My travel diary: Four days in Rome blog post was first published on Culture Tourist on 14 February 2017 and updated on 16 May 2023.
Last month I spent four days in Rome. The city was busy, loud, and filled with cars, but also calm, monumental and beautiful at the same time. It was my first time in Rome, so I wanted to see everything: Roman ruins, museums, beautiful architecture. But I also wanted to get a glimpse of the everyday life in the Eternal City and enjoy wandering its streets, meeting some locals and tasting delicious Italian food.
Four days in Rome
During my four days in Rome, I managed to experience all of that. It’s a beautiful city and, for a reason, one of the most popular places in Europe.
Day one in Rome
My four days in Rome started rough. The night before, there was a massive storm in Amsterdam, so I was worried about our flight. But everything was more than perfect in the end. It was a calm flight, and we came to Rome around 2 pm.
After checking in at our hotel, we went for a short walk towards one of the most famous sites in Rome, the Colosseum. It’s always exciting to see those very famous buildings for the first time in your life. I felt like a child, remembering when I saw that fantastic building for the first time in my school book. And how far and distant it looked to me back then.
Learning how to cook like an Italian
Oooh, Italian food… It’s my favourite cuisine! I could eat pasta every day and finish every single meal with tiramisu.
We wanted to learn more about Italian food during our trip to Rome, so we booked a cooking workshop for that evening. First, we made the pasta dough, and our teacher Roberto taught us which flour combination works best. I expected making pasta to be much more complicated, but it was pretty easy. We also made amatriciana sauce for pasta, tomato bruschetta, some antipasti as a starter and a nice dessert – ciambelle al vino. And I am very proud of us because everything was delicious!
Day two in Rome
Exploring Vatican City
After a delicious Italian breakfast and a coffee, we walked towards the Spanish steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Rome is filled with beautiful architecture, so you stumble to fantastic masterpieces around each corner.
We planned to visit Vatican City in the afternoon to see its famous museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. Since it’s such a fantastic piece of art and home to numerous paintings and statues, we decided to have a guided tour there and learn as much as possible about it.
After a long search, I booked this small group tour in the Vatican. And it was such a wonderful experience! Our guide Alessia took us on a three-hour-long walk around the Vatican museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican is so huge and filled with incredible artwork it would be completely impossible to see it on our own.
Vatican Museums is undoubtedly one of the best museums in Europe, treasuring so many masterpieces from Antiquity to the Renaissance time. I especially liked the mosaics and the gallery with frescoes depicting old maps of Italy. And the stories behind them – stories about artists, popes and aristocratic families of that time.
At Sistine Chapel, we were amazed by Michelangelo’s persistence and artistic talent. And St. Peter’s Basilica is a masterpiece itself. It really is the Cathedral of the World. Every detail in it is beautiful, from Michelangelo’s Pieta to Bernini’s Baldacchino.
After our tour, we went to St. Peter’s Square. While looking at the famous Basilica, I was overwhelmed with the feeling of appreciation and respect for all the people working on those masterpieces I’ve just seen. Standing there and looking at the sky just cleared from the rainy clouds gave me the feeling of standing in a special sacred place. It was one of the moments I will remember forever!
Day three in Rome
Rome is best known for its old Roman architecture and archaeological sites. Colosseum and Roman Forum are the most famous places from the Classical Antiquity. We wanted to see both, so we arrived right after breakfast, and it was already quite busy.
Although the place could use a lot of organisational improvements, it is still stunning! It is a massive archaeological site with triumphal arches, columns and old temples. We should have bought tickets in advance before we got there. Because we didn’t do that, we had to wait for quite some time to get inside. However, I’ll get there with a guided tour if I revisit it.
We spent the whole morning exploring this interesting area of Rome. So, after that, we were ready for a nice Italian lunch!
We listened to the recommendation we got from our guide and went to Trattoria Luzzi, which is close to Colosseum. It had everything a typical Italian restaurant in Rome should have. A long line of people was waiting to get inside, the waiters were loud and entertaining, and the food was terrific! I just loved it! The food was so delicious that I didn’t have time to take any photos of it.
Afternoon in Trastevere
If you’ve been following the Culture Tourist blog for some time, you know how I love to explore local residential areas of the cities I’m visiting. It always gives me a great insight into the local culture and everyday life of people living there.
That’s why we spent one afternoon exploring the charming Trastevere neighbourhood during our four days in Rome. It’s a colourful area with narrow streets, clothes drying on the balconies and plenty of small cute cafés and restaurants.
As a massive fan of ice cream, I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to try some gelato during our four days in Rome. We went to an excellent biological patisserie at Trastevere, where I treated myself to a delicious scoop of ginger-honey gelato!
Well, I am really craving it right now…
It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, so we wandered alongside the Tiber River. There are so many beautiful buildings next to it, with Castel Sant’Angelo being my favourite. The bridge in front of it, with all those sculptures of angels, is just stunning. It would make a perfect setting for some exciting thriller movies.
With a combination of beautiful Roman architecture and golden hour, we couldn’t resist taking our cameras out and trying to capture that beauty. We definitely understood why Rome is called the Eternal City.
Day four in Rome
It was our last day in Rome, and since we had a few hours left before catching our flight, we met the Angel Tours again to join their short free Pantheon tour. Everyone knows that building well, but I started to look at it with a new pair of eyes after our guide explained its architecture, symbolism and significance. It’s such a magical place.
After I spent four days in Rome, I realised it is not an easy city. You can feel it has its own problems. But it is an eternal city! The one that will always inspire people and the one to which they will always return. Read about it before your trip, buy the tickets for museums and archaeological sights in advance, and learn about it during the guided tour! And then just wander around it for the rest of your trip.
And in the end, don’t forget to throw a coin to the Trevi Fountain, so you’re sure you’ll come back!
Finally, I recommend Angel Tours and our great tours with them in Rome. I am not related to them, and this is not a sponsored post. I am just genuinely amazed by their work, the great guides we had and their professional approach. So, a big shout-out here for the Angel Tours! Thanks for the lovely time we had in Rome with you!
Would you like to explore more of Italy?