Episode #003: Highlights of Rome

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Are you visiting Rome for the first time or returning to the Eternal City after many years? In episode three of Untold Italy travel podcast we discuss the must see highlights of Rome, why we love them and why you should visit them.

Show notes

Rome is one of the most important cities in the world and it’s jammed full of treasures. From ancient ruins to baroque fountains and galleries of Renaissance masterpieces, there’s something for everyone in beautiful Roma.

We share our favorite tips on making the most of your visit to Rome’s most famous attractions and help you decide if you need to book skip the line tickets or a tour or explore on your own. You’ll learn how much time you need to spend at each location and what to expect when you get there.

This is not a deep dive into the history and culture behind each of the attractions but rather a look at the practicalities of your visit, the emotions these sites stir for us and why we return to those places time and again, even after many trips to Rome.

Check out our Rome travel guide for information and articles on where to stay and what to do and see in the Eternal City.

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What you’ll learn in this episode

  1. Our top must see sights in Rome
  2. The Vatican’s multiple sites can be visited separately 
  3. Whether skip the line tickets or a guided tour is necessary
  4. How long to expect to stay in each place to help you build your itinerary
  5. Should you take young children to the Vatican Museums
  6. Where to take a great photo at the Pantheon
  7. What happens to the money that is thrown into the Trevi Fountain
  8. What you should NOT do at the Spanish Steps
  9. Our recommended small group tour companies in Rome

Places mentioned in this episode

  • The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
  • St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel
  • The Pantheon – ancient temple (now a church) in the center of Rome
  • Trevi Fountain – iconic monumental fountain
  • Piazza di Spagna / Spanish Steps – climb to the top of the steps for sweeping views of the city
  • Piazza Navona – large square with three important fountains
  • Via dei Condotti – famous shopping street in Rome near the Spanish Steps
  • Antico Caffè Greco – established in 1760, it’s the oldest cafe in Rome [Via dei Condotti, 86]

Resources

  • Our 5 day Rome itinerary – covers all the highlights and can be customized for more or fewer days
  • Best Vatican tours – our round up of the best group tours of the Vatican Museums and St Peters
  • Preferred tour company – Walks of Italy / Take Walkshave a longstanding reputation for excellent service, groups under 20 people and guaranteed departures. So if you are the only person booked on a tour it will still go ahead
  • Preferred tour company – The Roman Guy / The Tour Guy – a fun team known for their focus on making the sights of Italy come alive with stories and tales rather than facts and figures. Our listeners and readers get 5% off small group tours (except special access Colosseum tours) if you click on this link and make a booking. Discount is applied at checkout
  • How to plan a trip to Italy – our article that takes you step by step through trip planning
  • Italy Travel Planning – the FREE Facebook group where you can ask questions and get inspiration for planning your trip
  • Travel shop where you’ll find items mentioned in the show 

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Transcript

Prefer to read along as you listen? Below is a full transcript of our episode conversation. Unfortunately it does not pick up our lovely Australian accents however!

Click here for full episode transcript

Josie: 00:04 Ciao and benvenuti to Untold Italy. I’m Josie.

Katy: 00:07 And I’m Katy and we’re here to help you plan your trip to Italy.

Josie: 00:11 Between us, we have many years of travel experience and we want to help you uncover your own as yet untold stories and adventures in Italy.

Katy: 00:19 Each episode you’ll hear practical advice, tips and ideas to help you plan your own trips to the magical land of history, stunning landscapes, and a whole lot of pasta.

Josie: 00:28 We’ll have interviews from experts and focus on local destinations and frequently asked questions about traveling Italy.

Katy: 00:35 Thanks for listening and make sure to subscribe to our show. Now let’s get started on your regular dose of Bella Italia

Katy: 00:49 Ciao. Welcome to episode three of Untold Italy helping you plan your adventures in Italy.

Josie: 00:55 We’re going to take you to the beautiful Roma, the Eternal City home to the Colosseum, wonders of the Vatican Baroque fountains and beautiful Piazza’s, amazing food people and fantastic shopping.

Katy: 01:07 Oh my goodness. I love Rome. There’s just something about it. It’s just, it’s been there for so long. I love it, what do you think are the absolute must sees?

