Walking Rome is actually easier than people think but when you have 72 hours at your disposal, you have to be good at making sure you plan well for the trip ahead, at least to ensure you get the ‘more famous’ sites in.
I’ll start with the premise that I am not big on putting a ‘time limit’ when visiting Rome. It’s simply not enough time to fit everything in (touristy and local things to do). However, I have some very close friends from Canada coming to Rome for 3 days and they asked me some recommendations, I saw it a good opportunity to write a post about it.
This is a list for the ‘newbies’, those that will witness the grandeur of the Colosseum and the masterpiece that is, la Fontana di Trevi for the very first time.
On the downside, you may encounter long queues, hot weather (especially July/August), wi-fi not working where it says it should, rude waiters, rude tourists and a chance of general chaos. Just come here expecting this.
You will encounter (several) frustrations but do not let them take away from this experience.
Quick tip: Bring comfortable walking shoes, in summer bring shorts etc but keep in mind that some churches will not allow you to enter if you are ‘showing too much skin’ and flip flops are normally a no-go. If you are planning to walk into churches , just for that day wear a pair of jeans and a t-shirt and you are good to go.
If walking rome is too hard, metro ticket prices are 1.50EUR (purchased at the metro stations and Tabacchi) and try WALK everywhere – you will enjoy the city so much more. Get a local Vodafone or TIM sim card – this will ensure you always have internet!
The arrival day is crucial and I am assuming you arrive in the morning very early. You need to get to the hotel, from the airport (taxi 48.00EUR), complete check-in and get ready for your day of sightseeing (click for apps to download for your trip).
Since it is your first day and you are up early, get things done walking rome!
- La bocca della verità
- Circo Massimo
- Colosseo e Palatino (Please do read this great piece I read by Passports and Pigtails)
- Foro Romano
- L’altare della Patria (directly translated: Altar of the Fatherland)
- Via del Corso
- Fontana di Trevi
- Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti (Piazza di Spagna)
- Piazza del Popolo (local tip: walk up to Terrazza Caffarelli for a great view point!)
- Piazza Navona
- Campo dei Fiori (local tip: walk into the Santa Brigida Church in Piazza Farnese)
Now you are well rested and ready for your second day in Rome, I suggest the Prati area to then finish off in and around the Trastevere area for the evening.
- Vatican Tour (read my experience) – get a tour with The Roman Guy (7:30am start recommended)
- Castel Sant’Angelo
- Lunch and rest up for a couple of hours
- Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere
- Fontana dell’Acqua Paolo
- Passeggiata del Gianicolo
- Discover the small streets of Trastevere
- Ghetto Ebraico (Jewish Ghetto)
Quick tip: At Passeggiata del Gianicolo, you will experience some of the most amazing views of Rome, especially at sunset. Bring a bottle of wine or couple of beers and take it all in, oh and do not forget your camera!
If you get there by midday, they fire a canon off Mon-Fri which can be fun to watch but I still recommend this as the last part of your day.
Depending on your departure time and where in the city your hotel will be, I would recommend you walk to Termini Station (if you leaving from there for the airport or other city), leave your luggage and visit:
- Luggage drop off Termini (see full details)
- Coffee and a ‘cornetto’ at Panella
- Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore
- St. Paul’s Within The Walls
- Crossing of Via delle Quattro Fontane and Via del Quirinale (see my post on this!)
- The Crypt of the Convento dei Frati Cappuccini and the museum
- Dell’Acqua Felice Fountain
- Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri
- Lunch at La Vecchia Conca
- Gelato at Gelateria Pasticceria Ornelli
- Head back to Termini
My top Gelato & Food Places
Gelato recommendation: Gelateria Millennium on Piazza S. Maria Grazie 2/A.
Dinner Recommendation: Trattoria La Botticella – Vicolo del Leopardo, 39/a. If you are staying the Vatican area of Rome, check out Su e Giù on via Tacito, 42 for real Roman cuisine (booking recommended) or for great Pizza or steaks (a little crowded) L’isola della Pizza on Via degli Scipioni 45.
Dinner recommendation: Sor Margherita in Piazza delle 5 scole, 30.
Lunch recommendation: For your last Pizza al taglio (pizza slice) & delicious Supplì, go to Pizza e Sfizi on Via Merulana, 203. For something a-la-carte, I would recommend La Vecchia Conca on Via Carlo Alberto, 26.
Gelato recommendation: Gelateria Pasticceria Ornelli on Via Merulana, 232.
I have a full page on ‘Restaurants Around Italy‘ – check it out.
Have any questions on Walking Rome or other restaurants or sites? Let me know if you followed the ‘itinerary’ above and let me know what you thought, via the comments below.