Rome on Your Own

5th Biggest cruise ship in the world.
On July 8th, we arrived in Civitavecchia which is the port near Rome. We decided to go on the "Rome on your Own" excursion which is just a return trip to Rome on a coach bus. We had the day to look around in Rome and see the sights. There were tours you could book with the cruise line that included visits to attractions like the Colosseum and the Vatican.

We met for our tour in the cruise ship theatre and we were directed off the ship. Our guide showed us the way and we boarded a coach bus to Rome. Civitavecchia looked pretty nice but I think there is much more to see in Rome.

It took about an hour to get to Rome from Civitavecchia. It's not easy to get a good picture from a moving bus but there drive looked really scenic.
Once we started seeing ancient looking buildings and lots of traffic we knew we had to be in Rome. I think Google maps showed the route to be just over an hour but it actually took us almost 2 hours to get to Rome.
There were plenty of other coach buses dropping off tourists like us to check out the sights of Rome.

 We got to Rome and bought tickets to the Roma Cristiana "hop on hop off" bus. The guide on our coach bus recommended the Roma Cristiana bus so we took his word for it. We figured this was the best idea since we had a limited time in Rome and we had no idea where everything was or even what all the best sights to see were.

We got a map from our coach bus guide, showing us the most famous things to see in Rome. We used that as our plan. First we checked out the Colosseum since the coach dropped us off right in front of it.
The Colosseum is massive and the Arch of Constantine nearby was impressive as well.
We considered going inside the Colosseum but the line to go in was ridiculous. There were two lines. One to buy tickets and one for people once they had bought their tickets. We did want to see the inside of the Colosseum but if we did then it probably would have been the only thing we saw in Rome.
This is why there are tours that you can take that will skip the line but they are much more expensive than buying a regular ticket. There is a lot of people in Rome in the summer and it is hot.
We could sort of see inside the Colosseum anyway. Haha.
That's inside.

This was the line to get in to the Colosseum. We didn't really have the patience for this. lol. See how it keeps going and wraps around the corner?

 We made our way to the tourist bus and got some good seats on the upper deck to take pictures. Our Roma Cristiana bus wasn't as well known as the City Sightseeing bus but the advantage was that it was not as busy so we had no problems getting seats up top.
The tourist bus was an easy way to see the city in one day.

One thing we noticed was that there were people riding Vespa Scooters everywhere. It would be fun to rent one and tour the city. The statues all over Rome are beautiful.

We did a lot of picture taking from the bus since everything looks so incredible.

The Vatican is right there down the street. We didn't get off at this stop because we still wanted to see the rest of Rome.

This is the view of the Vatican from the outside. You aren't allowed to bring bags in. We had a big back pack with us. You can check your bag there for free
Tiber River

 We skipped going into the Vatican and made our way to Piazza Navona which is one of the sights on our map. Aside from the Colosseum we weren't really familiar with any of Rome's landmarks so everything was a pleasant surprise when we found it.

The Roma Cristiana bus stops are a bit too nondescript. There wasn't really any signs showing where they were exactly. We had to make a mental note of where they were to find them again.

There was lots of places to get pizza and coffee around. The Piazza was definitely worth a visit.

There was a couple fountains in the Piazza the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi and Fontana del Nettuno. Both of them were epic looking.
Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi

Fontana del Nettuno

 We took a short walk over to the Pantheon. The streets are charming in Rome.

Pantheon, Piazza del Rotonda
 The Pantheon was pretty amazing. There was a lot of tourists in there as well. The Pantheon used to be a Roman Temple but now it is a Church. It was built around 128 AD so the oldest building we've ever been inside.

The roof is a dome made of concrete. There is an oculus for natural light to shine through.
 After the Pantheon, we took the bus over to the next Rome landmark on the route, the Piazza Venezia. The Altare della Patria is grand looking. The size of it is ridiculous. Apparently it is known as being a big eyesore to locals but it's all good to us. Some locals call it la torta nuziale which means wedding cake. The white marble definitely makes it stand out.
Altare della Patria

The view from the top is worth treking up all those stairs. There is also a museum and a cathedral at the top. We went inside the Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli.

It was really really hot in Rome so we were getting pretty tired and decided to just ride the tourist bus around the city without getting off the bus anymore. It was probably 40 degrees Celsius outside. We hopped on the tourist but and took more pictures of the city.


Back at the Colosseum
We ended up finding some shade near the Colosseum and hung out there waiting for the bus back to the ship. Turns out it was 38 degrees Celsius. Lol. Yikes. It was really great to see Rome but unfortunately we were getting really tired from the heat and lack of sleep the night before. You definitely need more than just a day to explore all of Rome because it feels like we just scratched the surface.

The Colosseum is a tourist trap as you'd expect. We were getting constantly hounded by people trying to sell us sunglasses, scarfs and selfie sticks. Saying no wasn't enough to get rid of them, you had repeat it over and over.

Tensions were getting high around the Colosseum. We saw a tourist punch a pickpocket in the face for attempting to steal his girlfriend's watch. Police came and sorted it all out it looked like. Eventually we got back on the bus and made our way back to the ship. I think we ended up going to sleep on the bus back to the ship.

Thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post and want to see more of Italy, check out our post on "Pisa and Beach"


  1. Rome looks so beautiful and your images are perfect. Love the Colosseum. Was it expensive in the Rome?

    1. Expensive? I guess it seemed normal for a major European city.

  2. Wow Rome looks amazing ! So many beautiful and historic places.

  3. The sightseeing is beautiful. We went on a cruise last year and had a great time. Your photos are awesome.

  4. Omg beautiful photos!!!! Rome is definitely on end place i have always wanted to visit! Hopefully I make it there one day!

  5. This reminds me so much of my trip to Rome <3 The history, the people, the architecture and the yellow tones in the buildings are what make Rome, Rome.

  6. I love Rome, its a great city to tour in July. Can you tell me whats the name of the app you use to show all your pictures at the bottom of the page when you click on them?

  7. I can still remember how awesome the our trip to Rome was! I can't wait to go back there and experience it all over again. Looks like you made the most of your stay there! Rome is so beautiful as always!

  8. wonderful place! interesting to visit someday! this will be added to my bucket list! thanks for posting photos!

  9. I wanted to visit Rome and stop by some of its historical places like Vatican and Piazza Venezia. By the way, do you have any idea how many steps are on the stairs on the way to Basilica of Santa Maria in Ara Coeli.

    1. No I don't. You'll have to go there and find out. ;)

  10. This is exciting! Actually will be visiting Italy for the month of April and Rome is on the list! I will keep your blog in mind when planning.

  11. I also missed to go inside the Colosseum when I went there, therefore I manage to see more other places. In vatican, the line was endless but it was worth it. ;)

  12. Beautiful photos! Have not been to Rome yet but would really love to go and see all the Roman architecture and history!

  13. Se manifique! awesome photo journal and descriptions
    makes me wanna hop on a plane right now lol


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