Recently we returned home from a sightseeing holiday in Italy – we stayed three nights in Rome, two in Florence and two in Milan. It was quite an adventure with four boys, but the weather was lovely and we had such a brilliant time. Jared and I managed to see everything we hoped and Rome earned the top spot as my favourite city. It’s the most incredible place to discover on foot with ancient ruins around every corner. I was 12 the last time I was in Rome and I couldn’t help wishing that I’d returned sooner.
We landed in Rome around midday and after collecting our bags we hopped in our pre-booked taxi to our Airbnb. We were really lucky with the location of our Airbnb. It couldn’t have been better – minutes way from the Spanish Steps, shops, restaurants and the Trevi Fountain. We spent the rest of the day walking, getting our bearings and of course, we consumed our first gelato!
We quickly discovered that it is really easy to walk between all of the major sights, and everywhere is a treat for the eyes – the Pantheon, the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, piazzas, columns, ancient streets and monuments. Rome lives and breathes history, and we loved soaking it all up.
Jared has wanted to visit Rome for a while – so when our church announced that a temple would be built in Rome, we decided that we would visit upon its completion. Before a temple is dedicated for purpose, anybody can go inside, including children. It is the first temple of our faith in Italy, and it’s particularly exciting to have a temple in such an iconic city. It is the most spectacular building, architecturally stunning and it was such a privilege to go inside.
During our trip we couldn’t decide whether to go inside the Colosseum as the queues were ginormous whether you’d pre-booked or not. We were in the queue around 1 hour and 40 minutes, but even after a few minutes inside we felt like our wait was absolutely worth it. It blew us away.
On our third morning we ate breakfast, packed our snacks (always lots of snacks) and headed to St Peter’s Basilica at Vatican City. Again, we ummed and ahed before joining the huge queue to go inside, but decided that we would go for it, and we were both so glad that we did. The queue moved fast and we were inside within 25 minutes. After the success of the Basilica we decided to climb the stairs (Jasper, Otto and I went in the lift for the first part) to the top. We were rewarded with an incredible view of the city and it was fantastic that the boys could explore without the worry of cars.
By late afternoon we’d worked our way back to our Airbnb to eat and relax for the rest of the day. The boys find it really exciting to be in a ‘holiday house’ and kept asking to have a proper play in it. The next morning we packed our things (leaving our bags) and headed to the Colosseum for a second time. We were ready to catch the train to Florence from the main train station around 3pm.
Hopefully it won’t be quite so long before I am back in Rome again.
Points to note:
- Rome is not the best for a buggy – lots of cobbled streets and very high kerbs. It was a very bumpy ride for Jasper and Otto. Saying that, you really have to explore Rome on foot so that you don’t miss anything.
- Cars and motorbikes are a concern in Italy as they just drive everywhere, and the norm is that you step out at a crossing and hope that the cars will stop – otherwise you will be waiting forever.
- We downloaded the Uber app and it came to our rescue a few times. We were able to pay through the app, request the correct sized vehicle and input the address which means that language wasn’t an issue. We used it twice when we thought the Metro would be too busy for us, and when we got a little lost trying to get back from the temple.