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What to Do in Rome Before or After a Cruise

by Barbara Rogers

Apr 3, 2024

© Luciano Mortula | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

Whether traveling as a couple or with the entire family, if your Mediterranean cruise begins or ends in Rome, you’ll want to spend at least a day exploring the city. Of course, Rome deserves more than a day, but you can easily see a few highlights and spend some time just absorbing the city’s lively vibe.


Save time waiting in line by buying a skip-the-line ticket to tour Rome’s signature attraction, the Colosseum. Various tour options range from a general tour of the upper structure to in-depth (literally) tours that take you into the Hypogeum underneath the arena floor and into the Upper Tiers, areas most visitors don’t see.


The Forum is nearby, but touring it will take more time, and there’s more to Rome than its ancient sites. The Vatican is the other most popular attraction in Rome, but it could easily take the entire day. With a skip-the-line ticket, you might be able to see St. Peter’s Basilica and maybe the Sistine Chapel in half a day.


You’ll want to spend some time absorbing Rome’s spirited atmosphere, and few places immerse you into this better than the Trastevere neighborhood. You’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back half a century as you stroll through the narrow lanes of what was once the Jewish Ghetto. Head to the lively morning market fills Campo di Fiore, a place bursting with color, and be sure to hit the streets around it, as they are a good place to look for small restaurants.


Take a look inside two outstanding churches rarely on tourist itineraries. The interior of Santa Maria in Trastevere is notable for its marble floors, gold ceiling and medieval mosaics; more fine mosaics decorate Santa Cecilia in Trastevere, which also hides the foundations of a Roman home.


If you’re like most visitors, you’ll want to toss your coin into Trevi Fountain to ensure you’ll come back another time to see more of Rome’s treasures.


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