Aah, Rome. The Eternal City is one of my all-time favourite places to visit in Europe.
It is bursting with astounding history, incredible art, the world’s best pasta and gelato to indulge in, Baroque churches, infamous landmarks and fabulous shopping.
8.00 am Start your day the Italian way and have a standing espresso and a small pastry to fuel up for a big day ahead. (You are charged for ‘table service’ if you choose to sit down).
8:30 am Begin your epic Roman adventure with a visit to the must-see Colosseum.
(It opens at 8:30 am but do arrive earlier if you don’t have a skip the line ticket or especially in the Summer months to beat the queues). Marvel at the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire with its bloody history beginning in 80 AD.
Top Tip: I highly suggest buying your tickets in advance. For 12 € you can purchase a double ticket valid for two days that allows for one entrance to each one of the two sites Colosseum and Forum/Palatine hill. For more information on how to buy tickets visit: here.
Top Tip: Near the Colosseo metro station is a free water refill station which has a sparkling water option! Also, do try to make time to see the Colosseum again at night- it’s all lit up and looks stunning.
12:00 pm Only a five-minute walk from the Colosseum is a great little Trattoria called Luzzi. It’s a perfect place for both lunch and dinner (I’ve been for both multiple times).
I highly recommend the lasagne, Caprese salad, pizzas and the inexpensive chiantis of red wine.
Top Tip: If you decide to have dinner at Luzzi, do arrive early as it’s so popular the lines are usually down the street and the lasagne tends to sell out fast.
1:00 pm Take your time to wander Via dei Fori Imperiali– the road leading from the Colosseum to Altare della Patria and admire Trajan’s Column along the way.
Head to the top of Altare della Patria for amazing panoramic views over the city.
It’s free at the first point (where the photo taken below was) or pay 7 € to take the elevator to the very top for even better views.
Top Tip: When choosing a restaurant, I recommend taking advantage of local knowledge. Ask the reception or people from where you are staying for their favourite places for example. Try to avoid places that have pictures of food on their menus and are in major touristy areas. They will be overpriced and not as good quality as getting more off the beaten track.
|Today’s map with pinpoints from left to right: Altare della Patria, Roman Forum, Colosseum, Luzzi.|
8:00 am Spend the morning in the world’s smallest country! Do a morning half day Vatican City tour either with a group such as Viator or if you would rather go through yourself I would still highly recommend buying in advance skip-the-line tickets. Lines can be up to two hours long so it is worth the money to save your time and sanity in my opinion! Check this link for more information: here. Enjoy St. Peter’s Basilica and Michelangelo’s incredible Sistine Chapel.
Top Tip: It is closed on Sundays and make sure your shoulders and knees are covered or you could be turned away.
12:00 pm Cross the scenic River Tiber over one of the many beautiful bridges and make your way towards Centro Storico.
Have a bite to eat and a rest from the busy morning before getting lost in the countless streets and alleyways where you’ll find churches with Baroque art, boutiques selling everything from carved wooden figurines to jewellery, private courtyards where the wealthiest Romans live and plenty of enticing cafés and restaurants.
3:00 pm If you’re up to walking a bit further head to the Pantheon, a former Roman temple and admire the architectural marvel from outside and in.
3:30 pm Reward yourself for a day well-spent at one of the most famous gelaterias in Rome- Giolotti, only a four-minute walk from the Pantheon. It is always packed no matter what time of the day or year but it’s worth the wait with over 100 delicious flavours to choose from.
Top Tip: Another excellent gelateria is called Fatamorgana, which you can find at different locations all over the city.
4:00 pm Knackered yet? Find a nice spot with happy hour specials or head back to your accommodation to rest before carb-loading on pasta before your final action-packed day!
|Today’s map with pinpoints from left to right: Vatican City, the start of Centro Storico, Pantheon, Giolotti.|
8:30 am Begin your day by tossing a coin in the Baroque masterpiece Trevi Fountain, bright and early to avoid the crowds. (If you get a chance to visit at night, it is beautifully lit up as well). Legend has it that anyone who throws a coin in the fountain will return to Rome.
9:00 am If you fancy a spot of shopping most of the best stores are concentrated around Via del Corso near the Spanish Steps. Work your way up the street on your way there. If you’re looking for (or just interested in browsing) high-end fashion, you’ll want to hit up Via dei Condotti. Here you’ll find high-end fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci, Prada and various others. For smaller brands, check out streets such as Via Frattina and Via del Babuino for the best boutiques.
11:00 am Head to the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna) and climb the famous steps leading to the Trinita dei Monti church to admire the piazza and Bernini’s ship-shaped fountain from above. It’s also a great place to kick back with a beer in the late afternoons and people-watch.
11:30 am Literally a two-minute walk away from the steps is where you can find the best tiramisu in Rome at Pompi. It is an absolute must-try and also a great place to have lunch if you can find a table available! Otherwise, you can always eat on the Spanish Steps. (There is also gelato and many other delightful cakes and treats to choose from).
1:00 pm After lunch and a twenty-minute stroll (to help burn it off) from the Spanish Steps is Galleria Borghese. Nowhere in Rome or maybe even the world will you find such a magnificent collection of Baroque art. Tickets must be reserved in advance for slotted times. Prices start from 15 € for a two-hour slot from 1-3 pm for example. Check here for more information.
Top Tip: It is closed on Mondays and there is free wifi available.
3:00 pm I daresay your legs must be tired by now. Time for a pick-me-up espresso or to head back to the hotel for a small rest and pack your things for your next destination. Why not book in advance one of Rome’s best restaurants for your final night? You can check them out here. Enjoy your final evening, have a red wine, some more delightful Italian cuisine and a mandatory daily gelato.
|Today’s map from bottom to top: Trevi Fountain, Via del Corso, Spanish Steps, Pompi, Galleria Borghese.|
It’s going to be an action-packed three days, but undoubtedly very enjoyable.
If you can stay for longer I would really recommend it as there is so much more to do than just the highlights I have mentioned. Do leave me a comment if you have anything else you would add!
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