travel guide // rome, italy

It’s hard to believe that this time last month, I was finishing up two weeks spent in Italy. Swoon. I had the most unbelievable time, and have been meaning to sit down and write a full re-cap for y’all ever since returning!

I have so much to share and say about the two places we visited… the huge, historic city of Rome and the ancient, Tuscan town of Cortona… so after some thought, I’ve decided to break up this trip recap into two parts. First, we’ll cover the few days I spent in Rome, and I’ll soon follow up with a look at my absolute favorite city in Italy, Cortona!

Today, let’s dive into the three days my family spent in Rome. We stayed in an Airbnb during our entire visit, so below, I’ll be focusing on food and attractions. (The best stuff anyways, right?) At the end of this post, I’ll be sharing all of the photos I took during my time in Rome!

One important thing I’d like to note before we jump in is that since this was my family’s second time in Rome, we spent this trip visiting the more obscure places we didn’t make it to on our first adventure. So that being said, you won’t find “must see” destinations like Coliseum tours, etc. on this post… simply because we’d already done them! But that doesn’t mean they’re not worth doing. Just keep that in mind if you’re planning on visiting Rome for the first time!



When it comes to dining in Rome, I definitely recommend booking reservations in advance. Simply call the restaurant (you can always find the number online) and when a hostess answers, say “Reservation.” They’ll almost always connect you with someone who speaks English.

  • De Armando al Pantheon
    • Let me start off by saying this. You need to make a reservation a *month* in advance. No, this restaurant isn’t especially ritzy (although you can see the Pantheon literally right outside of the front door) it’s just THAT good. My mom called for reservations two weeks ahead of time, and all they had available was a spot for lunch. This was absolutely the best pasta I had the entire trip. We all ordered different things on the menu, and were all blown away!
  • Nonna Betta
    • We ended up loving this little spot so much that we ate here twice for dinner! The thing you absolutely can’t miss? The Jewish artichoke. We each got one for ourselves and talked about them the entire trip. It’s not especially fancy, but it is delicious.
  • Angelino Ai Fori dal 1947
    • This was one of the few restaurants we didn’t have a reservation for. After touring Palatine Hill, we walked past it and decided to give it a try. The pizza ended up being delicious. Perfect lunch spot!
  • La Casa del Caffe Tazza d Oro
    • When you’re by the Pantheon, you must stop into this spot for coffee! They’re famous for it, and rightly so! I ordered the frozen coffee (I can’t remember the Italian name) and oh my word… it was genuinely a highlight of my trip!



Like I mentioned above, since this was my family’s second time in Rome we chose tours we didn’t get the chance to go on first time around. So don’t forget… this list doesn’t include a few “must see” spots like the Coliseum!

  • Borghese Gallery Tour
    • We spent a full morning at the Borghese Gallery and the Borghese Gardens! The gallery is a must. Be sure you buy tickets in advance! A ticket gives you a two-hour window of time to wander through the gorgeous building. We ended up opting for the tour, and loved it! (P.S. This is where my sister and I ran into Anna Popplewell!)
  • Borghese Gardens
    • After a morning tour through the Borghese Gallery, my family and I decided to… wait for it… rent Segways and ride through the gardens! Y’all… THIS is the way to see the garden. It is absolutely massive, and the Segways allowed us to see a lot of it in a fun, fast way. We rented ours for a full hour and had the best time!
  • Appian Way Electic Bike Tour
    • This bike tour through the Appian Way was one of our absolute favorite things we did! We had an incredible tour guide, Bram, who guided us to the Roman aqueducts, along the Appian Way and to the catacombs. We chose the 6-hour bike ride, and let me tell you… using the electric assist bikes was the way to go. So fun! This really was an amazing way to see so much of Rome that you otherwise wouldn’t. I highly recommend if you have a day for it!
  • Palatine Hill Tour
    • To put it simply, my family and I are Roman Empire nerds. My sister and I studied Latin and Latin culture extensively throughout elementary and middle school and even into high school, so needless to say Palatine Hill holds a ton of interest for us! That’s why we decided to take a 4-hour private tour of Palatine Hill, where we got to see the homes of Emporer Augustus and his wife, Livia. (Both have just been recently opened to the public and are only viewable via tour.) Since we had already toured the Coliseum on our previous trip, we were excited for a more in-depth visit of Palatine Hill. If you’re not incredibly interested in Roman history, this might be more than you’re looking for… but we found it fascinating!

There you have it, friends, the places we loved visiting and eating at during our 3 full days in Rome! I know what you’re thinking… 3 days is entirely too short to soak in Rome, but the little town of Cortona was our final destination, so we really were just making a pit stop!