Josie: 01:15 I think definitely the Colosseum. The Roman Forum, my favorite, the Vatican museum. St Peter’s. What about you?

Katy: 01:21 What do I love? The Pantheon. It’s just, to me it’s amazing. Piazza Navona, the fountains, Trevi fountain and the Spanish steps.

Josie: 01:29 I think that there’s so many places that we could go on and on about. I’ve been there probably 10 -15 times into Rome and every time I find something different. So I think what what today is about is just really focusing on those five or six places that we think are a must see.

Speaker 2: 01:46 Yes, I think so. I think, you know, if it’s your first time to Rome, you can easily get overwhelmed with all the different places that you can go and see. And there’s definitely more places than what we’re going to talk about today. And you will find them. You’ll probably find them just by accident actually as you explore. However, I think it’s a good starting point for any first trip to Rome or even if you’re visiting after a few years, or, you haven’t been back for awhile – so where you want to start and those highlights that you want to see and also how long it’s going to take to explore each one. And that does depend a bit on your level of interest in those areas. But also, there’s a minimum amount of time that you probably want to spend in those areas.

Josie: 02:27 I totally agree. And also like if you start with the Colosseum, do you do it at night or do you do it in the day? So I think there’s some really great information that we can sort of help you. I haven’t done it a night, but I have walked past it at night. But then I know that you’ve done a night tour of the Colosseum. So I think again, we’re here to just sort of give you some overview of some of the amazing places and as you walk through in your experience, it’s not just the Colosseum or the Roman Forum, it’s the gelato shop that you can come past or you’re going to find another fountain that you didn’t even know existed. I think every time you step past something in Rome, you will find something.

Katy: 03:04 Oh, I know. That’s why it’s so amazing. Anyway, first things first. Let’s talk about the Colosseum and the Roman forum and Palatine Hill. So I think, for me this is like the most amazing part of Rome. There you are standing in the spot where 2000 years ago these buildings were built and they’ve stood the test of time and it’s just one of those amazing places that, you kind of pinch yourself I think when you see them.

Josie: 03:33 Yeah, I agree. Working out that when you’re standing in the Colosseum, even that, that’s where the gladiators were and then you go through the history of how that happened and how they were fighting each other with, with wild animals. And when you do the tour of the Colosseum, you actually learn more about it. And the size is so impressive and actually how much it’s actually still standing I think is, is, is amazing as well.

Katy: 03:55 I know it’s incredible. Like do you think about the buildings that we have today and whether they’re going to stand for 2000 years? And I would say probably not. I don’t know like that these buildings were built to last and they represent a time and a place that is just so, I guess long ago, but has made such a big impact on our society these days. And it’s actually a really big area, isn’t it? Like it’s quite surprising you get, you get a bit sort of like, Whoa, this is this is a huge area to explore.

Josie: 04:26 I think that, yeah, and I think it also takes you back to when you sit down. I mean, both of us have studied Shakespeare as well and we could imagine where Shakespeare could imagine where Mark Antony made his great speech imploring the citizens of Rome to support him. So you can actually see that happening there. And I think if you go through all the movies and things, you can actually, I don’t know, sometimes you can even, I could imagine the people coming into there and the actual feeling of how Rome would have been back in that time and how our imagination and how a lot of our stories have come from there.

Katy: 04:59 Yes, the Mark Antony speech is obviously fictional, but you can really imagine the “friends, Romans, countrymen”, speech playing out in that setting. But it’s, you know, it’s so evocative and you can see these columns rising up, you know, into the sky and the Colosseum sort of dominating that area as well. But, unfortunately went into ruin in the middle ages and, and, but still miraculously stood the test of time. So I think it’s a real testament to the power of that empire that stretched all the way, to the North in England and to the East in Turkey and beyond just this huge powerful force of empire , that has been so important to the development of our society today. And that’s why I love to visit the Colosseum. I think it’s, you know, it’s easily one of the most important sites in Italy if not the world.

