There are many places to visit in Rome, it is a city filled with tourist attractions, more than any other city I have visited. Along with its reputation for romance Rome is one of the top destinations in Europe.
I love Rome’s tourist attractions, but make sure you leave time to “live” in Rome. Exploring the streets, you will come across quaint little shops, art galleries and museums. We all know Italy’s reputation for superb food and fine wines. Your mouth will water as you pass delicatessens selling mouth-watering treats. Tempting aromas will draw you into the small cafés. Restaurants beckon you to sit, relax, sip wine and watch the world go by.
You will discover a city that you will want to return to again and again.
Places to Visit in Rome – The Spanish Steps
We stayed near the Spanish Steps, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Rome. The twin spires of the Trinita dei Monti Church look down over the Spanish Steps and the Piazza Di Spagna.
The area is home to shops, theatres, and art galleries and there is always something to capture your imagination. People flock to the areas cafés, restaurants and wine bars. For a little taste of England, try Babingtons Tea Rooms on Piazza Di Spagna, a place to take a breather from a hectic day of sightseeing.
The Villa Borghese and Fountain of Trevi are an easy walk from the Spanish Steps. The Vatican and Colosseum are further away but still a pleasant walk. If you are pressed for time you can take the Metro.
Tourist Attractions in Rome
When you visit Rome you won’t be alone, it is full of tourists. Many of the places to visit in Rome have entrance fees so to avoid waiting in long lines we advise you to pre-book tickets online.
Villa Borghese is the largest park in Rome. The Villas magnificent gardens include a Greek temple, lakes, statues and fountains, an oasis of green within the city.
Borghese Gallery and Museum has a wonderful collection of art and well worth a visit. Tickets must be pre-booked before entry.
Fountain of Trevi was covered in scaffolding when we visited. This has happened to us a few times now, at the Eiffel Tower and Arc De Triomphe in Paris and Big Ben in London. Luckily we can see the funny side and get on with looking for places to visit in Rome.
St Peter’s Basilica richness and splendour will take your breath away, nothing can prepare you for its beauty. A must see site.
Vatican Museum’s and Sistine Chapel is another place that I would recommend pre-booking as the line-ups are horrendous. The Vatican Museum is another must see site, the array of art and artefacts will astound you.
Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Sant’Angelo are close to the Vatican. The Castel Sant’Angelo houses a wonderful museum and there are spectacular views from the top. I love the Ponte Sant’Angelo it is one of my favourite bridges.
The Colosseum also charges an entrance fee and has very long lines, again pre-book if you can. The Colosseum is impressive from outside, inside is a maze of small rooms on many levels. Here you can get a feel for what it was like to be a Gladiator.
The Pantheon is one of the most complete buildings from ancient Rome dating from 125 AD. A former pagan temple that was later converted to a church. I love how light the shines through the dome, adding a touch of the mystical.
Leonardo Da Vinci Museum in the Piazza Del Popolo has many of Leonardo Da Vinci’s inventions on display. A fascinating insight to the brilliance of this man.
I have just touched on a few of my favourite tourist attractions, there are many more, such as the impressive Piazza Venezia, The Forum, Piazza Navona and Piazza Del Popolo the list goes on.
Where We Stayed in Rome
There are many styles of hotels in Rome, from Hostel to 5 star Hotel, the choice is yours.
We stayed in an apartment on Via Belsiana, near the Spanish Steps and within walking distance to the Spagna Metro Station.
This stylish one-bedroom apartment also has a sofa bed and can easily accommodate 4 people. The bathroom was modern and it was equipped with a kitchen. Two French windows overlook the street.
The area is full of cafes, restaurants and wine bars. We enjoyed a few long lazy lunches with a bottle of wine and had a lot of fun.
Our apartment Casa Belsiana was booked online.
Advantages… Kitchen, close to shops, restaurants, entertainment and Spagna Metro Station.
Be Aware…that Casa Belsiana can only be reached by stairs and is not suitable for people with mobility issues.
Comfort Level…Stylish décor, comfortable bed, clean apartment.
Catching the Train to Genoa
Before we left Australia we booked a train from Rome to Genoa online through Rail Europe. Booking the train was easy and when we got to Rome we took our booking documents to the ticket machines at Roma Termini train station, typed in the booking number and retrieved our tickets.
The trip from Rome to Genoa took approximately 5 ½ hours. The train did not have a meal service so make sure you take food and drink. Just be aware that there isn’t a luggage compartment and not much room on the luggage racks.
We passed through the countryside and as we got closer to Genoa we caught glimpses of the pretty seaside towns of the Cinque Terre.
Places to visit in Genoa
We only had a day to enjoy Genoa before we joined our MSC Cruise. Genoa is a bustling seaport and we enjoyed wandering its narrow winding streets. We came to love Genoa, the locals were very friendly and it was a much cheaper city than Rome. We window shopped, explored the backstreet’s and squares and ate delicious food from one of the many trattorias.
Things to See in Genoa
Though we only had a day in Genoa we did try to see as much as we could.
Royal Palace Museum was the home of the Balbi family and later the Royal house of Savoy. A beautiful palace with a spectacular mirrored room.
The Acquario Di Genova (Genoa Aquarium) a very interesting aquarium, I got to see my first sawfish and a real live Manatee!
Where to stay in Genoa
Best Western Porto Antico is in a great location, close to Porto Antico, the Genoa Aquarium, the Marina, restaurants and shops.
Advantages…Great location, close to attractions shops and restaurants.
Comfort Level…Good, comfortable beds, clean room, friendly staff.
We had a fantastic time visiting Rome and Genoa. These cities show a wonderful quality of life and I would recommend them to anyone. I have left out a lot of attractions, what do you love about Rome and Genoa? Do you have a favourite destination in Italy? We would love to hear from you, feel free to leave a comment.