Whether you are in Rome 1 day, or for 2 days, here is what to do, see and savor in this glittering city!
What to do and what to see in Rome in 1 or 2 days? The opportunities are so many, the museums and monuments are almost endless, and most of all, you would want to be able to savor and taste every moment of this wonderful city.
Its history, art, architecture; its culture and thousands of years old traditions. You wish you could take home every single feeling and every explosive emotion.
So, in this article, we offer you 10 things to see and do in Rome in one day. If you manage to add a few more hours, in the second part of the article, you will also find what to do and see in Rome in 2 days!
What to do in Rome in 1 day: 10 things to see
For us at Visit Italy, it is not so easy to come up with a list of what to see and do in Rome in 1 day.
There would be so much we would like to include and so much we would like you to discover and savor in this magical city.
Ancient churches and monuments, historic palaces, museums with the most incredible art collections, but also parks and gardens, scenic walks and places teeming with culture and life. In other words, an infinity of things awaits anyone who visits this city.
For this reason, our purpose for this article is not only to let you discover what to do and see in Rome in one day, but more importantly to invite you to come back.
So that you can truly discover all the beauty this city has to offer.
10. What to do in Roma in one day: start from its historic heart
We can't help but start here to explore Rome.
Its ancient Roman heart is indeed one of the most interesting things you can see in Rome in a day (or ten!).
Head to the front of the Colosseum and admire all its spectacular majesty. Indeed, these ruins speak of a past when this city excelled over the entire empire run by the Flavian dynasty. You can admire it from the outside or decide to visit it inside as well.
In this case, it is important to plan your visit early so that you can have your guaranteed entry!
9. Behold the monument that embodies the rebirth of Italy
If from the historic heart of the capital, you turn your steps toward the Via dei Fori Imperiali and arrive at Piazza Venezia, you can see another of the city's most famous sights.
The Vittoriano is a very white building that stands out in size, but also for its color, in almost every panoramic photo dedicated to Rome.
It is the monument that represents the Italian Risorgimento, and, in fact, right in the heart of the grand staircase facing the building is the Altar of the Fatherland with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
8. Observe one of the best-preserved Roman buildings
Another of the most interesting places to see in Rome in 1 day is another building from the Roman era.
It is the Pantheon, one of the most iconic but also most interesting monuments you will see in this city.
Its construction dates back to Roman times but, since then, it has come a long way and its functions have changed over time. In fact, from a temple dedicated to all the gods, it became a church, which is still in use today. Not to mention that the tombs of Raphael and many of Italy's royalty are housed here.
7. What to see in Rome in 1 day if not one of the most elegant squares?
A short walk from the marvelous Pantheon is another iconic place in the city.
Piazza Navona is a triumph of monumentality and elegance, a true ode to Baroque carved in stone.
You will find monuments and churches lining the square, but above all the three spectacular fountains awaiting you: the Fountain of the Moor, the so-called Fountain of Neptune and, in the center, the imposing Fountain of the Four Rivers, an extraordinary masterpiece by Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
6. Dedicate yourself to shopping in the streets of luxury
Via dei Condotti is a haven for luxury shopping. From Piazza di Spagna begins a succession of shop windows of the most famous and expensive Made in Italy and foreign brands.
Via del Corso, on the other hand, is almost always populated by young people and families looking for the latest fashionable but cheaper clothes.
5. Strolls along the river that saw the rise of the city
Among the things to see in Rome in 1 day, this one undoubtedly stands out.
Even if you devote only a little time to the Lungotevere, you will in truth discover a place that has seen from its majestic banks much of the capital's history.
Skirting the river, on whose waters are reflected lights, palaces, bridges and statues (among which Castel Sant' Angelo and the bridge with Bernini's Angels stand out) really makes you want to sing "Roma nun fa la stupida stasera."
4. Putting your hand in the city's most famous manhole, centerpiece of an ancient legend
According to an ancient legend of medieval origin, the Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità) is known to cut off the hand of anyone who lies!
