I was six years old when the Lizzie McGuire Movie came out, & since then, I’ve been dreaming of going to Rome because of that movie. Fast forward sixteen years later [wow I feel old when I say it like that LOL] & I finally got to see The Eternal City with my own eyes! 😍 My schedule only allowed me to be there for one day, so I pre-planned the details very carefully to make the absolute most of my short time there. Allow me to elaborate!
Getting From the Airport to the City Center
The Ciampino Airport in Rome is a great place to land, because they have so many options for transportation there! We walked out of the baggage claim, & walked into a room full of different bus services — ready for anyone who needed a ride to the city. We walked up to the Terravision counter, & easily purchased one way tickets to the city center for only about 5 euros. This shuttle took us directly to Roma Termini, the main railway station in the city — about a forty minute trip.
The quickest way to see Rome is to book a bus tour of the city. These busses shuttle from main attraction to main attraction, & run almost all day long! The pros to using a bus tour are:
- Quickly seeing all of the main tourist attractions.
- Not having to waste time navigating the hectic streets.
- Less walking — sooo good for the feet!
- Audio guides in multiple languages — so you can learn history & facts as you go.
- Can hop on // hop off the bus wherever & whenever you want to.
For us, this was a no brainer! We booked with City Sightseeing Roma, which was the cheapest option we found. However, there are other companies like Big Bus Rome, that were a little more expensive, but seemed to have more busses — so they rotated from stop to stop quicker than ours. All in all, I still would recommend City Sightseeing, especially if you’re looking to save a little money! [but, I only recommend them in Rome]
To start the day, we decided to walk to the closest attraction to the railway station. The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore [church of Santa Maria Maggiore] was only a seven minute walk from where the airport shuttle dropped us off. This place was absolutely beautiful, & a great place to start! Funny story — We accidentally attended part of an Italian sermon when we were just trying to appreciate the art. Oopsies.😂
When we were done touring the church, we walked outside & looked for our bus stop. TIP! All of the city tour busses stop at the same place for each destination. Once you see any of the busses stop, you know that is where your bus will pick you up, too. Also, there are little signs at each stop, usually other tourists standing around, & definitely locals standing there trying to sell you things on the street. That’s how you really know you’re at the right place! Haha.
[Be sure to read all of the details when purchasing your bus tour tickets. For City Sightseeing, we needed to have our tickets printed prior!]
We grabbed some gelato from a lil’ shop right next to the bus stop, & hopped on our tour bus! I absolutely love that all of the tour busses are double deckers, it was so fun sitting on the top part of the bus — you really see so much more from up there! If there are seats available in the very front, I recommend sitting there. Those are the best seats, because you see even that much more through the front window!
We hopped off at the Colosseum, & were lucky enough to enter for free that day. Not exactly sure why it was free, but I’m not complaining!
Now, since we knew that we wouldn’t have a lot of time in this beautiful city, we stocked up on snacks. As much as we would truly love to sit in nice restaurants for breakfast, lunch, & dinner, it would honestly just take time away from seeing the monuments. Anytime we started to get a lil hungry, we would snack on what we brought with us — & it honestly gave us more time to sightsee [& also saved us a good deal of money] Once the day was over, & the busses stopped running, thennnn we sat down & tried [delicious] Italian pasta for the first time. It definitely lives up to the hype!
The Longest Walks From the Bus Stops
We didn’t hop off at every stop, simply because we were limited on time. However, I will say the two stops that were the longest walk to the destination were at the Vatican, & the Trevi Fountain. Those are things to keep in mind if you are traveling to Rome, & may need a little more time to walk! Though these walks were a little bit longer than the other stops, the architecture all around is still breathtaking — so it definitely makes it still enjoyable! Plus, there are plenty of little tourist shops, gelato stands, & Italian restaurants along the way for both monuments.
I so hope that you enjoyed this little blog post of my first Roma adventure! Make sure to leave a comment if any of these tips help, or if you have any questions about Rome // Traveling! Will see you all here next month for the next blog post — same day, same time!
♡ Valerie Karen.