Day 1 was our first full day in Rome, Italy. You can read about our 1/2 and visit to the Spanish Steps in my previous post. Rome is so huge that I’ve had to spread our trip out over several posts, you can always use the search box on the right sidebar to help you find more info about our trip. You can also see a list of the places we’ve visited here. I’ve alway been fascinated with the history of Rome so this was a great trip to get crossed off our bucket list!
Our Day 1 Itinerary:
Victor Emmanuel Monument
Piazza del Campidoglio
Bocca della Veritá
We started the morning off by stopping at the bakery to grab some breakfast panini’s. We then walked XX minutes to the Colosseum from our hotel. We used directions I’d had printed out online from Google Maps. The only kinda sketchy part was the park area, it was fine because it was early morning, but I wouldn’t walk that way at night.
We stopped and took a few pics and then walked down to the walkplatz area. There are tons of Roman ‘gladiators’ standing around willing to let you take a photo with them, but know that they’ll charge you €10. We knew this ahead of time so we avoided them but seen a lady get scammed by one.
We walked across to Palatine Hill to buy our tickets. Kids under 17 are free but need a ticket. It was €36/$43 for 3 of us (Hubby & I and our 18 year old). The admission price includes the Colosseum & Forum as well.
We checked out the Arch of Constantine on the walk back so Bea could find her items for points in the book. According to the visit a city site this was a 7 min walk, when in reality it was 1-2 minutes. So again I haven’t been overly impressed with their times.
We did a self tour of the Colosseum using Rick Steve’s book. The Colosseum was not very crowded so we were able to see what we wanted easily. We spent around an hour here total. Please note that while we did take in backpacks while we were there in early Jan they have since changed the policies and large backpacks/bags are no longer allowed, the website (LINK) does say medium to small backpacks & shoulder backs will be admitted after being searched. There is no storage near so I’m not sure what travelers are supposed to do if they have larger bags, I’ve seen some people recommend storing bags at the Termini but I’m not a huge fan of that. So have plan before you head to the Colosseum/Palatine Hill/Forum as it applies to all 3 places. I’ll be doing a separate post on these 3 as well since there is so much to share.
We then headed to check out Palatine Hill using Rick Steve’s book as well. More details about this area & photos in an upcoming post.
Then over to the other side to tour the Forum area using the tour in the Rick Steve’s book. Also more details about this area & photos in an upcoming post.
Note this area does not have many food options besides overpriced food vendors. So we walked 10 minutes to Piazza Venezia where the Victor Emmanuel Monument is located. However this was not the best place to get lunch as the prices are overpriced, food not great, and there are high seating charges. We dropped €55/$63 for crummy food and crummy service. So plan ahead and bring something to hold you over until you can get to a better area to eat.
We then checked out the Victor Emmanuel Monument, it’s free to see. You can pay a fee of €XX to take an elevator to the top but we did not. Also know that to use the bathrooms here it’s €0.50. We found finding bathrooms in general in Rome fairly difficult if you weren’t at one of the sites. Even places like McD’s only had one bathroom per gender and you had to provide your own tissue.
Then we walked XX mins to the Pantheon. That’s the great thing about Rome is that the sights are so close that if you plan your itinerary well you really don’t need to use much of the public transportation, it’s all easily walkable.
While it’s impressive it’s not that large of site and doesn’t take much time to visit.
This the the only source of lighting into the Pantheon. This is free to visit but beware there are people outside selling ‘guided’ tours. It’s not even a large place to tour, so unless your a huge history buff and just need the extra info, I’d say skip it. We used Rick Steve’s info and Bea found all the items for her Scavenger Hunt. Those who speak English seem to be able to easily pick out the Americans.
These enormous scenes are neat to look at.
We walked past some ruins, I loved how these were over Rome, this city is so rich in history!
We walked up Michaelgelo’s stairs to Piazza del Campidoglio.
This was a great piazza for just relaxing for a bit. The Capitoline museum are located here if you like museums. We are not big museum buffs so we skipped it and spent some time people watching.
Everything is so enormous and oversized in Rome. I enjoyed the purple coloring on this statue.
You can find water fountains like this all over the city and the water is drinkable, a great way to stay hydrated for free. They come in all shapes, sizes, and styles so keep your eyes open as you wander around.
Next we headed to the Santa Maria Church to see the Bocca della Veritá.
There was a huge line out the door to go in and see it so we just peered through the bars and took some photos.
On our walk back towards the Victor Emmanuel monument there was a great overlook area into the Palatine Hill area. So we stopped for some photos.
We also checked out the Tourist Info spot near the Colosseum that Rick Steve’s mentions. This is a great place to pop in and use the bathrooms, sit for a few mins, or grab a quick snack. There was only a handful of people there and it was a great little location that we may nt have otherwise known about.
We then walked 15 mins back to the hotel, where we once again was able to stop and admire some ruins. For dinner Bea & I stopped by a pizza by the slice place and the guys ordered pizza to go from the restaurant next to the hotel. Cheap yummy dinner costing only €23/$27!
Expenses for Day 1 for a family of 5 (3 adults, & 14 & 11 years):
Colosseum/Palatine Hill/Forum €36/$41
Arch of Constantine FREE
Victor Emmanuel Monument FREE
Roman Ruins FREE
Piazza del Campidoglio FREE
Bocca della Veritá FREE
Breakfast sandwiches €6,50/$8
Lunch €55/$63 (should’ve been less but we were hungry and desperate, LOL)
Grocery store for sodas/snacks/water €6/$9
Also note in the above daily costs the hotel & flight expenses are not included, you can see all of those on my How to Plan a Family Trip to Rome on a Budget post, total trip expenses were $1290. Don’t forget to use Ebates when booking your hotel, etc so that you can save money, I just got $57 back this month!
Any tips for any of these sites in Rome?