Rome wasn’t built in a day… if it was there wouldn’t be so much to enjoy.
But if you’ve only got one day (and maybe the next morning)…
Then what to see and what to miss out?And how to do it for less than €50 spending money.
Bohemian Trastevere next door past the Circo Maximo is a better bet.And I recommend the welcoming and economical Hotel Trastevere although remember there’s a €4 a night city tax.
Walk the walk
It’s free and it’s fun… to people watch, window shop and you can take pictures at your leisure.
You’ll pay for the privilege of eating and drinking near St Peter’s Square and the Trevi Fountain.
Instead grab a pezzo (slice of pizza) on the go for about €3, fill your water bottles from the ornate water taps that proliferate around the city.
Rather than buy it from the shops.
Or just go into a grocery or supermarket and buy a picnic of bread and cold meats. For about a fiver.
This is free
Walking boy the Colosseum and The Forum never loses its appeal but you don’t have to go in, the audio guides will only tell you what you can find out online anyway.
And he’s free
Book an audience with the Pope. It’s Mass but he plays to the gallery and the backdrop of St Peter’s can’t be beaten.
If you can’t get an audience, and you’ll need to book in advance, then attend Mass in St Paul’s Basilica – you’ll be in there anyway.
Or any of the churches in the city, they double as art galleries.
The Sistine Chapel is a truly wonderful work of art but frescoes can only really be enjoyed if you’ve got time, space and quiet.
Besides every church in Rome has a stunning fresco.
The best fresco, of course, is in the Pantheon, the 7.8m diameter hole in the dome, because God made the view.
It changes every day.
When it rains on Rome stop whatever you’re doing and rush to the Pantheon.
Spend a penny
No, not that penny, although I can recommend the toilets in the oh-so English Barrington Tea Room, near to the Spanish Steps – Byron, Keats and Shelley lived around her.
More Babington Wee Room, if you like.
No, spend a penny by throwing one over your shoulder into the Trevi Fountain.
It’s a cliche, and a superstition but it’s everything that people say it is.
Of course, they know you’ll come back to Rome… how could you stay away?
Skulls and bones
When you’ve seen everything else – and definitely make time for the Castel Sant’Angelo (€10.50) https://www.castelsantangelo.com which is next to St Peter’s Square where rich Papal history was played out.
It also adorns the walls – then head for the Capuchin Crypt http://www.cappucciniviaveneto.it (€8.50), Piazzaa Belerini.
And join the monks at prayer.
I walked past a real live Capuchin monk on my way in before being reintroduced to some real dead ones.
You know, the 3,700 whose skulls and bones were used to build the Crypt’s four chapels.
There’s even a clock mode out of a monk’s boners, although the twist is that he doesn’t have hands.
Time stands still in here. But not for us.
They have left us a message. ‘What are you now, we used to be. What www are now, you will be.’
Que sera, sera?
Where to stay
I found Hotel Trastevere, Via Luciano Manara, 24A. Visit http://www.booking.com. With a 15% reduction down from €121 to €103.
Save your money
Save your money
€10.50: Castel Sant’Angelo
€8.50: Capuchin Crypt
€5: Bottle of wine
€1: Souvenir fridge magnet (it’ll cost you much more t the airport)
€0.50: For the Trevi Fountain. Listen, it can be a one-cent bit, but I’m just keeping it at a nice round number.
€7: For an al fresco spaghetti carbonara (it’s a local Roman speciality) deal with Peroni in Trastevere.
€2.50: For sweeties for the family/work… they’ll suss out though if it slips your mind and you to bluff it and get Haribos back home.
€10: For the disfigure and displaced around St Peter’s Square.