Unravel Rome in 3 days

28 April 2021

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We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to visit.

Witness history unfold at Rome’s epic ruins that bore witness to over 2,000 years of human history. Explore the seat of the Catholic Church, home to monumental basilicas and timeless museums that showcase the capital’s astonishing artistic heritage. Idle through picturesque cobbled streets marvelling at ornate fountains, or while away hours people-watching at bustling piazzas and boisterous pizzerias. 

 

Considered as the centre of the world for centuries, this eternal city offers an overwhelming list of sights, attractions and activities, which can seem almost impossible to cover within three days. But with a little clever planning, you can take a lot of them in.

Three day Rome itinerary at a glance

Day 1

 

Begin your tour of Rome retracing the origins of this historic capital. Experience the Roman way of life at the Roman Forum while reimagining ruthless gladiator bouts that took place at the grand Colosseum. Hike up Capitoline Hill for a birds-eye view of the ruins below, and pay a visit to the Capitoline Museums. Call it a day and reward yourself with a Roman feast at the many street-side cafes at Trastevere.

 

  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Capitoline Hill and Museums
  • Trastevere 

 

 

Day 2

 

Explore the daily markets at Campo de’ Fiori in the morning before making your way to the Pantheon, one of Rome’s best-preserved ancient monuments. Drop a coin over your shoulder into the world-famous Trevi Fountain and settle down to people-watch at the Spanish steps. Spend the second half of the day wandering through the many museums, galleries and parks at Villa Borghese.

 

  • Campo de’ Fiori
  • Pantheon
  • Trevi Fountain
  • Spanish Steps 
  • Villa Borghese

 

 

Day 3

 

Spend your final day in Rome in the Vatican city. Appreciate the largest and most sumptuous collection of Roman art at the Vatican museum including Michelangelo’s stunning frescoes at the Sistine Chapel. Conclude your day with a climb up the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica for a panoramic view of the city at dusk.

 

  • Vatican Museum
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter’s Basilica

 

Detailed three-day Rome itinerary

Day 1

Go back in time at the Colosseum

Colosseum Rome

With an estimated capacity of over 70,000 spectators, the iconic Colosseum is the largest ancient amphitheatre in the world. It has been the setting for ruthless gladiator fights and hunting simulations, involving ferocious animals amidst throngs of frenzied spectators.

 

Unavelog Tips:

  • Get your tickets online to avoid long lines at the Colosseum ticket counter. Another way to avoid lines is to buy the Roma Pass, a discount card that offers free entrance to the Colosseum as well as other monuments across Rome.
  • Besides the first and second tiers, the arena floor, the belvedere and the hypogeum are restricted areas in the Colosseum that can only be accessed via special tours led by official Colosseum guides. The same can be booked at an extra cost via tour operators.
  • Visit the Colosseum both during the day as well as at night, for a unique experience each time.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Piazza del Colosseo 1
  • Timings: Monday to Sunday, 10:30 am – 7:15 pm (closes earlier during winter months)
  • Cost: Ordinary tickets starting from € 16,00 + € 2 booking fee, free entry for visitors under 18 years.
  • Website: https://www.coopculture.it/il-colosseo.cfm
  • How to reach: 
    • Metro: Line B – “Colosseo” 
    • Bus: Line 75 – 81 – 673 – 175 – 204
    • Tram: Line 3

Experience ancient Roman way of life at the Forum

roman forum

With triumphal arches, towering temples and fallen columns, the Roman Forum houses some of the oldest and most important religious and legislative structures of the ancient city. It served as its political, commercial and religious hub.

 

Things to do: 

  • Visit some of Rome’s most important structures including the legendary 7th century BC Temple of the Vestal Virgins, the Curia Julia Senate House built by Julius Caesar, the enormous Temple of Antoninus and Faustina and more.
  • In the evening, attend the sound-and-light show at the Forum

 

Useful Info:

Catch the views atop Capitoline Hill and visit the Capitoline Museums

Capitoline Museum Rome
By Kameister/Wiki Commons

Once the geographic and symbolic centre of the Roman Empire, it is steeped in ancient, medieval and Renaissance history. It is also home to many temples dedicated to Roman gods, as well as Michelangelo’s significant art and architectural contributions from the 1550s.

