2 Days in Rome - The Ultimate Guide

Travel Itinerary

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Kate Johns
Itinerary by: Kate Johns
23 days ago
Travel Writer
Duration: 2 days

If you’re planning a 2 day city break to Rome in Italy, then this guide is here to help you. Over 2 days, we’ll show you some of the cultural and historical highlights of this beautiful Italian city. Photo by Mauro Grazzi on Unsplash

Day 1

09:00 - 12:00
The Vatican Museum
00120, Vatican City
You first day in Rome will leave you in sensory overload in the best way possible. The warmth and vibrance of the locals, the embellished street corners and the ancient ruins sprawled across the main streets. What better place to start than the Vatican Museums! Start here in the morning because you will want to be fresh to spend the first couple of hours of your morning taking in one of the most magnificent set of galleries and the spectacular Sistine Chapel. If you’re getting around on the metro, hop off at Ottaviano, and you’ve got yourself a 10-minute walk until you arrive in the Vatican. It’s definitely best to book tickets to the museum before you arrive in order to avoid a multiple-hour long queue. ‘Skip the line’ tickets are a good option here, as they effectively allow you to do just that… skip the line! Photo by Claudio Hirschberger on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns
Standard 8.00 EUR

Getting there

Take the metro line to 'Ottaviano' at the beginning of your day. You will then walk a short 10 minutes to arrive at Vatican City

12:25 - 13:00
Castel Sant'Angelo
Lungotevere Castello, 50, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
After having visited the wonders of the Vatican, make your way into town and head on over to another MUST-SEE of Rome: Castel Sant’Angelo. Castel Sant’Angelo is a gorgeous towering cylindrical building in Parco Adriano used by Popes for centuries as a fortress. If you are an architecture lover, stop by the Ponte Sant’Angelo to be mesmerised by the stunning view from the top of the bridge that soars across the Tiber river and over Castel Sant’Angelo. Marked with statues on either side, this monumental bridge is named after the statue of St Michael which you will find in the very middle of the bridge. Fun fact – the castle is named after this statue of St Michael!! Photo by Niccolò Chiamori on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns
Standard 6.00 EUR
Students 4.00 EUR

Getting there

Take a leisurely stroll up to the Tiber River to arrive at Castel Sant'Angelo. Otherwise if walking is not the best option for you, there are plenty of taxis that will be able to take you across for a few euros.

Travel time
0 hours 15 minutes
13:25 - 14:00
Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
After a short walk across the Ponte Sant’Angelo, make your way over to Piazza Navona. Piazza Navona is just one of those magical places where you have to pinch yourself for a second to remind yourself that YES, you are living the dream. Piazza Navona is undoubtedly one of the most famous squares in all of Italy. Known for it’s magnificent fountains, get up close and personal to the wonderful work of Bernini and his Fountain of the Four Rivers. Unfortunately, most of the restaurants inside Piazza Navona are HUGE tourist traps – maybe think about getting a gelato instead 😊 Photo by Alberico Bartoccini on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns

Getting there

Cross the Tiber and stroll into 'Downtown' Rome. It should take you around 10 minutes once you've crossed the beautiful bridge, lined with statues to stop and take photos with.

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
14:00 - 14:45
Osteria Da Fortunata
Via del Pellegrino, 11/12, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Have I mentioned the food yet?? Rome is home to many delectable dishes such as carbonara, gnocci alla romana and hosts some incredible places to eat and drink. Right near Piazza Navona is one of my all-time favourite restaurants. Take a stroll over to walk through Campo dei Fiori and enjoy the beautiful market vibes, and when you’re done, bee line straight for lunch! I still remember the first time I walked up to Osteria Da Fortunata, when the gorgeous Italian Nonna was standing in the shop window making the handmade bucatini that I was about to eat. Osteria da Fortunata which is located just 1 minute from Campo dei Fiori. Prepare yourself for the best carbonara of your entire life. Also, their Cacio e Pepe is to die for. I personally love going here for lunch as it is a really heavy meal, perfect to fuel you for the rest of the afternoon's activities! Also, in true Italian style, pasta is generally consumed at lunch time!! Photo by Bruna Branco on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns
Standard 16.00 - 26.00 EUR