Josie: 05:53 Yeah, I agree. I think, you know, being over 2000 years, just the, just the sheer nature of it. I think also going back to how they built it, I think it’s, you know, it’s amazing, you know, how many people did it take to build that? How long did it take to build it? So I think, I definitely think that is something that you could spend. We went in early in the morning cause we found that it got really hot in the middle of July and August. It gets really hot there cause it’s, there’s no, there’s no cover at all. So we found that we weren’t really early in the morning so that we could walk around. We also had met some friends that had two little boys, probably your kids’ age actually Katy and they ran around. They loved it and they were really, you know, when you tell the stories and you have all of that, I think it’s really when we look at the type of ages that, that it really goes through and who would be interested. It’s really all ages because you can actually tell some great stories.

Katy: 06:47 That’s exactly right. And I think, yeah, I think at the minimum time that you’d want to allocate in that area is around, Oh, I wouldn’t do it in really under two hours. You can’t really see it. So you need to allocate at least two to three hours. And if you don’t. have skip the line tickets, you’re probably going to need to wait a little, quite a long time as well actually. So we would really advise you to get skip the line tickets for the Colosseum if not a tour. So the minimum, I would say skip the line tickets.

Josie: 07:14 And do you pre-book that before you leave or is there something that you do when you, I’m a bit of a pre Booker, but I know different people do different things. What do you, what do you, what do you prefer?

Katy: 07:22 Well, if you want a specific time then you really should pre-book as early as possible. The official site ticket’s open around 60 to 90 days in advance and I would really recommend jumping on in securing the times that you want. Like you mentioned if you want to go earlier in the day, they’re the ones that go quickly, especially for the summer visits because it is much cooler during the morning. So definitely get on and do that as soon as you can. And it’s getting, you know, 30,000 people visit the Colosseum every day.

Josie: 07:52 Wow.

Katy: 07:52 It’s one of the most popular sites in the world. So they , for safety reasons mainly, really stagger the entries. So it’s a real supply and demand situation. If you want the early tickets or you want the most popular times, make sure to book in advance.

Josie: 08:07 Yeah, great idea. So the other place that we do have to talk about, which is one of my favorites, is the Vatican museum and St Peter’s. I think for me I have been, as I said many, many times and every time I go I find something else. Around this one I’ve done a couple of art walking tours. So I find that that for me, cause I really want to get into the history, I did the one where we went to the top of the Vatican and also down into the into the crypts as well. Cause I wanted to know the history of that. So for me, I mean that is a very sacred place being Catholic and something that I’ve absolutely love. I go early in the morning again there. Also skip the line, try to get in before because the crowds there are huge. What have you, what have you experienced?

Katy: 08:52 Well, I think it’s really important to let people know that the Vatican is really a big complex of different, I don’t want to say attractions, but different sites where you can go and visit. So the main ones that people will go and visit and which you really should go and visit is the Vatican museums, which includes the Sistine chapel and also St Peter’s. So they’re, and they’re two separate locations. So when people say the Vatican, it’s sometimes a little bit confusing because they sort of lump it all into one, but it’s actually two separate locations and you can visit them separately or you can visit them sequentially or you know, whatever. So for me, the Vatican museums are absolutely incredible. Like this is the world’s biggest collection of art. It’s just, it’s, it’s incredible. Like you’ve got all the masters there, Michelangelo, Raphael, you know, all the Renaissance, masters and sculptures, paintings and the incredible maps in the map room It’s, just one of the best museums in the world to go see art basically.

Josie: 10:03 100%. And once you’ve done all of that and then you walk through and you come into the Sistine chapel. It is absolutely glorious, I have to say, just standing there looking up. But as you said, Katy, every bit of art, every everything that they’ve done, how they’ve positioned it, the art is amazing. And as you said, Renaissance, Michelangelo, everything that we’ve read, heard, if you’re into art, I think it’s the place to go. And then when you walk into that Sistine chapel, there’s nothing like it. Really.

