Travel – Rome & Naples, Italy

Rome, Italy – A city that I’ve been wanting to visit for a long time due to it being depicted in many films, books, and stories. Roman gladiators and the colosseum were two things I always heard about growing up and Bruce Lee’s scene with Chuck Norris within the Colosseum made it a must visit location. Aside from that, the amount of Italian cuisine such as pastas, pizza, gelato, and more made it an appealing destination.

Travel Tips

  • The International airport (FCO) is located outside of city central so you’ll need to take a train into Rome.
  • Rome is a very touristy city that is known for pick pockets. Be aware of all your pockets and bags. Keep all your valuables in the deeper pockets of your bags when walking in large touristy areas such as the Trevi Fountain or Colosseum.
  • Breakfast here is mainly pastries and cappuccinos. Most restaurants that serve full meals here don’t open until lunch time so keep that in mind.
  • A little Italian goes a long way. With so many tourists daily, the locals appreciate it if you just know a few Italian words – even the common greeting phrases is more than enough.

Places to Visit as a Tourist

  • Colosseum
  • St. Peter’s Basilica (Vatican City)
  • Roman Forum
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Pantheon
  • Piazza Navona
  • Spanish Steps

Side Trip

On this trip, I took the train and did a short trip to Naples, Italy. I can’t say that this city is anywhere at the top at all. I would actually rank this as my least favorite city I’ve ever traveled to due to how shady and dirty it is. The city didn’t feel safe and not the cleanest either. The purpose of this side trip was to go to the city that created pizza. I was able to try some spots and a famous pastry shop but you’ll be fine great pizza throughout Italy. I would skip Naples if it was on your itinerary.

Streets of Naples
Famous Pastry Shop in Naples
The original home of Pizza – Naples, Italy

The Food

Be prepared to eat a lot of carbs and sweets! There are several Italian restaurants throughout the whole city and you can’t really go wrong. Just watch out for “tourist traps” where food is at a much high price. If it’s near a tourist destination or has a large English menu outside I would avoid it.

  • Pasta (Various Kinds)
  • Pizza
  • Gelato
  • Tiramisu (Pompi)
  • Lasagna

Mat Surfing

  • Tip for “Mat Surfing” is to always call or contact the school ahead of time to see if you are even allowed to take a drop-in class or come by for an open mat session.

For this trip, I was able to train with Antonio la Salandra who is a Black Belt in multiple different marital arts. In Europe, he is a well-known martial artist and also trains the Roman police as well as the guards at the Vatican.

With Professor Antonio la Salandra

His academy is a bit outside of Rome so it may take a bit to get there. I had to take two buses to get there but it was well worth it. His students are extremely friendly and his class is very detailed when it comes to techniques. Since his students primarily speak Italian, classes are conducted in Italian but either he or one of his students will translate to English for you.

Class in Rome

Definitely check him out and also ask him about his RAPID system that he created.


Trevi Fountain
Streets of Rome
Tiramisu from Pompi
Outside the Colosseum
Spanish Steps
Vatican City
Inside the Vatican
Italian Dining


Rome is one of those cities that you have to visit similar to Paris or London. It’s a nice city but definitely crowded. If you’re a big Italian food fan then there’s no doubt you should go visit. Vatican City is also amazing since you get to see all the rich history and religion present. Other spots such as the Colosseum were amazing to see as well but since it’s become so touristy it takes away some of the charm. I’d like to visit again one day but next time I’m in Italy, I’ll most likely visit Florence or Venice to get a different feel of the large country.

Rome, Italy – March 2019

– BJJBug

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