City breaks to Rome
Rome is a relatively easy city to plan a short holiday in. Transport from the airport isn’t that difficult or expensive. The main tourist sites are in a fairly contained area. Hotels are plentiful with prices to match all budgets. City breaks to Rome can be done without the limitations of a package holiday and without a great deal of stress.
Rome with it’s more than two thousand years of history has the advantage of possessing a large number of world renown historical sites. Unfortunately the same sites you likely wish to see are the main interest of many other tourists taking a city break to Rome. To avoid wasting your time queuing in line it’s essential to book a couple of sites in advance. The Vatican museums and the Colosseum Forum complex. Note if you don’t wish to visit the Vatican museum you don’t need to book anything for St. Peter’s itself. The square is freely accessed. The church only requires you to wait for the security line. But it’s essential to book a ticket for the museum.
The Vatican you’ll notice on the map is off to one side. Between the time needed to visit the museums,the basilica and possibly climb the dome you should plan on spending a better part of the day in this area. If you decide not to book your museum ticket in advance it’s strongly suggest you go early to minimize the crowds.
The dome climb if done all on foot for some can be challenging. Even if you pick the elevator route in spots you will find the climb narrow. I don’t say any of this to scare you off but it’s better to understand the challenge before you start your climb.
The last Sunday of the month is free admission to the museums. At first this may sound like a good thing unfortunately the lines on that Sunday are even more historic than the usual lengthy lines. If you have any other choice avoid this day.
Spanish steps Rome
St. John of Lateran
Colosseum and forum
The Colosseum and forum are basically at the opposite end of the map from the Vatican. The distance between the two and the fact both are large sites make it a bad idea to try and combine the two on a single day. Make each the centerpiece of a single day.
The first Sunday of the month is free for the site. I would not suggest standing in line for the Colosseum on that day. Lines can stretch beyond the horizon. On the other hand if you are willing to arrive early the forum area can be accessed without too much waiting. The area is large enough that the crowds normally do not interfere with your enjoyment of the visit.
Many of the other sites of interest for your holiday to Rome are outdoors and don’t require an admission ticket. Some like the Trevi fountain do benefit from an early visit. It’s far easier to enjoy the fountain when you aren’t elbow to elbow with a jam packed crowd. Others you will find almost ignored.
Archbasilica St. John of Lateran for example is far from crowded in spite of it’s importance.
Planning city breaks to rome
A simple trick to make your stay easier is to use Google maps. Once you’ve made a list of the sites you wish to see place them all on a Google map and plan out a walking route. You will see many lesser known sites showing up on your walking route. I can’t stress enough how much more you will see if you walk between your main sites. The minor sites in Rome would represent major attractions in most other cities. Don’t whiz by them on a bus.