First things first – this is Rome – so you do have to visit the sites. There are amazing ruins literally around every corner, so although you are here to party, the biggies still have to be ticked off.
Second things second – this is the countdown to New Year – so you have to party too!
10 Colosseum at Sunrise
If you’re going to visit the Colosseum – which of course you must – please make sure you get there before it opens. That way you can see the sun rising behind it as you approach (stunning) and when you get inside to explore it, you have the vague chance of getting photographs of this amazing place without the world and its wife unintentionally photo-bombing you!
NB Make sure you return to the Colosseum for the fireworks spectacular at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, it is awesome (see point 3). The Colosseum provides the most stunning backdrop to a firework display I have ever seen and the atmosphere is fabulous.
Again make sure you get here before it opens – the queues to get into St Peter’s Basilica at the end of the day are ridiculous – you could waste hours snaking around the square. However by arriving just before 8am you’ll be in like Flynn – maybe even beating the nuns – well we did anyway.
8 Sweep up the Spanish Steps
TBH the Spanish Steps were slightly disappointing – absolutely packed and not much to see – but an essential one to tick off your list, hopefully while eating a delicious gelato.
This was sadly undergoing repairs while I was in Rome so was another rather disappointing site – however I am assured that when it is in its fully splendor it is truly magnificent. Despite the scaffolding I still tossed in my coin and made a wish.
6 Visit the Best of the Rest
Try and make the time to see the best of the rest (Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Castel Sant Angelo, the Roman Forum, etc) these are mostly easily accessible – sometimes free – and always impressive. I’ve got to be honest – they may have been a grisly bunch but those Romans did build things to last!
There’s a reason that Italians always look so happy – and that’s because they are so well fed. Their food is delish. Whether you stop off at a food stall for a slice of pizza or go to a swanky restaurant if you stick with the Italian food on offer in Rome you can’t really go wrong. Well, unless you count the fact that you may not be able to do your jeans up when you get home as things going wrong…
4 Party Planning
So New Year’s Eve is approaching and the party needs to be planned… or does it? Ask around – the locals are v helpful especially the ones hanging out in the trendy area of Trastevere – there is plenty to do and much of it without pre-booking. When we were in Rome there was a great free outdoor concert in Parco Del Celio which everyone seemed to be going to – as did we – and it was amazing. Atmosphere – check. Fun factor – check. Music – check. And apparently it is an annual event.
You may mock – you may think it’s naff – but quite frankly the spectacle of seeing the New Year in with a frenzy of fireworks over the Colosseum is quite frankly spectacular! So make sure that whatever pre-party you attend – you watch this extravanagza at midnight before continuing the party elsewhere. You won’t regret it!
2 Post Midnight Party
There are plenty of parties to be had in this city – from ticketed €100 event (with delish food and free-flowing cocktails so well worth the cost if your budget allows) to cool intimate bars with local musicians and great atmos to boot. If you head to the Trastevere area you are guaranteed to find something to suit your needs.
1 The Morning After
You will almost certainly be feeling a little groggy on New Year’s Day – so use this day to pamper yourself and take in brunch/lunch/afternoon tea at one of Rome’s fabulous 4 or 5 star hotels. There are quite a few options and the old-style grandeur of the buildings, paired with the superb food and charming service makes the pain of New Year’s Day subside slightly!
Don’t fly until the 2nd at the very earliest…
This is one tip that I was unfortunately not able to take due to having to get back home as soon as the festivities had finished… However I strongly recommend giving yourself a day or two to get over the fun of New Year’s Eve, as despite spending the afternoon being pampered in a fab four-star hotel the plane journey home was painful to say the least!