Katy: 10:29 Oh yes. It’s so, so beautiful. We had 20 minutes in there about a month ago and it was not enough. I mean, the detail and the beauty and the characters and humor of the Sistine chapel is something that you’ll never forget. And it just, you can just sit there for hours just looking at that painting and that room. Just magnificent. So look, I find the Vatican museums incredibly amazing and you should definitely sort of like, you can’t really see anything in that in under two hours really. There are tours that offer a fast track through the Vatican museums, but you’re not, you’re going to kind of be walking the whole time and not really taking too much in. So that’s really one area. So once you’ve reached the Sistine chapel and you, you know, I don’t know about you, but I actually find museums like that even as much as I love art and culture, I find it a little bit overwhelming to be honest. Like I get a kind of a brain, you know, like overwhelming sensation because it’s just so beautiful and so detailed and there’s so much history behind all of it. So I usually need to take a break, but you can’t actually go straight through into st Peter’s, which is the Basilica that dominates the skyline in Rome. And it’s, it is the largest church in the world and there’s wonderful paintings and sculptures inside for you to go and explore as well.

Josie: 11:58 Yeah, I agree. I think for me, I’m really into understanding the history behind it. So I like to walk through. So by the time I finished coming out of the, the Sistine chapel and, and I think that’s why I’ve gone three or four times, because every time you go and, and every tour I’ve taken, I’ve heard something different. So you’re right, it gets overwhelming. And as you go into that courtyard just outside of the Sistine chapel, you sort of, you sort of have to take that moment I think. And if you go early in the morning, you just, you just, yeah, I think you just need that time. You close your eyes and you just, you just have to be present for that moment. I think that’s really important. And going through to, to the church and then, you know, to have that feeling of then more art. I think you have to stop. I’m a really big person about stopping closing my eyes and just picturing it again. And as I do it now, as I do it now, I can, I can see the people, the places. I think it’s, it’s amazing.

Katy: 12:52 Yeah. So you know, St Peter’s itself, like you mentioned before, it’s it’s the church with all the sculptures and Michelangelo’s Pieta, the beautiful dome that you can go up and see and climb up the dome. So you can do that and you can also go down into the crypts and there’s even, you mean you can literally spend a whole day in the Vatican exploring both of those locations plus the Vatican gardens. So when you’re planning your trip, I think you need to at least allocate half a day to the Vatican museums and St Peter’s. So make sure that you don’t underestimate that. If you don’t go with a tour you can be spending a lot of time in, in queues. Similarly to the Colosseum, there’s upwards of 30,000 people visit that location a day as well. Unfortunately that’s not a wide open space, like the Colosseum. So if you do not go early, you’re going to be in a crowd and it can actually get quite unpleasant. So my recommendation is to grab a tour that leaves early in the morning and the two companies that we recommend to do that with, apart from the Vatican museums official tours is Walks of Italy and the Roman Guy or the Tour guy and that run wonderful tours and they make sure that you see all the highlights of those places. But it’s definitely worth while paying that little bit extra to go early in the morning because, you know, I just, I’ve got a video actually on the, on my Facebook group of me walking through the hall of maps just but on my own, you know, and that’s, it’s kind of unheard of these days. So if you want to really appreciate what’s going on around you, please go early because it can be very, very busy and very hot in summer because there’s no air conditioning except in the Sistine chapel.

Josie: 14:47 The other thing I think I would also note too, for those of you who would want to see the Pope get online and check for his audience, he does a mass. I believe it’s on a Wednesday. So just double check that. A time of, you know, us doing this, it may change. Also, he does go to his summer residence in the summer periods so he may not be in residence and may not do the mass at the time. We found that when we were there we also had different things going on. So just if you are wanting to go and you’re wanting to spend time, just make sure that you investigate what is going on at the Vatican because they can have different events going on during the time that you’re there.

Katy: 15:28 We’ll put a link to the calendar for the Vatican museums in this show notes as well. But it’s a really good point, Josie, because even if you wanted to go see the Pope, Wednesday may not be the best time to visit the Vatican museums either because it can get very crowded in there as well. So I think the best time to visit is probably on a Tuesday because the visiting people from Europe for who come for the weekend have probably gone home and then, yeah, it’s probably the least amount of people I would, I would recommend going on a Tuesday and also going very early in the morning. So if you, like we mentioned, if you want to go to the Vatican museums and it’s really, it’s one of those things you’ve got to do at least once in your lifetime. I think it’s it’s absolutely incredible and I always go back, actually it’s one of the things that I like to do. One thing I didn’t do was take my children.

