Rome, the home of the mighty Colosseum, the breath taking Pantheon and the pretty Trevi Fountain. It could take weeks and weeks to visit the 280 fountains in the city and even longer to make a stop at each one of the 900 churches in Rome. If you only have 3 days, seeing the sights might seem a bit of a daunting task but with this itinerary, 3 days in Rome is enough to see all the main sights without feeling too rushed off your feet. And there’s just enough time for some refreshing gelato, delicious pasta and good old Italian coffee too…
On your first day in this grand city, wake up early and take a wander to the Colosseum. Depending on where your hotel is, you can either walk through the ancient streets or hop on Rome’s metro system to the Colosseo Station. Arriving early means you’re ahead of the crowds or if you fancy a bit of a lie in after your journey to Rome, book ahead and pay a few extra euros to get a guaranteed ticket into this amazing piece of Rome’s ancient history. The Colosseum, when it was being used in Ancient Rome, seated 55,000 people who came to watch deadly gladiator combats and fights between wild animals. Now a days, there are no more fight-to-the-death- contests but instead it’s one of the most popular attractions in Rome.
After spending a couple of hours walking around the Colosseum and taking in the sights of the old stone walls and dungeons, make the journey east through Rome to visit the Roman Forum. This is the place where business and commerce first took place in Rome and unfortunately, like a lot of ancient sites in Rome, crumbled after the fall of the Roman Empire. It’s still very impressive though and even if you only visit the Roman Forum for a few minutes, you’ll feel the history around you. Spend longer though and by grabbing a map to guide you around the foundations of stone buildings, imagining this place as a bustling trading centre is easy.
Now you may have had your fill of ancient history for the day, so why not hop across the River Tiber to the area of Trastevere. Now doubt you’ll be hungry after all the sightseeing but Trastevere is a foodies haven with trattorias and pizzerias opening their doors all day round. There are also plenty of bars in the quaint streets serving up craft beer or cocktails which will make for a great first night in Rome.
Depending on what kind of night you’ve had, you might not fancy an early start so if you want a bit of a lie in, you can swap out some of these activities or spend a little less time at them depending on what your interests are. The first stop of the day is Villa Borghese a beautiful landscaped garden that is home to the Borghese Gallery, one of the most famous attractions in Rome. If you want to take a look inside, it is probably worth booking tickets in advance as the queues here can be very long.
On your wander around the gardens though you’ll get to see Rome Zoo, Shakespeare’s Theatre and the Boating Lake. If you don’t fancy a walk, bikes are available for hire which make for a pleasant morning seeing the sights.
Stop for some food from one of the stalls or restaurants in Villa Borghese and head to the next stop of the day which are the Spanish Steps - just a short stroll from the Villa Borghese. Start at the top of the Spanish Steps, which is near to the Spagna Metro Station, and make your way down the 135 steps to the Piazza di Spagna. From the bottom looking back up you’ll be able to see the view up towards Trinita del Monti church at the top of the Spanish Steps. Surrounding you will be a relaxing water fountain and a selection of designer shops, so if you have some money to spare this is the place to spend it!
If you’ve shopped ‘til you’ve dropped or just fancy heading to the next iconic sight, the Trevi Fountain is just a short walk away. This sight is the largest Baroque fountain in the world and comes as quite a surprise as you walk through the streets of Rome. Arrive at The Trevi Fountain via one of the side streets and suddenly, it’s there, right next to you and you might be surprised to find that it’s in a fairly small area. That means you may have to wait a bit to throw your penny in the fountain to make a wish, but it’s worth it. If you’re feeling a bit peckish, now is the perfect time to taste some authentic Italian gelato, if you haven’t done already. There are a few gelato shops nearby and it’s a great way to soak up the atmosphere around the Trevi Fountain.
From here, the Pantheon is less than a 10 minute walk from the Trevi Fountain and is the last historic stop on this walk around Rome. This well preserved building was constructed as a dedication to the Gods of pagan Rome and is another one of Rome’s most popular sights. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much but once you step inside to the dome roofed building, it’s truly spectacular. The height dome is 43 metres in height and the oculus, or the hole in the centre of the dome, is the only source of light in the Pantheon. There will still be plenty of light in the late afternoon but if you prefer to visit here around midday, the sun shines straight through the oculus creating a beam of light straight into the building.
As evening comes round, you’ll probably be craving some real, authentic Italian food. Carbonara, pizza, more gelato…Wherever you go during the evening you’ll more than likely find a great Italian restaurant that serves great wine alongside delicious pizza and pasta.
Your last day in Rome is not technically spent in Rome but it would be a mistake to visit Italy's capital and not have a little gander at the Vatican City. Home to the Sistine Chapel and the Pope, the Vatican City is the smallest internationally recognised state in the world yet it is one of huge astounding beauty. Inside this state there are 11 Vatican museums, one of which is the Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel which could arguably house the most famous ceiling in the world.
There are also landscaped gardens in the Vatican City and the impressive open space in front of St Peter’s Basilica. You could easily spend all day here so don’t forget to bring a postcard to send back home! The Vatican City will send your mail back to friends and family back home from what is considered to be one of the best postal systems in the world.
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