Roman Holiday- Three Day Itinerary

Hello babes from sunny Los Angeles. I am so thrilled to FINALLY share this post with you. Planning an international trip can be daunting (especially if its your first time leaving the country). I am here to help simplify your process. I want you to feel absolutely confident in your adventures and not like an out of place tourist. I will be covering all of the locations from my Italian vacation. But this post is dedicated to one of my favorite cities in the world- Rome. Without further adieu, here is my Roman Holiday, Three Day Itinerary. (PS This travel guide might not be for everyone. Take the time to learn the type of traveler you are. I am a LAID back girl. I love to get lost, explore with no expectations and stumble onto magic. So if that sounds familiar or the type of traveler you want to be- Follow along!)
HOW TO PACK-
I only packed a carry on. During the summer it is much easier to pack for any trip. I was determined for this 10 day trip to Italy to only have my euro approved luggage (typically 20"). I packed light breezy dresses and plenty of separates. Rome is magically romantic + dramatic. I exclusively wore dresses, which fit hotter days. I didn't need a jacket in the evenings. The summer is warm in the evenings, and we ate dinner outside almost every night. Maybe in the future I will break down in detail my carry-on packing technique. My favorite brands of the trip were Privacy Please, Majorelle Collection, Vici, and Who What Wear Collection. Oh, and don't forget your straw hat! 
WHERE TO STAY-
Air Bnb is the way to go in Rome if you don't want to feel like a tourist. We stayed in the hip + historic neighborhood of the Trastevere. Ivy lined buildings, tight cobble stoned streets, pastel + mustard colored buildings. It is classic Italian charm, without running away from the city. I always like to pretend I LIVE in a city instead of just coming for a visit. So go for an apartment vs a hotel in Roma. The price will be cheaper or about the same. 
Our Air Bnb 
DAY ONE-
-Trevi Fountain
- Pantheon 
-Spanish Steps
- Piazza Navona 
-Campo dé Fiori 
-Fontana dell'Aqua Paola
-Piazza di Santa Maria
We arrived in Rome late in the evening. ('We' meaning my boyfriend Sam and I. It was our first international trip together). We grabbed a quick pasta dinner, and passed out by midnight. That meant  our first day, we started off well rested. My main advice for your first day- make it as low key as possible. (Especially if you are traveling for over a week. Stamina will be valued during your travels). Allow yourself to wake up naturally. Let go of the unnecessary pressure, and tourist guilt (you WILL have time to see all you want to see). When I travel abroad, I like to take on the energy of the local culture. So for Italy, that means slowing down and allowing myself to be in the present moment. Don't stress yourself out with a tight schedule. I embraced the Italian culture, and soaked in my new easy going attitude. We explored Rome exclusively by foot, so wear those comfy shoes (I learned the hard way trying to break in some block sandals on a day we walked 15 miles. Major eye-roll to that choice.)
We started from the Trastevere, walked across the Tiber River and explored for hours. 
There were plenty of food stops in between (find that info below). Around 2pm we walked back, grabbed a focaccia pizza and created spontaneously our daily tradition. We would sit on the steps of Piazza Trilussa before our rest time. We would people watch, enjoy a Fanta (I have many memories as a kid, coming to Italy and only drinking this fizzy orange drink). It was a special little moment that Sam and I created for ourselves. Finding these daily habits made me feel more at home. When I returned back to The States, these are the simple things I missed from my vacation. After our naps (and my updates to social media), we headed out to explore more of The Trastevere. Our Air Bnb host suggested walking  to the top of the hill to the Fontana dell'Aqua Paola for the sweeping views. We had the destination, and allowed ourselves to find it organically. GET LOST. If you don't like to wander, check out a map and try to hit all the piazzas. That's the best way to explore with some more guidelines. We had a simple dinner in the neighborhood and went to bed around 11pm because we were exhausted.
 DAY TWO
-Colosseum
-Palatine Hill
-Piazza Venezia
-Monumento Nazionale e Vittorio Emanuele II 
We woke up once again around 6am (I know, we're crazy). We walked from our neighborhood to the Colosseum. TIP- Get your tickets in advance. The gates opens at 830am. We took some photos when no one was there (climb the stairs and stand on the wall overlooking this ancient structure). And enjoyed an americana and croissant. 15 minutes before they opened the gates, we got in line. There was never issue with lines because we were always there early. We grabbed an audio guide tour, and explored on our own time. After we Colosseum, we headed Palatine Hill. It is included to your Colosseum ticket, and worth a visit. We opted out of an audio guide, and just read signage. The architecture is insane, and still being excavated. It's a history lesson of the city, through physical structures. We finished our morning visiting Piazza Venezia, and scaled the steps of the Monumento Nazionale e Vittorio Emanuele II. We headed back to the Trastevere, and enjoyed pizza on our steps. (Oh, and puppy watched. There are so many dogs in Rome.) We relaxed at our Air Bnb, got dressed for our night out and walked to the Campo dé Fiori for an aperol spritz. We strolled around, back to the Trevi Fountain to check it out in the early evening (INSANELY crowded when you're not an early riser). Then found ourselves wandering back to the Trastevere, where we had a classic Roman dinner at Sette Oche. 
