This is my first time in Rome and my first time in Italy.
Rome is now in my top five best cities I’ve ever visited possibly making the top three.
I’ve just spent the last three days here and this is what I recommend you do if you go.
1. Visit the Colosseum
Go to the Colosseum and it will knock your socks off as it did mine.
The fact that this building is still standing (to a point) after almost 2,000 years is amazing.
The Colosseum was the theatre of gladiatorial combat.
It also housed plays and executions but organised armed combat was its main purpose.
Opened in 80 AD, it would fit around 65,000 spectators in, all of whom had come to be entertained by gladiators fighting to the death.
Gladiators were mostly slaves fighting for freedom but some were ordinary men who volunteered to fight to increase their social status and fame.
Many started fighting at the age of 17 and the average gladiator lifespan was 30. He would have an average of 10 fights before he would meet his death in combat.
2. Visit the Colosseum at night
You can even do a night tour at the Colosseum but even if you don’t, you can stand outside and look in awe at this beautiful piece of history all lit up.
There’s a great atmosphere around the area as people come to chill outside and there are a lot of restaurants, cafes and bars nearby to fill you up.
3. Eat the best take away pizza in all of Rome
Go to Forno Campo de’ Fiori and get the best tasting take out pizza in Rome.
Forno Campo de’ Fiori is an old Italian bakery and the smells outside will lead you through the door.
I paid a visit after seeing a number of reviews on Trip Advisor recommending it. The Guardian wrote about it in 2011 and seven years later it’s still great tasting.
Besides at €2.50 for two slices you can’t go wrong.
4. Go to Vatican City
The Vatican is an independent state, not an Italian city.
It is guarded by Swiss soldiers, not Italian soldiers.
Go there and be amazed at not only the exquisite architecture but the art that’s housed in it.
It’s a huge tourist trap but well worth the stampedes to see the home of the Pope and the Catholic Church.
Michelangelo’s ceiling painting in the Sistine Chapel will blow you away.
5. Walk around the outdoor museum
Rome literally is an outdoor museum.
As our walking tour guide told us, it is a city built on top of a city.
New discoveries and excavations are made regularly and the city is in a constant of being dug up.
To a history buff, this city is paradise. You can see 3,000 years of history in one street.
The Romans were an ingenious civilisation and much of their work is still visible today, thousands of years later.
The fountains providing fresh mineral water across the city are a product of the Romans. Both the fountains and the aqueducts that bring the water from the mountains are still in operation today.
Columns, statues, grand water displays and old underground city ruins are at every turn.
If you like walking around cities then there is perhaps no better one to walk around than Rome.
In three days I’ve walked 41 miles.