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{travel guide} When in Rome

  Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 7:30 AM   |    Post a Comment     Tagged:,,,, 
We've made it to the last city guide of my Italy trip! But there will still be a photo diary tomorrow as well. We arrived in Rome around 12pm from Positano and stayed until Thursday morning, we left at 5:30am...BARF! Rome is a big place, so once again I'll only be sharing the highlights of what we did.

What to Do

The Aventine Keyhole

This is one of the coolest things we saw in Rome. My friend Caleb read about this little-known secret and I'm so glad he found it. There were only 4 other people there when we were. Basically you will walk up to a big green door and look in the keyhole to have a perfect view of St Peters Basilica through a garden. You can apparently arrange to go into the garden but we didn't look into that. So go to the Piazza Dei Cavalieri Di Malta and look through that keyhole!

The Coliseum

One of our first stops in Rome was The Coliseum (or Colosseum depending on how you spell it.) We didn't buy our tickets online and were lucky enough to have a slow day in the on-site ticket sales. We didn't have a guide so we just walked around and took in the general splendor. They do an audio guided tour which I would recommend if you have more time to spend there, we had a lot to get done so it was probably best we didn't do that.

Palatine Hill / Roman Forum

You can gain access to these with a ticket from the Coliseum, its about 12 Euros for all three if I remember correctly. It's one of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. Once you come down from the Palatine Hill you will find the Roman Forum. It's funny that such ancient structures are surrounded by modern buildings and a bustling city.

Piazza Di Spagna / Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps are a great place to sit and people watch. They're always a bit crowded but that's part of the charm. There's also some great designer shopping in this area. I ended up buying my splurge purchase at the Gucci across from the steps on our last day.

Trevi Fountain

Any movie you've ever seen that takes place in Rome involves The Trevi Fountain. The legend goes, if you toss a coin in the fountain you're sure to return to Rome some day. This is another huge tourist spot so you'll have to wait to get to the edge of the fountain to make your wish.

Vatican Museums

There is so much to see here. We used a Rick Steves audio tour that was an hour long for the museum. It was a fast track tour so we didn't see everything, but we got a great taste. One thing you absolutely can't miss is the Raphael Rooms. Four rooms designed (3 painted by) Raphael. One of the rooms features The School of Athens, a fresco full of figures in the disciplines of philosophy, poetry, theology, and law. A few of the frescos include self portraits of Raphael.

Sistine Chapel

At the end of the Vatican Museums you'll find the Sistine Chapel, where the ceiling is painted by Michelangelo. He also painted "The Last Judgement" which can be found on the front wall of the chapel. Your neck WILL be killing you by the time you leave from looking up at the gorgeous ceiling. Sadly for us all the seats along the walls were full up so we were standing the whole time. You probably will be too. (No pictures allowed but I broke the rules thanks to my phone case that covers the screen)

St. Peter’s Basilica

There will be long lines to get into the Basilica. We actually cheated our way around them by following a tour group through the special tour entrance from the Sistine Chapel. Such rebels! This is one of the largest churches in the world so there's a lot to see inside. It's free to enter, but they charge you if you want to climb up the Dome.


The Pantheon, not to be confused with the Parthenon in Greece is another great place to check out. It's an old Roman temple turned church. Santa Maria della Pace, which reminded us of Gringotts, is another church to stop by. We also visited the Baths of Diocletian, Capitoline Museums and Palazzo Doria Pamphilj. The third was probably my favorite, the walls are FULL of art and your ticket comes with an audio guide. We had wanted to visit the Galleria Borghese but weren't sure if we would have time and as a result we didn't get to go because they sell out of viewing times.

Where to Eat


Ristorante Dilla

This was where we had our last meal of the trip. It was the perfect way to end our 10 day trek around Italy. I had the whole wheat spaghetti with hazelnut and sage pesto followed by chocolate salami for dessert.

Spaccio Pasta

This place was right down the street from our airbnb and we had a 10% off coupon so it was a no brainer. You HAVE to get the rosemary foccacia, it is delicious! I ate a whole basket of it myself (my friends shared a second one.) We also shared some fried dough balls. I had the Fettuccine Pomodoro e Basilico. It was really good, but a little more saucy than I like. I prefer less sauce on my pasta which is how the Italians usually do it, this was more like an American amount of sauce.

Le Virtù in Tavola

Another restaurant that was right by our accommodations. They brought us a glass of champagne shortly after we sat down as well as two kinds of bread. I ordered the baked sea bass with potatoes! It was really simple and really tasty.

Taverna del Seminario

I wasn't a huge fan of my entree here, the chicken with salad, but it's worth mentioning for the dessert. I got the apple tart and it was brought to me nice and warm. Soooo tasty! My friend, a tiramisu fanatic, had that and said it was pretty good as well.

Amedeo Ristorante

This was a "let's look on Yelp and find somewhere close" restaurant. All three of us diners ended up getting the same thing, marinated chicken with carrots and zucchini. It was pretty tasty, sort of like comfort food.

Verde Pistacchio

More gelato! This place was super cute, you paid through a green VW bus and then chose your flavors at the counter. As usual I got dark chocolate and strawberry. I think this was one of my favorite gelato spots but they're all running together so it's hard to really rank them.


This is a cafe and gelato shop and they had soooo many flavors. I went a little off my usual and got dark chocolate and pomegranate here.

Old Bridge Gelato

A friend recommended this very small gelato shop as a place to stop before (or after) visiting The Vatican. As with all the other gelato we ate, it was delicious.

About Closet Fashionista

Loves to get bargains on clothes and is obsessed with Harry Potter and Disney. By day she is a freelance graphic and web designer. She also has a slight obsession with movies.

You can also find her on the web at her Harry Potter and Matthew Lewis fan sites.


  1. How amazing are these photos?? Gorgeous! WHat a cool view from a key hole!!

    xx, Elise

  2. What a great travel guide --- it makes me really nostalgic to visit Italy!

    Courtney ~ Sartorial Sidelines

  3. Great photos! I love that keyhole!

    Stella xx

  4. If there was one particular thing I enjoyed in Italy was the ice cream !!
    I never heard about the keyhole and between you and me, I never "got" the Spanish Steps ;)

    1. Haha yea, for me the steps were basically a place to sit for a while and rest our feet. But I imagine it's beautiful first thing in the morning when no one is there.

  5. Thanks for sharing your guide! That key hole is so cool, and it really is one of the marvels of the city that there can be all of these ancient ruins surrounded by a modern city.

  6. Well now I am hungry as anything! I've heard about the Aventine Keyhole before, when I'm abroad in Europe I'm definitely making it to Rome to look through!

  7. Oh Rome, my homeland. I'm not going to lie...I'm extremely jealous of those gelato pictures! I bet it was great!

  8. What amazing pictures! I went a few years ago and this just reminds me of how stunning it was!


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