When you are in Rome, do as the Romans do: Adapt – and quickly!


Unfortunately, Rome was a disaster for us. I guess not every place is our place, and it was a mess from the beginning. Here are some confessions:

  • We chose a place 20 min outside the city. The bigger the city is, the closer you have to stay! Rome is huge, and we like to take small breaks to recuperate, which wasn’t possible here. The apartment was also located in the Olympic Village, which had no atmosphere and was dirty, like a garden of cement. However, the apartment was big enough inside and was quirky.
  • On the first day we got out too late: we left the house at 10 o’clock! The transportation in Rome works pretty well… if you can find the bus stops. We walked around the city, to the numerous piazzas and little streets.Unlike Venice, we had a lot of trouble navigating the city, and we were tired quickly from the previous 5 days of intense traveling. We saved the sites, like the Forum and Colosseum for a tour we were going to take tomorrow. We booked a tour, specifically for children and families, that was going to be private for us and what we wanted to see. It was expensive, but we thought it would be worth it for us to understand what all of the ruins were about. Therefore, we walked to the Borghese gardens, which cover 148 acres of land!
  • In the middle of the night, Josephine had a fever and so the next morning Papa stayed home… She is better now!
  • We were supposed to meet the tour guide at the Trajan column. We spent an hour there, and the tour guide did not show up! My mom was mad and so were we, but there was nothing we could do about it. So much for the sites… Rome is so big we walked and walked and walked and at one point we just gave up, and got on one of those hop-on-hop-off buses where we saw the city on the top deck, with classical music and commentary. Finally something that worked out! We got out at the Colosseum and it’s incredible. When you think about who touched the piece of rock you are also touching, it gives you a whole new perspective. Gladiators, people in togas, ancient royalty, people you only see in history books probably were right where you were, a thousand years ago! And who knows who will stand there, a thousand years from now!

The Trevi Fountain

  • At the Circus Maximus, the ancient chariot riding arena, we waited for the bus at this stop. With our luck, we chose the company with probably only 2 or 3 buses and we watched in the glaring sun as tour bus after tour bus came that wasn’t our bus. So we stood there for a half an hour, but we got back on at last, and saw the President’s house, like the White House, Vatican city, and more. We stumbled home.

Circus Maximus and the Forum

The Santa Maria Maggiore, where the pieces of Jesus's supposed crib are

  • After dinner my dad and I went out again to do Rick Steves’ night walk through Rome. My dad was home all day and we were all tired, but I went along anyway. We walked by the Campo de Fiori, the Pantheon (which is just as amazing as the Colosseum, Trevi fountain and ended by the Spanish steps.

Can you say tourists?

The Pantheon!

In front of the Spanish Steps

  • To top off our mess, we almost had a train-missing incident. My mom and I went to buy postcards, but everyone else was on the wrong platform, since our train’s platform wasn’t shown yet. It got closer and closer to 1 o’clock and we were worried that we didn’t see them on platform 2, where the train was. We ran down the platform we left them at (probably the wrong one), didn’t see them, and so we hurried back to 2. My mom ran off to look for them at about 7 min to 1. They weren’t in the train and we finally found them as the train was about to leave: a perfect ending to our mess!

Rome is actually very cool, but a little gritty and we were woefully unprepared. Better luck next time!


About One World, 4 Girls

Hello! My name is Lillian and my family of 6 took a trip around the world for 8 months. I used my blog to document the places we visited, pictures, and my thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Check it out to read about our travels and follow us as we find our new place in the world and experience where life will take us next!

8 responses »

  1. Isnt Rome exciting? But you do need 1 month at least . We did it in 5 days with t Tamara and o, Gunther, so only saw the highlights. Yes, you do need your legs. Loved the Trevi, the Colosseum and experienced the same feelings, sitting on the stone seats and touching the stones, who were there 2000 + years ago????? Love and just think: a place to come back to in the future! Love, Oma /Opa

  2. At least you saw the important things in Rome – the truly Roman things. I missed that trip with Oma and Opa to Rome – they took Tante Tamara and Oom Gunther instead. I think I was just a tad too young at 13. But I still tease Tante Tamara about not being able to go! 🙂 Glad you could enjoy it in the day and at night. And it is always good to leave something for the next time you visit. Hope you are recovering from your epic hike. Love, Tante Natasha, Oom Chris and Jack too

  3. Found your blog via someone who had posted on mine. I was intrigued because I have 3 girls and used to travel a lot when we only had 1 and we lived in Germany. You must someday give Rome another try. I’m glad you saw some of the major sites, though! We have been twice and we didn’t have enough time even then! I am a little jealous of your travels but that only leads me to be inspired to do the same when our youngest is a little older! As we live in Hawaii we are now desiring to see Asia… we shall see! Hope your journey continues to be wonderful! Jennifer

    • Thank you! We are contemplating living in Europe, so we will give Rome another shot soon hopefully…
      I am glad you are thinking about taking a trip with your children when they’re ready – it’s an amazing experience that our family will keep for a long time.
      Thank you,

      • Yes, I never thought I’d like Rome since I thought Paris couldn’t be compared to, but then I ended up liking it just about as much!

        I talked to my husband last night about doing a trip like yours…. in about 9 years when he retires! He is actually excited about it and it would give us something big to look forward to 🙂

        Best wishes to your and your family!


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