We were in Rome for only a short period of time so we made our first stop the Vatican. It is a must see on any visit to Rome. You can get to it by public transport plus there are other tourist buses that stop there too.
The Vatican is actually a country and is considered the smallest in the world
You can get around Rome easily on a bus. Everything we read said it would be easy to find the buses but there are a LOT of buses and it's not always easy to find the right one. We used the Rome public bus service. You will find these buses in front of the Termini Station.
Here is a map of the bus routes. It can be very confusing.
Rome Bus, Tram & Metro Fares & Ticketing
Automated Ticket Machine
You have to purchase your tickets before you board any public transport in Rome. Most people will have a pass of one kind or another. You are supposed to be able to purchase tickets out of the ticket machines but we had a hard time finding one to work.
On buses and trams you will find ticket validation machines similar to that pictured. If you have a single ticket then enter the ticket into the machine, if you have purchased a pass, you put the pass into the machine on your first journey. This stamps the date and time from which the pass or ticket is valid.
I know I am repeating myself but do your research before you go on trips out of the country!
Find pictures of what machines look like and how to operate them, print maps of everywhere you plan to go. Even print pictures of what the buses look like since there will be many options to choose from.
Print out all of this information and take it with you!
Many times, asking for help is not an option since we ran across very few people that could understand what we were asking.
My best advice is to give yourself plenty of time if you need to be somewhere at a certain time. Unless you know your way around, it is going to probably take longer than you think to get to your destination.
We barely made it on the cruise ship before it sailed, even with maps. The train line was different than what is had listed at the station and it was in a different location.
Below are pictures I took at Vatican City. I feel so blessed to have amazing, awe-inspiring experience.