How to start planning a trip to Rome: 5 tips

Posted on Apr 21, 2020 in Planning Support, On your own, Time out to reflect


[revised November 2023] In time of Covid-19 we learnt that sometimes you cannot travel and you just have to wait and dream. But this is not necessarily a lost time.

Have you ever heard of the “Grand Tour”?  It was a “travel habit” of the bygone days, just reserved to upper classes (and mostly male travellers), an educational rite of passage before starting the proper adult life, a journey through the main “attractions” of Europe for the sake of curiosity and learning, but especially to touch with hands what have been learnt for years only on books and prints.

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to go back to this kind of  “tourism” (the modern concept of tourism comes exactly from this old European custom) when the learning phase comes first, followed by a long planning phase and finally the journey is a crowning achievement! It might be a good exercise to start traveling with more awareness and appreciation, following our deep interests and enjoying the planning moment a lot more.

So here is a series of tips to start preparing your trip to Rome (and BTW, here is our post about planning):

  1. start planning from your couch with videos: not only webcams (here you can jump immediately into Rome’s atmosphere), but also films (here you find a list of great movies set in Rome) and our  Youtube channel  with playlists of selected videos such as amazing reconstructions of the ancient sites, drone explorations, short reportages about everyday life… Register to our channel and switch on the notifications, so you’ll receive a note when new videos are listed.
  2. Read a good book: we have an on-going list of novels and essays about Rome here.
  3. Indulge in a virtual tour: it’s a boom of virtual tours right now. We decided not to offer them, as we believe in the importance of the physical relationship, walking together, exchanging glances, sharing the moment… Our tours are all that mixed together, not a lecture (even if you learn a lot in the end). But with the aim of the preparation of a trip some institutional websites can be interesting: 360° Italian art, for instance. Or the virtual tours of the Vatican Collections,  Capitoline Museums, several archeological sites reconstructed by Progetto Traiano … you can suggest some good links too!
  4. Food: what about learning a bit of Italian cuisine to prepare for your trip? We recommend the recipes listed in the website of Giallo Zafferano, very popular in Italy and now also translated in English,
  5. When you are ready to plan your trip, have a look also at our posts about the perfect Roman Holiday and the churches of Rome… they can help you to make a list of priorities.

Do you wish to share any good tip about planning ?