7 Things To Do In Rome

You might have seen on social media that I recently visited the beautiful city of Rome. I went with my Mum as part of my 30th birthday celebrations and we had so much fun. We stayed at Hotel Champagne which is a lovely traditional Italian hotel in the heart of the city. Four days felt like a good amount of time to discover the city because we packed so many things into each day. I think you'd need a week though if you wanted to see the sights at a slower pace. Also, I would say that May is the perfect month to visit as it was around 21 degrees. I don't think I'd enjoy walking around in a bustling city with the scorching summer sun. 

Rome is a city that I feel everyone should visit at some point in their lives. When I was younger I wasn't that interested because I was never into history, but now I can really appreciate it. I couldn't believe how old and well preserved some of the sights were! If you're planning on visiting Rome, make sure you tick these things off your list...

1. Shop at Mercatomonti Market

No holiday is complete without a bit of shopping, but avoid the usual chains and head to this amazing market. It's open on weekends and includes a mixture of vintage and Italy's independent designer clothing and accessories. We could barely contain our excitement when we started walking round the first few stalls! It reminded me a lot of the markets on Brick Lane, with unique items at reasonable prices (especially the handmade jewellery). I bought a pair of triangular plexiglass earrings from Plexi Shock and another pair of earrings made from Chanel buttons. 

2. Visit Santa Maria Maggiore

This basilica is so opulent and mesmerising that I couldn't stop taking photos! Founded in the 5th century, it's the largest church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary. There's so much to see inside, from the rows of confessionals to the beautiful gated rooms where I watched people singing hymns. 

3. Eat Gelato Every Day

One of the things I was most excited about was the Italian food. The pizzas and pastas definitely lived up to my expectations, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be the gelato. Each day we went somewhere new and tried different combinations of flavours. I'm quickly going to move on because I'm craving it badly!

4. Walk Round the Colosseum 

You'd be crazy to visit Rome without seeing the Colosseum! Some city attractions can be underwhelming when you see them in real life, but this is unlikely to be one of those. Its scale, structure and the history are really impressive. Although we didn't join a guided tour, there was plenty of information dotted around to learn about the history. It only cost €6 to get inside and we didn't queue for long at all.

5. Chill at Caffe del Pincio

After so much exploring, this serene spot was perfect for sitting back and relaxing with a magazine. Situated between the Spanish Steps and Villa Borghese Park, the elegant restaurant looks over the city's rooftops and plays beautiful chill out music. We ordered wine which came with nibbles, and although it was pricey, everything else in Rome is so affordable that we didn't mind.

6. Take the Tour Bus To See The Main Sights

There are at least 3 different bus tour companies in Rome, and we went with CitySightseeing. From the different ticket options we thought the 24 hour ticket was a good choice as we could visit lots of attractions split into 2 half days. Apart from the sights mentioned above, we also stopped off at the Trevi Fountain, Vatican City, Altare della Patria and Castel Sant'Angelo. All of them were well worth a look. 

7. Shop at Stores You Won't Find Here

There's not much point in shopping in stores you can find in your own city. Instead, check out these amazing shops:

  • Fox Gallery - selling a fab selection of art and coffee table books
  • Furla - this Italian designer brand makes the most gorgeous brightly coloured handbags
  • Wycon - I'd never heard of this Italian make-up brand but I'm in love with an eyeshadow palette I bought from them
  • Kiko - although there are a few Kiko stores in the UK, it's cheaper to buy in Italy. Since it's one of my favourite make-up brands, I bought a few things.
  • Dolce Vita - a lovely fashion boutique with stylish pieces and a really friendly owner

I hope you liked my holiday round-up and let me know if you use my little guide to Rome.