After our second trip to Rome this past April, I finally figured out the best way to see the city. Our first trip there we concentrated too much on the tourist sites, the famous landmarks and didn’t leave enough time to just wander and take in la dolce vita. So this time, I found the perfect blend for your time in the Eternal City. If you’re headed to the Italian capital anytime soon, here’s the perfect itinerary for Rome and how best to see the city for three days.
Day 1 – Wander
Spend your first day in the Eternal City just wandering in the areas near your hotel. I would highly recommend the Hotel Indigo on the Via Giulia for your stay in Rome. Close by is Trastevere, the neighborhood around the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
The day should be spent tasting gelato at every chance as you wander cobblestone streets, stopping for long lunches with pizza and pasta, and listening to the sounds of accordion players in tiny narrow streets. Try to find that balance between the crazy energy of Rome and the quiet stillness of this ancient city.
Later in the day, venture toward the Tiber River and spend your sunset watching the evening colors behind St. Peter’s Cathedral for the perfect first night in Rome!
Day 2 – See the Tourist Sites
On your second day in Roma, now is the time to see the tourist sites and famous landmarks that make this city so “eternal.” My advice, instead of mixing these in with your wander days, do it all in one day. It might be tiring, but here’s your plan:
Start the day at the Vatican. Schedule a tour if you like, or just go it on your own. Buy tickets in advance so you don’t have to wait in the long lines and be the first ones in when they open.
Next head to the Spanish Steps and the Via Condotti. You can grab lunch somewhere off the main drag (don’t bother with the ones right in the tourist hubs, wander the alleyways a bit and find something there.) Spend an hour or so browsing the shops, taking in the views from the famous Spanish Steps and seeing this crazy area a little bit less crazy than it gets in the afternoons.
Then, grab a cab or wander to the Colosseum. This ancient landmark is truly remarkable. If you can get here when everyone else is eating lunch, you might get less crowds. (You could also switch this out with the Vatican and go here first of the day!) Go inside and take a look, it’s truly amazing to see this place with your own eyes!
Continue your tour of Roma with a wander to the Pantheon. Follow the narrow alleyways back into the little piazza in front of this famous spot and you won’t be disappointed. This is one of my all time favorite landmarks in Rome and so worth seeing as the late afternoon light starts to fall.
As you leave the Pantheon, meander the little cobblestone streets toward the Trevi Fountain. If you can hit this spot right around sunset, the evening light is gorgeous here. Maybe grab some gelato along the way to fully embrace all you’ve seen today!
Day 3 – Wander
For your third and final day in Rome, just wander again and take it easy. Places I would highly recommend wandering to: Trastevere, Via Giulia, and Piazza Navona. But take a look at a map and pick some spots you want to see! Rome is all about roaming, about seeing the city without a plan – so embrace that for your last day in Rome, stopping to eat at every chance as well!
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