We decided to spend some of the summer in Italy as I was desperate for some decent sunshine (and an English summer, though lovely is still not a summer for an Aussie girl!)
Initially we were just going to head straight to the Amalfi Coast (another post to come!) however listening to how much all our friends loved Rome we decided to spend a couple nights either side of the Amalfi, and I'm so glad we did! Absolutely enjoyed Rome to a tee!
Everywhere in Rome is very accessible, however I chose to stay in a district closer to the Vatican side in a little B&B that was sweet, simple and clean. We never really go for the ridiculously fancy hotels/villas as generally we're too busy exploring a city rather than staying in the hotel and eating a hotel's food.
The street of Borgo Pio is idyllic with its uneven cobblestone way, a famous water fountain, and delicious restaurants & gelateria. Due to it's proximity to the Vatican, you often see men of cloth going about their daily business there. Though there's a fair amount of tourists (honestly in Rome, there are tourists everywhere!), its fairly intermingled with local families having their late night siesta dinners.
For our first time to Rome, we of course had to visit the major sites! On this side of our Rome trip, we walked to the Colosseum and found some of the local foreign tour guides who organize entry & history of the site on the spot.
Honestly the extra euros is money well spent to skip the massive long line, and get a brief history of The Colosseum and then you have your own time to explore the beautiful ruins. It's also easier than buying months earlier online.
I really enjoyed just walking around Rome (as long as you can stand the heat! Supposedly we were in Rome in the hottest summer in 7 years!) and perhaps that's because I walk everywhere in Tokyo - we were definitely walking over 10km easily a day just exploring the beautiful surroundings.
TIP: You always should have a bottle of water with you as there are many drinking fountains in the city where you can refill it. My little trick since it was so hot, was to freeze a bottle of water overnight, wrap it in a towel and as it gradually melted - refill it with more water - was a lovely way to have nice chill water for the majority of the day and a cool moist towel too! ^_~
PS. Keep an eye out for my upcoming post on Trastevere - one of the best local areas to eat in Rome.