When in Rome, enjoy as much of it as you can. Rome is such an incredibly astonishing city to be in. There is so much history and culture that surrounds the streets and buildings. More times than not, every corner you turn you’ll run into something of significance, as everything is walking distance away from each other.
Tackling Rome in one day is a brutal task, but one that can be done. With proper preparation and guidance, you’ll be able to experience a majority of Rome’s greatest attractions and make the most of your time there. If you are interested in visiting Vatican City, we highly recommend that you set an entire day aside for that adventure, as commuting and exploring the museums is an all-day event. Put on your most comfortable pair of shoes and get a good night of rest because here is your jam-packed guide for a day in Rome!
6 a.m.: Visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
It is crucial for you to start your day as early as you can. I know it’s extremely difficult to wake up early, but you’re only in Rome once and you can catch up on sleep once you get home. Our first visit is to the famous and most-visited attraction in Rome, the Colosseum. If you don’t go to the Colosseum, did you really go to Rome? The Colosseum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. all week, but we recommend for you to go right before they open to skip the long ticket and entrance line. A ticket to enter the Colosseum costs about 16 euros and includes entrance to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill, which are all in the same area. There are ticket booths by each of these sites, however, everyone tends to buy their tickets at the Colosseum. If you get there before the line, feel free to purchase your ticket there and visit the Colosseum first. If not, go to the ticket booth by the Roman Forum and purchase your ticket there. This the same ticket you would have purchased at the ticket booth right next to the Colosseum.
I recommend that you visit the Forum first and then make your way to the other two sites. Because you already have your ticket, you’ll be able to skip the ticket line and head straight into Colosseum and Palatine Hill! Don’t forget to grab breakfast on your way there. There are many small bakeries and cafés around the area, and they’re all equally delicious.
12:30 p.m.: Walk among the Borghese Gallery and Museum
The Galleria Borghese is one of the most famous art museums in the world. It features one the world’s greatest private art collections beautifully assembled by Cardinal Scipione Borghese in the 17th century and major works by Bernini, Canova, Caravaggio, Correggio, Raphael, Rubens, and Titian. Tickets are about 15 euros and they’re sold online and in-person. But tickets are limited, so purchase your tickets ahead of time! The walk from the Colosseum to the Galleria Borghese is about 45 minutes, so we recommend that you take the bus if you’re short on time. But if time is not a problem, feel free to take the scenic route and enjoy the beauties of Rome.
3 p.m.: Hike up the Spanish Steps
The Spanish Steps are located up the street from many designer named stores, such as Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. and many eateries. After climbing up 138 steps of stairs, you’ll be welcomed with an astonishing view of Rome. Take some time at the top to absorb the beauty of it!
4 p.m.: Enjoy the Trevi Fountain
Just an eight-minute walk from the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain is our next destination. There are at least six gelato shops within 0.1 miles vicinity from the fountain. So get some gelato and enjoy the spectacular architecture of the fountain. Don’t forget to throw a coin into the fountain to ensure you’ll return back to Rome in the future!
5 p.m.: Find some dinner at Piazza Navona
Originally built as a stadium, Piazza Navona is now surrounded by many cafés and three of the most intricate fountains in Rome: the Fountain of Neptune, the Fiumi Fountain and the Fontana del Moro. It’s insane to think about the amount of detail that was put into each of these fountains. Piazza Navona is just less than a seven-minute walk away from the Trevi Fountain and you’ll pass by the Pantheon, a former Roman temple, on the way. Feel free to grab dinner around the area, explore the various boutiques and maybe even grab some more gelato!
7 p.m.: Enjoy the sunset on Janiculum Hill
Just across the Tiber River, the Janiculum Hill might be just the perfect spot to end your long and eventful day in Rome by watching the sunset. Janiculum Hill was considered the second-tallest hill in Ancient Rome and it showcases a magnificent view of the entirety of Rome. Grab some snacks on the way there and relax as you watch the sky transform from beautiful pink and blue pastel colors into a starry sky. I have to say, the stunning sunsets in Rome are incomparable to the ones in California.
9 p.m.: End your day at Trevi Fountain
If you’re up for it, we highly recommend that you to make the trek back to Trevi Fountain. The fountain is lit up at night, giving you a completely different perspective and scene.
It’s been over two months since I was in Rome, and I still get nostalgic every time I talk or think about it. I’m extremely grateful that my eyes were blessed with the beauty of Rome and I hope that you guys will feel the same way!