Rome is often a dream destination and on the top of couples travel bucket lists. It is arguably Europe’s greatest city in regards to a combination of culture, history, food, and beauty. Although Leslie and I only spent two days in the city and it was a family trip, we could easily see the potential for a romantic Rome experience and adventure.
As this travel report will show, even in a short amount of time you can enjoy a lot of the magnificence of the almost 3,000-year-old city and find plenty of breathtaking moments. I hope this romantic Rome travel report helps you plan an even longer trip that is consumed by romance, beauty, and of course lots of pasta and cannoli.
*** A Note About Our Travel Reports: These travel reports are not meant to be comprehensive travel guides about the destination. They are just an overview and retelling of our experience during the visit. We hope this information helps you in planning your romantic travel adventure. Please check out our resource section for more in-depth and additional trip planning information.
What Makes Rome Romantic:
Che bella città or in the not as romantic sounding language of English – what a beautiful city! While I usually say romance is in the eye of the beholder, it would be hard for most not to feel some sense of romance throughout this magnificent city.
First off, the language itself spoken by an Italian or even when butchered by an American delivers a sense of intoxication to the listener regardless of the meaning of the words uttered.
Days can be spent strolling along the Tiber River, through the many squares with fountains and centuries old buildings, or touring the historic sites that Julius Caesar and Michelangelo once stood. Nights can be spent savoring the food such as pasta and pizza while washing it down with wine and espresso, as you look your significant other in the eyes and say: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” You’ll quickly learn how romantic Rome really can be.
Romantic Rome Travel Report:
“Was that a red light he we just drove through?” Leslie said while gripping my hand hard as our driver and tour guide, Ivano, took another hairpin turn through a busy intersection barely missing a woman on a hot pink Vespa. Sensing we were a bit nervous Ivano turned to us and said: “In Rome traffic signs and signals are more of a guideline than a rule. Now let’s go get some pizza and espresso!” Ah…we had finally made it to Rome.
Rome (population 3.4 million) is not meant to be seen as we did in only two days. Being on a family trip with our main destination the region of Tuscany, we were lucky to have at least a couple of days to crash course the city in July of 2014.
Despite the short time the images, memories, and feelings of being there are very vivid to this day.
I come from an Italian heritage. Three out of my four grandparents were Italian with most of their parents were born throughout Southern Italy. Growing up in New York where a lot of others with Italian descent resided was the next best thing to being in Italy because so much of the culture was part of my childhood.
For many years, I heard stories of what it was like back in the homeland, while eating pasta during Sunday dinner. I watched countless movies portraying life in Italy and viewed others pictures in awe. So, when we were invited by my father to take this trip we of course welcomed the generous opportunity.
With limited time and not knowing when we would be back to Rome, we did not want to miss seeing as many of the major sights as possible, even if some were just for mere minutes.
We hired a private tour company and two Italian gentlemen led us around in vans, zipping through the city, and stopping at most major sites. Some of them included: the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, Colosseum, Piazza Navona, Theater of Marcellus, Roman Forum, Capitoline Hill, and Trevi Fountain (unfortunately under construction during our visit).
As you will see from some of our pictures, the buildings, statues, artwork, and all around architecture are exquisite. You are literally standing and looking at buildings thousands of years old built during the Roman Empire. It is a history buff or anyone’s who enjoys viewing beauty’s dream. It is also interesting how the city blends being a modern metropolis while still keeping its history and roots. We do not have anything as old or intact as a comparison in the United States.
Viewing many of the sites we visited combined with the eccentricities and grandness of Rome will easily bring out the romanticism of your trip. You will not need much help seeing how romantic Rome is. But, I do recommend that if you want to learn more about the history of some of the sites you visit that you consider hiring a guide at the main attractions.
Although the Roman Forum and Colosseum were extremely impressive to enter and view, because of our time schedule we were not able to get a detailed tour and hear the stories these sites have to tell.
After all the exploring we did in Rome, we left Italy and went to Vatican City. Many people do not realize that Vatican City is its own nation and the smallest nation on earth with an area of only 11 acres.
At Vatican City, we did have a private tour guide that allowed us to expedite our entrance, learn about what we were viewing and not worry about how to get to the things we want to see such as the Sistine Chapel.
We started our visit at the Vatican Museum where we spent several hours admiring one of the most impressive art collections in existence with of course Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel being the crown jewel. One thing I definitely didn’t realize before visiting is that the art work and especially the painted ceilings within the Vatican Museum were in many ways almost as impressive as within the Sistine Chapel. You will see from a couple of our pictures that they are as colorful, detailed, and almost as grand.
Also in Vatican City is St Peter’s Basilica, which was one of the most impressive and overwhelming (in a good way) churches and structures I’ve ever seen.
Where to Stay:
The hotel we stayed in was the Rome Times Hotel (Via Milano, 42, 00184 Roma, Italy) which was a modern designer hotel that seemed to be in a good location and within walking distance to many nice areas and squares. Because I didn’t plan this actual trip personally, I did not learn about the best areas to stay to provide advice in this area, but I don’t think you could go wrong with the area of this hotel as far as walkability, safety, and amenities.
The right hotel can add to the romantic Rome experience you might be looking for. The map below will show you where the hotel was located and the location of many other top sites we visited.
Rome Times Hotel
Rome Fiumicino Airport
Eating and Drinking:
Now on to one of the best parts about visiting Rome – all the wonderful food and drinks you are able to consume and enjoy! Now, this is going to sound crazy, but it is possible to find a bad meal in Rome. I know, that does seem impossible, Rome is supposed to have some of the best food in the world and it does, but remember this is also a city where over four million tourists visit every year. Because of that, I have read that it is possible to pick the wrong restaurants and not have the Italian food you always dreamt of in Italy.
With just a little homework, I am sure you can put together a list of many suitable places. The pasta, pizza, wine, and gelato can be as good as you are imagining. I know I had very high expectations, especially growing up eating homemade Italian food. In Rome, I had one so-so meal and two outstanding meals. The food definitely can live up to expectations, but again I’d check on some reviews from a travel guidebook or elsewhere online first.
We love wine and cappuccino so we enjoyed those as often as possible. We thought the table/house wine was excellent at every place we went. Our hotel supplied breakfast each day that consisted of lots of meat, cheese, and bread, which definitely worked for us. At lunch, we had pizza and pasta and dinner we had more pasta with some meats. We made sure to lose some pounds before we went on the trip so we could eat guilt free and savor every bite.
This is something nobody wants to worry about, especially when on a romantic trip of any kind. There were times when I found myself worried in busy areas because we were warned by numerous travel guidebook and websites about the threat.
We took precautions and were extra careful. I don’t know if we went overboard with the way we protected our possessions, but I can imagine losing your wallet or cell phone as a quick way to turn a sweet and romantic Rome day into a sour and stressful one.
For the most part, the city seemed fairly casual. We were there in July and it was very hot. However, we were warned that Churches and especially the Vatican will not let you in without adhering to the dress code which is basically covering up most visible skin on legs, shoulders, and chest. Look into this before you go so you don’t get turned down entry.
Rome is already a populated city and when you add tourist it is possible that there will be long lines and crowds at some major attractions. However, wise planning can alleviate that concern.
We admit that because of our short time this travel report isn’t very detailed, but we hope it will help even a small bit in planning a truly romantic trip to Rome.
If you would like a more extensive review and have more time in Rome then check out 4 Days in Rome by Hawaiian Brian.
Have you been to Rome and have information or suggestions to share about your Romantic trip? Or do you have questions or advice for others? Please comment below to share and join the community. Ciao Bella!