top of page
  • Writer's pictureWandering Eli

Discovering Rome: The Ultimate 48-Hour Itinerary for Top Attractions

Updated: Feb 26

Welcome to the 'Eternal City'! If you find yourself with only a couple of days to explore Rome - you're in the right place! Here you'll find the perfect Rome Itinerary with the top attractions for your trip. Rome is like a Pandora's box, with its ancient streets and monuments revealing treasures of history, art, and culture with every step you take. While fully exploring the city would ideally require at least 4-7 days, even with limited time, you can still get a taste of its magic! During my last trip to Rome, I spent two days there, though brief, I managed to see quite a lot!


In this post I'll guide you through how to make the most of your time in the 'Eternal City'. I've covered all the essentials for your unforgettable trip to Rome.


I've selected the best spots that you shouldn't miss. And because no visit is complete without experiencing its food, I'll also be sharing some restaurant recommendations to experience local food in another post, so make sure to check it out. Plus, I'll include hotel recommendations situated in the best areas, along with transportation tips to help you navigate Rome easily.


Must-See in Rome

• Fontana di Trevi

• Piazza di Spagna

• Pantheon

• Piazza Navona

• Trastevere

• Vatican City

• Colosseo

• Fori Imperiali

• Piazza Venezia


DAY 1:


  • Fontana di Trevi


Fontana di Trevi
Fontana di Trevi

For your first day in Rome, I absolutely recommend by starting your visit at the Trevi Fountain! The Trevi Fountain is the most famous fountain in the world and a true landmark of Rome. The best time to visit is early morning, around 8-9 am, when there are fewer crowds. However, be aware that this is an extremely popular place, so it will be busy at any time of the day. Nevertheless, during these early hours, you can fully enjoy its beauty with a bit less hustle and bustle.



Now, some information on the Trevi Fountain! It was built 262 years ago, commissioned by Pope Clement XII as part of a project to beautify the city's water sources. The sculptures carry a significant meaning, celebrating the power and abundance of water. The central sculpture, Oceanus, the god of the sea, represents the sea and its vastness, while the two horses represent the wildness of the sea. The Fountain is truly breathtaking.


By the way, remember to bring some coins with you! Legend has it that tossing a coin into the fountain over your shoulder ensures good luck and guarantees your return to the Eternal City.


  • Piazza di Spagna


Piazza di Spagna
Piazza di Spagna

The second destination I recommend visiting is Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps Square). If you've already visited the Trevi Fountain, this will be on the opposite side of your next destination. So, you should consider your preferred order of visits. However. I still recommend following this itinerary, as visiting the Fountain early in the morning offers the best chance to encounter fewer crowd. Plus, is not too far to walk from one place to the another. Piazza di Spagna is about 8 minutes by foot from Fontana di Trevi, and there is a subway station right next to the square, making it extremely easy to access other locations from here.


You won't find a time of the day when it's not busy, but even amidst the crowds, it's a beautiful place to see! At the top of the Spanish Steps is the Church of Trinità dei Monti. The Barcaccia Fountain at the center of the square was constructed by Pietro Bernini, the father of Gian Lorenzo Bernini. Surrounding the square and its alleys are designer stores, restaurants, and cafes. The vibe here is really nice.


  • Pantheon



You can easily walk from Piazza di Spagna to the Pantheon as it's only a 15-minutes stroll away.


The Pantheon, constructed almost 2000 years ago, stands as one of the oldest, if not the oldest, buildings still in use today. Originally an ancient temple, its exterior is stunning, and its interior is even more impressive. As soon as you enter you'll find a majestic rotunda illuminated by a circular opening at the dome's center. Today, the Pantheon serves as a church, and remains a highly popular attraction.


You can purchase entry tickets here.


Opening hours: - Every day: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm (last entry: 30 minutes before closing time)

  • Piazza Navona


After exploring the wonders of the Pantheon, your next stop is the picturesque Piazza Navona, just a short walk away. The square is renowned for its Baroque-style architecture and beautiful fountains. It's a must-see attraction, surrounded by restaurants and cafes.


