Deciding which part of Italy you want to visit is extremely difficult as there are so many desirable places. I know one week is not nearly enough time to eat pizza and pasta but we don't always have the luxury, or funds, of long-term travel. I spent a short 7 days in Rome and didn't have enough time to do everything I planned to do. If you are visiting Rome, this guide can help you plan a smooth trip.
DAY ONE-- HISTORIC CENTRE
Piazza Navona-- GO
This plaza dates way back to the 1st century A.D. There are two beautiful fountains you can throw coins in or take selfies with; Fountain of Neptune and Fountain del Moro. There is also also of great shops, restaurants, bars and street artists. It's a great place to start off your trip and you can take your time and leisurely walk around.
Trevi Fountain-- SEE
Everyone thinks the Trevi Fountain is the most beautiful fountain in Rome. I couldn't agree more! Yes, it is always crowded no matter the weather, but WOW. This is something that will take your breath away when you see it in person. So, I am going to tell you to go because you need to see this beauty for yourself.
Just a short walk away from Piazza Navona is the Pantheon. The Pantheon is one of the most iconic buildings in Rome and is also another busy place to visit. Inside the building has the most amazing dome and it's actually the world's largest concrete dome. Just outside of the Pantheon is it's beautiful fountain.
I'm not the biggest fan of ice cream but I do love me some gelato. Giolitti is a popular gelatateria and they have so many different flavours.
DAY TWO-- HISTORICAL RUINS
A trip to Rome is not complete without visiting one of the most famous ruins in the world. The Colosseum is Rome's most visited attraction but isn't as busy as you would thing. Buy your tickets online to save time waiting in line. The ticket includes entrance to Palatine Hill and also the Roman Forum. The views inside the Colosseum are quite amazing and there is so much you can learn here. Make sure to get an audio guide, I didn't get one and missed out on a lot of information.
Roman Forum-- SEE
The Roman Forum is home to ancient temples, squares and government buildings around 2,000 years old. It's amazing how much the Romans were able to preserve so much of the buildings here. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes while strolling through the ancient streets. Make sure to climb up to Terrazza Caffarelli fo views above the ruins.
Palatine Hill-- SEE
Palatine Hill is another historical monument that should not be missed. It helps that is it right next to the two previously mentioned.
DAY THREE-- SPEND THE DAY LIKE A ROMAN
As you can see, Trastevere sits just across the Tiber River. This area is known as a real Roman neighbourhood, as less travellers frequent this area. Join the locals at cafes and restaurants to see where the Romans eat and play. Make sure to visit the baroque palace, Palazzo Corsini. Visit Villa Farnesina, Basilica di Santa Cecilia. For breathtaking views of Rome, climb up 20 mins to Gianicolo. If you're hungry, eat real Roman pizza at Ivo a Trastevere or Pizzeria ai Marmi. You'll love this neighbourhood so much, by the time you know it the whole day has gone by.
DAY FOUR-- HISTORICAL CENTRE
Piazza Venezia-- GO
Piazza Venezia is a great place to go for people watching. There is a large beautiful Victorian monument called "Altar of the Fatherland" where a lot of people just sit and hang about. The alter honors Italy's first king and soldiers from WWI. There's also a restaurant up there, so you can can some food and drinks while you absorb the Roman atmosphere.
Doria Pamphilj Gallery-- GO/SKIP
Doria Pamphilj is a gorgeous gallery with an interesting history. The gallery is not very busy with tourists which is a plus but I found it to be both over and underwhelming. A lot of the art was stacked from the floor to ceiling and just had too much in certain places. However, the gallery itself is pretty small and it was more expensive than some other places I went to.
GustARTE is an Italian grocery store that has cheese and meat tastings. When you book you get to try 5 different meats and 5 different cheeses. While eating, a very knowledgable guide will explain the process in which they make the cheese and meat. Everything was pretty great, I liked three of the cheeses I tried and bought two of them. The meats were all delicious but I just bought one; pepper salami. Now, I just keep thinking about it because it was so good!
DAY FIVE-- VATICAN CITY
St.Peter's Basilica-- GO (Very early)
If you want that famous view from St.Peter's Basilica, you'd better make sure you'd better arrive bright and early. No matter the weather, there will always be an unbearably long line to get into the church. At the time I arrived it was pouring rain, yet the line was still about 100 people deep. Thinking back on it, I wish I had just waited it out or at least got line bypass tickets.
Vatican Museums-- SEE
One thing I did get to do was see the Vatican Museums. The only other museum that left me speechless was the Louvre. However, the Vatican Museum is way better. The museum has multiple galleries of classical and renaissance art. Make sure to either have an audio guide or go with a tour as you will not learn anything about the history if you do not. You could easily spend hours here because the art is amazing and there is too much to see.
Gardens of Vatican City-- SEE (If weather permits)
The Gardens of Vatican City date back to the 13th century, Here you will see renaissance and baroque sculptures and fountains amongst winding pathways.
Sistine Chapel-- SEE
The Sistine Chapel is absolutely amazing. When visiting the chapel make sure you are very quiet and do not take any pictures, unless you want to get yelled at. Michaelangelo's artwork is the most stunning art I have ever seen. I literally sat in there for 30minutes just looking at the ceiling and walls,
Via della Conciliazione-- SKIP
Via della Conciliazione is a road that actually take you straight to Castel Sant'Angelo from St.Peter's Square. This street is lined with cafes and some religious shops. I wouldn't hang about here, just use the street as a walk through.
DAY SIX-- HISTORICAL CENTRE
Ponte Vittorio Emanuele II-- GO
Before going to Castel Sant'Angelo take photos from this bridge for the best scenic views!
Castel Sant'Angelo-- GO
The only reason I ended up going to Castel Sant'Angelo was because of my disappointment of not being able to climb St.Peter's Basilica. I'm actually glad this happened because I never would have come to this gem. The Castle is amazing and is rich in history. It was once a mausoleum then turned into a prison, then fortress and now museum. There is even a restaurant with amazing views of Rome!
Walk along the River Tiber-- GO (if you are in the area)
While in Rome, I walked most places that were under 4km. Most days the weather was nice enough to allow me to do a lot of walking. Just walking around Rome you see so many beautiful sights. Walking along the river had a lot of beauty, like older buildings with beautiful architecture.
Piazza di Spagna-- GO
Piazza di Spagna is a great place to walk around or shop. Home to the iconic Spanish Steps, this square is full of high end shops. Here you can also watch street performers or buy art. The restaurants and cafes in the area make a great place to rest from shopping or climbing the steps.
Spanish Steps-- GO
The Spanish Steps are very famous in Rome. I'm actually not sure why. Sure, they are an interesting shape and have the Trinitia dei Monti sitting atop. However, they are just stairs. Do not spend to much time here, just take a few pictures of the stairs. If you want, climb the stairs and visit the church at the top. There is also an interesting ship-like fountain at it's base.
Piazza del Popolo-- GO
This plaza is a great place to just sit and relax. It's quite a big square with beautiful sculptures. It's not as crowded as some of the other plazas, so it's worth a visit.
DAY SEVEN-- WALK AIMLESSLY
On the last day of your trip to Rome I would suggest just walking around aimlessly. A lot of the times you will end up finding something you never knew existed. Getting lost is a great way to stumble across new places.
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