Josie: 16:22 Oh, okay. Because you think it’s too much?

Katy: 16:24 Yeah. I think too much for four year olds and I probably wouldn’t visit the Vatican museums until they’re about 10, I would say. Because just because there’s a lot of priceless art there. You don’t want to be the, the parents with the kids destroying the priceless art. No just joking. I mean, some kids can definitely handle it. You know, your kids best. I just wouldn’t, don’t think my kids would go too well in there. You can actually take them to St Peter’s though. I think that’s fine. It’s a big open space and unless there’s a service going on at the time, you know, it’s one of those things you can get in and out of pretty quickly and have a look around and it’s well worth going as a family.

Josie: 17:04 Yeah, I agree. Totally agree. So the next star ancient ruins that we should really talk about is the Pantheon.

Katy: 17:14 Yeah, I mean, look, this is really, actually, this is my favorite. I just love the fact that you’re just wandering through the centro storico, the old district of Rome and you just, you’re going down these windy, narrow cobbled streets and there suddenly is the Pantheon just rising up with its magnificent dome and it’s been standing there intact for 2000 years. I just, I find it just incredible. I love it. I think it’s just one of those remarkable iconic sites in Rome that you absolutely cannot miss and it’s free.

Josie: 17:46 Yeah. I, I think it’s the most preserved. I think when you walk around and you’re just looking at it and you go, how did they preserve it? I think it’s, it’s definitely the most preserved building that they have in Rome other than obviously the Vatican and all of that. It’s the most influential building of ancient Rome that was ever built. I think it was dedicated to the gods, the pagan gods of Rome. And it’s still there. I think when you walk around, I must say it’s a little bit, I remember walking past it and I’m like, where am I? Because we were sort of a little bit lost as we walked through and we got up into the steps and in then you realize when you’ve gotten there how amazing it is, and then you’ve realized exactly where you are.

Katy: 18:29 Yeah. Right. So those columns that I’m at that are sort of facing out into the piazza and you walk into the Pantheon and it’s got that huge dome and the Oculus, which is the open air eye that that lets sunlight into, it’s the only way that sunlight’s led into the Pantheon. So it’s a quite a remarkable thing to see. And if it’s, if it’s a little bit drizzly or rainy, you can see the rain coming through the roof. It’s, it’s quite, quite amazing. And it’s obviously now a church, and it’s a working church. So services do happen there. And it’s completely round inside, right? So you can walk around and just admire the paintings on the wall and just the beauty of the architecture that’s been around for so long.

Josie: 19:15 And I think also where it’s situated, I think you can, it’s sort of in a central area. There’s lots of cafes and places that you can actually sit. There’s the there’s, you can sit around in the courtyard, so there’s lots of, it’s a place that you just come across and you actually have a moment and again and really enjoy it. The actual building is remarkable. Absolutely.

Katy: 19:38 Yeah. I think, you know, standing on the fountain, standing near the fountain, that’s just out the front, it’s just, one of those pinch yourself moments that I love in Rome. And I just think you just go, Oh my goodness, this is so different to my life in a country that’s quite modern and it’s just one of those amazing feelings that you get that these places stood for like hundreds and hundreds of years.

Josie: 19:59 For those of you who really like a photo opportunity, I think standing where the fountain is with your back to the Pantheon, I think it’s really a great photo because you get yourself and then the look through and it’s an amazing, it’s one of those pinch short as you said, a pinch, pinch yourself moment cause how can you be there? So again, how long do you think it takes? I love sitting there? So for me and just taking it in and soaking it in on a beautiful day.

Katy: 20:26 Yeah, sure. But I think if you want to go inside and look inside it, you know, it’s no more than about 30 minutes because it’s really quite a simple church inside apart from the beautiful architecture that’s around, you can do a tour there, and a lot of walking tours take you through that, that area in the Pantheon, but it’s not necessary. You can go in there and I just do, I just pop in and just like if every time I’m in Rome because to me it’s just so special. I love the Pantheon.

