5 days | A Rome and Venice guide

Well hello to you my reader chums! Rome and Venice have to be two of my favourite Italian cities, and I feel blessed to have visited Rome twice, and now Venice too. . With this guide, I want to not only document the time I spent exploring both cities but share my advice on what to see and do as well as my best tips for visiting Rome/Venice for the first time.

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Here's my 5-day guide to Rome and Venice:

Ancient ruins, famous churches and a hearty food scene, the bustling city of Rome will always leave you wanting more. There's top sights, quaint streets and a thousand gelato shops you wouldn't want to miss.

Day 1 

I arrived in Rome around mid-morning, got ready and set off to explore. The guest house I was staying in was located right in the centre, convenient to reach all the desired sights. I love that about Rome; there are so many accommodation options right near the sights - that isn't too expensive. I stopped off at the Spanish Steps, took a look around Piazza Di Spagna and hopped on the metro down to the Vatican City. 

Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel

This is the second time I've visited the Vatican museums and couldn't recommend them enough. With the jaw-dropping ceiling art, sculptures and bucket-fulls of history, there's plenty to discover. My highlight has to be the Sistine Chapel. Even on the second time, I walked in there, it still blew my mind. The colourful, detailed paintings that coat every wall and ceiling do not seem real. It's crazy to think about how much time and talent went into creating each piece of art.

Vatican museums


St Peter's Basilica and Square

St Peters Basilica

Once I'd seen all the museums and Sistine chapel, I headed down to St Peter's Square, only a short walk away. St Peter's Square and Basilica never fail to amaze me! It's absolutely massive and worth a little walk around. If you're lucky to arrive on a day when St Peter's Basilica doesn't have a 3-hour queue, make sure to go in! This time, we weren't so fortunate, however the last time in Rome it had to be one of my favourite things I saw. The interior is breathtaking and like all churches, I felt so at ease as soon as I stepped inside.

Trevi fountain

After exploring the Vatican, I went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner. I decided to head around the Trevi Fountain area as my favourite restaurant is nearby called al Picchio. If you're new to Rome, I'd highly recommend it! The traditional little Italian opened in the 1930s and offers the most hearty Italian dishes. 

The Trevi Fountain is always beautiful but at night it stands out that little bit more. With twinkling lights and the calming water, it's a perfect time to make your fountain wish.

Trevi fountain at night

Day 2 

Colosseum

Colosseum

You can't see the ancient city of Rome without a visit to the Colosseum. The structure amazes me how it still stands today, where we're able to admire the beauty and explore the historical significance it holds.

 Colosseum

Colosseum

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum is located right next to the Colosseum and much bigger than I ever expected. It's a rectangular forum surrounded by ancient government buildings and their ruins. This was my first time at the forum and I was impressed at not only how big it was but how that much history is right at our feet.

Roman Forum

Altar of the Fatherland

In the centre of Piazza Venezia stands the Altar of the Fatherland, a magnificent white building built in honour of unified Italy's first king. You're able to walk around it and if you like, pay a small fee to use the lift that goes right to the top and overlook the square below. Piazza Venezia is the central hub of Rome, packed with restaurants, shops and located around the corner from the Colosseum.

Trevi Fountain

I  kept returning to the Trevi Fountain because its timeless beauty never gets old. As I saw it the night before, I wanted to visit in the daytime, to let us both experience the bustling atmosphere and see the fountain in all its glory.

Trevi fountain

Piazza Navona

Close by to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona has to be one of my favourite hidden gems in Rome. With the glistening fountains, busy restaurants and traditional street painters, it's a charming location every Rome newbie needs to see and stay for dinner.

Piazza Navona Rome

Day 3 

I had the morning in Rome before my train departed for Venice at 3.40pm. These hours were spent visiting our favourite areas: Piazza Navona, the Trevi Fountain and Colosseum surroundings, to soak up that last bit of Roman charm. The train journey lasted for about 5 and a half hours, arriving in Venice around the 10pm mark. I managed to find our Air BnB and got some rest before the Venice ventures began the next day.

Day 4

Endless calm canals and picturesque side streets at every turn, Venice is a city that has my heart. The whole place had so much beauty, it's hard to even put into words. Colourful, rustic buildings graced the canal sides whilst traditional gondolas lined up waiting for their next visitors to depart, it all felt like a wild, wild daydream.

Grand canal venice

St Marks Basilica and Square

Once I managed to get my head around the map, my first stop was the famous St Marks Square. The square was incredible; with St Marks Basilica at the top and the surrounding characteristic buildings, it's a mesmerising location. 

