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Make the most of Rome in 48 hours or weekend

colosseum rome italy

There’s no way that just a weekend in the Eternal City (Rome) could ever be enough time to full grasp the array of culture, history, art  and of course Italian food that Rome holds.  But I’ll try my best below to give you a weekend itinerary for Italy’s bustling capital which will leave you with a full heart and a full belly in just 48 hours. This is ‘How to make the most of Rome in 48 hours or weekend’.

roman forum birdseye view rome italy

Birdseye view of the Roman Forum – Rome, Italy

Friday

Flying in: Rome has two major airports Fiumicino and Ciampino both of which are easily accessed by the city’s fantastic and very affordable metro system. I recommend staying within the city’s historic central district for ease of access to the sites. However if you want to save some $$$ that would be better spent on pizza and wine, as long as you are within walking distance of a metro station, you won’t have any problems getting from A to B within the city limits at an inexpensive cost. You can get 24/48 and 72 hour Metrebus passes which will allow you unlimited travel on the network of trains and buses through the capital and for fewer than 20 Euros. Note the airport line is an extra ticket as with most cities around the world. Remember to validate your ticket inside the bus doors or near the turnstiles for the metro. No one wants an unexpected fine from a ticket inspector to ruin their weekend adventure!

roman street italy

Typical Roman street – Rome, Italy

Saturday

Rise and shine. No sleeping in here, a weekend in Rome is not nearly enough time to see and do everything but you can sleep when you’re dead because right now you want to maximise every hour you have in this wonderful city!

Grab a cappuccino and cannoli on your way to the trusty metro station because today you’re headed to the smallest country in the world…Vatican City. As with anything in Europe, pre-book your tickets! The lines for the Vatican can be ridiculous; we’re talking out the gates of the city and around the corner. I’m sure you’ve all read about them if you’ve ever been on a Tripadvisor forum for Rome! By pre-booking your time ticket you will by pass a significant amount of the line and get so much more out of your visit. I would personally recommend booking a guided tour ticket which combines access to the museums including the famous Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. You could easily lose a whole day wandering through the endless Vatican museums so having someone who can point out what you should be looking at and what you need to know as well as getting you through in half the time is invaluable for anyone who has limited time to spend. Your tour will conclude within St. Peters Basilica which is a bonus of the guided tour and those who purchase separate tickets have to exit the museums and line up again for security to enter the basilica. Make sure you also grab a ticket to climb to the top of the Dome; it costs under 10 Euros and provides excellent views which are actually a highlight of a trip to Rome. Please remember this is a religious site so you’ll need to cover up shoulders and knees, be respectful and once again limit the size of the bag you are carrying with you.

Jump back on the metro and head over to Spagna station. Take the time now to have some lunch and get your walking shoes ready. From here you’ll head over to your next stop, the Spanish Steps. Take a walk right to the top, have a seat, take in the passing parade and appreciate just how blessed you are to be experiencing this wonderful city.

It’s time now to wander in a south west direction. I recommend using the maps.me app offline mode on your mobile for this next portion just in case you can’t appreciate getting slightly lost in a foreign city. Take a stroll down Via dei Condotti with its boutiques and big name fashion stores and over the next few hours wander your way to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and finally to Piazza Navona. Be sure to grab a gelato while you’re in this area as there are so many to choose from all which different flavours, each one better than the next!

Familiarize yourself with the area. Take the chance now to head back to your accommodation, freshen up and rest before heading out later for dinner. Head back to Piazza Navona area for dinner…think pasta, pizza, risotto and more. This area has a vast array of nightlife so enjoy a few drinks after dinner while taking in how beautiful the area is within the night light. After dinner why not take a stroll along the Tiber and gaze at the sparkling lights of Rome or retrace your earlier steps and enjoy the beautiful Trevi Fountain lit up at night.

roman architecture italy

Roman Architecture – Rome, Italy

trevi fountain rome italy front view

Trevi Fountain from the front – Rome, Italy

Sunday

Another early day today and once again take advantage of pre-booking your tickets.  Why waste time in lines when for most attractions you can pay the same price or a few euros more to book ahead of time and skip the lines! For this trip grab a combined Colosseum/Palatino and Roman Forum pass and we’ll start off the day with an early visit to the Colosseum. You’ll get the best pictures earlier in the morning before the hoards of bus tours begin to arrive and not to mention the lighting will be less harsh for your pictures. For an extra few Euro be sure to grab an audio guide so that you can really get a better understanding of the fascinating history that has happened within the tattered walls. Arrive up to half an hour before your entry time to clear security and be sure to only take a small bag as this is one of the few sites around Italy that do not have cloak facilities and strict rules on taking in baggage.

After you’ve wandered around the Colosseum and taken a selfie or twenty, it’s time to walk across the road to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. You’ll want to spend a few hours between the sites, really taking a trip back to Ancient Rome.

Now that you’ve walked up at appetite, rest your feet on the metro and head to the Trastevere region well known for its many shops and cafes. Take full advantage of this chance to eat even more pizza and pasta and follow it up with gelato of course!

Now that you’ve refueled, take the afternoon to throw in an extra site or two of your choosing if you aren’t too tired. Below are a few recommendations:

La Bocca Della Verita (Mouth of Truth)

Catacombs of Rome

Villa Borghese Gardens

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Take a late afternoon or evening flight out of the eternal city and wisely use your time on the trip to home to plan when you’ll be back again to see what else Rome has to offer you.

