One Day in Rome | Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, Truffle, and Gelato
When I think about Rome, I think about the three P's - pizza, pasta, and the Pope. All jokes aside, you can't go wrong visiting Rome. Even if you're just wandering its cobblestone streets, there's plenty of sights, sounds, and tastes to take in. How bad can it be when you can pass by the Trevi Fountain holding onto a gelato cone?
Here's my one day Rome itinerary - hope you enjoy!
(1) Start your day with an espresso
[Photo credit: culture trip, Sciascia]
Italians take their coffee very seriously. To be fair, almost our entire modern day coffee vocabulary revolves around Italian. And some of the oldest cafes are in Italy. Italians always start their morning with a coffee and pastry at their local bar (or café, as we call it). Coffee is usually taken standing up at the bar, in part because the amount is often a small shot of espresso which takes less than a minute to drink. There are plenty of options around Rome, but if you want something special - you must head to Sciascia. Scaiascia is an old-school coffee house, almost a century old, in Prati. The interior is decorated with period artwork and vintage machines. Their signature coffee is a punchy espresso served in a porcelain cup lined with melted dark chocolate. Yum.
(2) Immerse yourself in Vatican City
[Photo credit: youlocalRome]
While Vatican City is completely encompassed by Rome, it is a country all on its own. As a matter of fact, it's the smallest country in the world - at just one hundred acres. It is naturally one of the most populated areas in Rome, as both locals and tourists visit it daily. But it's worth the time. To make the most of your time here, you will need to some planning. To start off - there is a dress code at certain parts of Vatican City: you need to be covered inside the Basilica and Sistine Chapel. Men can get away with knee length shorts (pants are best) BUT women and girls must cover shoulders and knees.
St. Peter’s Basilica
This is one of the largest churches in the world and the most impressive example of Renaissance architecture. Outside the Basilica is St. Peter’s Square. This large public square is where the Papal Mass is held twice a week. Visit here on Sunday or on Wednesday to get the chance to catch a glimpse of the Pope. One of the magnificent features of St. Peter’s Square is the obelisk. This obelisk that was brought to Rome from Egypt by Caligula in 37 AD.
While touring the Basilica is free, they do charge you if you chose to walk up to the dome: You can take the lift plus walk 320 steps or climb all 551 steps. Having done it, I must say that the climb up and down was harder than I expected. The pathways can be quite steep and narrow, and some clearings were quite low. It was a beautiful view from the top... But I'd rather take in the view from some nearby rooftop bar.
(3 / 4) Savor some of Italy's best cuisine
You can't go to Italy and not expect to gain weight. If you're on a carb-free diet... good luck to you. Pizza and Pasta are a must... and it's always a struggle deciding which to have!
Pastasciutta is a small shop right outside Vatican City. Yes, it is a chain. Yes, it is fast food. And no, it is NOTHING like what you expect of fast-food chains. Pastasciutta stores make fresh pasta in front of you and cook it to order! That's right! You can see the chef preparing your meal or watch how fresh pasta is produced in the tiny little store. On top of the classics that are always on the menu, there are also seasonal items. It's basically everything you expect about eating pasta in Italy... except on a budget, and available to be eaten on the go while you walk around outside Vatican City.
[Photo credit: Pastasciutta]