St Mark's Basilica and Square

St Mark's Basilica and Square

After a little walk around, I made our way inside the basilica. Entrance is free to the main basilica but the museum inside requires a small fee.  I was amazed by the high ceilings and intricate beauty inside the church, I couldn't help but stare. The museum area showcased lots of different artwork pieces and described the history of them as you walked around. One of the highlights was walking outside on the balcony area and admiring the sensational St Marks Square. I'd highly recommend paying the small fee, just to witness that beautiful view and getting a candid photo.

Gondola rides


A gondola ride was on the top of my must-do list when in Venice. Even though it's a pricey activity, the experience made it all worthwhile. Floating along the grand canal waters under the famous Rialto bridge, it was a dream come true. The gondola ride took me through the main canal and down a few quaint side canals to get the full Venetian experience.

Rialto Bridge

Another must-see sight is the famous Rialto Bridge. As I went in October, it wasn't as packed as it would have been during high season, however, it was still pretty busy. The bridge is set in a gorgeous location, with shops, canal restaurants and market stalls only a small distance away. Built over the Grand Canal, the views were insane and it certainly adds a bit of uniqueness to the typical Venetian bridges.

Rialto bridge

Canal exploring

The best way to see Venice is getting lost, walking aimlessly around the never-ending canals and side streets, to uncover the small hidden gems. I came across so many beautiful little spots that we wouldn't have seen if I stuck to the map. Every area of Venice makes a picture-perfect opportunity!

Venice canals

Venice canals

Venice Canals

Venice Canals

Venice Canals

Day 5 

The last day was all about soaking up the final parts of Venice, exploring more streets, market stalls and eating the best Italian food. 

Grand Canal Cruise

Grand canal cruise

I decided to book a Grand Canal Cruise on the last day to get a look at the entire canal on water. The boat I had was very small, similar to their taxi size boats and seating under 10 of us, making it a rather private experience. I loved every minute of this as you were able to sail by, taking in all the views as the tour guide taught us a lot about the history of Venice.

Venice is quite pricey on the accommodation front, however, off the beaten path, there are plenty of hidden hotels/b'n'bs for reasonable prices.

Tips and tricks

Rome
  • If you'd like to visit the Colosseum and Roman Forum, purchase your tickets when you arrive. There's a little ticket selling booth by the Roman Forum where if you're from the EU and under 25, you'll get tickets for 8 euro.
  • Don't fall for tour guides trying to sell you skip the line for St Peters Basilica. The church has free entrance and there isn't any way to tackle the queues apart from lining up.
  • You can walk everywhere - If you stay in the centre, everything is accessible by foot and saves you money on transport costs.
  • Book airport shuttles in advance, if not you'll fall for the high price taxis which have a set rate of 60 euro.
Venice
  • Venice is pricey - avoid eating in the major tourist spots to save on money.
  • Google maps do not work in Venice - to get around, your best bet is getting a physical map and finding your way using that.
  • The best mode of transport is by foot, otherwise, there are only water taxis which can be on the expensive side if you use them over and over again.
  • There's only one area of Venice where cars are accessible, Piazzale Roma. This is the best place to get to and from the airport. 

Roma e Venezia, che ti amo.

I had the most incredible Italian adventure exploring these two magnificent cities. There were so many highlights and memories created. Visiting the famous sights, making a wish at the Trevi Fountain, gondola rides, walking the streets of Venice and eating my weight in the best Italian food, I wish I could do it all over again.  

I hope you enjoyed this Rome and Venice guide. Have you visited either city?

Thank you for reading <3



10 comments

  1. I am in love with your blog. This post was a great read. I love the amount of shots you included.. i lovr venice and rome..stunning locations and omg the food is delicious

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  2. Wow! It looks like you both had an incredible time (im a little jelly) I've always wanted to visit Rome & Venice. You got some gorgeous photos girly -xo

    chloedanielle.co.uk

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  3. It sounds and looks like you had an amazing time! The photos are gorgeous! I've always wanted to visit Italy, hopefully I'll have the chance to do so soon :)x

    Anu | Based On blog | Bloglovin

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  4. YOur photos are gorgeous! I went to Italy this summer but not been to Rome or Venice yet. Great post X

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    1. Thank you lovely! Hopefully you'll get to see Rome and Venice one day xx

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  5. Wow looks like an amazing trip! I'm off to Rome at the end of the month so this post has been a great help on what to see whilst we're there :D

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    xx

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  6. It sounds and looks like you had an amazing time! The photos are gorgeous! I've always wanted to visit Italy, hopefully I'll have the chance to do so soon :)x
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