Exploring the best of Rome on a weekend getaway
By Donna Grossi
There are many things that come to mind when you think of Rome. Grand piazzas, the smell of espresso, magnificent art works, and the Pope to name but a few. Home to tremendous galleries and museums, as well as some of the most delicious food in the world, Rome holiday breaks are perfect for a weekend away or even a week-long visit. I’ve teamed up with Expedia to put together this short guide to give you a flavour of the best of Rome, and to help you make the most of a weekend getaway to the Eternal City.
Get started at the Vatican Museums
Wake up bright and early to catch the museums during their quieter hours. While seeing the Vatican’s works of art in solitude isn’t a possibility, when you find yourself gazing at the masterpiece that is Michelangelo’s crowning achievement – the beautifully painted Sistine chapel ceiling – you won’t give a second thought to the people around you.
Don’t just skip ahead to the Sistine Chapel, though. Not only does the one-way system mean that you’d be shuffling slowly from gallery to gallery, but you’d be missing out on some of the most incredible art the museums have to offer. The Vatican Museums house a diverse collection of art from many different periods, and needs time to be fully appreciated. You should expect to spend at least three or four hours here to see everything in detail.
Image by Fabian Reus used under CC license
Vatican visit tip: Don’t forget the dress code. Bear in mind that, like most religious areas in Rome, the Vatican Museums have a strict dress code. Shoulders and legs should be covered, and tight clothing should be avoided. There are plenty of nearby vendors selling sarongs if you should forget, but it’s always best to be prepared.
Enjoy an early dinner at a local bistro
Avoid nearby tourist traps, and take a ten-minute walk to Passaguai, a small bistro which offers draft beers and local wines, as well as a particularly delicious meat and cheese platter. What better way to recharge after a day of walking around the Vatican Museums?
Admire Michelangelo’s work at St Peter’s Basilica
The scale and opulence of St Peter’s Basilica is unparalleled. A sculpture depicting the Madonna cradling her lost son can be found near the main entrance, and this moving piece of art sets the tone for what a visit to this grand church will entail. St Peter’s Basilica is filled with outstanding religious sculptures and ground-breaking architecture designed by Michelangelo. It’s impossible not to feel inspired as you watch the sun shine through Michelangelo’s famous gold-edged dome ceiling.
Image by april used under CC license
Visiting Rome is an unforgettable experience, and your time here is bound to leave you eager to return. The city has much to discover, and if you want to find out a little bit more, take a look at TWS’ Instagram highlights from last year’s trip to fuel your Rome getaway inspiration.
About the author:
Donna Grossi is a food blogger and travel writer. Based in London, she takes every opportunity to head back home to Northern Italy. She is currently writing a book about Piedmont cuisine.