Josie: 20:53 I think something you just said, you pop in, you’re right, as we walk. I do a bit of that. So you’re walking to somewhere, so you might be walking from or to the Colosseum and you sort of do the, the road that may go past there and you do, you pop in two or three times while you’re walking past it because every time you go past you go, Oh, I’m going to go have another look. And every time you go you see something different. So I am definitely, the minute you walk past it, you just go. It’s that aha moment. You just stand there and, and I think every time you walk through that area’s amazing.

Katy: 21:26 It really is. And so not far from the Pantheon is the Fontana di Trevi, the Trevi fountain, which is another real symbol of Rome as well. And it’s just, you know, like really, why dont they build fountains like that anymore?

Josie: 21:40 I don’t know. It’s amazing. I’ve been there a few times, a couple of times, if it’s been closed when I went, cause they were cleaning it and then I went back the following year, it was all open and clean and white and amazing. And you’re right, another aha moment. Right. And how do you get through there? You, you wind through the streets, you, you go through and all of a sudden it’s there.

Katy: 22:00 Yeah. And it’s just this huge monumental fountain. And it, you know, it’s an 18th century fountain and it’s one of 3000 fountains in Rome. Like not all of them are working, but you know, this is like one of the most grandest beautiful fountains, made a marble and with water gushing all over it. I mean, it’s, it is not subtle is it? It’s just one of those really in your face gorgeous things and you can see photos of it on the internet and it just doesn’t do it any justice. It’s just one of those amazing structures really that is known the world over.

Josie: 22:34 I agree. And I think there’s a lot of people that go, so do not be shocked when you get there. But I have seen on your Facebook page, Katy, that a lot of people like to go at that five, six o’clock in the morning. I’m not an early person. I do admire the photos that they’ve put on.

Katy: 22:51 Yeah. I think if you really want to get those photos, you need to go early. Does get very, very, very, very busy there. And it doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Everyone wants to go to the Trevi fountain and get their photo and throw their coin in cause it’s one of those places, it’s got a, it’s got a bit of a mythology attached to it. If you toss your coin into the fountain, the Trevi fountain, then it’ll guarantee your return to Rome. And I don’t know, I don’t want to mess with that chance really. So I’m always throwing the coin.

Josie: 23:19 Yeah, I agree. I definitely love, I always go, it’s just the one place I think in Rome that you go, you see, but as you’re walking through again, you go from, you go from one part to the other and it just, I don’t know if I seem to be always attracted that I go that road because of the three roads into the Trevi. So I always seem to end up in one of those roads to get me into the Trevi. So, which is amazing. I’m also interesting about the money that’s that they were what we throw in so that we hope we come back to, to Rome.

Katy: 23:49 It’s so good that they do this. I think so they collect about 3000 euros a day from the money that gets thrown into the Trevi fountain. And the good news about that is it’s donated to the city’s homeless to help you know, relieve some of the pressure on the homeless people in Rome. And I think that’s a lovely gesture. And it, to me it makes it just, it makes it even more special.

Josie: 24:12 Yeah. I, I’ve definitely, that is definitely a place to go. I think the other place to really go, which is another one of my favorites. Have you heard, I pretty much like everything in Rome, but Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish steps is amazing.

Katy: 24:26 Yeah. I mean it’s 135 steps from Piazza di Spagna to the Chiesa della Trinita dei Monti and it’s, another one of those iconic places in Rome. And I guess at the base of the steps you’ve got the barcaccia fountain – the sinking boat fountain. And it’s just, you know, it’s just beautiful when people mill around there and it’s just got a great atmosphere. Hasnt it?

Josie: 24:49 I love it. We go there. For those of you who like to shop, that’s my favorite area too but yeah, you do, you mill around, as they are moving people. You can’t sit on the steps. I’ve heard them, they’re now moving people on and that you can’t actually sit. You can definitely take your photo though and walk up and down. But you cannot sit on the steps anymore.

Katy: 25:09 No, no. It’s, and there’s a few new rules around that. So unfortunately some people have been very disrespectful of the fountains and attractions in Rome. So you you need to be aware of that. You’re not allowed to sit on the Spanish steps and you will be moved on and, or find, unfortunately if you do that, but you know, just please take a time and moment, climb the stairs, get the views from the top. It’s just incredible.

