Rome – it was once the beating heart of one of Europe’s greatest empires. Today, it’s one of the continent’s most-visited capitals thanks to its undeniable beauty, rich history, museums and romantic vibe.
We are unapologetically in love with the Italian capital. And one of the best things about this city is how easy it is to squeeze plenty of activities into a weekend. You could spend a lifetime exploring the hidden treasures of Rome, but if you only have a day or two, make sure you visit these landmarks.
1 Day in Rome | The must-do’s
The Colosseum is one of the most iconic structures in Rome and an absolute must-see on your first day. When gladiator shows were adored by the Romans, the Colosseum could accommodate between 50,000 and 87,000 people. Nowadays, this ancient stadium is one of the finest examples of Roman architecture and culture.
Finding the Colosseum couldn’t be more straightforward. Simply take the metro to the Colosseo station. When you exit the station, the Colosseum is impossible to miss. Given that time is of the essence, we recommend booking a guided tour well in advance.
To continue your journey through the ages, head to The Roman Forum. It’s conveniently situated right beside the Colosseum. Here, you can view the remains of Roman streets and buildings, giving you a glimpse into what life was like for the Romans at the height of their empire.
While exploring the complex, don’t forget to climb to the top of Palatine Hill. From this historic vantage point, you can relish views of the Forum, Colosseum and city centre from above. You can even see Saint Peter’s Basilica in the distance.
Of course, your first day wouldn’t be complete without making a wish at the world-famous Trevi Founation. From Palatine Hill, you can walk to it in about 20 minutes, passing dozens of architectural masterpieces along the way. This intricate outdoor water feature is decorated with sculptures of historic figures. Adding to the beauty of the fountain and its bright blue waters is the white stone of the baroque structure that sits just behind the waterworks.
If you have more time | Local Experiences
If you have some serious time to invest on your second day, you should definitely visit the Vatican - the world’s smallest state. It’s home to some of the world’s most iconic religious structures, breath-taking museums, historic sculptures, works of art, the Sistine Chapel, and – of course – the Pope. You can easily spend a full day exploring Vatican City. But if you want to view some of the most popular landmarks before the crowds take over, we recommend purchasing first-entry tickets.
For your afternoon excursion, the Galleria Sciarra is one of the most beautifully decorated structures in the Italian capital and only a stone’s throw away from the Trevi Fountain. We love the Galleria Sciarra because despite being a small courtyard filled with intricate and beautiful Art Nouveau frescoes, it lies off the beaten path for most tourists. Serenity meets magnificence at this underrated landmark.
If you have time left towards the end of the day, it’s worth exploring some of Rome’s beautiful streets and architecture. Rome is home to countless gorgeous squares. But in our opinion, the Piazza del Popolo reigns supreme. Landmarks that surround this large public square include the Santa Maria del Popolo, an Egyptian obelisk of Sety I and several 19th-century fountains. If you’re in a hurry, climb to the Pincio Terrace to view the piazza from above.
If you’re visiting Rome, it would be a crime to miss out on all the other spectacular destinations across Italy. Check out our travel network and design your own custom itinerary using our online Adventure Planner for an easy way to visit Venice, Florence, Lake Como and beyond.