And why it is cheaper to order red wine than coke…
I visited Rome while on a girls vacation, and we ate our way through the city! We flew to Rome from Amsterdam roundtrip for $85 on American Airlines. It is always a great idea to have a little extra time on your hands while visiting Europe so that you can take advantage of the low airfare deals that may be available. I just came across a deal today on Vueling that offered one way flights to select cities for 14 euros.
When it comes to transportation and getting around the city, location is everything. We stayed at the Turner Hotel which was located in the heart of Rome, within walking distance of many historic sites including the Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and Via Veneto. The Colosseum, Roman Forum, Piazza Navona and fine stores of Via Condotti were also located nearby. We took the bus to the Pantheon from the hotel for free and we were able to walk to all of the other monuments and attractions for the day from there.
While in Rome, if you make the Pantheon your starting point for the morning, here are the main attractions that you can see for the day that are in walking distance.
- Trevi Fountain
- Spanish Steps
- Galleria Borghese Museum
- Navona Square/Piazza Navona
- Forum Romanum/Roman Forum
Gelato shops and sidewalk cafe’s that serve, cappuccino, pizza and pasta line almost every street in Rome. Food is plentiful and ready at any time. We enjoyed scoops of Gelato and slices of pizza for 1 euro each during the day and enjoyed dining at Trattoria’s and Ristorante’s at night.
A Ristorante is a restaurant. Here you’ll find the ambiance a bit formal or at least the decor is thought out and cohesive. Tables are usually dressed in linen; tableware and china all match. Waiters are professional and knowledgeable. The menu is usually extensive and the food is often inventive. Expect to pay for all this service. At dinner this night at a ristorante is where I found out that it was much cheaper to order a glass of red wine than it was to order a coke. I have never been a red wine drinker, but the wine was flowing this night. I opted for coke. At the end of the dinner when the bill came, there was a charge for 10 euro. That was for my coke and a refill. The wine went for 3 euros per carafe. When in Rome!!!
A Trattoria is a small, family-run eatery that often serves a few choice regional dishes (think carbonara), with many of the recipes past down from generation to generation. Mom or grandma usually cooks. Dad handles the cash register. The kids wait tables. Decor can range from neat and comfortable to a “hole in the wall.” Prices are usually much less than a ristorante. In the pictures below at this Trattoria, the dessert selections were left out on a table in the middle of the room for you to choose from. After you made your selection, your server brought you a fresh one out from the back to enjoy.
I recommend that you book your tour for the Vatican City in advance and leave yourself enough time to enjoy the Sistine Chapel. TripAdvisor is a great resource for tours and reviews, but don’t just click on the first package that you see with a nice price point. We had an amazing tour guide who was an American exchange student, studying religion in Rome. He offered free tours of the Vatican as a way to practice teaching. We all gave him a tip at the end of our tour and it was very detailed, but most important, we could understand what he was saying!
Shopping in Rome was on point. There were street vendors outside of our hotel that sold leather handbags and shoes for as low as 20 euro and there were perfume shops on every corner set up like pharmacies that sold fragrances that had not even been released in the US yet for half the price.
Between the plane ticket to get there, splitting the hotel room 4 ways, food and entrance fees to the museums, this 3 day, two night trip to Rome cost me about $225 including the taxi ride to and from the airport.
If Rome is not on your list, it should be, and you should always take a little time for the possibility to see more while in Europe. You never know where you could go!
Live, love, travel…