Getting there

From Piazza Navona, cross through to pass by Campo dei Fiori and it is another couple of minutes down a quintessential Roman side street

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
15:00 - 17:00
Trastevere
Trastevere, Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
Now that you’re fuelled up and ready to go, you’re in the perfect location to cross back over the Tiber River and visit one of the most famous Italian quartieri in all of Italy! Trastevere. The Basilica di Santa Maria is the oldest Catholic church in the world – and in my opinion, the most gold-plated one too! Once you have had a mosy through this church, ‘fai un giro’ or have a walk around the streets of Trastevere. You’ll appreciate the perfumes wafting out of the trattorias and the gorgeous red and white checked tablecloths that cover the hundreds of outdoor tables. Trastevere is the perfect location to get a take away Aperol Spritz and continue to roam the streets. The Orto Botanico is a sight to behold! Situated on the Universita Della Sapienza campus, this botanical garden is a wonderful green space in the middle of an ancient city. It's lovely to see lots of locals of all ages enjoy this garden and if you're there in the summer time, there will be hundreds of university students enjoying the open space and sunshine, playing cards, volleyball or even on a slack-line between a pair of trees. Photo by Daniele Salutari on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns

Getting there

You have the option to walk up and along the Tiber again to cross over into Trastevere which would take you around 25 minutes. For time's sake, I would recommend getting a taxi straight to the opening of Trastevere as you will spend the next couple of hours 'gironzolando' the streets of Trastevere, no doubt!

Travel time
0 hours 13 minutes
19:00 - 22:00
Hostaria Romana
Via del Boccaccio, 1, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
To end your first day in Rome with a BANG, there’s nothing more quintessentially Roman than having dinner at Hostaria Romana. This is an incredibly popular restaurant among locals, so I HIGHLY recommend that you call ahead to make a booking. This authentic Roman osteria (or Hostaria) is constantly full of people as their food is so divine. Here it’s a hard choice between the Cacio e Pepe and the Bucatini All’Amatriciana! Both so good – my hot tip would be to share with someone 😉 You’ll be singing compliments to the chef after your first bite, I promise! Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns
Standard 18.00 - 35.00 EUR

Getting there

As this is the last part of your day, you will need to traverse back to the main part of the city - You would most likely be staying in this area :) Catch a cab, depending on traffic by this time, it should take you around 20 minutes and will save your feet the pain of another couple of kilometres of cobble stones.

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes

Day 2

09:00 - 10:30
The Colosseum
Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Did you know that the Colosseum was built between 72 A.D. and 80 A.D. under the command of Emperor Vespasian? And today it is the largest amphitheatre in the world? You may have studied ancient Rome at school, but what better place to deepen your knowledge of the Ancient Roman Empire than by walking the grounds yourself! You have probably heard of the barbaric fights that took place in the Colosseum during the Ancient Roman rule, where people would fight with animals until the death. The Colosseum has long opening hours, but arriving early will ensure that you are not disappointed by having to wait in line all day. There are some lovely Italian ‘bars’ right by the Colosseum where you can get a cappuccino and brioche for breakfast while taking in the breathtaking view. You have a couple of options when it comes to your visit to the Colosseum. A guided tour is always an awesome option to go with, because you will have a qualified historian with you to explain the history of the Colosseum and elements of the Ancient Roman Empire, as well as someone who will be able to answer all of your questions. These tours can be pricey sometimes, so if you’re on a bit of a budget, definitely opt for the audio tour. The inside of the Colosseum is marked really well for you to be able to follow your own guided tour. Photo by L A L A S Z A on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns
Standard 16.00 EUR
Students 6.00 EUR
Seniors 6.00 EUR

Getting there

This section of Rome is very well connected! Jump aboard the Metro to the 'Colosseo' stop. This should only cost you a couple of euros.

