So you don’t have tons of time in Rome, that’s okay! You definitely can’t see Rome in a day, but you can get a good amount of Rome checked off your list in two.
First things first, you can’t do Rome and skip the Vatican. Go in the morning and make sure to have tickets already bought so you don’t have to wait in line.
While you’re there, head to the Sistine Chapel and find out about getting up inside the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica – It’s amazing!
After the Vatican, you will be ready for lunch, take the Metro to Piazza del Popolo, When you are facing the Twin Churches, take the street on the right, called Via Ripetta 14 two blocks down on the left there is an amazing Pizza place called Pizza Re. Excellent Naples style pizza in Rome.
After lunch you can head back to Piazza del Popolo and make your way to Via del Corso. You can walk down Via del Corso as there is lots of shopping and is highly regarded as the best shopping in Rome. If you follow this street for a while down, it will lead you right to the to the Spanish Steps, Fontana di Trevi and The Pantheon!
You’ll definitely want to see these. Make sure you go not only to the top of the Spanish Steps, but up the stairs of the church to get an incredible view of the city! You can easily get to the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon by foot from the Spanish steps, they are all very close together.
Ok, so you’ve been walking a ton and you want to relax. At this point, I would find a cafe, sit down and order a coffee, take in the day, watch the people and bask in the glory of Rome!
– Day 2 –
You had a big day yesterday, crossed a lot of huge things off your bucket list, but you are definitely not finished with Rome yet!
Take a bus, taxi, or the Metro to the Colosseum, the Forum and ancient Rome. I would suggest doing a tour of the Colosseum, there is a lot of information that you would miss out on if you went it alone.
If you aren’t going to do a tour, you can still walk around the Colosseum on your own. Take your time, really imagine what this place used to be like, imagine the history that took place in here, imagine the people who have stood in the very same place you are standing.
Your ticket to the Colosseum also grants you entrance to the Roman Forum. Originally a marsh, the Romans drained the area and turned it into a center of political and social activity. The Forum was the marketplace of ancient Rome. It is a confusing jumble of ruins from different times in history. You should probably have a guide, audio tour device or at least a good guide book to bring the place alive and understand its different uses and history.
With the same ticket you used for the Colosseum and the Forum, you can get to the Palatine Hill as well! The Palatine Hill is one of the seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stands above the Roman Forum. The Palatine is the spot on which the first settlers built their huts, under the direction of Romulus
Near the Colosseum and Circus Maximus is another great ancient Roman site: The Terme di Caracalla (Baths of Caracalla) Built in the 3rd Century, it was a second largest Roman bathhouse ever built. During the summer months the Rome Opera House stages performances there! https://www.operaroma.it/en/
In the evening, take a stroll around Trastevere. It is a lovely walk lined with vendors, preforming artists, stores and restaurants. Bustling at night this area is a great end to a wonderful Roman holiday.
My personal favorite activity in Rome:
Around 5:30pm find a bar with nice outdoor seating anywhere in the city, sit down at one of their tables, where you can look out and people watch. When someone comes by and asks you what you want to order, resist the urge for wine, and order a “spritz” pronounce it “Spreeeetz”… think Italian.
They are going to bring you some finger foods to get your stomach ready for dinner, and an ice cold orange drink that is a mixture of Proseco and Aperol, sometimes with an orange slice in it. You are so Italian right now. Sit there and take it all in.
It is very easy to get caught up with the bustle of Rome and miss a lot of the moments that create beautiful memories. Drink your spritz and eat your pretzels or chips and watch the people, see if you can spot the tourists from locals, listen to the city. This city can seem dirty and make a bad impression on a lot of people who don’t know what they’re doing, but don’t forget the epic history this city holds, you’re part of it now. =)
Whatever you end up doing will be great, because Rome is a great city…