Rome is a city on everyone’s itinerary if you even mention a trip to Europe, and why not? With its streets full of history and undeniable charm, Rome has something to offer whatever type of traveler you are. However if this is your first time, it may be daunting trying to plan a short trip here with the vast offerings and places to visit. Check out our 2-day itinerary as we have some great tips along with beautiful photos from our trip!
Getting into the city is easy with bus shuttles situated right outside the airport which takes you to Termini Station. Within the city, we found that walking was the easiest and best way to explore so make sure you wear comfy shoes. Your feet will definitely hurt by the end of the day! Rome does have a metro system but it only covers part of the city. We did use it during the time we were there so it is a good idea to get one of their 48 or 72 hour passes.
First stop on our itinerary? The Colosseum of course! Its architectural wonder never ceases to amaze so enjoy your first encounter of Rome with this spectacular monument!
The iconic Colosseum
Even though it was already off-season, the lines were still long. I decided to book a guided tour for us online to the underground chambers and third tier. It was very easy via the Colosseum’s official website and highly recommended for two reasons. Firstly, we bypassed everyone in the line and went straight inside. Secondly, you get to visit certain parts of the Colosseum that is not accessible otherwise so don’t miss out on your chance to feel like a true gladiator!
Panoramic shot of the Colosseum
Underground level of the Colosseum
Underground chambers where gladiators and animals were kept
It was not cheap at 25 euros per person when booked online but the ticket does also include admission to the Roman Forum. This tour was definitely one of the highlights from our trip!
Next, we went to see the Roman Forum which was next to the Colosseum. We got in just as they were letting the last groups enter at around 3.30pm. It is quite a large area and unfortunately, we did not have enough time to cover all the grounds before they started to close sections of it off. So be warned, they will start making you leave to close the grounds.
The Roman Forum during sunset
After a long day, it was time to relax and enjoy some of Rome’s famous foods. I had reserved a table at ‘That’s Amore’ after researching on TripAdvisor. We had white truffle pasta and veal here. Truffle dishes are quite famous in Rome so it is definitely something to try. The pasta was good but the veal was a little overcooked which was disappointing. We went for a lovely gelato at Gelateria Valentino nearby the Trevi Fountain. How can you visit Italy without plenty of gelato!
As Trevi Fountain was super busy at night, we decided to go first in the morning the next day. There was no one there at 8am in the morning. Early mornings are a must to avoid crowds any where in Rome. Even though it was pouring with rain, we managed to grab a few photos and enjoy this beautiful fountain. Make a wish and toss a coin into the fountain to ensure a return to this magical place!
Trevi Fountain all to myself in the morning!
Trevi Fountain at night
Upon arriving at Vatican City, we decided to go to St Peter’s Bascilica before heading to the museum. There was no line there as it was still before 9am. St Peter’s Bacilica is definitely not to be missed. It is one of the largest and most beautiful churches in the world! Y ou also have a chance to see the Pope on Wednesdays and receive his apostolic blessing.
St. Peter’s Basilica
Enjoying the view at St. Peter’s Square
Inside the magnificent St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Baldachin
Thankfully we reserved tickets online for the Vatican – it was barely 9am and the line for the museum was already wrapped around the perimeter of the wall. I could not imagine how atrocious it would be during the summer. The best part of the museum is at the very end where you enter the Sistine Chapel and see Michelangelo’s iconic painting, “The Creation of Adam.”
Ceiling art at the Vatican Museum
Double helix stairs at the exit of the Vatican Museum
After the Vatican, we wandered off towards the Castel Sant’Angelo, Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
Inside the Pantheon Dome
I think one of the most enjoyable things in Rome is to get lost on its beautiful cobbled streets, have a coffee, or gelato if you fancy and pretend you are a true Italian for the day! Great tip is to try some street food at one of the many hole-in-the-wall cafes dotted around the city. We tried ‘suppli’ which is basically a fried rice ball. It was oh-so-tasty so be adventurous, try something new today!
Real gelato made with natural ingredients
A quick snack along the way!
Lunch was at Cantina e Cucina which was really homely and cute and their pasta was delicious! It’s not hard to see why they have over 6K 4.5-stared reviews on TripAdvisor.
Lunch at Cantina e Cucina
If you fancy a bit of shopping, then head over towards the Spanish Steps. We walked past beautiful luxury designer stores from Fendi to Van Cleef to Prada. You would be spoilt for choice here.
Relaxing at the Spanish Steps
After resting at the Spanish Steps, we went to see the ‘Mouth of Truth’ but sadly did not get to go inside as the line was so long! The legend is that the mouth would close on anyone who put his hand in it and told a lie. So try it if you dare!
Mouth of Truth
We caught an amazing sunset at the Campidoglio hilltop square overlooking the Roman Forum. Around the corner was Altare della Patria which was open until quite late and offered another amazing view of Rome at night.
Altare della Patria
It was early evening when we headed to Osteria Barberini for dinner. We did not have a reservation and was told we can have a table for an hour. This worked for us luckily but I would definitely make a reservation especially if you have a big group or your heart set on a restaurant. They had so many different truffle dishes which was just heavenly and their tiramisu was to die for! Highly recommended!
Risotto with prawn and truffle shavings
Rome is such a vast city that it is so hard to cover everything in a short visit. Our itinerary covered most of the highlights for a first-timer and hopefully gives you an idea of what you should include on your trip. Let us know if you have any questions! So until next time…Ciao!