The great thing with Rome is that it is only a short flight away from almost everywhere in Europe, so going for a long weekend is fairly easy! A quick flight across the Alps and you will be there for dinner on a Friday. Find a nice little restaurant not far from where you are staying and unwind to the sound of Italian voices.
On the Saturday, head to the Colosseum. Yes, it is bit a touristic cliché, but it really is worth visiting. You will feel like Russell Crowe in Gladiator for a couple of hours. Note that it is important to buy your tickets in advance to beat the queue.
After visiting the Colosseum, now is a good time to grab a late lunch. All places around the area will be touristy so don’t desperately look for something special, just pick between panini and pasta. Or even better, buy and pack a sandwich from a local baker, so you can enjoy it at your next stop, the Roman Forum!
From the Colosseum, just head to the other side of the street and enter the Roman Forum. The site is mainly in ruin, but it gives you a great idea of how the Antique Rome must have looked like. You can imagine the little food markets, the shops, the temples and all the activities going on in the very old streets.
From the Forum, head uphill to what used to be the 'posh' neighbourhood of the antique Rome. The Palatine Hill is were the emperors and the cool-kids used to live. The views of Rome's roofs are wonderful from there. At the top of the hill you will find Emperor Augustus palace. You will also see on the other side of the hill what remains of the Circus Maximus.
After the Palatine hill, head toward Piazza del Campidoglio, where you will find the famous Capitoline wolf statue. You can then head downhill to the Piazza Venezia and the high street area.
By now it should be late afternoon, perfect time for a gelato or an Aperol spritz! When in Rome...
On the second day, head to the Vatican, a true architectural wonder and a place filled with masterpieces. The Vatican’s queue is notoriously long and bad, so make sure to beat it by ordering your tickets online. I got ours here and we walked pass the 500-meters long queue and went straight in there with very little wait at security.
The Vatican is huge and filled with art pieces you probably first saw in your history books at school. ‘Ohhhhh’ and ‘Ahhhh’ in the Sistine chapel, but don’t take any pictures, you will be told off! Wander for a couple of hours and end your visit in the huge Basilica St Pietro.
Once out, head toward Piazza del Popolo, on the way you will find plenty of delis and bakeries where you can find delicious sandwiches. On Piazza del Popolo grab a gelato and people watch. Rome is a very lively city and Piazza del Popolo a great place to see it happen.
Done with your gelato? Good! Now let’s walk it off! Head uphill to the Villa Borghese park, wander along the cypress trees alleyways and enjoy the views of Rome’s roofs. Have a siesta on the grass and when it gets closer to ‘Aperol o’clock’ head down back into the city via the Spanish Steps and take a sit at a terrace for an aperitivo and more people watching.
End the day with a dish of pasta or a delicious pizza, and go to bed for some sun filled dreams.
Day 3 is all about the ‘everyday’ Rome, head to the city centre for a last stroll before your flight.
But first, have a little lie in, because vacations are also all about resting and relaxing. Once ready, head into town and look for a nice spot for lunch. We found a great place just off the Piazza Navona called Cul de Sac.
After a very satisfying lunch, go explore Piazza Navona and its surroundings. The atmosphere in Rome is just intoxicating, you cannot help but feel happy walking in the yellow cobbled streets. Walk through the city centre on the look for a gelato. End your trip at the Pantheon, one of Rome oldest buildings still standing!