A Tour of Historic Rome - URBANETTE: Lifestyle Magazine & Blog

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A Tour of Historic Rome

A rundown of the most beautifully historic city in the world.

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It’s a hot summer night, you and the girls have decided to take a break from your touristy duties and relax on the Spanish Steps. Yes, the Spanish Steps located in Rome, Italy. You notice a large group of young women and men walk up the steps, smiling and rapidly speaking in Italian, as they separate into two groups. The women wait on the staircase’s located to the right and the men on the left. Softly, the opening notes of Frank Sinatra’s Moon River begin to play, quieting down all the tourists surrounding you. One by one, couples walk towards the center of the Spanish Steps, twirl and descend down the staircase and await the next couple. Now if that doesn’t sound like a movie scene I don’t know what does. Sitting there and experiencing that first hand was surreal. Things that you only imagine in your dreams come to life in a city like Rome.

A Tour of Historic Rome

The Spanish Steps, in Rome, Italy

There’s much more to Rome than most cities. If you’re a history buff, this will quickly become your favorite city. We visited, and came back with a list of our favorite historic spots, where it’s easy to visualize yourself in an old-timey movie:

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Anna graduated York University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Professional Writing, specializing in Journalism. She started off writing book reviews for her own website, and from there branched out to writing for numerous publications. She hopes that her work will inspire and interest readers, allowing them to question, write and express their thoughts and opinions (starting with in the comments!)

69 Comments

  1. Monica Collins

    Thanks! Very useful article. Can’t wait for my trip to Italy this summer. And I’ll definitely be checking this article again a day or 2 before my fight. 🙂

  2. Camila Hilhorst

    Seriously though I found the city to be hugely disappointing. I went last July and it was too hot and touristy, plus it was one of my first stops on a three-month backpacking trip so I had to eat cheap/badly.

  3. Helena Stevens

    Thanks a lot for the great info, i will definetly keep them in mind for when the moment comes. 🙂

  4. Nancy Musselman

    I visited Rome last year mid May. The sunny days were absolutely perfect, and nothing was ridiculously crowded. May was perfectly hospitable to summer dresses and a quick dip in the Mediterranean! 🙂

  5. Olivia Peterson

    Great review! Very informative. I will be heading there later this year So I feel more prepared now after reading this! 🙂

  6. Andrea Mitchell

    Thank you for these helpful tips! Rome is definitely a place that many people are attracted to so it is best to be prepared and make the right moves when visiting these spots and truly enjoy yourself.

  7. Deborah Henry

    Thank you Anna for sharing such fantastic information. The coliseum is by far one the main reasons I went to the Rome in 2012. The history in Rome is just amazing. Also the ice cream is delicious and worth a visit alone.

  8. Sydney Nowak

    Thanks! These are some great tips for Rome. I enjoyed just wandering a little the first time I was there. I eventually stumbled across an amazing piazza, buzzing with life, fountains and cafes…Just magical and I was ever so pleased with myself. I only found out later it was the hugely famous piazza navona!

  9. Christina Cavanaugh

    Great post! Found it while I was looking for tips and guides to Rome for first time visitors. One of the things I like to do when going to Italy and want to find a couple nice places to eat close to my hotel is. I will use google maps and type in restaurants near then the address of where I will be staying and google will give me a map of all the restaurants close to my hotel. Most often not only will they show there location on the map but will also have all the restaurants with web sites listed. Then I will go on the site and see if they have there menu on line, that way I will know if it is a place I want to go to.

  10. Anna Kaplan

    Definitely plan to look back here when I finally visit Rome for the first time in June. Thanks!

  11. Betty O'Leary

    Just perfect. We’re off to Rome for the first time in a couple of weeks and as we’ve only got 6 days (eek!), we need all the tips we can get. Bookmarking this post to take with us. Thanks.

  12. Winona Miller

    The Urbanette Magazine is filling up my “vacation” folder with great ideas! Love it! We visited Rome in 2013 and hired a professional guide to take us through the Vatican Museum – this was amazing. The woman had been an art student in college and gave her perspective as we wandered through all the fab art. I don’t have her contact info anymore… wish I did… we’ll head back to Rome in 2017. Thanks for all the great information!!

  13. Julia MacLean

    I love the boundless energy in Rome – a zest for life that seems to emanate from every pore of every ancient building.

