The Ultimate Guide for Family and Friend Visits

Andrew Masciarelli headshot
Andrew Masciarelli
November 21, 2023
A film photo f the Trevi I took during a stroll through the city

I have officially been living in Rome for over two months. In that process, I have gotten into the groove of a new lifestyle. I have found myself on a first-name basis with the baristas at a local cafe, designated a restaurant as my go-to lunch spot, and learned to get around the city without the need for a map, but one thing I still feel unprepared for is having guests visit. I’ve had the privilege of getting to know this city at my own pace, but I have had friends come to visit for much more brief periods of time. When it comes to having guests visit for a short few days, you have to be able to give a whirlwind overview of all the coolest spots. Over the past two weeks, I’ve realized just how much of a nerve wracking challenge this is. This post will provide some insight into 3 must-see spots of Rome that will be sure to amaze your friends and family while easing the nerves brought about by planning their visit!

The Pantheon

Located in the very center of Rome, the Pantheon is an alluring building that remains somewhat shrouded in mystery. Its exact purpose in its golden age remains debated, but one notion that remains consistent for countless individuals is that it is a feat of architecture that is awe-inspiring. Whether it be the grand columns that stand at the front of the building or the concrete dome that sits atop the building, this monument is indicative of incredible Ancient Roman engineering. While one could marvel for hours at the exterior beauty, stepping inside is a must. There are two lines for the Pantheon; the first is for acquiring a ticket and the second is for entering the building. To save time, however, you can actually completely skip the first line by purchasing a 5 Euro ticket directly through the Italian Museum website. In doing so, you save valuable time and have the opportunity to make your way through more of the city.

The Trevi Fountain

Just a 10-15 minute walk from the Pantheon, the Trevi is a breathtaking fountain that puts on display glorious statues. Reflective of the past, the waters tell the story of the original, innovative Roman aqueducts that brought water to the city from mountain springs miles away. Unrivaled in beauty, the area is a spectacle that draws the attention of visitors from around the world. Pairing this with its status as a free-to-visit attraction, it can become claustrophobic, especially in the mid-day. To combat this, you may be better off taking a visit in the evening or night-time. That way, you dodge a larger crowd while beholding the site under the sunset as the flowing waters become illuminated in colors you may not see everyday.

The Colosseum

The former home of the gladiatorial games, the Colosseum sits southeast of the aforementioned sites. That said, a walk from the Trevi to the Colosseum takes no more than 20-30 minutes. Arriving on site, you have the opportunity to travel through time. Setting foot inside the Colosseum, you can feel the faint reverberance of the chants that once roared throughout the stadium as the games commenced. The energy brought to life in this space of entertainment and triumph remains embedded within the round structure and the excavated artifacts on display on the second floor of the amphitheater. For anyone who grew up hearing the stories of the gladiators, there is no feeling quite like being in same space that they once were.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and there is no way anyone could fully explore the rich history left behind in the same timeframe. That said, having a gameplan can allow for you to maximize your time with any visitors! I hope this advice helps in that endeavor!

Until next time, ciao!

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Andrew Masciarelli headshot

Andrew Masciarelli

Hey there! My name is Andrew Masciarelli, and I am a rising junior from Occidental College studying economics and politics. Outside of my studies, I love to cook, and I am also spending as much time as I can teaching myself how to play the guitar!

2023 Fall
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Occidental College
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