One Day in Rome

Rome can’t be seen in a day, it’s true. But if you have one day “at leisure,” set your alarm early and prepare for a full, fantastic day in arguably one of the greatest cities in the world.

To get the most of the Eternal City without complete exhaustion, zone in on the most important sites on your list. Decide what you must see and map a day around that. If you make it to the Trevi Fountain with a lucky penny to spare, trust that you will return someday to see the rest!

Where to Begin?

Start your day Italian style at any café: Stand at the bar and order yourself a cappuccino with a cornetto for a true local breakfast. Tips aren’t necessary but always nice, so leave some extra change and make your way to the Colosseum. Meander toward the Arch of Constantine, behind which stands the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Capitoline Hill. If possible, bring your own guidebook or notes. Walking tours are available but will eat up a significant chunk of your day.

From Capitoline Hill, continue up Via del Teatro di Marcello toward the impressive, stark white monument known to Romans as “the wedding cake.” Walk through Piazza Venezia, minding the crazy traffic, and snap a photo from across the plaza with the victory monument in the background. (~0.5 mile)

Just a Little Shopping …

Begin your shopping adventure on the Via del Corso, or detour off to the left. Via Pastini will lead you to the Pantheon, and then to Piazza Navona. This beautiful Italian square is filled with life and laughter, artists and restaurants, and tiny boutique shops. If you’re hungry, stay here for lunch, or make your way back to Via del Corso for a delicious meal at my own favorite lunch option. (~1 mile)

Leisurely make your way Via del Corso past the signs for the Trevi Fountain, window shopping until you reach Piazza del Popolo. Head up to Villa Borghese park for some fresh air and absolutely breathtaking views of the city. (~ 1 mile)

If you are feeling active, bike rentals abound. It’s easy to get lost in this park for hours, so give yourself a set amount of time to wander the green space. Then, find Via Trinitá del Monti on the southwest edge of the park, and continue south with the park on your left. Before you know it you will find yourself at the top of the famous Spanish Steps. (~ 1 mile)

The Trevi Fountain is just a 10-minute walk from here, and with street lights beginning to twinkle and the fountain water glistening an iridescent blue, there’s no better time to visit. Make sure you have a coin, nudge your way through the crowd to the front of the fountain, turn around, and throw the penny over your shoulder. Now, smile! Legend has it that anyone who performs this action will find themselves in Rome once again!

Let’s Eat!

In Italy, dining is an art. It seems everything you put in your mouth, be it pizza, pasta, or tiramisu, is made with love and care. My personal all-time favorite Roman restaurant is Il Falchetto, situated just off Via del Corso, with excellent pasta, fish, and vegetable options. Cacio e Pepe or pasta Da Danilo are two traditional choices. With Nonna Betta (Roman artichokes) as an appetizer, and a glass of Lazio-produced Frascati white wine to wash it all down, you will be doing like the Romans in no time at all!

Aperitivo, the Italian version of happy hour, is taken very seriously and shouldn’t be missed. Order an Aperol spritz at an outdoor table, settle in to partake in complimentary snacks and the ultimate Roman pastime—people watching! Try Bar del Fico near Piazza Navona for a typical aperitivo experience.

Now that your taste buds are stimulated, it’s time for dinner. The neighborhood of Trastevere is full of great restaurants with regional dishes, and access to the Tiber River and views of St. Angelo. If noshed on pasta for lunch, go for a mouthwatering thin crust pizza. Keep it classic or add some toppings, like prosciutto or fungi. Save room for dessert. No trip to any Italian city is complete without a scoop (or two!) of homemade gelato.

Getting Around

Walk! The route above is about 5 miles, not including park and piazza meandering. Rome is a pedestrian city, and getting lost in those small, winding streets is an essential part of the discovery process. If you’re in a bind, invest in a Metro day pass. The three subway lines conveniently stop at most of the city’s major attractions.

Il Finale!

We’ve only covered a fraction of what you can see in one day exploring this handsome city, but if you find yourself rushing, slow down. You’ll enjoy Italy more through social and cultural experiences—don’t sacrifice them for sightseeing.

