Are you a traveller who not only desires to shop but loves to marvel at historical monuments? If you are, you can get the best of both worlds in Rome and Naples! Here's an itinerary made just for people like you! ?
#HHWT Tip: The transport system (buses especially) can be inconvenient if you wish to get around the historical monuments seamlessly. So if you have a license, do apply for an international driving license before reaching as you might want to rent scooters and cars through apps. These bike-sharing and car-sharing apps are a convenient alternative especially if you are out late. ?
3 days in Rome
Day 1: Colosseo and Palatine Hill + Trevi Fountain
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After arriving at Termini station from the airport, get some food in your tummy before heading to your accommodation. Termini boasts a wide array of halal food options!
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When in Rome, visiting the Colosseum is a must! Get off at Colosseo metro station and head to the ticketing booth. Short for time but still want to visit the Colosseum on the first day? Get the 2-day pass ticket that allows you entry into the Colosseum and Palatine Hill (just beside Colosseum). This pass gives you a second chance at these historical places the following day when you have more time and energy ?
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Join the walking tour (available in several languages) for a small fee to learn more about the history behind the Colosseum! This is a great opportunity to ask the guides any questions you have about the history behind the majestic Colosseum ?
#HHWT Tip: Public toilets are very rare in Rome so make full use of the toilets available at historical sites like Vatican City, Colosseum etc! You can also use toilets in any Bar (coffee shops) but do purchase a small cup of cappuccino for 1 Euro first - the owners will be more than happy to direct you to their toilets ?
The attractions close early especially during winter, so you might want to visit the famous Trevi Fountain in the evening. Be mesmerised by the beautiful statues and take lots of pictures! Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the fountain, you will return to Rome - try it!
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Feeling peckish? Grab some gelato ice cream nearby or freshly-made piping hot crepes as you stroll around the city. ?
#HHWT Tip: Prayer spaces are hard to find so you might want to bring a spray bottle for wudhu, and find a small corner to do your prayers. Alternatively, you can also pray at changing rooms of H&M or Zara if you're around the shopping belt!
Day 2: Piazza Venezia, Roman Forum, Pantheon, Spanish Steps
You might want to use part of this day to finish exploring parts of Colosseum and Palatine Hill that you might have missed the previous day using your 2-day pass.
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The best thing about Rome is that most historical monuments are located in the middle of the city and are walking distance from one another. Take a stroll down Roman Forum after Colosseum/Palatine Hill and admire the ruins for a more enriching experience!
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Further down the road lies a massive white monument right in the middle of Piazza Venezia. You can enter this building for free and climb to the top for stunning views of the city. ?
Next, reward yourself by shopping at the shopping belt down the road! Italian fashion brands like Prada, Gucci, and Fendi are much cheaper here ?
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You can also visit the Pantheon (free admission!) since it is right in the middle of the shopping belt.
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If you have time to spare, head to the Spanish Steps and breathe in the sights. You might want to grab some takeaway vegetarian-friendly pasta from Pastificio to eat for dinner. The view from the top of the Spanish Steps is worth the climb! Perfect way to wind down after a long day of exploring the city ?
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Day 3: Vatican City, Stadio Olimpico, Mosque of Rome
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Credit: Colin Tsoi on Flickr
If you love art history, the Vatican is for you! Spend the first half of your day here exploring the art works and iconic Sistine Chapel. Do remember to get your tickets online as there are a lot of street vendors selling overpriced tickets!
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If you wish to enter the St. Peters Basilica in Vatican City, you have to sign up for a group tour. Do practise discretion when signing up for group tours as some will overcharge you. There are halal food options nearby and even a takeaway pasta shop that is vegetarian-friendly! ?
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If visiting Vatican City is not for you, you can take a trip to the Mosque of Rome - the largest mosque in Europe that can accommodate more than 12,000 people! ? It is located on the outskirts of the city but well worth a visit for the grandeur and architecture - plus you get to perform your prayers here as well! Its location away from the city might add a special feeling of peace in you too! ❤️
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A trip to Rome is not complete if you don't catch a football match at Stadio Olimpico. Book your tickets online for as low as 15 Euros and treat yourself to an unforgettable match! Even if you're not a football fan, watching a match here will truly be a wonderful experience. If you're lucky, you just might bump into football legend Francesco Totti during the match! ?
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Things can get pretty loud post-match since Italians (and almost all Europeans!) are hardcore football fans. As you make your way home, be aware of your surroundings - join in the cheers if you know them but also be careful you don't get caught in the middle of a drunken brawl! I was in the tram home after a match and the vibrant cheers were truly the icing on the cake and added to the overall enthusiastic atmosphere!
Day 4: 2 Days in Naples
Now, let's head to Naples! Take a train from Termini or Tiburtina train station (1h 10 min journey) by booking tickets online on Italiarail or Trenitalia. For a more cost-efficient option, take Flixbus instead from Tiburtina station (2.5 h journey) to Stazione di Napoli Centrale (Naples Central Station). ?
Upon reaching this city, take a coffee break at one of the many coffee joints the Italian way - standing and drinking straight from the cup (no takeaways!). Check in to your accommodation and rest those tired feet. Do note there is a city tax incurred at check-out! ?
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I'm sure you've heard of the tragic Mt. Vesuvius volcanic eruption in the city of Pompeii in 79 AD (They even have a song and a movie for it!). Well, here's your chance to see the ruins of that splendid city. Located 40 minutes by train from Naples Central Station, be prepared for a full day of being transported back to the past as you explore every nook and cranny of that once vibrant civilisation! ?
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Do set out a full day in Pompeii (start early!) as it will take you hours to explore the entire city. ? As you take in the majestic ruins and indulge in the history, remember to stay hydrated as it can get very sunny in this coastal region! Pack some food from Naples before you enter as there is only one cafeteria (and bathroom!) within Pompeii. The cafeteria serves overpriced refreshments and I highly recommend bringing your own picnic lunch for a more satisfying meal.
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You may even wish to explore other lesser-known historical sites like Herculaneum, Boscoreale, and Oplontis. Just remember to get bundle tickets if you want to visit these places besides Pompeii (more worth it too!). A standard ticket for admission to Pompeii costs 15 Euros but the bundle will only set you back 18 Euros. If you happen to be here in Summer, they even offer trips up the infamous Mt. Vesuvius volcano! Again, remember to pack plenty of water and convenient food.
Credit: -Jeffrey-on Flickr
#HHWT Tip: Do purchase tickets from authorised booths only as there will be endless unauthorised sellers trying to sell you overpriced tickets to exhibitions. Some tried to trick me by saying I was going the wrong way and that the entrance to Pompeii is on the other side, but always trust your instincts (and Google maps)!
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After spending a full day in Pompeii, head back to Naples and immerse yourself in the multi-cultural city. Have dinner at one of the local pizzerias and indulge in a few slices of Neapolitan Margherita pizzas! Did you know that Naples and Rome have this longstanding rivalry on which country has the best pizzas? The pizzas in Naples are of softer consistency than the crispy thin ones in Rome - try it for yourself! ? I personally prefer the crispy Roman pizzas!
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#HHWT Tip: For your safety, avoid walking along dark alleys alone and not stay out too late. Though this city is beautiful, it can get pretty unsafe at night so do try to always travel in groups!
So are you ready for your Italian adventure? This beautiful country is filled with gorgeous gems waiting to be found! Let us know if this itinerary work out for your trip ?