I can’t wait to share my Cortona travel guide with you next. It’s such an undiscovered jewel of a city, and there’s so much I’m dying to show you! In the meantime, if you have any questions about my Italy trip (from what I packed to… I don’t know… if I saw Paulo and Isabella) leave them in the comments! I think I’m going to do an Italy Q&A!

Now, here are some more of the images (and outfit details) from my time in Italy. Keep scrolling to the very end for a collage of 16 things I packed for the trip!

The Roman Aqueducts

rome italy travel guide

TOP   outdoor voices top   |   LEGGINGS   black leggings   |   SHOES   nike tennis shoes   |   SUNGLASSES   ray ban sunglasses


The Pantheon

rome italy travel guide

DRESS   white off the shoulder dress   |   BAG   straw circular bag (old, similar linked)   |   BELT   hermés belt   |   SHOES   ancient greek sandals


the tiber river

rome italy travel guide

JUMPSUIT   chambray bow sleeve jump suit   |   BELT   hermés belt   |   SHOES   ancient greek sandals


lunch near palatine hill

rome italy travel guide


DRESS   white cold shoulder dress   |   EARRINGS   hoop earrings   |   SUNGLASSES   ray ban sunglasses


borghese gallery

rome italy travel guide

rome italy travel guide

DRESS   striped dress (available in grey here)   |   SHOES   platform superga sneakers   |   EARRINGS   hoop earrings   |   BAG   circular straw bag (old, similar linked)   |   SUNGLASSES   ray ban sunglasses

Don’t forget to click *here* for a recent post on “16 things I packed for Italy.” You can also click below to shop!

Loved getting to relive this trip with y’all via this post! Don’t forget to leave me any questions you have about it for my Italy Q&A!

Love from Texas,


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  1. Incredible but I’ve never been in Rome yet … still on my to do list! Thanks for sharing and have a great day xx

    Published 7.10.18 · Reply
    • A Lonestar State of Southern said:

      Thank you! Yes, put it at the top of your list. It’s amazing! Thanks for stopping by. :)

      Published 7.10.18 · Reply
  2. Love seeing your pictures from Rome! So many cute outfits- glad you had a blast!

    Published 7.10.18 · Reply
    • A Lonestar State of Southern said:

      You’re so sweet, thank you so much!

      Published 7.10.18 · Reply
  3. Jillian said:

    Kate! Oh my goodness, I so enjoyed your posts while you were in Italy. You are so precious.

    I am getting married in Tuscany in August! I wanted to ask you what hair tool(s) you used while you were over there. Did you bring your own and use a converter? Did you purchase a new one while you were there? Thank you in advance! 😊

    Published 7.10.18 · Reply
  4. Amy said:

    Going to Rome for the first time! Any tips or must do’s for a first timer?!

    Published 7.10.18 · Reply
  5. Cathryn said:

    Where did you get all those delicious looking sugar-coated donuts? I remember seeing them on your story every couple mornings and being SO jealous they looked so yummy!

    Published 7.10.18 · Reply
  6. Mackenzie said:

    I’m moving to Rome soon to study abroad for 4 months. I’m really concerned about finding the right shoes. I want something cute, that will match my girly outfits, but still be supportive and comfortable —and preferably sandals. Any suggestions?

    Published 7.10.18 · Reply
  7. Kendall M said:

    Do you have any packing tips? We are doing two weeks (Greece & Italy) and my husband is only letting my bring one suitcase. I’m nervous about fitting everything (and shoes) in one bag… help!

    Published 7.10.18 · Reply
  8. Courtney said:

    Yay!! I follow you on instagram and saw all of your beautiful pictures, so I couldn’t wait for this! xxCourtney

    Published 7.11.18 · Reply
  9. Toni said:

    Hi Kate,

    My question is re: transportation. What airline did you fly? Did you fly business or first class? What did you do for transportation while in Rome and traveling between cities? Thank you so much.

    Published 7.11.18 · Reply
  10. Erin said:

    I second the shoes and packing questions!

    Also, what bag(s) for sightseeing and walking did you find most useful? Were you carrying a lot or just the essentials?

    And any tips on washing clothing while traveling?

    Love the pics, thanks in advance!

    Published 7.13.18 · Reply
  11. Beautiful photos! I’ve always wanted to travel to Rome. :)

    Published 7.13.18 · Reply
  12. Katie said:

    What an amazing trip! I’ve never been to Rome but have always wanted to go- I’ll be keeping this post in mind for when I finally make it there!


    Published 7.15.18 · Reply
  13. Jessica Milligan said:

    I really like the cities of Italy, they have their own special atmosphere. I have visited many places during my travels around the country, so I can confidently say that this country is one of my favorites. If you are planning to visit Italy, I advise you to rent a car over here to travel around the country and be sure to include Rome and Tuscany in your itinerary, here are my recommendations to you

    Published 4.1.23 · Reply