Nov 1, 2019
Now Rome is a big city, so if you come here thinking that you'll see most of the "must-sees" in just a few days, you are wrong. However, a carefully planned itinerary to see, explore, and have fun on the weekend is all you need!
It’s no surprise that the Roman public transport system leaves a lot to be desired. In a recent article in RomaToday, it was published that the average waiting time for a bus is 20 minutes. Despite this, the city is well connected. There are two main metros and good connections with busses and trams. Taxi stops are also a common sight around the city. I would recommend downloading Moovit on your phone. This app will give you real-time transport updates and help you plan your journey around the eternal city.
Parks, Museums and Churches
One fantastic benefit of living in Rome is that the weather in the winter is not terrible. It rains but every so often, and usually, you get dry cold weather which is perfect for walking in the city during the weekend. I recommend going for a morning stroll to Villa Borghese and visiting the Bernini museum. After having a nice lunch around Barberini (down via Vittorio Veneto), you can go and visit some of Rome’s beautiful churches such as Trinita dei Monti or San Carlo del Corso and finish off with a nice gelato in Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish steps). If you would like to warm up instead, Babbington’s tearoom is a lovely place to have afternoon tea in the same area.
For people who have frequently visited or lived in Rome, the same tourist attractions can lose their charm. I would recommend visiting parts of the city which are not very well known to tourists. If you are interested in street art, for example, Testaccio is a brilliant neighbourhood that is packed full of beautiful murals. Europe’s first eco-friendly mural which removes CO2 from the air was painted in Testaccio, and it is definitely worth a look.
The museum of modern art known as the MAXXI is an incredibly beautiful museum located in the north of the city. If you want to see something different, but also immerse yourself in modern Italian art, then this is the place to be. It can be easily accessed with public transport taking the number 9 tram from Flaminio. Nearby is a bridge called Ponte Della Musica, which is a beautiful bridge with a skatepark overlooking the Tiber river. It’s a lovely place to take a stroll through in the afternoon.
Rome has a lot to offer to those who want to relax and have fun over the weekend. With a vast array of restaurants, bars and clubs, there is always something different to try. One interesting fact about Roman nightlife is that it varies very much depending on which neighbourhood you visit. Trastevere, for example, is known to be crowded and full of bars whereas Cavour has fewer tourists and more restaurants. This gives you plenty of time to explore each zone and discover your favourite spots to eat and drink. If you don’t fancy going out, there are various theatres in Rome which offer everything from opera to magic shows, so there will always be a new show to watch. If you want to go to the cinema, but you don't know Italian, there is a cinema in Barberini which screens movies in English during the evenings.
From the Forums to the Vatican
My favourite walks to do in Rome on a sunny Sunday starts from the Colosseum and ends in the Vatican. Now please do keep in mind this is a long walk, so wear your comfortable shoes. It would start early in the morning having breakfast in front of the Colosseo, then moving down via dei Fori Imperiali and passing by Piazza Venezia. There (for a small fee) you can take an elevator to the top of the Monumento Vittorio Emanuele II and have a breath-taking view of the city. Then move down via del Corso and make a small detour and see the Pantheon or move to the opposite side to see the Fontana di Trevi. The walk continues down via del Corso down to Piazza del Popolo, where you can see two beautiful churches and one Egyptian obelisk. From there you can take Via Cola di Rienzo, where you can stop for lunch in one of the many restaurants. Then continue down the same street, and eventually, you will reach Ottaviano, where you can either visit the Vatican museums or St. Peter’s Basilica.
No matter what or where you choose to go, Rome will always have something fun and different to offer you, your friends, and your family for a fun weekend! Whether it’s exploring ancient ruins or seeing beautiful murals, you will never be bored in such an incredible city.
David Rosales is an alumnus of St. Stephen's School, Rome, Italy. He graduated in 2019 with a BSc Hons in Biotechnology from the University of Manchester.