Yes, Rome is fun all on your own! I kicked off a 2-week adventure in Italy with 5 days in Rome prior to my #BellaVita guided tour with Collette Travel. Here are my top tips & opinionated opinions about Rome.
Disclaimer: It was tough to balance the joy of such an amazing trip with the sorrow that my beau Charlie could not join me. #SorryYesSorryMaybeAlittleNotSorry
Best Times to Visit Rome:
April to June and then late September to October are the best months for traveling in Italy — temperatures are usually mild and the crowds aren't quite so intense. Starting in mid-June, the summer rush really picks up, and from July to mid-September the country teems with visitors.
Late August in Rome:
Armed with the info above, here is what it’s like at the end of August in Rome
- No crowds. The summer rush is slowing down and many Italians are still away summer break which creates a wonderful lull in the crowds
- Days are long which leaves plenty of time to see the amazing sights & sounds
- Heat & Humidity. Average temperature during my visit was 77F/25C with about 68% humidity – yup, that’s hot & humid!
Pro Tips for visiting Rome in late August:
- Nap in the hot part of the day then roll out early evening for dinner & drinks.
- Sunblock & Water & maybe a cool stylish sunhat
This lively area is a centuries-old, working-class,colorful & funky bohemian area on the west bank of the Tiber, south of Vatican City, and within Municipio I. It's known for traditional and innovative trattorias, crowded & lively streets, pubs, and adorable shops, as well as a plethora AirBNB spots, B&Bs and low-cost hotels.
AirBNB in Trastevere
Rather than go the traditional hotel route, I found an amazing Airbnb one bedroom 3rd floor apartment on Vicolo della Penitenza – it was the perfect spot for getting everywhere quickly without being in the middle of it all.
Restaurants In Trastevere
Da Massi – Lovely food, great staff & service even late in the evening! My fave in Trastevere! And that fresh fish tho.
Luna e L'Altra Ristrò-Caffetteria – I stopped in for a fantastic lunch buffet & cold prosecco….. A quiet respite spot and it was right around the corner from my AirBNB and tucked into a little courtyard (blink and you’ll miss it). The surrounding buildings house offices for various women’s organizations – so many refreshing discussions with some of the women having lunch there.
Miraggio Ristorante Pizzeria – Great for dinner
Cafe Lungara 1940 – Fantastic spot for coffee & lunch – busy corner with some fun people watching inside & out.
Fountains in Rome
Water water everywhere, as much as you . The best drink – the fountain at St. Peter’s – a large multi-spigot fountain that was blessedly cold (see what I did there?). One of the locals mentioned that the fountains went dry a few summers back – I can’t imagine! I definitely got used to it quickly and carried my Nalgene bottle with me everywhere.
Rooftop Bar in Rome
Nothing like a sunset prosecco – definitely check out I Sofà Bar Restaurant & Roof Terrace!
Best time of Day to visit Rome Tourist Spots
Best time of day to visit any of the hopping hot spots in Rome is…. wait for… early morning! I collaborated with LivItaly Tours again and they asked me to try out two of their new tours that started earlier in the day. Like I said, in late August, many Italians are still on holiday so there is very little traffic. In addition, there are fewer tourists. My feedback on these two tours: BRILLIANT!
This tour was definitely worth getting up early – I opted for the car pick up at 6:30am (don’t balk, I know you may be on vaykay but it was worth rolling out of bed).
- The Pantheon
- Spanish Steps
- Fontana di Trevi
- Piazza Navona
- A quick top for cappuccino & a cornetto (a dreamy flaky pastry) at Di Rienzo Ristorante al Pantheon
2.5 hours of fabulous. My tour guide Shannon was absolutely amazing. All of LivItaly’s tour guides are top notch. SO much great information combined with storytelling.
Again, this was a LivItaly early morning tour and there were barely any people when I met my tour guide Barbara at 7:45. The place was bustling by the time we were done at 10:30am. SO much great information. And it was truly top to bottom – from the top of the Dome down to the Papal Tombs. Rather than try to recreate the description, head over to LivItaly – their description is spot on!
Once the crowds showed up, I really appreciated the VIP early tour experience.
Do you need to be able to speak Italian in Rome?
No, you can get by. But you should, at the very very least, learn the basic command of common requests. Most of the tourist spots & restaurants speak English but smaller spots & off the beaten path shops & restaurants generally speak very little English. So you’ll want to get a basic command of the language. Especially if you are traveling alone – you need to be able to ask for what you need especially in an emergency. Oh and ask for more wine or where the bathroom is located (also important things that may constitute an emergency).
Is Rome Zombie Proof?
Yes and No.
Yes because, like any European city, it was designed to keep out marauders with a solid set of walls & gates. In Rome, It was the Aurelian Walls – because they are remarkably well-preserved, largely the result of their constant use as Rome's primary fortification until the 19th century.
The best-preserved sections of the walls are found from the Muro Torto (Villa Borghese) to Corso d'Italia to Castro Pretorio; from Porta San Giovanni to Porta Ardeatina; from Porta Ostiense to the Tiber; and around Porta San Pancrazio. Source – Wikipedia
No because Rome is crowded and the streets are narrow. However, most buildings have exterior doors & all courtyards are gated. So, well, you might survive for a while if you make it inside safely!