When In Rome…

I couldn’t sleep last night so, in between Belle’s feedings, I did a little research on places I want to visit and things I want to do and see while we are in Rome this summer.

J.D. mentioned that we should look into Open Tour for sightseeing like we did in Paris. Since it’s so early, they offer a discounted “Early Bird” price that’s 25% off the regular price. For the 72-hour pass, it would just cost €22.50 for each of us, which is about $25. Not a bad deal, especially since Bean and Belle won’t need a ticket. We must book online and we have to do it at least 45 days in advance to get the big discount.

So, on that 10-stop tour, we could hit up all the landmarks I want to see…

Colosseum [2 to 3 hours]


Image Source: icomei via Flickr

Fee: €12 for adults. Free for kids under 18.

It’s supposed to be really crowded no matter what time you get to the Colosseum. So, we need to get tickets at the less crowded Roman Forum or online so we can skip the line at the main ticketing station. We should maybe look into the extended underground tour but I have a feeling that Bean might not like that very much.

On the English version of the site, it states that “backpacks, handbags and luggage” are not permitted in the monument but the Italian translation uses the term “voluminous” so we need to look into that before we schedule that day…

Open everyday from 8:30 am to 6:15 pm.

Pantheon [1 hour, max]

Image Source: Jean-Pol Grandmont via Wikipedia


There are no security checkpoints or bag restrictions at the Pantheon and there’s typically no line so we can just walk in and check it out. A lot of people said this was a quick visit and took only about 20 minutes to check out.

There’s supposed to be some street performers and some touristy shops in the area around the Pantheon, so it might be a good idea to check those out while we are in the area and eat at one of the nearby cafes or restaurants. Good people watching.

Open from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm on Monday through Saturday. Closed on Sunday at 6:00 pm.

St. Peter’s Basilica [3-4 hours]

Image Source: Stephen J. Denko


St. Peter’s Basilica is a working church so it would be really cool to go to mass here on Sunday! We have to check the schedule to see if Pope Francis will be present to preside over any sacraments.

We can look into requesting free tickets for the Pope’s Sunday blessing in St. Peter’s Square. The summer schedule isn’t always static because the Pope travels on and off from July to September but if he is at the Vatican, security will start allowing people into the area at 8:00 am and the blessing starts at 10:00 am.

If we want, we can bring back some Holy Water, we can ask at the Sacristy, located at the north end of the church. We just need to make sure we have a container we can transport back to home.

Open everyday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Closed on Wednesdays during the papal audience.

Spanish Steps [2 hours]

Image Source: Paolo Margari via Flickr

Fee: Cost of Souvenirs

We need to make sure Bean saves all his energy to walk up these steps himself. I have a feeling climbing these 138 steps going to be a lot like the trek we made to Sacré-Cœur in Paris and I’m a little worried that I might die on this one.

The base of the steps is the best place to take a family selfie, with the actual stairs as the background and the peak of the steps has a lot of commissioned artists and, I would assume, street performers and people selling touristy items. I’m not completely sure if we can make it by foot and if we need it, there is an elevator at in the Metro complex. It might be a good idea to use the elevator and start at the top and work our way down. Either way, we can take a break in the middle of the steps because that’s supposed to have the best view.

The Spanish Steps are a big tourist spot but they say there’s not really much there… It’s really just a place people go and hang out. The people watching has to be pretty decent since it’s surrounded by super high-end shops, restaurants and hotels.

Open all day, every day. Probably best during the early afternoon, when it’s not too hot. 

Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel [4-5 hours]

Image Source: Daniel Schwabe via Flickr

Fee: €16.00 for adults. €8 for children ages 6 – 18.

The museums are super crowded on Saturdays and Mondays and any day there’s bad weather. It’s easiest to get get tickets online so you don’t have to wait in line. There is also a dress code to enter the museum and the chapel – no bare arms and no short skirts or shorts. Ugh, I’m going to have to find some Vatican-appropriate summer clothes…

Open everyday from 9:00 am to 4:00pm. Closed on Sundays. 

Trevi Fountain

Image Source: Michael Matti via Flickr

We have to make sure we have spare coins when we visit the Trevi Fountain so we can make wishes. Maybe we should collect all of our small denomination coins so Bean can make a lot of wishes. It all goes to feed the city’s poor and they average $3500 a month.

Featured Image: Photo credit to H.J. Kaiser


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