Travel time
0 hours 8 minutes
10:30 - 12:00
Trajan's Forum
Via dei Fori Imperiali, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
After visiting the Colosseum and walking down the main street, you will see ruins from the Ancient Roman Empire everywhere you look. It’s lovely when you come across a section of the forum where you’ll see that while human civilisations have left the ruins to commemorate the past, our feline counterparts have slowly but surely made themselves at home. After visiting Rome more than 20 times in the past couple of years, I am truly of the belief that there is always more to discover! Having visited the main sections of the Forum in the centre of the city, my favourite of all of the parts of the Roman Forum is Trajan’s Forum. You’ll be able to reach this section of Rome by foot from the Colosseum, which allows you to have a mosey of other sections of the Forum. The building that houses Trajan’s Forum is stunning, it preserves the original building that has been restored and adds glass to introduce lots of light to the space. Trajan’s Forum is a great secret of the Roman centro storico. It’s nowhere near as busy as other sections of the Forum, but is by far the most spectacular and it is a truly educational experience. Your entry ticket includes an audio guide which has been structured to a very high quality. You will easily pass a couple of hours following the audio guide and taking in the history of Trajan’s Forum. Photo by Christoph Schmid on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns
Standard 15.50 EUR

Getting there

Walk down the main street away from the Colosseum for around 900m and you should arrive at Trajan's Forum.

Travel time
0 hours 15 minutes
12:00 - 12:30
Victor Emmanuel II Monument
Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
A brisk walk from Trajan’s Forum to Piazza Venezia will transport you to one of the most grand monuments that exists in Rome: the Victor Emmanuel II Monument. The ‘Altare della Patria’ or Altar of the Fatherland as it translates in English is the largest building in all of Italy and was opened by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1911 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the unification of Italy into one nation. If you find yourself hiring a vespa or scooter to get around the streets of Rome, the feeling of coming around the huge roundabout that sits right before this monstrous building is second to none! Photo by Elia Burelli on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns

Getting there

Walk down the hill from Trajan's Forum and you will arrive directly at the Victor Emmanuel II monument.

Travel time
0 hours 5 minutes
13:30 - 14:00
The Spanish Steps
Piazza di Spagna, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
You have now found yourself in the very heart of Rome. Everywhere you go now will be surrounded by bars, restaurants and plenty of high fashion stores. If you love designer clothes and brands, be sure not to miss Via Del Corso. You will find plenty of Gucci, Prada, Miu Miu, Juicy Couture, Hermes and many more designer stores that will offer you a 5 star shopping experience. Right at the end of Via Del Corso, you will find yourself at the Spanish Steps. Depending on what time of year you visit, during Spring and Autumn, there are usually flower arrangements that decorate the steps as you go up them. The name ‘Spanish Steps’ is quite deceiving, as it suggests that it was the Spanish who built the steps. Indeed this is not correct. The steps themselves were designed and built by the French, commissioned by King Louis XII. The ‘Spanish’ name arrives from the fact that the Spanish Embassy is in the square beneath the steps. It is so lovely to just have a sit and watch the world pass by for a little while, and a fantastic photo op! Photo by Ilnur Kalimullin on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns

Getting there

The best way to make your way across to the Spanish Steps is by walking. Head across town (1.1km) which should take you a breezy 15 minutes (but maybe a bit longer if you are lapping up the gorgeous scenery on your way)

Travel time
0 hours 20 minutes
14:00 - 14:45
Trevi Fountain
Trevi Fountain, Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Onwards and Upwards as they say! After you’ve climbed the Spanish Steps, it’s time to continue en route to visit the Trevi Fountain. Featured in literally every movie based in Rome, it’s hard to not be itching to visit the Trevi fountain and admire the handy work of Nicola Salvi and Giuseppe Pannini. And let me tell you, you’re in luck! The Trevi Fountain has been under construction for a solid couple of years (funded by the fashion house Fendi who reportedly spent over $2 million in restorations and refurbishments). A really cool fact about Rome is that the original aqueducts are still functioning, and the Trevi Fountain is one of the oldest water sources in all of Rome. The Trevi Fountain received it’s name from the aqueduct system as the fountain was built at the end of the aqueduct, where three streets ended. The three streets (tre vie) gave birth to the name Trevi Fountain; the three street fountain. If so far you are enjoying your trip to Rome, why not guarantee yourself a trip back and throw a coin into the fountain? Legend has it that if you throw a euro into the fountain using your right hand over left shoulder, you are destined to return to Rome. Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns

Getting there

From the Spanish steps, follow the signs to the Trevi Fountain. You will pass by the government building and down Via del Corso.

