A historic city full of incredible artefacts, buildings and museums, it's hard to imagine spending just 24 hours in Rome. Yet, it's possible. Rome is Italy’s capital and one of the most art and culture-rich cities in Europe. There is no denying that although Rome was always a sought-after destination, its tourist industry boomed after the Eat, Pray, Love release.
Everyone is fascinated by this glorious cosmopolitan city and after you spend as little as a day meandering through the Roman streets, it’s easy to understand why Rome is always on the top 10 summer European destinations.
Before you start the itinerary: Throughout the day you must absolutely buy lots of gelato flavours from all across Rome. There are plenty of gelato shops dotted all around the city. And of course, don't forget to check out the best foods to try in Rome.
Rome is one of my favourite cities and not just because it’s beautiful and home to some of the world’s best food, but because it helped me create tons of memories I am very fond of. Rome is actually the first travelling destination G and I enjoyed as a couple. We were quite inexperienced travellers at the time and it was long before I created this blog. I have returned to Rome since and loved it even more. On this occasion, I visited so I can bring you the ultimate guide on how to spend the best 24 hours in Rome.
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24 hours in Rome
You might be thinking...what? 24 hours in Rome? It can never be enough. Well, I was crafty enough to do it and now I’m bringing you the Roman crème de la crème, so you can have an epic one day adventure! If you want to expand your trip beyond the capital, though, you can check these Instagram worthy reasons to visit Italy!
Best to start the day fresh, as early in the morning as possible. Obviously, since we are in Rome, I’m going to start at the Colosseum. Make sure you arrive there by 8:30 am which is the official opening time. Rome’s iconic amphitheatre attracts countless tourists from all over the world, hence this place can get packed. Best way to skip the queues is to purchase tickets in advance. We virtually had to wait for 60 seconds before being allowed to go in. The tickets were 12 euro per adult. Tickets can be purchased here.
Palatino & Roman Forum
Included in your Colosseum ticket price are the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. The Palatine Hill is an ancient part of Rome and if you want to understand more about the Seven Hills of Rome, then this is definitely the place to visit. You don’t need a guide to visit around but do bring your camera as you can enjoy some great views over the city. You will have to work for those vistas, so make sure you are wearing comfortable shoes as there is lots of climbing involved.
The Roman Forum turned out to be one of my favourite Roman ruins. I even liked it more than the Colosseum itself. It’s a great place to have a stroll and contemplate the past. The Roman Forum was essentially the nucleus of the Roman civilization, as several government buildings were positioned in these strategic locations. Forum means market in Latin, hence the Roman Forum, or Forum Magnum as it used to be called, was the epicentre of the Roman public life.
About 20 minutes walking distance from the Roman Forum, you will find the Pantheon, a two-millennium-old temple, still in use today. It is free of charge to enter the Pantheon, however, you should remember to keep quiet as it is still considered a sacred place. What interested me the most about this magnificent building which resisted the test of time like no other, is that the original use of the Pantheon is still somewhat unknown. It is unknown how people used it to worship for example because the interior and architecture of the Pantheon are very different than any other religious buildings in ancient Rome. What we do know for a fact, however, is that from AD 608, the Pantheon has been used as a church.
Fontana di Trevi
After the Pantheon, you must absolutely head over to yet another Roman icon: Fontana di Trevi. I don’t know why, but I always imagined this fountain being much smaller than in real life. When I got to it, I was impressed by how majestic it really looked like. Of course, being one of the main tourist attractions in Rome, the fountain is almost always very crowded. There are great angles for taking epic pictures, just be patient and wait for your turn. Of course, don’t forget to throw in a coin and make a wish.
Piazza di Spagna
After checking out Fontana di Trevi, I suggest making your way to Piazza di Spagna, finding a great Italian restaurant and having some early dinner. Enjoy a glass of wine with your pasta and don’t forget to order tons of desserts and there are few better guilty pleasures than enjoying dolci after an Italian meal.
Piazza di Spagna is located at the bottom of the Spanish Steps, a well-known meetup place amongst the youth. You will see many people just chilling on the steps and having a great time with their friends. I suggest grabbing a gelato and people watching for about 20 minutes. Make sure it’s not too late and the sun is not yet set. We have plans for that!
Finally, from the Spanish Steps, I am sending you to the Pincian Hill, where you would have reached the end of your day in Rome. Why this place? Because this is by far the most amazing spot to enjoy the sunset over Rome. Time your arrival well and make sure to check the sunset times on Google. Literally just search for “sunset time Rome” in Google and you should be able to see the exact hour and minute. Arrive around 30 minutes before the sunset and enjoy some dramatic vanilla skies over the beautiful Italian capital city. Prepare to take some incredible sunset pictures over Rome from this great and quiet spot. Why did I love it so much? Because there were no crowds here. Everyone was still meandering around tourist attractions, wanting to capture the best sunset, but I really feel that there is no better place in Rome to enjoy a romantic view over the city, than right up to the Pincian Hill. Really, I can't recommend this place enough.
This is my step by step guide on how to spend some amazing 24 hours in Rome. If you still have time by the end of the night, then treat yourself to another amazing Italian meal and some handcrafted cocktails to get the party started.
What would you be most excited about if you were spending 24 hours in Rome? Tell me all about it in the comments section below.