Rome successes

We’ve recently got home from a lovely few days in Rome. We had a great time and some things worked out really well for us. Here’s a selection of our best bits…

Open top bus tour

This was my husband’s idea and it was a stroke of genius! We took an open top bus tour on our first day. It means you get to see all the sights in one go and gives you an idea of what you’d like to visit in more detail. At €105 for the five of us, it wasn’t cheap, but it was definitely worth it. The full tour took about two hours, but you could hop on and off as many times as you wanted during the day. It came with a commentary in English (or your chosen language), which was both informative and humorous. As an added bonus, the bus ticket is valid for 24 hours, so we used it to get us to the Vatican the following morning.

Vittoriana, Rome, Bus tour, Holiday, 365, 366

Vittoriano

We spotted this stunning building on our open top bus tour. It is bright white and absolutely huge. You can see it from pretty much everywhere in Rome. It is a monument to decadence, with huge ornate statues all over it. It’s the sort of thing I could hate, but I found it absolutely stunning. Built between 1885 and 1927, it is new compared to all of Rome’s other must-see buildings. When I realised you could get a lift to the roof, I knew we had to do it.

Vittoriano, Rome, Holiday, View

It cost just €21 for the five of us to get the glass lift to the roof and it was worth every penny. You could see for miles and there was plenty of space to walk around. It actually felt very calm and peaceful after the madness of a lot of Rome. The time I spent on that roof was the absolute highlight of the holiday for me.

Vittorian, Rome, Holiday

Selfie sticks

Yes, selfie sticks are naff. Everywhere you go in Rome, people are selling them on the streets. I was surprised when my daughter said she wanted one, so my husband reluctantly went to negotiate a price (getting it down form €10 for one to €8 for two). We had A LOT of fun with the selfie stick and took some great family photos with some fantastic buildings in the background. When everywhere is so crowded, they’re a really good way to get photos without other people in them!

Restaurants

The restaurants are welcoming, the prices are better than we have in the UK and the food, whether it’s a proper meal, a slice of pizza or a panini, is freshly made from delicious ingredients. What’s not to love?

The Colosseum

It’s the first thing you think of when you think of Rome. The Colosseum is a truly stunning building. It takes your breath away when you first see it. Going inside is a must. But what is the best way? There is an awful lot of information about it. Should you queue for up to two hours? Should you book online in advance? Should you get there really early? Should you pick up a tour guide outside the Colosseum?

Colosseum, Rome, Holiday, Holiday success, Italy

We booked online the night before we visited and also made the effort to get there fairly early – arriving just after 9am. There were already lots of people inside, but the queues were pretty short. There is airport-style security to get through, which slows things down and must take forever at busy times. As we picked up our tickets, we were offered either a guided tour in English or audio headsets – both at additional cost. We opted for the audio tour as we like to do things at our own pace. I would definitely recommend these as they gave so much information and really brought the Colosseum to life.

Colosseum, Rome, Holiday, Rome success

Once inside, you walk around both the ground floor and the first floor. There is so much to see and, even though it is crowded, you can get to see it all, but you may need to be patient occasionally. It wasn’t until we were walking that we discovered only people with a tour guide could go to the very top floor, but, considering my younger son is afraid of heights, we weren’t disappointed and found we had seen everything perfectly clearly from the other floors.

Colosseum, Rome, Holiday, 365, 366

Sharing a room with my daughter

Less noise, less mess and no arguing at all. It was an absolute pleasure and a privilege to share a room with my daughter and see her looking so beautiful while she was asleep. Plus, she doesn’t snore at all, which strangely meant my insomnia was virtually non-existent in Rome.

McDonalds

A controversial view this one, but when you’ve got a child as fussy as my daughter, it is reassuring to know that McDonalds is there if you need it. We had our lunch there once and went in for an afternoon snack on all three of our full days in Rome.

So that’s my Rome successes, but there were a few things we got wrong. You can read about those here

 

 

Author: Sarah Mummy

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26 Comments

  1. Sounds like Rome was a huge success. I love that you shared with your daughter. I think it’s hard to find rooms to suit families of 5. Lots of positives there lovely. Take it as a win x

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    • It was a real win, thanks! Pretty much a stress-free holiday. There were no hotel rooms for five of us 🙁 It’s not the first time my daughter and I have shared. I definitely had the long straw! x

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  2. Oh we loved the Colosseum too. The selfie stick one made me laugh, I never had you down as the selfie stick type 😉
    Nat.x

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    • Ha ha, I never knew I was the selfie stick type either! My husband surprised me by getting really into it! x

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  3. We did a bus tour in Doha too and really found it a great way to get our bearings and see which places we wanted to see. Had to laugh at the selfie stick.

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    • I was surprised by how much everyone (particularly my husband) liked the selfie stick! We did actually get a few nice photos of the five of us with it, which we never usually get. A bus tour is definitely a good way to get your bearings!

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  4. Such beautiful photos and the Colosseum looks so impressive. The McDonalds made me chuckle but I think it would be the same with my daughter

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    • It’s always good to know there’s a McDonalds nearby! 😉 The Colosseum really is breathtaking.

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  5. We didn’t do the hop on hop off bus but I really would if we ever want again. And ohhh did I love the food. It’s all just so delicious isn’t it? I think maybe you should do a little test with earplugs at nighttime and see if your sleep gets better!

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    • I think you’re right about the earplugs. If I could get an extra hour or so a night, that would be really good!
      The food is amazing! It’s all pretty simple, but it’s delicious! 🙂

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  6. A huge sucess! Well done mumma. The bus tour is a fab idea – I can imagine my young boys particularly enjoying that, giving us adults an excuse to sit back and soak up the history. As for maccas – we live in Bangalore, so we COMPLETELY understand where you’re coming from 😉 #familytraveltips

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    • Ha ha, glad you understand! Sometimes McDonalds is essential!

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  7. Some great ideas for Rome here it’s one of my fave cities. I don’t judge anyone for feeding kids mcdonalds in a hot country, it’s cheap, you know they will eat it and its got air con! Winner.

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    • Thanks, all very true about McDonalds! The only downside was the MASSIVE toilet queue!

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  8. I’ve never been to Rome and this bumps it to the top of my list – thanks so much! We’d be in McDonalds too, don’t you worry! #familytraveltips

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    • It’s well worth a visit, we loved it! So glad we’re not the only ones who would be in McDonalds!

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    • Thanks very much! I think a bus tour is a great way to start a holiday anywhere.

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  9. What an amazing trip! And I love your suggestion of McDonalds – sometime it just has to be done!

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    • Thanks very much, it was lovely! And I’m glad I’m not the only one who agrees sometimes McDonalds has to be done!

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  10. We love a bus tour, gives you a chance to get your bearings. It was one of the first things we did when we moved to our new city! Also did one this weekend in Brussels. Rome looks like an amazing place to visit.

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    • That’s exactly what we think about bus tours! Rome is definitely well worth a visit.

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  11. Great overview, really enjoyed it. We are another family who will definately go to MacDonalds if necessary (which it often is.) Coming from #familytraveltips

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  12. Sounds like you had a great time sightseeing. You are right about open top buses they may be an added extra expense but they sure are a fantastic way in which to see an area and find out more about the place. #familytraveltips

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  13. Just popping back to say thanks very much for linking up to #familytraveltips.
    Stilly giggling at you and the selfie stick 😉
    Nat.x

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  14. Ha yes we succumbed to the selfie stick too! It definitely has its uses. Rome is just amazing and it sounds you had a brilliant time. I find room sharing tough with the two girls though. #familytraveltips

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