At the expense of the bombastic appellation of the Eternal City, it is entirely possible to visit all the sights of Rome in a single week.
Rome, besides being the capital of Italy, is one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in the world, rich in history, art, culture and traditions. Visiting Rome in one week is possible, but you need to organize your itinerary well in order not to miss anything of its wonders.
Never fear, in this article we offer a complete guide to Rome, to spend seven unforgettable days in the Eternal City, with suggestions on what to see and how to get around.
A week in Rome: a guide on what to see and do
There are countless places to visit during a week in Rome, the perfect destination for those who want to take a journey through the history of the Roman Empire but also the Renaissance art of Borromini and Bernini. And then there is the folklore of contemporary Rome, the Vatican Museums and much more.
All of these beauties you can also admire in comfort with the new Visit Rome Pass, available in a 2-day or 3-day version. The Rome Pass provides free access to public transportation as well as the Vatican Museums, the Leonardo da Vinci Exhibition and more.Find out more❯
Day 1 in Rome: Piazza del Popolo, Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain
On the first day you can start your visit from Piazza del Popolo, with its elliptical shape and iconic obelisk. Here you can admire the church of Santa Maria del Popolo. If you are an art lover, do not miss the two Caravaggio masterpieces inside: the Conversion of St. Paul and the Crucifixion of St. Peter.
Continuing along Via del Babbuino, you can reach Piazza di Spagna and climb its famous Spanish Steps to reach Trinità dei Monti, from the top of which there is a splendid view of the entire city. Don't forget to take a photo of the Barcaccia fountain by Bernini.
From here you can take a walk along the elegant Via dei Condotti and Via del Corso, where you will find the best boutiques and the most renowned stores. Immediately afterwards, we recommend you drop by Piazza Colonna, near which is Palazzo Montecitorio, home of the Chamber of Deputies.
Next stop is the majestic Trevi Fountain, the largest and most famous fountain in Rome. Remember the famous scene from La Dolcevita by Federico Fellini? Yes, here you can shout "Marcello, come here" . You can also make a wish by tossing a coin into the water, as tradition dictates.
To end the day, we recommend heading to Piazza Venezia, where stands the imposing Altare della Patria, dedicated to King Victor Emmanuel II.
Day 2: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Capitoline Museums
The second day of this itinerary is dedicated to ancient Rome. Of course, the journey through history passes through a visit to the Colosseum, the largest and most famous amphitheater in the world, where gladiator fights and fights with wild beasts took place.
Next to the Colosseum is the Arch of Constantine, the largest and best preserved Roman triumphal arch, erected to celebrate Emperor Constantine's victory over his rival Maxentius. From here you can walk along Via dei Fori Imperiali, the street that connects the Colosseum to Piazza Venezia, lined with the remains of the Roman forums, the public squares where the city's political, religious and commercial life took place.
The destination is the Roman Forum, the heart of ancient Rome, where you can admire the remains of temples, basilicas, public buildings and monuments. Among the most important are the Temple of Saturn, the oldest in the Forum; the Temple of Vesta, where the vestals guarded the sacred fire; and the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, transformed into a church in the Middle Ages. Nearby you will also find the Basilica of Maxentius, the Arch of Septimius Severus, erected in honor of the emperor and his sons, the Curia Iulia, seat of the Roman Senate, and the Tabularium, the archives of the Roman state.
In the second half of the day we suggest a visit to the Capitoline Museums, the oldest public museum in the world. Here you can admire works of art and archaeological finds of great value, such as the Lupa Capitolina, the bronze statue representing the she-wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus; the Equestrian Statue of Marcus Aurelius, the only surviving Roman equestrian sculpture; the Bust of Medusa, by Bernini; and much more.
Day 3 in Rome: Piazza Navona, Pantheon and Villa Borghese
You can devote the third day to exploring the historic center of Rome, starting from Piazza Navona, one of the city's most beautiful and lively squares, famous for its Baroque fountains. The most spectacular is the Fountain of the Four Rivers, another timeless work by Bernini, which represents what were then the four main rivers of the world: the Nile, the Ganges, the Danube and the Rio de la Plata. In the center of the square is the church of Sant'Agnese in Agone, designed by Borromini, Bernini's rival.
From Piazza Navona you can reach the Pantheon, the temple dedicated to all the gods, built by Hadrian in the second century AD. The Pantheon is famous for its dome, the largest ever built in ancient times, with a circular opening in the center called oculus. Inside you can see the tombs of famous people such as Raphael and Victor Emmanuel II.
