Rome has quickly become one of my favorite cities in the world.  When booking my latest flight deal, we debated between Rome and Madrid (both cities had deals from Houston).  Ultimately we decided on Madrid, but I was determined to swing back through Rome too.  We lucked up on a $75 roundtrip flight via RyanAir (more on that later).  With that, I was Back to Rome to see some new things and swing back by some places I loved! Here are some random things I wanted to share from my second visit to Rome (for the recap of my first trip to Rome head to my Travel Guide

Go Inside the Colosseum

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The Colosseum is an amazing structure to lay your eyes on.  Each time I look at it, depending on my angle and the light I see something new.  During my last visit I settled on this outside view deciding that it was all I needed.  Well I was wrong, so I would like to correct the record here!  If you are going to Rome, you must book a tour of the inside of Colosseum and add the Roman Forum to your tour also.

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One of my favorite pictures from the entire trip. Taken by me!

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We walked right up to the Colosseum and booked a tour through a company that allowed us to skip the line too.   Our tour guide shared the vast history of the Colosseum with us and left us in awe of the beautiful structure that has stood the test of time. 

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Once our tour inside the Colosseum ended, our next guide took us over to the Roman Forum. Now, this guide was American, with a super thick New York accent.  We obviously felt at home with his tour.  He too shared some history of the structures that still remain in the forum including the Arch of Titus.  After our tour ended we spent another 30 or so minutes just taking it all in.  Such a beautiful space that is worth your visit on your trip to Rome.

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Go to the Vatican Early

You may recall that I did not enjoy my tour of the Vatican Museum.  My group was too big, my guide was horrible and it was too crowded.  I vowed to never go back to the Vatican, but my group all said they wanted to see it sooooo we did. This time I was sure to book in advance via Expedia and we opted for the early morning tour.  We had to arrive by 7:30am and wait in the “approved tours” line for about 30 minutes.  They try to trick you by telling you all of the history while you wait for the doors to open.  Just know that you will be standing there for 30 minutes. 

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When walking through the Vatican be sure to look at the ceiling!

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Once inside you can catch a lot of the sites before the crowds start to take over.  By the time we ended our three hour tour, the crowds had emerged, but we were on our way out.  For the most part, I saw the same things from the first tour, but the experience was MUCH better.  You can book this tour through Expedia, or directly with the tour company LivItaly Tours

Cacio e Pepe and Frigidaridum are still great!

I gave you all a full list of places to eat from my last trip to Rome.  I swore I loved them all, but quite honestly only two called my name on my return trip.  Cacio e Pepe for the pasta and Frigidaridum for gelato!

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I came back just for this dish.

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Italian Beer

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Potatoes from Cacio e Pepe

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Chicken thighs from Cacio e Pepe.

My family loved Frigidaridum as well, in fact we went there twice during our short stay in Rome.  They did not however love Cacio e Pepe as much as I did! The pasta is more al dente which was not their cup of tea, but I loved it just the same!

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The amazing gelato!

Pizzeria Li Roni

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I did add a new favorite restaurant from this visit, Pizzeria Li Roni!  As the name implies, this spot is serving up great pizza. It happened to be walking distance from our hotel and seemed to attract a large number of American tourists.  I loved it and would recommend it for anyone looking for great pizza while in Rome!

Mercure Colosseo Hotel

So, last time I stayed at a hostel that was a bit further out.  We made it in to the city just fine using the train, but did not have much near our hotel.  This go around I was determined to stay closer to the attractions! We lucked up and found a reasonably priced hotel near the Colosseum, Mercure Colosseo.

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See how tiny this room is?! We made it work, but it was a struggle.

The rooms were nice, but super tiny with not much room to move around.  The location makes up for that though.  You are only a few minutes from the Colosseum and can even catch stunning views of it from the hotels roof at night.

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The view of the Colosseum from the hotel rooftop.

The Takeaway

My second trip to Rome was honestly more of the same, but I LOVE this city so I won’t complain!  Whenever I make my way back to that side of the country again, I hope to visit other parts of Italy like Milan, Venice, Amalfi Coast, Tuscany and much more.