Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I’m certain you can have an amazing visit to Rome in three days
After my first trip to Rome in 2013, I vowed that I would return to one of the most beautiful and historic cities in the world. When I did return, I had a shorter stay given that I wanted to visit multiple cities during my two week trip to Europe. Regardless of the brevity of my stay, I knew there were certain places I had to see. Rome is packed full of amazing sites to see and it can be a bit overwhelming. I will highlight the must-see sites and how you can accomplish this in three days.
Where to Stay
I have emphasized the importance of staying in Trastevere in a previous blog post, 5 Reasons to Use Airbnb When You Travel, but it is worth repeating because I absolutely love this area of Rome. Staying in Trastevere makes it very easy to find places to eat because you are surrounded by so many stellar restaurants and it is very hard to go wrong in choosing a restaurant. I believe that staying in Trastevere eliminated a lot of the time and effort that you usually put in trying to find a great place to eat each night and that time can be put into seeing more awe-inspiring sites in Rome.
After grabbing a pastry from a nearby bakery in Trastevere, hop on the Metro and head toward the Colosseum.
When you think of Rome, you think of the Colosseum. The first time I visited Rome, I did not go inside which was a huge mistake. Of course, you can get great photos outside but you must go inside to take in all the history and marvel at the workmanship and architecture.
Immediately adjacent to the Colosseum is Palatine Hill. In my opinion, it is even more impressive than the Colosseum and should not be overlooked.
The line outside of the Palatine Hill entrance is usually shorter than the line outside of the Colosseum and you are able to buy tickets for entrance to both at either ticket office, so I suggest using the line outside of Palatine Hill to save time. You will not regret the extra time spent touring Palatine Hill, the views are breathtaking.
After touring these enchanting historical sites, I’m sure you will be starving. There are plenty of restaurants near the Colosseum but they are very touristy which is a huge turn off to me personally. There are also plenty of street food vendors, which may be your best bet. Next, walk a few blocks over to the Monument of Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a united Italy. This monument also contains the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You have the option to go up to the observation deck on the roof (for a fee) and get a great view of Rome. I did not personally go up to the observation deck but it is a good option for an amazing aerial view. (I will tell you about another option later in the post.)
At this point, I personally recommend doing something more low key like exploring the area surrounding where you are staying and turning in early because you are in for much more exploring on Day 2.
Ready for some more exploring? Well, hop on the Metro and head to the Spagna stop on the Red line. There you will find the Piazza di Spagna. Be sure to snap a few pictures on the famed Spanish Steps, a stairway of 135 steps leading up to the Trinita dei Monti church.
For the next destination, walk a few blocks south to the next photo-worthy stop, the Trevi Fountain!
Legend has it that if you throw a coin into Trevi Fountain, you will later return to Rome. Well, I threw a coin into the fountain during my first visit in 2013 and I was able to return in 2016. I am not superstitious but I think it is a must to visit this gorgeous fountain and try your luck at guaranteeing a return visit to the Eternal City.
Now follow the crowds and head west to the next must-see site, the Pantheon.
Keep heading west to Piazza Navona for some shopping and great food!
All of this walking can work up an appetite. Be sure to check out one of the gelateria’s during your trek and enjoy some gelato! If you are vegan, check out some of these great vegan restaurants in Rome.
This day is jam-packed with exploring and site-seeing, make sure to take your time and enjoy each place. No need to rush to see everything. If you can’t see it all in one day, you can alway fit it in on Day 3.
No matter your religious beliefs, a visit to Vatican City is a must. You will be awestruck by the opulence and grandeur of St. Peter’s Basilica. Additionally, you will be able to view amazing frescos showcased within the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museum.
Ladies, I recommend dressing modestly for your visit to Vatican City. There are dress code policies that include no mid-drifts or shorts.
As promised, I have a tip to see a great aerial view of Rome. Climb to the top of the St. Peter’s Basilica dome or the “cupola.” You can either climb up the 551 stairs for 5 euros or take an elevator part of the way to the top for 7 euros. I honestly only made it to the interior of the dome and did not climb up to the top because my fear of heights kicked in.
After you tour St. Peter’s Basilica and climb to the top of the dome, make your way to Sistine’s Chapel and the Vatican Museum to view some amazing art.
Nothing compares to Rome and its amazing history and art. Now you see why this is one of my favorite cities in the world. I hope this 3-day itinerary has been helpful and has inspired you to pay a visit to Roma!
Please comment your thoughts and share your favorite destinations in Rome.
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