Roma with my Momma

It has been donkey’s years since I travelled abroad with my Mum; she usually travels once a year to Nigeria on what I like to call an “extended family visit” to see her mum and family. For the last 10 years I have travelled with friends, for both long haul holiday and city breaks. I thought it was about time she indulged in a City Break, so one of my goals for 2017 was to take her on a short break.

I decided to take her to Rome as I felt it was quite “Mummy friendly” and we would both appreciate the sights. It would be our first time visiting and experiencing the city and country. 

We stayed in Rome for 3 nights and 4 days; this gave us enough time to see as many sights as we wanted without feeling overwhelmed and also enjoy a bit of rest. We flew out at the end of March; for 3 of the 4 days the weather was greatly in our favour. Any doubts I had when making my way to the airport about bringing a heavier coat were distant memory as soon as we touched down in Rome!

We stayed at Hotel Morgana, which was right by Termini Station, similar to Kings Cross Station or Waterloo Station in London. It was a major hub of activity. Being by the station meant that we not only had easy access to public transport to go around the city, but we also had the ability to reach Ciampino Airport with relative ease.  

Around the station there was a high concentration of tourists and migrants, but there was no question about our safety.  

Following hotel check-in and a 45 minute power nap (I had been up since 4am), we hit up the Colosseum. It was a mere 5 minute tube ride from Termini Station (2 stops) and the Colosseum was a little bit hard to miss when you came out of the station! 

I had booked tickets for the Colosseum in advance as I didn’t want to endure long lines with my Mum (she hates waiting and she’s very vocal when annoyed). The ticket allowed single access over 2 days to the Colosseum, Palatine Hill and the Forum; the tickets were 12 euros each plus a booking fee which was really good value. Having tickets in advance meant that it only took about 15 minutes to enter the Colosseum.

We also visited Palatine Hill and part of the Forum; the Forum was so vast. Hunger and tiredness soon kicked in so the Forum was not fully explored.

Day 2 was a bus tour and visit to Vatican City. The bus tour allowed us to see the City, without getting to tired; I took full advantage of the open top deck, getting great views and getting a mini tan! 

I also booked tickets for the Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel; just as well because the line to pay before entering was long. Again it took about 10 – 15 minutes to enter the museums with our advanced tickets (this included going through security), so the wait was not too torturous.

We visited several museums before reaching the Sistine Chapel; my favourite was the Gregorian Egyptian Museum, which had the mummified body. My mum was not as impressed with the dead body....

It took around or just over an hour to go through the museums to reach the Sistine Chapel, which was what most of not all of the tourists wanted to see. Even though the Sistine Chapel was jewel of the Vatican Museums, the vast artwork and artefacts that the Vatican has amassed was amazing; human beings can be a talented bunch!

I have to say that while I thought the Sistine Chapel was impressive, I was actually more in awe of St Peter’s Basilica….It was darn epic. Not only did I look around as a tourist, I also took time to reflect in some of the sections that was devoted to silence and prayer.

While the Basilica is a major tourist attraction, it is also a fully functioning church and service was actually taking place as normal while tourists were milling round!

It was pure coincidence that I booked our trip to Rome on the weekend that Rome Marathon was taking place. I’m still a long way from running a marathon; however I went to cheer on the amazing runners, including one of my running mates from NRC in London. Unfortunately the weather was pretty shite as it was raining quite heavily for most of the morning, but that did not deter me from cheering. I left my Mum to have a lazy lie-in while I visited the Spanish Steps, which was also the 40km mark of the Marathon Route.

40km (24.85 miles) of Maratona di Roma

View from the top of the Spanish Steps

After the rain cleared up, we walked to The Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore (Basilica of Saint Mary Major) which was 6 minutes from our Hotel. Santa Maria Maggiore is one of the four great ancient Church in Rome and the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome. 

Like St. Peter’s Basicila it serves as a tourist attraction and functioning church; we had arrived just as they were starting Sunday evening service, so we had decided to stay for the service (even though it was in Italian).

Santa Maria Maggiore

We visited Santa Maria Maggiore again on our last day given its proximity and people watched by the fountain outside of the Church. 

I knew that a city break with my Mum would be a different experience to travelling with my friends. Where I and my friends would walk almost everywhere to see as many sights as possible, my Mum would not have the energy (or patience) for such an activity (trust me when I say this). This meant that I gave this trip a little bit more thought and planning in comparison to my last few trips; while I did have key sights that I wanted to see, I also wanted my Mum to feel comfortable and enjoy the trip too.

There were a few places that I did not get visit (the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, the Rest of the Forum); I suppose that has become an incentive for me to visit Rome again!


  1. hey hun, i Loved reading your blog! ;) Awesome pictures too! I Haven't been to Rome yet, it's on my list of places to visit! :) xx

  2. Great shots of Rome! I would love to visit there some day. It looked like you had a great trip. :)

  3. I loved reading about you trip! I've always wanted to visit Rome and it seems like you really got to experience a lot of the sites. I love the great tip about getting your tickets in advance. I'll have to remember that!

    -Sabine |


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