Rome is an amazing city. It’s also a lot bigger than I anticipated! So if you only have a couple of days to spend there, be sure to make the most of your time and plan ahead. Sticking to this itinerary, we managed to see all the highlights of the Eternal City in an exhausting, but incredible, two days!
Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Starting at the heart of ancient Rome, the roman forum and palatine hill are fascinating pieces of history and culture. If you book in advance, you can get a combined ticket that includes entry to the roman forum, palatine hill and colosseum. One thing to note is that there’s very minimal shade, so be sure to slap on the sun-cream if you’re going in summer!
Walking up towards the colosseum and seeing the sight in all its glory was one of the highlights of our trip. It’s incredible to think that this epic amphitheatre was built back in 72AD and has since had so many different uses – gladiator battles, religious worship and executions, just to name a few!
Altare della Patria
Situated between the Piazza Venezia and Capitoline Hill is this patriotic monument. I had previously seen this in photos, but it was so much bigger and more beautiful than I imagined. It has grand steps, flowing fountains and an eternal flame – closely guarded by Italian soldiers. With our feet already aching from walking, we certainly felt their pain!
The Castel Sant’Angelo is one of the more underrated sights in Rome. So much so that we almost didn’t bother visiting! But we’re glad we did. There’s so much to see inside and the best part of it for me was the top of the castle, which offered 360-degree views of the city below. I’d recommend going in the late afternoon, as it’s a lot less busy and you can experience one of the greatest sunsets in Rome – with an Aperol spritz if you fancy!
Vatican Museums / Sistene Chapel
First thing in the morning is the best time to visit the Vatican City, because it’s definitely one of the busiest areas. On the walk up to the Vatican, you may encounter people trying to sell a guided tour/queue-jump. As long as you book online in advance, there’s really no need to spend lots of money on these extras, so don’t let them persuade you! Once you’re in, the museums are vast and spectacular. Be sure to feast your eyes on the Sistene Chapel too – so sacred and stunning that photos aren’t even allowed… Sorry folks!
St Peter’s Basilica
Having seen the breath-taking La Sagrada Familila in Barcelona, I wasn’t sure how St Peter’s Basilica would top this. But after seeing the Pope’s iconic church with my own eyes, it’s safe to say it did not disappoint. Most visitors spend hours queuing to go inside, but for me the best part of the experience was skipping this queue and opting to climb the 551 steps to the top of the dome. Not many visitors know you can do this, so it’s a lot quicker and calmer, and you can admire the beauty of the church from within as well as the exterior panoramic views of the city.
One of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings, the Pantheon is an architectural masterpiece. Entrance is free and whilst you can’t expect anything as spectacular as St Peter’s Basilica, it’s fascinating to see the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome, complete with its central oculus – a 27ft hole in the centre.
You can’t visit Rome without taking a trip to Trevi Fountain. Being intensely crowded with people all day long, it’s quite a challenge to get a decent selfie without a tourist unintentionally photo-bombing. But it’s all about the experience, so get yourself a coin to throw in! Make sure you throw with your right hand over your left shoulder, for good luck and a safe return to Rome.
Spanish Steps / Piazza di Spagna
Being Rome’s famous stairway, I felt like I couldn’t give this one a miss! Whilst I did find it hard to appreciate with so many people around, it’s definitely worth a visit, especially to explore the nearby Piazza di Spagna. A perfect place to unwind, do a bit of high-street shopping and enjoy a last evening meal in the fantastic city of Rome.
Have you ever been to Rome? What was your favourite sight?
Let me know in the comments below!
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