When I reached 25 I made a plan to try and travel around the occasion of my birthday. So last year on my 25th birthday I spent the day photographing a point break in Morocco.
This year I headed to somewhere on my list of places I would love to travel to – Rome, so here are a few tips and things to help you should you decided on a trip to Rome.
- Pick a time of year that best suits you, we didn’t go to Rome to soak up the sunshine and get a tan we went to look at the beautiful architecture. So we picked February as well as being my birthday month it was one of the quietest months, meaning we got to see and photograph lots of the landmarks without the crowds of people.
- You will need a good quality pair of walking shoes or boots, it is best to have some that will support your ankles fully as whilst walking in Rome the ground can be uneven and slippery when it has rained. If you are a photographer take a good comfortable backpack, we took this one. https://www.manfrotto.co.uk/advanced-camera-and-laptop-backpack-travel-black Which allowed us to hold our two Canon cameras, 4 lenses, tripod and laptop easily and comfortably during our Easyjet flight as hand luggage and travelling around Rome minus the laptop.
- If you are going to stay near the tourist hot spots then have a look at https://www.airbnb.co.uk We found a wonderful property just 10-15 minute walk from the Colosseum. Our host Emanuela was so amazing, with tips and local maps we found our way around very easily. Check it out here, she is doing a 20% off in April deal. https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/4350737
- Be prepared for saying no a lot or unfortunately eventually ignoring people, especially around the big landmarks. There are a lot of tour companies trying to get your attention along with people selling selfie sticks and bracelets. Its best to do your homework have a look at different tours before you go ahead with booking one. We were very pleased that we did the Vatican and Sistine Chapel Tour, as our tour guide was brilliant and told us everything we needed to know. In addition when it rains be aware you will be asked about an average 200 times whether you would like to buy and umbrella or a poncho, which will still remain a running joke when it rains between Matthew and I.
- When it comes to the security of your personal belongings be aware of your personal space when in crowds, we looked out for each other. Also if you have one already then great, but if not then invest in a jacket with inside pockets, whilst at the Trevi Fountain Matthew had a person put their hand in his coat pocket and then remove it when they realised it was empty, he thought it was me but it was a opportunist pick pocket.
- If you are looking to sample the delights that Rome has to offer in terms of food & drink. Try not to get taken in by the ones near the centre of the tourist spots. I am talking from experience, we despite reading about it got overwhelmed with the view leading up to the Vatican and before we knew it we were sat down in a restaurant finishing off our lunch, to then being surprised by the price of the bill. Yes, we were well and truly spotted a mile off and they scooped us up and amazed us with their restaurant, and in a flash we hadn’t asked the price and had ordered food.
- Re usable drinks container, we took our elephant box water bottle which came in very handy as with a lot of walking you get thirsty and in Rome there are free water fill up stations.
We arrived in Rome from the airport at night we got a transfer arranged, as it is a little easier and less stressful and it also allows you to get your bearings the next day. We decided to take the tube back to the airport as it was daytime and we had lots of time to kill, so it was very relaxed and we were quite lucky with this as once I had purchased my ticket it would not stamp before getting on the train. Which is something you have to do, if you do not get your ticket stamped then you will get a fine. You will find green ticket machines dotted around the train terminal.
We absolutely loved our trip to Rome, and we hope we have inspired you with our images and helped you with our tips. If you have any more questions do not hesitate to contact me.