 

Things to do:

  • Climb the Cordonata, an elegant, monumental staircase designed by Michelangelo, who also designed the geometrically patterned Piazza del Campidoglio, the first modern square in Rome.
  • Visit the Capitoline Museums, one of the world’s oldest public museums that contain some of Rome’s greatest artistic and archaeological treasures. 

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Piazza del Campidoglio 1 – 00186 Rome
  • Timings: 
    • Open 24 hours. 
    • Capitoline Museums: Everyday  9.30 am -7.30 pm (Last admission at 6:30 pm)
  • Cost: Access to Capitoline Hill is free, Capitoline Museums: € 15 per adult. 
  • Website: http://www.museicapitolini.org/
  • How to Reach: Bus stop: Piazza Venezia. Buses: 64, 87 and electric bus 119

Lose yourself in medieval Trastevere

Trastevere Rome
By user32212/Pixabay

Stroll along the narrow cobbled streets of Trastevere, amidst colourful buildings and ancient squares. Explore its modest medieval churches and shops selling unusual curios. Or simply take in the scenes of everyday life while sipping coffee from its many affordable restaurants. Trastevere offers a truly authentic experience of the modern-day Roman way of life. 

 

Things to do:

  • Piazza di Santa Maria: One of the primary hangout spaces at Trastevere in the evenings for its street performers and entertainers.
  • Visit the Basilica di Santa Maria, one of Rome’s oldest churches.
  • Visit the Orto Botanico(Botanical garden) and Gianicolo hill with its Baroque fountain, Garibaldi monument, daily cannon fire (at noon) and panoramic views.
  • Dine at its many restaurants including Ristorante La Tavernaccia Da Bruno, Pizzeria Ai Marmi, Almalu Trastevere and more for some authentic Roman delicacies. Cool down after a long day at these must-visit gelaterias in Rome.
  • Shop for unique and handmade treasures at  Polvere di Tempo, Antica Caciara Trasteverina or visit the Porta Portese flea market (every Sunday from 7 am to 2 pm).

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Piazza di Santa Maria
  • How to reach: 
    • Tram stop: Trastevere/Mastai, line 8.
    • Bus stop: Trastevere/Mastai, lines 23, 280 and 780

Day 2

Explore the daily markets at Campo de’ Fiori

Campo de' Fiori ROME
By Gabriella Clare Marino/Unsplash

This medieval square is one of the main piazzas (squares) in the city with its bustling daily markets selling local produce and delicacies. The square comes alive at night with its lively bars and restaurants packed with locals and tourists alike.

 

Things to do: 

  • Visit the popular morning market selling a variety of flowers, fruits and vegetables from Monday through Saturday.
  • Explore its wide variety of restaurants, cocktail bars and terraces.

 

Useful Info:

Appreciate ancient Roman engineering at the Pantheon

Pantheon Rome

Undoubtedly the best-preserved monument of Ancient Rome, the Pantheon is widely praised for its feats of architecture as it was the largest concrete structure in the world until the 20th century. Once a temple dedicated to the pagan gods of ancient Rome, it was converted into a Christian church in 609 and continues to be an active place of worship even today.  

 

Things to do:

  • Visit the “fountain of the Pantheon” sculpted out of marble by Leonardo Sormani in 1575.
  • Explore Piazza Della Rotonda, a lively square filled with cafes, bars, and restaurants in front of the Pantheon.

 

Useful Info:

Make a wish at the Trevi Fountain

Trevi fountain rome

The Trevi fountain is the largest fountain in Rome and probably the most famous Baroque fountain in the world. This ornate fountain owes its fame to the many films that it was featured in, including La Dolce Vita, Angels and Demons, The Lizzie McGuire Movie and Roman Holiday.

 

Things to do: Belief has it that throwing a coin into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder ensures a return to the eternal city.