 DAY THREE-
Vatican City
-St. Peter's Basilica 
-Sisten Chapel
-Castel Sant'Angelo  
Woke up at 6am again. We grabbed our croissant in the Trastevere, and then walked up to Vatican
 City. Once again, no issues with the lines. The Basilica's architecture is unreal and intricate. Scale to the top of the dome, for a jaw-dropping view of Rome. The Sistine Chapel, was probably the most touristy moment. It was SO crowded with tours, even at 10am when it opens. Buy your tickets in advance for all of these places. I bought them through the official Vatican website. After the museo we took a different route home. We crossed Tiber to the Castel Sant'Angelo. We walked under the sycamore trees that line the river. It was magical, and simple. Your Roman Holiday, will be full of these dreamy moments that take you far away from the everyday. It was back to our Air Bnb for pizza + nap. We had a drink Pimm's the bar below our loft, and enjoyed dinner at Meridionale. We stayed out a little later, walking the streets and people watching. Soaking in our final moments in the city. 
 SLEEP-
Jet lag is a real thing. It effects everyone differently. 
 Every morning we'd wake up around 6am. The earlier you wake up, the more you'll avoid tourist. No lines, no crowds, and you'll see the local community rise). We would get dressed, pack up for the day and scout for a small café. Pro tip look for the cute old nonni (grandpas). They will be at the best local cafés reading the newspaper and talking loudly. Breakfast was always americano (black) + sfogliatella. (That's a flaky croissant. We obviously chose Nutella filled ones). 
 Then everyday around 2pm we went back to our Air Bnb for nap + relaxation. We would then leave around 4pm for an afternoon glass of rose´ or aperol spritz. Then not come back to sleep until 11pm-Midnight. 
EATS-
Meridionale Trattoria a Trastevere- While wandering our neighborhood, I stumbled upon the cutest restaurant. I snapped some photos of the exterior and moved on- it was open only in the evening. The next night, we got a reservation for a local spot from our Air Bnb host. When we arrived it happened to be the same place I fell in love with the day before. Meridionale was my favorite restaurant of Roma. It was perfect for date night (they served us champagne immediately when we sat down). The interiors have a vintage late 50's feel- like Sophia Loren would dig this place. I ordered the frutti di mare (Sea food pasta, and my all-time number one dish). I highly suggest getting a reservation, and spending a few hours at this restaurant. 
Gelateria All Scala- Sam and I became pros for scouting gelato. First, look for the local nonni again- The old men will lead you to the prime locations. Gelato should be creamy and smooth- not icy like ice cream can be. This spot was near our Air Bnb, so it was always our sweet treat to end the day. Go to flavors: Amarena (cherry), stracciatella (chocolate chip), and frutti di bosco (mixed berry). 
Ginger Sapori e Salute- When traveling in Italy, its sometimes hard to get your greens. We were missing our more healthy lifestyles, and discovered this organic restaurant. Located near the Spanish Steps, it was a delicious break from pasta, pizza and cheese. A giant fresh salad with oil + vinegar, simple and easy for a hot summer day. Also the interiors are all white + marble (seriously instagram worthy).
Sette Oche- This local restaurant is tucked in the more quiet part of the Trastevere. Sit outside underneath an ivy lined building. I actually found this restaurant through the fashion blog, Margo & Me. Sette Oche had the absolute best service. Friendly, local, and quality ingredients. Order the rigatoni alla burina or the gnocchi alla sorrentina. The house red wine was also perfect for our entrees- so get a liter and enjoy a tipsy walk home. 

Pizza Trilussa- This pitstop was Sam's choice. I originally thought it was a touristy place due to the exterior. But do not be deceived, this is classic Roman pizza. Thick focaccia pieces, drizzled with olive oil. We would stop here for our daily 'slice' (they come in squares, and you measure how much you want, and then they weigh it). Second runner up, down the block is Forno La Renella
I love writing about travel, and looking forward to sharing more guides with you. Feel free to comment or email me with ANY questions. Thanks for following along, and hope this helps you plan your Roman Holiday x 

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