Rome in a day
The City of the Seven Hills has many sides to it, and all of them are fascinating. There are marvels of Roman, medieval, Renaissance, Baroque and contemporary history at every turn. However, if you are short on time, you need a perfectly designed plan to help you make the most of your trip to the capital. This little article should suit you down to the ground! Use our step-by-step, minute-by-minute guide on how to see Rome in a day. Prepare to be amazed.
Itinerary day 1
St. Peter’s Basilica
The starting point of your tour is the smallest state in the world: Vatican City. On arrival you will be bowled over at the sight of the most famous sequence of columns in the world — Bernini’s colonnade. This magnificent piece of architecture welcomes you to the seat of Christianity; the monumental temple in which Bramante, Raphael and Michelangelo worked long and hard. The Sistine Chapel is an absolute must.
The long Piazza Navona is reminiscent of the ancient Stadium of Domitian that once stood on the site. Its three fountains (of the Four Rivers, of Neptune and of the Moor) add a touch of exquisite beauty that is only rivalled by the Baroque church of Sant’Agnese in the same square. The church’s concave façade was designed by Francesco Borromini.
Lunch at Il Pagliaccio
Seeing as you are on a lightning tour of the city, you should treat yourself and savour some of the delights prepared by Chef Anthony Genovese, who has been awarded 2 Michelin stars for his innovative fusion cuisine. Round off the perfect meal with a coffee at the traditional Sant’Eustachio café, where you can try what some consider to be the best espresso in Rome.
Close to the Piazza Navona you will discover this ancient temple that was converted into a Christian church in the 7th century. The impressive and imposing building boasts the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. The dome has a coffered ceiling, and at the very top there is an oculus that measures 9 metres in diameter and provides the only source of natural light. The enormous colums of the portico are made of Egyptian granite and underwent quite a journey to reach their destination.
A ten-minute walk will bring you to the most emblematic fountain in the Eternal City. The work of Nicola Salvi and Giuseppe Pannini, the Trevi Fountain is most striking for its size — especially given the dimensions of the square where it is located. This is the fountain Anita Ekberg bathed in in the iconic scene of La Dolce Vita.
The warm glow of terracotta-coloured walls, quaint cobbled streets and washing hanging casually between the buildings all helps to convey the friendly, laidback nature of this neighbourhood, considered one of the most magical areas of the city. There is no better way to end your visit to Rome than by strolling through the streets to Piazza di Santa Maria as the sun goes down.
Pizzeria Ai Marmi
The queue at this pizzeria in Trastevere (Viale di Trastevere, 53) may be long, but it is seriously worth the wait. Here pizzas are prepared in the authentic Roman style. With a thin, crispy base and using only natural ingredients, they are cooked in a wood-fired pizza oven and are really great value.