  14. Debbie Jones

    Thank you for the informative post! We just arrived in Rome today so thanks for the timely piece. 🙂

  15. Celine Carter

    Wonderful Rome reviews. Will certainly help me for my trip there 🙂

  16. Franny Pimms

    This article was INCREDIBLY helpful! My fiance and I are considering a honeymoon in Italy and exploring everything — this provided great things to consider and keep in mind. Thanks!

  17. Samantha Anthony

    Just came home from Rome and I thought I was being smart buying tickets ahead of time. Boy was I wrong. If you visit the Colosseum, I would recommend just showing up as those lines were empty! I couldn’t believe it.

  18. Dana Rosatti

    Fantastic tips! I really appreciate what you have to share. Totally pinning and sharing now because I think it’s great. When I was in Rome I got so lost but it was wonderful. I loved wandering around aimlessly, it was luxuriously relaxing.

  19. Thanks for the great info! We are off to Italy in 6 weeks. Looking forward to using all of your tips during our 10 days there.

  20. I agree with all of your reviews of Rome. After living 4 months in Italy last year, I began leading small tours to my favorite places and my love for the people, the cuisine, the scenery, the history and art only continues to expand. 🙂

  21. Going to Italy be prepared to be robbed.. it is if you wil be robbed but how soon after you arrive. This place has perfected two things.. making wine and stealing from tourists.

  22. Hi! We’ll be in Rome next month for 7 nights and also celebrating my sister’s birthday. Any nice local authentic restaurant to recommend?

  23. Awesome tips! I am planning a 2 week trip to Italy in July 2016 and will definitely consider these tips. I have a few questions. I will use Rome as a base because I have a place to stay there. I’m wondering if it’s cheaper to fly in somewhere else then take a train ride to Rome? I’ve heard of flying into Switzerland and taking a train ride to Italy to enjoy the view of the Swiss Alps… I plan to stay in Italy for a whole week but wondering if I should venture out to a different country while in Italy and if so, which country would make the most sense (economically and distance)? Thank you for your help in advance 🙂

  24. Great post, I plan on going to Italy this summer for the first time ever. What are the important things I should know?

    • Annahita Esmaeili

      Hi Tanja.

      I would say have your camera with you because you will want to have those memories forever! Have a bottle of water on you at all times, especially if you’re going in August, because it gets extremely hot! Honestly, I would say just have a lot of fun, visit everywhere you want and just enjoy your time there. Italy is a beautiful place and Rome just has so much to see.

  25. We got robbed in Italy. As we talk with our friends and other travelers we find more and more people saying the same thing. They got robbed in Italy and will not ever go back. There are many very nice civilized countries to visit without have to go there and worry about how soon you are going to lose your wallet or camera.

  26. I found your take on Rome really useful. I wish I could leave everything behind and go on a world tour 🙁 !! That being said, I am planning to go on travelling to Italy for 2 weeks with my boyfriend. 🙂

  27. Lucretia Asher

    Great blog with great tips! Thanks! Wondering if you can help? My daughter will be studying in Rome for the year with time on weekends to travel throughout Europe. She leaves this week! She’ll be celebrating her 19th birthday there on Sept. 22 & she’s looking for something adventurous to do with friends – not just the typical site-seeing, which she’s excited about & will do plenty of, but she wants to DO something for her birthday. Suggestions? Thanks!

  28. Truly a guide on how to conquer Rome! Can’t wait to make my visit! We’ll be visiting Italy for 3 weeks mid September to October, Rome, Milan, Florence Tuscany , Venice. 🙂

  29. Love love love this post! I am currently a week and a half in my trip to Italy and wish I would have seen this sooner! I am visiting friends here but took the train to Rome yesterday solo. When my friend picked me up at the train station, she asked my favorite part about Rome. I told her the history, canals and of course, getting lost!

  30. This is a great post. Italy is probably my favorite country, I’ve been twice and still haven’t tried most of the tips listed on here… Looks like I need to make a return trip.. 😉

  31. Awesome post! I’ll be heading to Rome and Venice next winter and I CANNOT wait! I’m so glad I’m going off season so I can experience the cities without all the hoards of other tourists!

  32. This is a neat review. Thanks for sharing! I can’t stress how useful this is! I’ll make sure to come have a look when I plan a trip to Italy.

  33. This is an excellent post! I just came back from Rome, and the memories are still fresh and vivid. 🙂

  34. Great post! I’m definitely going to bookmark this for when I visit Italy.

  35. We’re planning our trip to Rome in mid February. I read that in that month, most attractions, lodgings and restaurants close. Could you please tell me if this winter month truly does this?

