My husband and I visited Rome at the end of a three week visit where we concentrated on northern Italy. We planned three days there, however we arrived on the Day of Rage, and although it was a unique introduction, I feel like we missed some important pieces. We are going back in late September, early October. We had toured the Colosseum, and the Roman Forum, the Vatican, along with the underground tour there. We also visited the Borghese Gallery. When we return we plan to be in Italy for 2 weeks and rent an apartment in Rome for a week. During the two weeks there we want to see some more of Rome, and perhaps do some traveling in Southern Italy. We are considering day trips from Rome, or perhaps traveling to Sorrento for a few days and day trips from there. Part of Rome will be to relax and enjoy the city, we also want to make sure we see some of the things we missed. What did we miss? Any advice on traveling south also would be appreciated. I am looking on vrbo and slow travel for apartments in Rome, but if anyone has suggestions that would be great. Thank you for any guidance you can give.
The sights that you saw are the ones we saw on our first trip. Here are some ideas for your week long visit: The Mouth of Truth, Aventine Hill walk, the Protestant Cemetery, Baths of Caracalla, Cappuchin Crypt, Keats House, Campo Fiori, Dora Pamphlij Museum, Ostia, St Paul's outside the Walls, San Giovanni in Laterno, the cat sanctuary,the fountain on Via Guilia fed by an original aqueduct, Circus Maximus, the Scala Santa and as many churches that you care to visit. A day trip to Orvieto would be nice. I don't mention the Catacombs or Aqueduct Park as we have not seen them--yet.
I like the Castel Santangelo, the catacombs and the Pantheon. Santa Maria Maggiore, St. Peter in Chains, and San Giovanni in Laterano are churches well worth seeing.
The Trevi Fountain, Spanish steps, Pantheon, Castel Sant' Angelo, Piazza Navona, Campo de Fiori, Vittorio Emanuele II Monument, Catacombs San Sebastian or San Callisto, too many churches to name. There is so much more, before I left for Rome I went on TripAdvisor and looked at all the top sites in Rome then made a list of everything I wanted to see. The apartment we stayed in we found on TripAdvisor it was about a 5 minute walk to the Vatican and many bus stops just a 2 minute walk away there was also many small food shops and a grocery store in the neighborhood. We walked to almost all the major sites with ease. Here's a link to the place we stayed in the apartment was extremely clean and had everything you could possibly need along with a gift basket. The owner was a lovely woman who went above and beyond to make our stay pleasant. The apartment was small but every comfortable and cozy. http://www.flipkey.com/rome-vacation-rentals/p341614/ I hope this helps a little.
Thank you for all the suggestions. I really loved Rome, and felt when we got back that we didn't see enough, so all of your tips are appreciated.
You should consider taking the #116 bus (it's an electric mini) just to get an orientation of the main parts of the city but on side streets where the bigger buses can't go. If you want interesting views of the city, there's a free elevator at the Vittorio Emmanuele monument, then a glass elevator to the top of the roof (that elevator costs about 7 euro). If you are interested in early Christian churches, I suggest San Clemente and its beautiful (restored) mosaic(near San Giovanni) - you can go down several levels and see the earlier church and the even earlier temple to Mithras, a pagan god who attracted soldiers. If you have time in Southern Italy, I suggest a trip (daytrip will do) to Paestum, south of Salerno. Greek temples (3 of them), good museum (closed on Mondays), nice beach, and you can visit a mozzarella farm while you're there (the area if famous for buffalo mozzarella).
This suggestion shouldn't take priority over the others you've been given, but if you have a couple of hours spare take the metro to EUR for a contrasting section of Rome. Bombastic, huge, fascist-era lay-out and buildings. For somewhere a bit more human is scale, you could visit Villa d'Este in Tivoli
Perhaps the best gelato in Rome can be found at Old Bridge. This shop is located on the street where people line up to get into the Vatican Museum. Also, check out the Trastevere neighborhood for a taste of medieval Rome.
How nice that you will be spending an entire week in Rome...I love Rome! I second the suggestion to see San Clemente church; it's really interesting. I also suggest visiting Trajan's Market. It was not crowded and really fascinating to walk around & imagine all the vendors selling their goods there 2000+ years ago! We also enjoyed the views from the top of the Vittorio Emmanuel Monument. It's worth the 7 euros to ascend to the top & take pictures. As for the open top 110 bus, I've heard that they've cut back on the number of stops but we took it at night and stayed on the entire loop so we could enjoy the city lit up at night. It was nice just to sit and enjoy the scenery & not be on our feet! I also visited the Cat Sanctuary so that I could drop off a donation but I am a big cat lover! The ruins around the sanctuary were nice to look at and I enjoyed seeing some of the cats outdoors, but I mistakenly went inside the sanctuary & found the smell to be overpowering. Still a worthy stop though to donate some extra euros! As for day trips from Rome, I suggest Orvieto. It takes approx. 90 minutes to get to Orvieto from Rome by train & it's a nice change of pace from chaotic Rome. There are a variety of things to see/do in Orvieto and it's a beautiful little town. If you go, I suggest doing the 1-hr underground tour. Have a wonderful trip!
We did the loop on the 110 bus at night too. It was actually the last thing we did before going home. My Mom was wiped out after three weeks of walking and stairs but I didn't want to spend our last night in the room. It was actually a really nice end of the trip.
We were in Rome in October and enjoyed the Testaccio neighborhood! The Protestant Cemetery where poets Keats and Shelley are buried is beautiful and fun to explore. We returned for dinner at Trattoria Perilli one evening. It's an easy metro ride from the city center.
I did the walking food tour of Testaccio - a great way to learn about Roman History and food! We walked and ate non-stop for four hours. Mt Testaccio is a hill made out of layers of amphora used to import olive oil during Rome's early days. Also enjoyed a trip out to Ostia Antica - the old Roman port city - walk through the streets of the town imagining how it was 2,000 years ago. It is easy to get to via the Metro and train. The Appian Way is another out-of-town experience that is doable by bus, also the early Christian catacombs. The Pantheon and surrounding area and the Jewish Ghetto are two interesting parts of Rome.