Rome is hands down one of my favourite cities in the world, brimming with ancient history, wonderful food and a great atmosphere, this the perfect place to spend a few days exploring! I’d recommend spending at least 3-4 days in Rome to see as many of the sights as possible, but you could spend even longer as there is just so much to see! In this post, I will guide you through a 3 day itinerary which packs in all of the most important attractions!

This itinerary includes:

  • The Colosseum
  • Piazza Navona
  • Castel De Sant Angelo
  • The Vatican
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Pantheon
  • Roman Forum
  • Palatine Hill
  • St Peters Basilica
  • Spanish Steps
  • Monument to Victor Emmanuel II

Day 1

For day one’s activities I have assumed arrival in the afternoon so have not packed in too many activities.

Monument of Victor Emanuel II

Explore the Monument of Victor Emanuel II. This large national monument built between 1885 and 1935, built to honour the Victor Emanuel II, the first king on a unified Italy is situated between Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. This unusually shaped monument, also known as ‘The Wedding Cake’ is incredible impressive to look at, with it’s huge chariot statues and interesting architecture. Entrance to the main building is free and for the 12 euros you can visit the roof terrace for excellent views of the city.

The Pantheon

The Pantheon in a former Roman temple and is one of the best preserved monuments of antient Rome. The original pantheon was believed to have been built in 25 BC as a temple for the Gods, however the current building is a reconstruction that was built between 118 and 125 AD. This impressive construction holds the record for the largest unreinforced concrete Dome in the world. The other famous feature of the Pantheon is it’s ‘oculus’, this is a large hole in the ceiling that provides the only source of light for the whole building, aside for it’s entrance doors. Watching the light stream in and illuminate this ancient building is an incredible experience. Tickets to visit the Pantheon are five euros and can be bought at the door on the day, or online.

The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous landmarks in Rome and is considered a late Baroque masterpiece. The fountain, built in the 1700’s is built on the site of an antient Roman water source and is made of the same materials as the Colosseum. It stands at 85 feet tall, and according to the legend, throwing a coin into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder will ensure your return to Rome. But be warned, the area surrounding the fountain is always packed full with tourists. There are also a few tourists traps, such as pushy photographers trying to charge costly fee’s to take a photograph for you. I’d also avoid eating at restaurants in the area around the fountain as the prices are hugely inflated due to the area but can be of poor quality. Despite this, the Trevi Fountain it’s still definitely a must see, ‘when in Rome’!

Day 2

Vatican City

Vatican City is the worlds smallest nation state and a country in it’s own right with a population of just 764 people! It is the headquarters to the Roman Catholic Church and is home to the Pope, the clergy and their families. Inside the city you can find St Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican Museum, the Vatican Gardens and the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican is often packed full of tourists, particularly on the weekends so I’d recommend booking a guided tour with skip the line entry. Another reason I’d recommend a guided your is because you will learn so much more about the paintings and history of the Vatican. The guided tour I booked was around $38 and was absolutely worth the price. After the tour, you can climb the dome of St Peters Basilica to get absolutely incredible views of the city, but be warned, there are 551 steps to climb to reach the top! Alternatively you can take a lift to avoid the first 231 steps, but the remainder must be walked. The price to enter is €8 if you take the stairs or €10 if you use the lift. The climb is a bit of hard work and the steps become progressively narrower as you near the top, but it’s absolutely worth it for the view. I’d expect to spend around 4 hours in Vatican City.

Lunch

Castel De Sant Angelo

Castel De Sant Angelo is historic monument built in 135 AD century as a mausoleum by order of emperor Hadrian. It was subsequently converted into a fortress, the Pope’s residence, a prison and in the present day, a museum. The museum has amassed a significant collection of art, most importantly, the famous sculpture of Archangel Michael which is located at the very top of the castel. Tickets for Castel De Sant
Angelo are €19.50. I would expect to spend 1-2 hours here.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful and famous squares in Rome, and is home to the Fountain of the Four Rivers, and the Fountain of Neptune. The site was originally a stadium, which explains it’s elongated shape, but now the Piazza bustles with shops and cafes so is a great place to take a rest and grab a drink.

Spanish Steps

The Spanish Steps climb a steep slope between the Piazza di Spagna and the Piazza Trinita Dei Monti with the Trinita Dei Monti church just above. The 138 steps were originally built to link the Spanish Embassy and the Trinita Dei Monti church to the Holy See and Spanish Square below. The iconic steps are a quintessential symbol of Rome and therefore a must see for any Rome traveller. At the bottom of the Spanish lies the famous fountain, La Fontana Della Baraccia. The area itself has some wonderful architecture so it’s definitely worth having a look around. Be aware that sitting on the Spanish Steps themselves is now prohibited and doing so could result in a hefty fine.

Dinner

There are plenty of restaurants in the area to take your pick from, be aware that restaurants on a main square will always be pricier and I always suggest a quick trip advisor search before entering to avoid tourist traps.

Day 3

Colosseum

The Colosseum one of the most famous Roman moments is a large elliptical amphitheatre that hosted events such as gladiatorial games. This marvel of ancient Roman architecture is over 1900 years old and is one of the 7 wonders of the world! The building is famous for it’s it’s gladiator shows and you can even take a look at the underground section where gladiators and wild animals would stay before the shows. I’d certainly recommend a guided tour as the history of this wonderous building is fascinating to learn. I’d recommend a combined tour of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. This kind of tour is usually around £50 and takes 3 hours.

Roman Forum

The Roman Forum, located between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum was the hub of political and social activity for the citizens of Rome. Amazingly, after the fall of the Roman Empire, the forum was slowly buried beneath the earth, it was not until the 20th century that excavations took place and this marvel was uncovered. The forum was the site of many of the most grandiose temples and monuments as well as law courts and basilicas and would have been buzzing with activity from shoppers, lawyers and politicians.

Palatine Hill

Palatine Hill, towers 130 feet above the Roman Forum and is the most Central of the famous seven hills of Rome. It’s widely said to be regarded as the birthplace of the Roman Empire. From the hill, you will have an impressive view of hundreds of ancient ruins such as Domitian’s Palace and the Temple of Apollo Plantinus.

Lunch

Capitoline Hill And Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Hill is the smallest of the 7 hills but is hugely historically significant. This is a place that ancient Romans considered their capital and would go their to worship the gods. Capitoline Hill was once home to the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Jupiter – The King of the Roman Gods) as well as many other huge temples. The hill is the political and religious heart of Rome and the sense of history when you visit is palpable. The Capitoline Museums, located in Piazza del Campidoglio showcase a large collection of artifacts, statues and paintings from Rome’s history. Tickets to the museums are €16 however accessing the hill itself is free.

Monti

From the Capitoline Hill, take a 5 minute walk to the neighbourhood Monti. This laidback residential neighbourhood is filled with trendy independent shops, and mouth-watering trattorias. There is plenty to take in in this charming area such as the Piazza della Madonna dei Monti’s Catecumeni Fountain, it’s also well known for it’s chic clothing stores and pop up art studios. I’d suggest ending the day here and grab dinner at one of the many well rated trattorias for your last dose of Italian food in Rome!

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