When it came time to plan for our ‘Babymoon’, Italy seemed like the obvious choice! But then again, when does it not?! 🙂 Since moving abroad, we have traveled to Venice, Tuscany, Florence, and Cinque Terre but still have Rome, Amalfi Coast, and Milan/Lake Como on our list.
For this trip, we ultimately decided on 3 days in Rome — followed by 3 days in Amalfi.
Planning and going on this trip was super nostalgic for me, as I had studied abroad just outside of Rome 8 years prior. At 20 years old, I spent a few months falling in love with the city of Rome (and Italy in general) so it was really special to have the opportunity to return — only this time was better, as I had my favorite travel partner, a smart phone, and a bit more money – ha!
We flew into the Ciampino International Airport and grabbed a taxi to our AirBnb in the heart of Rome. After dropping off our luggage, we hit the ground running with Rick Steves’ “Heart of Rome” Walking Tour (Spanish Steps to Campo de Fiori). This was a great way for us to get our bearings on Day 1 — and it didn’t hurt that it was such a beautiful day!
During our (not-very-strict-walking-tour) we grabbed lunch near the Pantheon at Osteria Del Sostegno. And of course I had to order a Rome favorite, Cacio e Pepe!
Lunch was followed by possibly the best gelato on earth! Giolitti has been open since 1900 and does zero. things. wrong.
After some rest time back at our AirBnb we were excited for our first ‘appertivo’ of the trip! Appertivo is a magical 1-2 hours of the day in Italy where people enjoy a drink and snack before dinner. William originally fell in love with this ‘over the top Happy Hour’ during our time in Florence!
After a few failed attempts at getting a table at the places we originally planned (lesson learned: make appertivo reservations!), we found a spot at a wine bar called Il Piccolo. They even had delicious, alcohol-free lemonades for me and baby boy to share 🙂
We then ate dinner at Ristorante’s Fiammetta. Not exactly our favorite meal of the trip — but after a long first day it hit the spot.
Our way home we strolled through Piazza Navona — which is always a good idea.
Day 2 was probably our longest day of the trip. Had I been any more pregnant than I was (21 weeks), I might have regretted this schedule…
The day started with a 9:00 reservation to tour the Colosseum + Forum. It is recommended that you do this as early as possible. I pre-bought the 2-in-1 tickets online which made things very simple for us.
We toured the Colosseum first and then the Forum — and used Rick Steves’ free audio guides during both.
After a few hours of touring we grabbed a late lunch at Buddy — a more modern (but still casual) cafe that allows you to order from the menu or fill up a plate at their beautiful and all fresh buffet. The buffet also includes an array of homemade desserts that will make your eyes light up!
From Buddy — we made our way over to Vatican City — stopping at Castel Sant’Angelo on the way.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in Vatican City with a 3:00 reservation for the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Immediately followed by St. Peter’s Basilica (which closes at 6:30pm). Once again, I recommend purchasing tickets ahead of time for the museum and we used Rick Steves’ app for the free audio guides.
It was recommended to me to buy tickets later in the day for the Vatican Museum, in hopes that it wouldn’t be as crowded. But we were there in the late afternoon, during off-season and it was ab-so-lute-ly packed! So, it seems anytime you go you shouldn’t expect to be alone 🙂
After much walking and touring, we were thrilled to sit and enjoy appertivo at Taba Cafe as the sun set. This cafe is located in the heart of Campo di Fiori and is perfect for enjoying live music and people watching.
Just a short walk away, we had dinner at La Quercia — a quiet, cozy little restaurant you’ll find hidden on a corner. We really enjoyed the rest of our evening here!
On Day 3 William humored me by getting up rather early so we could beat the crowds to the Trevi Fountain. We arrived just as the sun was rising (not as early as you would think since it was October 🙂 ) and we were able to get some shots without a bi-jillion people pushing into us. Because seriously, any other time of the day, there are no joke a bi-jillion people there.
Since we were up and out before the rest of Rome we decided to sit down for breakfast at Caffe Doria. They have a great tea selection and some yummy breakfast options.
After breakfast we strolled back over to Campo di Fiori to check out the local market held there daily. There are many tents selling everything from fresh food to clothes! And of course, flowers (Fiori)!
We shopped a bit until our lunch reservation at Roscioli— where we had the best meal of the entire trip! We couldn’t get over how delicious every single thing put in front of us was … and how great the service was! If there’s any recommendation you take from this post, let. it. be. this. one. (Reservation highly recommended!)
With full and happy bellies we spent the rest of the afternoon meandering down Via del Corso all the way to Piazza de Popolo. Stopping a lot to shop and people watch along the way.
Once at Piazza de Popolo, we had originally planned on checking out the Borghese Gardens but my pregnant self just didn’t have the energy. We explored the ‘twin churches’ and somehow found our way back to Giolitti’s for gelato instead 🙂
Later that evening, we made the long walk to the Trastevere area. We had dinner at Rione 13, which was good but I think we could have done better. The more we explored Trastevere after dinner we stumbled upon many restaurants all busting at the seams with lively people, delicious looking plates, and even live music. Eh — you win some, you lose some.
If you’re looking for a great ‘late-night’ area, Trastevere is your place. Just don’t be surprised if it’s you and hundreds of American students who are studying abroad 🙂
After 3 full days in Rome — it was time to keep moving south! We checked out and uber’d to the Rome Termini Railway to pick up our rental car (@ Sixt).
Once we finally figured out how to get our large suitcase to fit in a very tiny Fiat, we were on our way to the Amalfi Coast for part 2 of our Babymoon!
On the way, we stopped in Naples for lunch (would skip if we could do it again) and then at Pompeii (would have allowed more time if we could do it again).
We had tickets to tour Pompeii at 3:30, which only gave us 2 hours before they closed for the day. We felt very rushed and both wished we had arrived earlier.
You shouldn’t be surprised by now to know that we used Rick Steves free audio guide here as well. Obviously a private tour would have been nice but for the great price (ha) we found Rick’s guides very informative!