Travel time
0 hours 7 minutes
14:45 - 15:30
Pantheon
Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
And just when you think it couldn’t get any better! The Pantheon is just a stone’s throw from the Trevi Fountain, and will take you a short few minutes to arrive by foot. Of course, take your time to stop and smell the roses (or waltz into different churches, ruins or gelaterie that you may come across). The Pantheon is renowned for being one of Rome’s best preserved buildings. Unfortunately, due to lack of historical records, the architect or construction length are unknown. What is known however is that the Pantheon’s immaculate design has withstood the test of time. At the very top of the Pantheon is a cut out dome which allows rain to enter and form the perfect circle at the bottom of the Pantheon. The Pantheon is best known for it’s temple façade and was created to be a temple to the Roman Gods. The etymology of Pantheon is split in two; pan, meaning ‘all’ and theos, meaning Gods. Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns
Standard Free

Getting there

Head down the hill from the Trevi Fountain and follow signs to the Pantheon. You will be heading back towards the Tiber River.

Travel time
0 hours 10 minutes
15:30 - 16:00
Tazzo D'oro
Via Marche, 52, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Italian coffee culture is like nowhere else in the world. There is honestly nothing like having an Italian espresso, followed by a shot glass of ‘acqua frizzante’. If you are ready for your Tazzo D’oro or ‘cup of gold’ you have come to the right place. Tazzo D’oro is located just next to the Pantheon and is just the pick-me-up that you’ll need after a full couple of days of travelling around Rome. Tazzo D’oro is the most popular coffee in all of Rome. You have the option to take a seat in the small café (the price will be reflected in your bill) or you can choose to stand at the bar and drink your coffee for a couple of euros. The quality of the coffee and the busy vibe of the café is an experience you cannot miss. And remember to never ask for a ‘latte’ because in Italy that means a cup of milk! Oh and another rule – no cappuccinos after 11am 😉 Photo by Matt Hoffman on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns
Standard 1.20 EUR

Getting there

Upon exit of the Pantheon, on the right hand corner of the Piazza you will find this lovely caffe.

Travel time
0 hours 1 minute
16:30 - 18:00
Giardino Degli Aranci
Giardino degli Aranci, Piazza Pietro D'Illiria, 00153 Roma RM, Italy
To finish your epic weekend in Rome, you must visit Rome’s best kept secret. A visit to Rome could never be complete in my books without a trip to Giardino Degli Aranci; Garden of the oranges. Whether you are with your friends, family, solo or even a partner, this suggestive and spectacular viewing point of Rome will take your breath away. But before you visit the Giardino Degli Aranci, keep walking past the entrance to the garden to the ‘Buco della Serratura’ right next to the Santa Sabina Church. Depending on the time of day and year, sometimes you will arrive to the top of the hill and it will be very obvious to find the ‘Buco della Serratura’ as there will be a long line of people, but other times, there won’t even be a soul there. The ‘Buco della Serratura’ offers a gorgeous view of the Vatican’s Saint Peter’s Cathedral through the keyhole of a door. While it doesn’t sound out of this universe, just wait until you see it! Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash
Article By: Kate Johns

Getting there

Take the metro to Circo Massimo. Cross the road and start to go up the hill. You will pass the entrance to the Giardino Degli Aranci and find the 'serratura'. Once you've done that, head back into the gardens.

Travel time
0 hours 15 minutes
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About the author

Ciao - I'm Kate. After living and travelling Italy for over two years, I love sharing my passion for Italian culture with the world.

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