter's Basilica.