Rome can’t be seen in a day, it’s true. But if you have one day “at leisure,” set your alarm early and prepare for a full, fantastic day in arguably one of the greatest cities in the world.

To get the most of the Eternal City without complete exhaustion, zone in on the most important sites on your list. Decide what you must see and map a day around that. If you make it to the Trevi Fountain with a lucky penny to spare, trust that you will return someday to see the rest!

Where to Begin?

Start your day Italian style at any café: Stand at the bar and order yourself a cappuccino with a cornetto for a true local breakfast. Tips aren’t necessary but always nice, so leave some extra change and make your way to the Colosseum. Meander toward the Arch of Constantine, behind which stands the Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, and Capitoline Hill. If possible, bring your own guidebook or notes. Walking tours are available but will eat up a significant chunk of your day.

From Capitoline Hill, continue up Via del Teatro di Marcello toward the impressive, stark white monument known to Romans as “the wedding cake.” Walk through Piazza Venezia, minding the crazy traffic, and snap a photo from across the plaza with the victory monument in the background. (~0.5 mile)

Just a Little Shopping …

Begin your shopping adventure on the Via del Corso, or detour off to the left. Via Pastini will lead you to the Pantheon, and then to Piazza Navona. This beautiful Italian square is filled with life and laughter, artists and restaurants, and tiny boutique shops. If you’re hungry, stay here for lunch, or make your way back to Via del Corso for a delicious meal at my own favorite lunch option. (~1 mile)

Leisurely make your way Via del Corso past the signs for the Trevi Fountain, window shopping until you reach Piazza del Popolo. Head up to Villa Borghese park for some fresh air and absolutely breathtaking views of the city. (~ 1 mile)

If you are feeling active, bike rentals abound. It’s easy to get lost in this park for hours, so give yourself a set amount of time to wander the green space. Then, find Via Trinitá del Monti on the southwest edge of the park, and continue south with the park on your left. Before you know it you will find yourself at the top of the famous Spanish Steps. (~ 1 mile)

The Trevi Fountain is just a 10-minute walk from here, and with street lights beginning to twinkle and the fountain water glistening an iridescent blue, there’s no better time to visit. Make sure you have a coin, nudge your way through the crowd to the front of the fountain, turn around, and throw the penny over your shoulder. Now, smile! Legend has it that anyone who performs this action will find themselves in Rome once again!

Let’s Eat!

In Italy, dining is an art. It seems everything you put in your mouth, be it pizza, pasta, or tiramisu, is made with love and care. My personal all-time favorite Roman restaurant is Il Falchetto, situated just off Via del Corso, with excellent pasta, fish, and vegetable options. Cacio e Pepe or pasta Da Danilo are two traditional choices. With Nonna Betta (Roman artichokes) as an appetizer, and a glass of Lazio-produced Frascati white wine to wash it all down, you will be doing like the Romans in no time at all!

Aperitivo, the Italian version of happy hour, is taken very seriously and shouldn’t be missed. Order an Aperol spritz at an outdoor table, settle in to partake in complimentary snacks and the ultimate Roman pastime—people watching! Try Bar del Fico near Piazza Navona for a typical aperitivo experience.

Now that your taste buds are stimulated, it’s time for dinner. The neighborhood of Trastevere is full of great restaurants with regional dishes, and access to the Tiber River and views of St. Angelo. If noshed on pasta for lunch, go for a mouthwatering thin crust pizza. Keep it classic or add some toppings, like prosciutto or fungi. Save room for dessert. No trip to any Italian city is complete without a scoop (or two!) of homemade gelato.

Getting Around

Walk! The route above is about 5 miles, not including park and piazza meandering. Rome is a pedestrian city, and getting lost in those small, winding streets is an essential part of the discovery process. If you’re in a bind, invest in a Metro day pass. The three subway lines conveniently stop at most of the city’s major attractions.

Il Finale!

We’ve only covered a fraction of what you can see in one day exploring this handsome city, but if you find yourself rushing, slow down. You’ll enjoy Italy more through social and cultural experiences—don’t sacrifice them for sightseeing.

Read more at TourMatters

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