This marble mask, probably an ancient Roman manhole, is nearly 2 meters in diameter. It is located at the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, in the space between the Tiber and the Circus Maximus.
If you don't know what to see in Rome in a day, this place made immortal by Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (1953) is definitely one of the most iconic stops!
3. Savor one of the tastiest traditional Roman dishes
You cannot visit Rome without eating real carbonara!
There are many typical trattorias in every part of the city, faithful to the Roman recipe (pecorino romano, guanciale, pepper and eggs).
Get ready to delight your palate with one of the most typical flavors of the capital!
2. Take in one of the most incredible views of the city
At sunset it is very impressive to go up to the terrace of the Pincio (above Piazza del Popolo) and on the horizon you can see a breathtaking view with the dome of St. Peter's, Mount Mario on the right and the Quirinale on the left.
The terrace is accessed via stairs from Piazza del Popolo that connect it with the church and the Spanish Steps of Trinità dei Monti.
1. Spend the most unforgettable evening in Trastevere
Trastevere is one of Rome's oldest neighborhoods; in fact, there is a diatribe with Rione Monti over which is the most authentic Roman neighborhood.
Trastevere, with its stone streets, illuminated alleys, and squares is the ideal place to experience Rome by night. There are plenty of clubs, restaurants and pubs where you can savor true "Roman-ness."
What to do in Rome in 2 days? Here are 5 more ideas for discovering the city
What if instead of seeing Rome in 1 day, you have the opportunity to visit in 2?
If you have this wonderful opportunity, we would like to give you at least 5 ideas for your visit.
You will be able to combine these activities with the ones we have selected in the previous paragraphs to create the perfect itinerary for you.
So find out what to see and do in Rome in 2 days!
5. Explore the wonders of the ancient sacred hill
Just a short walk from Rome's most famous site is the hill that saw the birth of the capital.
In fact, it is precisely the Palatine Hill that is one of the oldest parts of the capital. Here, in fact, are the ruins of ancient Roman dwellings, but above all the dwellings of the ancient emperors.
In our opinion, a visit to this wonder is one of the essential things to do in Rome in 2 days!
4. Visit the city's most lively farmers' market
Campo dei Fiori is home to the city's best-known farmers' market every morning, where you can find fresh vegetables and fruits and typical Roman products.
The origin of the name is not well known. Perhaps it derives from Flora, one of Emperor Pompey's mistresses, or from the plants and flowers that covered this Campo in the 15th century.
A statue of Giordano Bruno stands in the center of the square.
3. What to see in Rome in 2 days if not its most important Basilica?
One of the most exciting things to do in Rome in 2 days is a visit to St. Peter's Basilica.
Not only is it the heart of Rome and Catholicism, but it is also a true treasure trove of art.
Start by admiring its large square, the elegant but mighty colonnade and then cross its threshold. Your eyes will not be able to believe such beauty!
Since it is one of the most visited places, make sure there is not too much of a line to enter (entrance to the Basilica only is free).
If you would like to visit the Vatican Museums, one of the world's most extensive art collections, however, you will need to purchase your ticket in advance.
2. Walk among the masterpieces of Canova and Bernini
Among the most beautiful museums in the capital is definitely the splendid Borghese Gallery.
You will find mostly sculptures by Canova, such as the very famous Paolina Borghese, but also masterpieces by Bernini, such as the Rape of Proserpina and Apollo and Daphne.
If you are an art lover, this is certainly one of the most important stops to see in Rome in 2 days!
1. Toast the city with an aperitif in one of its liveliest neighborhoods
How to do a proper goodbye to your 2 days in Rome?
An aperitif in the city's liveliest places might be the right choice.
You could go to the Ponte Milvio area, well connected to the center, where you can find a considerable amount of pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants. Or go to the Testaccio district, a real hot spot for aperitifs, dinners and nightlife. Let's not forget that you could always go back to the Trastevere neighborhood and try another historic venue and taste again the typical delicacies of this unforgettable city!