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A guide to visiting Rome: How to prepare for travel and must-see spots

If you've booked a trip to Rome, make a rough itinerary of the stops you want to make. There are so many magnificent spots throughout the city that draw thousands of tourists each day.

You've always dreamed of traveling to Rome, and the time has finally come. You've booked the flights, hotel reservations are set, and the countdown to vacation has begun. 

Once you've got your big things booked, it's time to prepare for each day of your trip in order to make the most out of your vacation. 

Here are must see stops in Rome and what to know before you go.

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When packing for a vacation to Rome, there are things that you'll want to bring no matter what time of year it is and others that you may want to bring depending on what season it is while you are visiting. 

Rome experiences the four seasons, so depending on when you are going, you'll want to pack different clothing. During the winter, you'll want to dress warmly, whereas the summers get very hot. During the spring and fall, it's important to bring layers as the temperatures can fluctuate. 

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One thing to remember when packing clothes, no matter what time of year, is that you're likely going to be visiting lots of churches and museums, where modest clothing is expected to be worn. During the heat of summer, dresses are a popular choice for many women who visit Rome. 

Also, remember that you are going to be walking around a lot, so it's vital to have a comfortable pair of shoes to avoid achy and blistered feet early in the trip. Packing a nice pair of sneakers to wear during the day is a safe bet. If you want to bring heels on the trip, wedges or sandals may be a better idea since many of the streets are cobblestone, leaving lots of opportunity for twisted ankles in high-heeled shoes. 

You'll also want to have a small purse or fanny pack with you to carry the necessities while you are sightseeing. A travel plug adapter is another essential item so that you can keep all your devices charged. Don't forget a reusable water bottle. In Rome, there are tons of water fountains around the city where you can fill up to keep hydrated. 

One other step you'll want to take before the actual trip is to plan as much as you can ahead of time for a stress-free vacation. Rome is a huge tourist city, so many of the main tourist attractions are going to have long lines. In order to avoid this, take a look online to see if the attraction has skip the line passes you can purchase before the trip. Many do have this, and buying your passes ahead of time will allow you to see more of the city during your trip versus waiting in long lines for large portions of the day. 

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Also consider booking reservations for restaurants ahead of time to avoid long waits. Public transportation is a popular way to get around the city, so if you plan on using this, you can also buy bus passes prior to your trip. Doing a little extra planning before you go can make for a more enjoyable time once you actually arrive. 

Vatican City is filled with religious sights and gorgeous museums. This is where you can visit St. Peter's Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums.

If you plan on visiting any of these places, this is an activity you are going to want to book ahead of time since Vatican City is a major tourist attraction. 

There are tons of different ticket options, many of which are a bundle of skip the line passes for various destinations such as the museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. Do some research on this early and book an option that works best for you and your travel party. You won't want to miss out on this stop during your trip. 

Another one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions is the Colosseum. Thousands gather every day to see the largest amphitheater ever build. Due to the high volume of visitors, this is another sightseeing stop you're going to want to fit into your schedule. If you wait until your arrival, it's possible that tickets are going to have already sold out. If you just want to see the exterior of the Colosseum, you won't need any sort of ticket, but you'll need a ticket to get inside. 

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Like the Vatican, there are lots of different tickets you can buy to visit the Colosseum. You can get the traditional skip the line pass and do your own self-guided tour, or you can get a guided tour of the attraction. 

You can also opt for the popular bundle ticket that allows you to skip the line at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, in addition to the Colosseum. 

Visiting the Trevi Fountain is an extremely popular activity in Rome and a free destination to visit, except for the coin you'll throw in.

Although the Trevi Fountain draws quite a crowd, it is a spot you can get to when you've got extra time. Here, you can throw in a coin, backwards over your left shoulder of course, snap a photo or two and take in the breathtaking site. 

The Pantheon is a beautifully preserved building of ancient times. There is a small admission fee for those visiting under the age of 18. You can also pay extra for a guided tour of the attraction.

You can't leave Rome without having gelato for dessert. You won't need to look very far to find a gelato shop in the city as there are more than enough to choose from. It'll be especially refreshing if you are visiting during the hot summer months.

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