02 Apr First time in Rome visitors: 5 sites “NOT TO MISS”
“Rome wasn’t built in a day“, so if you have 2 or 3 days in the city it won’t even let you discover 1/10 of it. Anyway you’ll do have a general idea of how breathtaking is its beauty, how endless is its history and life. Yes, because Rome is first of all life: life that was surviving after thousands of years, thousands of wars. Life still, life anyway. Life in every corner.
First: grab a map (or switch on your google map, if you can use it), wear confortable walking shoes and clean your camera lens to take a million pictures. Then, be prepared to walk almost everywhere because that is the best way to experience the city. And even to deserve your abundant roman meals!
Second: just make a little plan in your mind to make sure you’ll visit the main sights – just few among all the things to do- and enough to get a taste and plan your next trip to Rome. ’Cause sure you’ll be coming back!
PLACES NOT TO MISS & TIPS
1) The Vatican
When in Rome for the first time you cannot miss Michelangelo’s painted Sistine Chapel. It is such an incredible place that it moves you deeply. I had so many clients who have been touched by the vision of it for the first time. St. Peter’s Basilica, that is the heart of Catholicism and the grandest church in the world, is the other “Oh my gosh” place that you will never forget because of its scale and richness that is almost unreal.
Tip: from the Sistine Chapel there is a door which opens to a quick passage to St. Peter’s Basilica: only guides can pass through it. That’s why if you have short time it is so convenient to hire a guide: you can actually skip 2 lines, the one to enter the Vatican museum and the other to enter the Basilica from St. Peter’s square.
Even if it seems to be a predicted and overvisited sight, it is still a must because only visiting inside you’ll be able to understand the hitorical importance of the biggest and first stadium (in this shape) of the history. And, if you wish, you could even book a tour (planning in advance) of the dark underground of the Colosseum, where you can touch the untouched travertine stones in their original conditions.
Tip: please avoid peak-hours in the middle mornings, especially in high season: you’ll find less crowds (and less heat!) in the afternoon (but always check the opening time!).
When you’ll be walking in the historic centre, don’t miss to go in this amazing, perfectly preserved, ancien roman temple with the largest unreinforced dome ever built. Speechless.
Tip: it’s a free place because it is a church. Inside don’t miss Raphael’s tomb, at least for its romanticism.
Since you’ll be soon deeply falling in love with Rome, if you want to come back you cannot avoid to throw a coin (or 3, if your wishes are more!) in this monumental theatrical fountain, because you’re supposed to.
Tip: to avoid a bit of crowds (Trevi is the most touristy place in Rome) you could go by night, that is way more romantic and spectacular!
4) Spanish Steps
At the end of a long walk with few gelato-coffee-pizza breaks, you can end up here to rest for a while, since the main activity at the Spanish steps is to sit down and waste some time. Just look around you and admire the pure beauty of this elegant late baroque staircase. You will almost feel the life of 3 centuries scrolling under your legs.
Tip: try to go to the Spanish steps by sunset, especially if it’s spring, summer or autumn, because the light is amazing! Try to climb them till the very top: the view up there is one of the best! Furthermore, if you’re lucky to be here in May you’ll be able to see beautiful flowers set all over the steps.