  • Trastevere


Trastevere
Trastevere

Once you've soaked in the beauty of Piazza Navona, make your way to Trastevere, where charming alleys and historical landmarks await. By following the itinerary so far, you'll likely arrive in Trastevere during the early afternoon. I highly recommend spending an afternoon and evening here as there is a much to see and experience. Some of the must-visit places include: - Ponte Sisto - Piazza Trilussa - Piazza di Santa Maria in Trastevere - The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere - The Basilica of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere - Villa Farnesina (be sure to check tickets and opening hours in advance on the Villa Farnesina official website) - Tiber Island


While it might be impossible to visit all the places in one afternoon, it's worth exploring some of them! Additionally, the charming alleys in Trastevere are filled with small traditional restaurants and cafes, making it the perfect place to enjoy and immerse yourself in the local atmosphere.



DAY 2


The first attraction I recommend for the second day is:


  • Vatican City



Experience the perfect fusion of architecture, art, religion, and spirituality at Vatican City. Saint Peter's Square, Saint Peter's Basilica, the Vatican Museums, home to Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, are just some of the must-see wonders in Vatican City. From the breathtaking paintings on the ceilings to the beautiful sculptures and architecture, every corner unveils a treasure. I remember visiting the Museums when I was young, with no interest in art, yet I was amazed by the beauty.


Tips for visiting: to explore the Vatican Museums you'll need to purchase a ticket online. You can find tickets here. There are various options available, including combined tickets with access to the Colosseum. Keep in mind that even with skip-the-line access, it will still take a few hours to see everything.


Vatican Museums opening hours: - Monday to Saturday: 8:00 am - 7:00 pm (last entry at 5:00 pm)

- Last Sunday of the month: 9:00 am - 2:00 pm (last entry at 12:30 pm) → Free entry

- *Starting from March 1, 2024: Fridays and Saturdays will have extended hours until 8:00 pm (last entry at 6:00 pm)


  • Colosseo


Have you truly been to Rome if you haven't been at the Colosseum?



After exploring Vatican City, continue your journey to the Colosseum, an ancient marvel representing the grandeur of Rome. I absolutely recommend visiting the Colosseum both during the day and night. The good thing is that all the rest of the attractions are nearby, so you'll have plenty of time to see it.


The ancient amphitheater built during the Roman Empire. It goes back to AD 70-72, commissioned by Emperor Vespasian. This stunning structure was used for public spectacles, contests, animal hunts and theatrical performances. Today it's still standing and it's still beautiful!


If you're planning to visit the inside of the Colosseum, don't forget to buy a ticket in advance, especially if you're planning to visit during high season! Check out tickets here.


Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine opening hours: - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm until February 29, 2024

- 8:30 am to 5:30 pm from 1st to 30th of March 2024

- 8:30 am to 7:15 pm from 31th of March to September 2024

*Last entry is always 1 hour before closing time


  • Fori Imperiali



Right next to to Colosseum, you'll encounter the vast ruins of the Imperial Forum. Step back in time as you explore this monumental architectural complex, a testament to ancient Rome's rich history. Comprising grand buildings and expansive squares, these forums were once bustling hubs of political activity at the heart of the ancient world.


  • Piazza Venezia

Piazza Venezia
Piazza Venezia

The final destination is for your trip is Piazza Venezia, a vast urban square in proximity of the Colosseum and the Imperial Forum. You can climb the stairs of the Palace and visit inside. Palazzo Venezia is also a national museum.


For tickets, I recommended to purchase them on the website: VIVE Vittoriano e Palazzo Venezia.


Opening hours: - Monday to Sunday: 9:30 am to 7:30 pm (last entry at 6:45 pm)


- - -


Before wrapping up your day, be sure to witness the Colosseum illuminated at night. Against the darkening sky, it gives a breathtaking sight you won't want to miss.


Stay tuned for the upcoming post on the best places to eat, sleep, and get around in Rome!



!!!


**Always check the official websites for accurate information and opening hours before purchasing tickets**


32 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page