What to see in Rome in 4 days
Rome oozes history, grandeur and splendour, with majestic works of art at every turn. The sheer number of monuments concentrated in the City of the Seven Hills is truly overwhelming. With four days in Rome you have time to explore its main sights at a fairly leisurely place and discover some of its hidden secrets as well. With a bit of organisation to avoid the queues, you’ll find time is on your side. Follow our guide for the perfect itinerary that will ensure you don’t feel you’ve missed out. Get ready to explore Rome in four days!
Itinerary day 1
The starting point of your tour will be the Capitoline Hill, the smallest of Rome’s seven hills. The pretty Piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo, is a tourist attraction in its own right. As well as fabulous views of the Roman Forum, you will also find the Capitoline Museums here. Next to the square you can’t miss the colossal National Monument to Victor Emmanuel II.
Get ready to be transported back in time to Ancient Rome. There is nothing quite like walking among temples, arches and columns in the very streets that comprised the city centre in the times of the Roman empire. If you like, you can walk to the Circus Maximus, stopping off at the Bocca della Verità to put your hand into the mouth of the curious marble mask and discover whether there is any truth in the legend.
All that walking is bound to have given you an appetite. It’s now time to try some of the delicious cuisine Rome has to offer. Close to the Roman Forum, in Piazza Margana, you will find Vinando restaurant and wine shop, which offers meat, fish and pasta dishes.
This is the moment you’ve been waiting for! A visit to the magnificent feat of Roman architecture that is the Colosseum. To the east of the Roman Forum, this unrivalled amphitheatre is one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, where the infamous, brutal gladiator fights took place. Avoid the queues by buying your tickets online in advance.
It’s time to start winding down from your first day in the capital. Make your way to Rome’s most bohemian district to take a stroll through its streets. Relax and just absorb the essence of the place. We suggest you visit the Basilica di Santa Maria in Trastevere; take the weight off your feet in Piazza Trilussa while enjoying some live music; or walk up Gianicolo, considered to be Rome’s eighth hill, and from where you will be able to contemplate one of the most beautiful sunsets in the city.
This pizza restaurant serves delicious pizzas in the traditional style of Rome – baked in a wood-fired oven and with a thin, wonderfully crunchy crust. There is usually a queue for a table, but the wait is definitely worth it. Other interesting dining options in Trastevere are Carlomenta and Da Enzo al 29. Go for the full Italian experience by rounding off your evening with a delicious gelato at Fiordiluna.
Itinerary day 2
As you have several days in Rome, it is a good idea to dedicate one morning to the Vatican. If you want to avoid the queues, book your tickets online for the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Let Bernini’s Colonnade welcome you with open arms and lose yourself in Michelangelo’s bewitching frescoes. There is a whole universe of stellar art and architecture within your grasp.
Walk along the Via della Conciliazione to the most famous castle in Rome, next to the Tiber. It has borne witness to the almost the entire history of the city and is an iconic symbol for its citizens. The views from the top floor are a feast for the eyes.
Crossing the Sant’Angelo Bridge, you will once again be in the centre of Rome. Don’t miss this opportunity to try one of the best pizzas in the city. Da Baffetto is a small, friendly family-run restaurant that prepares incredible pizzas with a light, thin base. For dessert, pop into Frigidarium, an artisanal gelateria that blends ancient recipes with modern techniques.
Piazza Navona is one of the most beautiful squares in Rome. Its length and shape is reminiscent of the ancient Stadium of Domitian that once stood on the site. Stop and contemplate its three fountains, with the Fountain of the Four Rivers predominating, and marvel at the concave façade of the Church of Sant’Agnese designed by Borromini.
Your itinerary continues with the best-preserved example of Roman construction in existence. It is an outstanding example of the architectural capabilities of Ancient Rome. Its sublime dome was the source of inspiration for architects of such renown as Brunelleschi. The light that enters through the enormous oculus bathes the rotunda in a delicate glow.
Make your way to one of the liveliest areas of Rome, with a bustling market selling flowers and other products by day, and boasting inviting restaurant terraces by night. Today it is a meeting point for locals, but it has a grizzly history as the place where public executions were performed, and where Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600. The statue at the centre of the square pays homage to this Dominican Friar who dared to question Catholic doctrines.
Why not push the boat out a bit this holiday? Budget permitting, we highly recommend you book a table at Il Pagliaccio. Headed by Chef Anthony Genovese, the restaurant boasts 2 Michelin stars. You will be blown away by its fusion cuisine.
Itinerary day 3
Head out early to see this emblematic monument before the crowds arrive. It is one of the most incredible Baroque fountains in existence, and it was immortalised by Fellini in the famous scene of the film La dolce vita with Anita Ekberg. Toss a coin into the water to ensure you will return to Rome.
You can’t leave the Eternal City without visiting its most iconic basilicas and churches. Don’t miss: Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli, Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, the Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, and Basilica Santa Maria del Popolo.
After an intense day of sightseeing, you’ll need to recuperate some of that spent energy. Da Gino al Parlamento is a great restaurant nearby that is brimming with personality and is off the beaten track. This trattoria represents all that is wonderful about Rome’s cuisine.
Fancy a spot of shopping on one of Rome’s most glamourous streets? Via Condotti is a fashion paradise of elegant shops including Bulgari, Valentino, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Prada and Chanel. Take a break at Caffè Greco, the oldest cafe in the city. Opened in 1760, the establishment has counted such illustrious characters as Goethe and Lord Byron among its patrons.
Make the effort to climb the 135 Spanish steps to watch the sun go down over the rooftops – you won’t be disappointed. The Church of Trinità dei Monti will be behind you, and in front of you you’ll see the famous Fontana della Barcaccia.
After a long day of sightseeing, this small and cosy restaurant, located in a former grocer’s shop, is perfect for dinner or just some typical Roman antipasti.
Itinerary day 4
Four days in Rome means you have time to visit one of the most interesting catacombs in the city. The cemetery is located on the Via Appia Antica and was built in the 2nd century A.D. The network of galleries is 20 km long, and is located at a depth of 20 metres. Christian martyrs and devout believers lie here. A visit to the catacombs is a unique and fascinating experience.
Before returning to the city centre, take time to explore the Baths of Caracalla, an enormous complex of public baths dating back to Ancient Rome. Wander among the ruins and contemplate the beautiful mosaics that have remained intact over the centuries – you will be transported to another time. From here you can catch the 160 bus back to the centre. The journey takes less than half an hour.
Next to the Piazza Navona, you will find this modern restaurant that uses local produce and top-quality raw ingredients. The sublime dishes made with the very best seasonal ingredients will amaze you.
By this point you are probably looking to get away from the monuments teeming with tourists, and find a bit of peace. Villa Borghese is a green oasis at the heart of Rome. Apart from its famous park, it boasts a fabulous art collection. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and breathe in the tranquillity of manicured gardens and shimmering lakes. This is also where you will find the Borghese Gallery, a museum housing masterpieces by Bernini such as The Rape of Proserpina.
Looking for a special place to spend your last evening in the Eternal City? If you want an unforgettable romantic evening, look no further than the restaurant and wine shop Enoteca La Torre. With one Michelin star, the elegant restaurant is one of the most lauded in Rome.