We continue on our trip to Rome with another visit to the Trevi Fountain. True you have already admired it on the first day, but it is worth another wish, no? Actually we are just passing through, our destination is now the Terrazza del Pincio, from which there is a splendid view of the city.
To end the day on a high note, you can visit the Villa Borghese Gardens, where you can take a walk among trees, ponds, fountains and statues. If you have time left, we recommend a trip to the Borghese Gallery, which houses one of the most prestigious art collections in the world, with works by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and Bernini.
Day 4: Campo de' Fiori, Trastevere and Aventine Hill
For the fourth day you can visit some of Rome's most characteristic and charming neighborhoods. Start at Campo de' Fiori, at the center of which is a statue of Giordano Bruno, the philosopher condemned to the stake by the Inquisition in 1600.
From Campo de' Fiori you can cross the Tiber River and reach the Trastevere district. Next, our itinerary takes you to the Aventine Hill. Here you can visit the churches of Sant'Alessio, Santa Sabina and Sant'Anselmo, and the famous Giardino degli Aranci, from which there is a splendid view of the Tiber and the historic center.
Also, don't miss the curious Keyhole, located on the door of the Villa of the Priory of Malta, from which you can see the dome of St. Peter's framed perfectly.
Day 5: Day trip to Tivoli
We have reached the fifth day of our week in Rome, so why not take a jaunt out of town? Our itinerary suggests a visit to the town of Tivoli, located about 30 km from Rome. Here you can admire two splendid UNESCO heritage villas: the Villa d'Este and the Villa Adriana.
Villa d'Este is one of the most beautiful Renaissance residences in Italy, famous for its Italian-style gardens and monumental fountains. Here you can walk among hedges, flower beds, statues and water features, and visit the apartments of Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, richly decorated with frescoes.
Villa Adriana, on the other hand, is the mansion that Emperor Hadrian had built for himself in the second century AD, inspired by the architecture he had seen in his travels. Here you can see the remains of temples, theaters, baths, nymphaeums and other buildings that recreated a true imperial microcosm.
Day 6 in Rome: Visit to Pompeii or day at the beach
On the sixth day you can choose between two options: take another trip to visit the ruins of Pompeii or spend a day at the beach in Lido di Ostia.
Pompeii is one of Italy's most fascinating and atmospheric destinations, where you can see up close what life was like in ancient Rome before the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD buried the city under a blanket of ash. Here you can admire the houses, temples, theaters, baths, stores and frescoes that have remained intact for centuries. To reach Pompeii from Rome you can take the Frecciarossa or Italo train to Naples and then the Circumvesuviana train to the Pompei Scavi-Villa dei Misteri station. Altogether the journey takes about two and a half hours.
If, on the other hand, you have already had your fill of culture and prefer to relax in the sun and bathe in the sea, you can go to Lido di Ostia, the nearest beach resort to Rome. Here you can choose between free beaches or equipped establishments, and enjoy a day of relaxation and fun.
Day 7: Castel Gandolfo
You can devote the last day to visiting Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of the popes, located on the shores of Lake Albano. Here you can visit the Apostolic Palace, where there is a historical museum with objects and documents related to the history of the Church, and the Vatican Gardens, where you can admire the typical flora and fauna of the area.
You can also take a walk along the lake, where you can find restaurants, bars and water activities, or visit the nearby Castelli Romani Regional Park, where you can discover other historic villages such as Frascati, Nemi and Ariccia.
More things to see and do in Rome in a week (family edition)
If you are visiting Rome in a week with your family, you can make your stay even more fun and interesting for your children with some activities designed especially for them. Here are some ideas:
- Bioparco: Rome's zoo, where you can see more than 1,000 animals of 200 different species, including lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes and monkeys. The park also offers play areas, educational workshops and shows.
- Explora: Rome's children's museum, where you can experience science and technology in a playful and interactive way. The museum also offers creative workshops, green spaces and a library.
- Attend a soccer game: if you are a sports fan, you can attend a game of the local team, Roma or Lazio, at the Stadio Olimpico. You can buy tickets online or at authorized retailers.
- Concerts: if you happen to be in the summer season, when the league is stationary, you might find some interesting music events at the Olympic Stadium. Also look out for the Rock In Roma music festival and the schedule at the Parco della Musica complex.