blog_post_37

Don't do this in Rome!

As a travel blogger, I hate to admit this, but Rome absolutely kicked my butt. In my travels, there have been 2 cities that I just feel I didn’t do justice. For whatever reason, they left me disappointed. I have trouble believing it is the fault of the cities themselves, but more of my expectations and navigation of them. One day, I will re-visit these cities in an effort to right my wrongs. But, in the interim, I would love to help you enjoy your journey!

You can also view the Don't Do This in Rome video if you prefer.

Don't forget that there are multiple train stations 

If Rome isn’t the only stop on your agenda, you should purchase train tickets in advance, as it saves a considerable amount of money. However, don’t forget that Rome has multiple train stations and the station you arrived in may be different than the station you depart from. Unfortunately for us, this was a $100 mistake!Views from Palatine Hill, Rome

Don't try to do it all

There are so many amazing sites to see in Rome and it is incredibly tempting to pack the schedule so as not to miss a thing. Don’t do this! Know your travel personality and pick the top 2-3 major sites leaving space in the remainder of your journey to stroll, eat, and lazily enjoy the lesser known history all over the city.

Don't cut the taxi line even if invited to the front

When you arrive at the airport or train station exhausted and bogged down with luggage, everything is a blur. Do not cut the taxi line, even if invited to the front. They called us out of the line and after asking the price we just plopped our luggage in the trunk and hopped inside. 

It wasn’t until part way through our ride that I realized there was no meter in the car.

It wasn’t until part way through our ride that I realized there was no meter in the car. The car looked similar to the others in line, but I don’t think this guy was an actual taxi driver. Once we arrived at our destination the quoted price increased. When juggling luggage, kids, and a dog these two vehicles can easily be mistaken

Don't exit the airport or train station without bus/train maps

If you plan on taking public transportation, which you most definitely should, be sure to stop by the information desk and grab some route maps before exiting the airport or train station.

Don't try to save money and purchase tickets upon arrival

I knew the recommendation to purchase tickets in advance, however, an advance online purchase charged a few extra Euros per ticket. In my quest to save money, I thought I could find a ticket location and purchase tickets upon arrival without paying the added fee. This was a huge mistake. 

I thought I could find a ticket location and purchase tickets upon arrival without paying the added fee. This was a huge mistake.

Attractions in Rome are very spread out and traveling to purchase tickets is a huge time waster. Not to mention, reserved time slots sell out leaving a wait in a 2+ hour line or a giant upcharge “skip the line ticket” as the only options. I also discovered that the booking fee is charged regardless of whether the tickets are purchased online in advance or at a ticket counter in person. 

Arriving in Vatican City before sunrise to enter St. Peter's Basilica

Don't forget to pay attention to holiday schedules

Remember that various seasons and holidays have special opening/closing times. On our journey to bike the Appian Way, we hopped off the bus to tour the Catacombe di San Callisto. Unfortunately, due to Easter week, the catacombs were closed and we were left standing on a very narrow strip of road, cars whizzing by our girls, while we waited 20 minutes for the next bus to arrive.Chestnuts roasting in Piazza Navona, Rome

Don't tour the Vatican Museums (at least not the way we did it)

Gasp! I know this is not going to be popular, but if I had it to do over again I would skip the Vatican Museums. If you are a huge lover of art, obviously, you won’t skip these. However, if you really want to see the Vatican Museums spend extra money and purchase an out of hours semi-private guided tour or an early entry tour with breakfast. The artwork and history are truly amazing, however the long lines and wall to wall people throughout just cheapened the experience for us.

The artwork and history is truly amazing, however, the long lines and wall to wall people throughout just cheapen the experience. 

By the time we reached the Sistine Chapel our daughters wanted nothing more than to be out of the crowds. In the Sistine Chapel guards yell the whole time to keep moving and not take any photos. It was just a very disappointing experience. An item checked off our list, but not truly enjoyed.Shoulder to shoulder crowds in the Vatican Museums, Rome

Don't expect perfection

I know after careful planning and preparation you want everything to be perfect, but be sure to give yourself and others grace. Mistakes will be made, buses will be missed, crowds will exhaust you, money will be wasted, and if you expect perfection this will be devastating. Instead, plan carefully, but expect mistakes, don’t take your travels too seriously, and enjoy the adventure. 

Plan carefully, but expect mistakes, don’t take your travels too seriously, and enjoy the adventure.

Enjoying the small moments on the rooftop patio of our Airbnb, Rome

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Top 5 Things to do in Rome

12 Tips for Rome



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