Josie: 25:34 I think it’s something that we do need to discuss is the respect of these, of these places and making sure that you know, we keep them for a longer time. So it’s up to us because we are traveling and we are a lot of us traveling to different places of the world. And I think it’s just the respect and they want to keep them because I was there a couple of years ago when they actually closed them to clean them. And so I’d seen them, I’m going to say dirty. And then, now they opened them I think last year and they were white and clean and pristine. So I think it’s just around the, the keeping the beauty of what, what they’ve got.

Katy: 26:13 Yeah, absolutely. And the, these are treasures that have been hit there for hundreds of years. So you want, you know, I want my grandchildren and their grandchildren to see these beautiful places. So yeah, it’s up to us to, to keep it clean and to respect the culture and the laws in Rome. But just in terms of that Piazza di Spagna, I mean there’s cafes and as Josie said, her favorite shops. What’s the street? The, shopping street? Is it via Condotti.

Josie: 26:41 Yes Via Condotti. Down Via Condotti there’s a bar there that you can go in and have a coffee there that has been there for a hundred years. So you’ve got all the great designers, but it’s just the atmosphere. The road is closed. Everyone walks up and down. It is absolutely the atmosphere there is nothing like we’ve ever experienced.

Katy: 27:01 So it’s completely different. And that comes back to the culture that we want to help preserve. Right? So that both of those two places, the Trevi fountain and Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps. So probably you can spend a minimum of half an hour there, but you’ll probably want to spend more because of that atmosphere and how you feel when you’re exploring those those areas. They just, it’s beautiful. It’s different. It’s not like your home. And to me, the two places that make Rome very, very special and I think it’s those you know, like we’ve talked about the key highlights of Rome, but for me it’s not just those places. You can tick them off your list and do that. But for me it’s the getting to and from those places. And then as you walk around and you explore that, that’s where you get the best experiences in Rome. And, I think inexperience is definitely part of the highlights of Rome.

Josie: 27:50 Yeah, I agree. I think, and as we say, we’re giving you just sort of a taste of the couple of really fundamental places you should go. But as you walk from the Trevi fountain through to the Spanish steps, you’re going to experience different things. And I think really the fundamental thing that we’re talking about here, Katy, is really enjoy, enjoy the people, enjoy the food, the smells, the experience. Watch the people of Rome, they are amazing and just, and just enjoy every moment that you’re there.

Katy: 28:20 Yeah, exactly. So when you go to the Colosseum or the Vatican museums, you’re gonna see so many things along the way and just take that time to soak it all up and enjoy the experience. So you can definitely, you’ve got to go see these places. But in the end, that’s probably the feeling. And hopefully we’ve got that across. It’s that sense of wonder and amazement when you see the Colosseum. It’s the joy at the fountains, those amazing little fountains that you see around every corner. And that’s really the feeling that we want you to have when you go to Rome.

Josie: 28:54 Yeah, I agree. It’s something we’ve just not, we don’t have any young country here and I think it’s just the amazement, so really enjoy it. Take it in. Take your time. There’s no rush.

Katy: 29:05 That’s right. I would say definitely relax into Rome. So if you have any questions about visiting Rome, feel free to ask them. In our Italy travel planning Facebook group, I put a link to in the show notes as well as some other resources to help you plan a trip to Rome and it includes a sample five day itinerary. You can use this itinerary and adjust it for however many days you’re staying in Rome, but it’s a good baseline to start you off.

Katy: 29:30 In future episodes, we’ll share the highlights of Florence, Venice, and other cities around Italy that I just know you want to visit, but for next time we’ll be sharing something very tasty. Coming up in our next episode we’ll be talking about Italian food, breakfast to dinner and all the gelato in between.

Josie: 29:49 Katy, I can’t wait.

Katy: 29:50 I know, right? It’s our favorite topic.

Josie: 29:52 Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast for all the latest episodes. Grazie. Thanks for listening.

Katy: 29:58 Ciao for now.

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