  36. I have heard and read so many beautiful things about Rome from so many friends, novels, movies, news and also from social media. People talks about different travel attractions of Rome especially in winter season. I always look to visit Rome in winter season to see all that holiday destination but till now it cant be possible due to one or more reasons.

    But now, after reading your article, i am damn sure that i will visit all those travel attractions of Rome in next winter and will complete my checklist of Rome.

  37. Lana Urie

    Thank you for the info! It’s very helpful and encouraging! Great information, o well written and very inspiring as well! 🙂

  38. Hello!! I’m so glad you posted this it was exactly what I was looking for. I was thinking about going to Rome leaving Saturday morning and leaving Sunday pm. I was also planing on booking a tour bus for the weekend (City tours) so I could see as much as I could. Do you think this is enough time? Don’t have any holidays left to take 🙂 lol.

  39. Monica Conover

    Thanks for sharing your experience. I am travelling alone for the first time to Rome this September and I am really nervous. All my friends are scaring me off that it wouldn’t be safe for me to go alone. I am still going to do it. Life is too short not to take chances. Could you please let me know where you stayed in Rome and how you got around the city.

    • Annahita Esmaeili

      Hi Monica!

      When I was in Rome I stayed at two different places. One was a B&B called La Maison De Famille and the second was a hotel called SuiteDreams. Both were great places. As for how we got around – we walked everywhere. I loved walking because it was great exercise and you got to really see all the sights and enjoy your surroundings.

  40. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us readers I really appreciate articles like this in ways you simply can’t imagine. 🙂

  41. Marina Henderson

    How easy was it for you to converse with the locals? While I will work on mastering a few phrases before my trip, I really do not speak Italian.
    I do not want to stand out as a tourist, so I am concerned about walking with my luggage down the street trying to reach my hotel. I guess that is why I am thinking about taking a cab to avoid drawing any attention to myself. Obviously I have no concept of how things will be while I am in Rome.

    • Annahita Esmaeili

      Hi Marina.

      Honestly, everyone in Rome spoke English very well, so we pretty much stuck to that. We did however use a few phrases in Italian, but English mainly.

  42. Dana Rosatti

    I really liked your article. I will be going over to Europe solo within a month for 6 weeks. It was meant to have been two of us, but my partner and I unfortunately have just parted ways. I have decided I will still go ahead and make plans for myself. I just booked my return flights today. I am sad, I am nervous, I am excited – so many mixed emotions. I have never travelled extensively by myself before but reading your article has helped ease my anxiety momentarily. So, thank you and wish me luck.

    • Annahita Esmaeili

      Hi Dana,

      I’m sorry to hear that, but you will have a marvelous time! Good luck 🙂

  43. Thanks for your post, very helpful. I’m doing a solo travel to Italy this August. Im excited and nervous at the same time. I’ll keep your Lessons in mind. Do you think 2 days is enough for Rome and Vatican? I’m stretching my 8 days with Rome/Vatican > Tuscany/Florence > Venice > Rome. Thank you!

    • Annahita Esmaeili

      Hi Jodie!

      Okay, my first question to you would be, are you taking the tour of the Vatican? If yes, then I would say you would need half-a-day for it. It also depends on how many of the sites you want to see in Rome. You could try, but it may be a tight schedule. If you don’t have too many places to see then you may be able to do it. Let me know if you have anymore questions!

  44. Colleen Frasier

    Thank you. Great info. Here is my question. Would like to book solo trip for myself. Ultimately spend 5 days, flying into Rome. Would rather not deal with the whole planned tour deal. So, do the major hotels offer casual day tours that I could take part in each day?

    • Annahita Esmaeili

      Hi Collen,

      I would say, call up the hotels you want to stay at to get more information. I have noticed that most hotels do provide something, however, to stay on the safe side email them, or call them up and ask!

  45. I am going to Italy for 15 days in June. I have 3 nights booked when I arrive in Florence, 2 booked in Rome before I depart. 9 or 10 days to float with around with no certainty of shelter, or location. Reading about your experiences and general mental approach to traveling in Rome was very confirming of what I already believe: that this will be an incredible journey. I am excited, nervous, and feel fortunate to taste such youthful freedom again. I have a great feeling that everything will be just fine, if not amazing. Thanks for sharing your story, it was comforting.