 

Useful Info:

People-watch at the Spanish Steps

spanish steps rome
By ptra/Pixabay

Deriving its name from the Spanish Embassy located nearby, the Spanish Steps make up a monumental stairway of 138 steps connecting the Piazza di Spagna at its base with the Trinità dei Monti church at the top. Traditionally a hub for artists, painters and poets, it is currently a popular spot for people-watching within the city.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Piazza di Spagna
  • Timings: Open 24 hours
  • Cost: Free entry
  • How to reach: Metro station: Spagna, line A (Orange).

Unwind at Villa Borghese

villa borghese rome
By xlizziexx/Pixabay

One of the largest urban parks in Europe, Villa Borghese stands out with its distinct amalgamation of Roman art and architectural elements along with nature. It is also home to several buildings, museums and attractions including the bi-level Borghese art gallery.

 

Things to do:

 

  • Borghese Gallery: One of the most important museums in Rome contains paintings from artists such as Raphael, Titian and Caravaggio.
  • Rent a bike: An excellent way to explore the 226 acres of garden space is to rent a bike either at Viale di Villa Medici or Viale della Pineta.
  • Rome Zoo: Known as the Bioparco, the Rome Zoo is home to over 200 different species of animals.
  • Pincio’s Water Clock: This fully functioning Victorian Water Clock is a prime example of 19th-century Roman engineering.
  • Silvano Toti Globe Theatre: A full-scale replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, it offers live performances from June through October.
  • Sunset at Pincio Hill: One of the most picturesque and Romantic spots in the city, Pincio Hill offers spectacular sunset views across the capital.

 

Useful Info:

Day 3

Witness the best of Roman art at the Vatican Museum

Established by Pope Julius II during the sixteenth century, it displays a vast collection of renowned Roman sculptures and Renaissance masterpieces amassed by the Catholic Church and the papacy throughout the centuries.

 

Unravelog tips: 

  • Visitors are required to follow a dress code while entering the museum, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Sleeveless, low cut-garments, shorts above the knee, miniskirts and hats are not permitted inside.
  • It is advisable to schedule your visit on a weekday afternoon as it is usually most crowded in the mornings. 

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Viale Vaticano, 51
  • Timings: 
    • Monday to Thursday, 8:30 am – 6:30 pm (last entry at 4:30 pm)
    • Friday to Saturday. 8:30 am – 8:00 pm (last entry at 6 pm)
  • Cost: 
    • € 17 per adult, Children (ages 6 to 18) & Students (ages 19 to 26): € 8 
    • Free entry on the last Sunday of every month 
  • Website: https://tickets.museivaticani.va/home
  • How to reach: Metro station: Cipro-Musei Vaticani, line A (orange).

Behold Michelangelo’s masterpiece at the Sistine Chapel

Sistine Chapel vatican museum rome
By Antoine Taveneaux/Wiki Commons

The official residence of the pope and the site of the papal conclave, the Sistine Chapel is renowned the world over for its magnificent frescoes that decorate its walls and ceiling. Michelangelo’s world-famous artwork adorning the Sistine Chapel is considered to be one of the greatest landmarks of high Renaissance art.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Located inside the Vatican Museum
  • Timings: 
    • Monday to Thursday, 8:30 am – 6:30 pm (last entry at 4:30 pm)
    • Friday to Saturday. 8:30 am – 8:00 pm (last entry at 6 pm)
  • Cost: Included in the Vatican Museum ticket
  • How to reach: Metro station: Cipro-Musei Vaticani, line A (orange).

Visit the monumental St. Peter’s Basilica

One of the world’s holiest and largest catholic shrines, St. Peter’s Basilica is purportedly built over the tomb of Saint Peter, the Prince of the Apostles who was also the first-ever Pope.

 

Things to do: Climb to the top of the dome for a stunning view of St Peter’s Square and Vatican City. 

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Piazza San Pietro. Vatican City.
  • Timings: 
    • April to September- 7 am – 7 pm
    • October to March- 7 am – 6:30 pm    
  • Cost: Free entry
  • How to reach: Metro station: Ottaviano, line A (red)

If you have more time to spend in Rome, check out these 8 odd, hidden gems to go off the beaten path and explore sides to the city unknown to most travellers.

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