I hope you enjoyed reading my post about how to make the most of Rome in 48 hours or over a weekend. If you have any tips or advice for a weekend in Rome, or just want to brag about how much gelato, pizza and pasta you ate I’d love for you to share in the comment section below. Safe travels Xx Flick.

gelato rome italy

Gelato tub – Rome, Italy

 

 

 

Destinations Europe

Photo Diaries: Barcelona in Black & White

casa mila barcelona spain gaudi

It was a perfect September’s day with the sky shining bright, as blue as the ocean and the warm Spanish sun beating down on me. All the hours of daylight were exhausted wandering the cobblestone streets and taking in the sights, sounds and tastes of a city rich in history and culture. Share in my discovery of the beautiful city of Barcelona…

barcelona spain

gothic quarter barcelona spain

barcelona spain

gothic quarter barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

sagrada familia barcelona spain

park guell barcelona spain gaudi

park guell barcelona spain gaudi

barcelona spain

Do any of you have fond memories of Barcelona or great places to see around the city? Please share them with me and everyone below. Xx Flick

 

Destinations Europe

Should Playing ‘The Home of Golf – St Andrews’ Be On Your Bucket List?

Hi All, Leigh here. For those that haven’t seen me on the blog before, I’m Flick’s partner and the blog below is a little contribution I wanted to make to the Fly With Flick community.

During our time in the UK, Flick was kind enough to surprise me with a round at the home of golf!! I played the St Andrews – Jubilee Course. When I have told people that I have played St Andrews, all I have been asked is “Was it worth playing”? As an avid golfer, my obvious answer was ‘YES!’, however I will discuss in this blog, why playing any course at the Home of Golf should be on your bucket list.

Unfortunately, due to holiday planning and timing, I wasn’t able to play the Old Course (I will one day). However, it was extremely easy to purchase a round at the Jubilee Course online. This ease of booking will obviously fluctuate with the seasonal demand, but playing in September was a breeze.

St Andrews Jubilee Course - 8th Hole

St Andrews Jubilee Course – 8th Hole

The day of my round, we traveled from Edinburgh (closest big city), which was a 30 minute drive through beautiful country side. Driving through the St Andrews town, around the 18th green / 1st tee of the Old Course, to the main car park was an incredible experience (would recommend walking this as well as driving).

From the car park to the first tee was very easy, as friendly staff helped with our booking and organising clubs (which was only 30 British Pounds). The hire clubs was a relatively brand new set of Callaways and they even had a set with stiff shafts. I would recommend checking out the change rooms before or after your round. I know this sounds a little odd, but the walk down there was draped in framed photos and memorabilia, and some of the change room lockers had the names of the famous golfers who had used them. I am sure this is the change room they use during most of the Open Championships played at St Andrews.

Stepping up to the first tee was a very surreal moment. The layout of the Jubilee Course was very similar to that of the Old Course; tight fairways, ominous deep bunkers and difficult long rough. With all that going through my mind, it was even sweeter to smash a good drive 40 yards short of the green. My first thoughts walking down the first hole was ‘This course is easy’. That particular day there was blue skies all around, no wind and a cool kick to the air, absolutely beautiful conditions for golf!

St Andrews Jubilee Course - 4th Hole

St Andrews Jubilee Course – 4th Hole

The first few holes follow the same layout as the first few of the Old Course. I was surprised how large the greens actually were. You’ll understand when you will have a 100+ foot putt for your birdie or par. The course itself is in immaculate condition; true rolling greens, trimmed fairways, groomed tee boxes and manicured bunkers.

By the time we reached the 12th, the famous Scottish weather had set in. Low clouds had rolled over, the breeze had picked up to almost gale force and it looked liked rain the closer we got to the 18th. Some of the holes were insane to play, especially the holes with the wind from the left. I remember the par 3, 17th hole. It was a 200+ yard par 3 with a relatively large green, surrounded by the classic St Andrew style bunkers. The safe play would be to aim to the left hand side of the green and use the wind to bring it back to the center. I did this perfectly, however underestimated the strength of the left to right wind. The ball ended up in the right hand side of the right bunker, leaving a difficult up and down. This sort of misjudgment happened pretty much on every hole after the 12th, making the course almost Tiger proof.

St Andrews Jubilee Course - Bunkers

St Andrews Jubilee Course – Bunkers

I took my time walking up the 18th hole. The course, the way it played, the way it looked and the way it twisted my thinking was all running through my head. From the 18th hole on the Jubilee, you can seen the 17th and 18th of the Old Course as well. With all this going through my head, I three-putt the 18th for a round of 81 (my handicap at the time was 12 and par for the Jubilee Course was 72) so not bad at all.

St Andrews Jubilee Course - Scorecard

St Andrews Jubilee Course – Scorecard

After the round, I walked up and down the 17th and 18th of the Old Course and had my photo taken on the Swilken Bridge. Typical tourist move but an absolute must!

I cannot put into words what it felt like playing the Jubilee Course and spending time at the Old Course at St Andrews. I would recommend it to any golfer that wants to experience a tough, links style golf course. Playing any of the courses at St Andrews, the Home of Golf, is a must and a priceless experience.

St Andrews Jubilee Course - 18th Hole

St Andrews Jubilee Course – 18th Hole