  46. I stumbled across your post and absolutely love it!! I am going to Rome by myself next Tuesday! Reading such detailed review on Rome gives me courage!

  47. Danielle Wilson

    I will be doing my first solo trip next month. London-Paris-Rome. Your blog is very helpful to me. I’m ecstatic and at the same time nervous.

  48. Gwen Keaton

    I love the photos you shared. And these tips are geniunely helpful! Taking your time to just wander the streets at your own pace is the best way to become familiar with this wonderful city. There are great shops you can stop into, ruins around every corner and fantastic food all just waiting for you to discover.

  49. Irene Morales

    Great review! 🙂 If I had to add anything to this, I’d say take the bus to the sites instead of the metro… that way you get to see the different sites on the way. Plus, bus rides are “free”… everyone, locals and tourists jump on and off and no one pays… NO ONE.

  50. Carol Warren

    Good work… unique site and interesting too… keep up the great work… looking forward for more updates. 🙂

  51. Dorothy Harris

    Absolutely LOVED Rome!! I highly recommend paying the extra few bucks and doing the “skip the line” tickets! Saved a ton of time so you can see all the sights! Watch out for scampers and pick pockets. Great experience and would go again. It is very difficult to remember everything because it is just so jaw dropping when touring St. Peters Basilica!! LOVED IT!!!

  52. Gerry Carlton

    We are visiting Rome this summer with my fiancé and while researching some tips, I’ve come across your site. Thanks for the tips. I will bookmark to print later. 🙂

  53. Carolyn Robertson

    Most of the people love to visit Rome as it has bunches of beautiful places to watch and enjoy such as Ostia Antica, The Colosseum, Palatine Hill, Vatican Museums etc. One should do proper research about Rome before visiting it in order to get a comfortable and safe travelling. That’s why I always come to Urbanette.com before I make my travel plans. Articles like this are such great help. Thank you.

  54. Teresa Tanner

    Every night my husband and I walked to the Spanish Steps, then over to the Trevi fountain. We would go to a great little place highly recommended by every Roman that we asked for gelato, Il Gelato di San Crispino. It was just up the street from the fountain. We would go get our 3 scoops of gelato (my faves were pear and lemon) and head back to the fountain to eat it. Being there at 11pm or later, there were maybe 10 or so other people there most nights. One night, at the stroke of midnight, we got to watch a marriage proposal – wonderful! Then we would walk back to our hotel.
    There were police out, so we felt VERY safe, (Hotel even said we would be very safe). It was so refreshing to see this busy, hustling city during day be fairly vacated at night. The packed Spanish Steps were empty (and clean!), everything was fairly well lit, some of my favorite pictures were taken on these evening walks.

  55. Loraine Aguilar

    I know for a fact that the City Sightseeing Rome Tour now includes a free walking tour app. Basically you’re getting to carry around a stack of professional commentary and insights without being tied to a set route. 🙂

  56. Leah Helms

    Great review that proves there’s more to Rome than pizza and gelato. Rome is absolutely steeped in accessible art for everyone to enjoy! I completely loved it when I went in November and I hardly spent a thing!

  57. Lauren Gilson

    Cool review! Thanks for the great information. Will definitely come in handy when I visit. Loved the pics too.

  58. Great article! Rome is one of my favorite cities. Unlike others, it’s the type of place you could just walk around for a few days – then go back another time and enjoy it just as much. I’ve been there twice and barely gone into a thing each time – it’s a fantastic outdoor city. I walked everywhere when I was there – no need for public transport when you’re in town.

  59. I love Enoteca Provincia Romana in the Palazzo Valentini (it’s a bar with a great wine list and a very up crowd). But my absolute favorite place for a drink in Rome is at Hotel de Russie: Stravinskij Bar. Not a bad place to stay overnight, either 😉

  60. Gabrielle Williams

    I’ve been to Rome a couple of times, but I missed some of the spots you mentioned. Next time I’ll take your list with me and make sure I check them all out. Thanks!

  61. Hannah Mayers

    What a great article! Although I have been to Rome, I will definitely be sure to check out some of your recommendations. Thanks for a fun yet informative article.

  62. I’ve always wanted to go to Rome. I’m saving this article — what a great guide! I’ll make sure to hit all these spots when I finally get a chance to go. Maybe this summer!?

  63. Joanne Samonte

    Thank you so much for the very useful information and beautiful pictures. I’d love to go there (someday).

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