As the proud Italians say of their homeland: "Roma, non basta una vita". In other words, a lifetime is not enough to get to know the Eternal City. 24 hours will only be enough to whet your appetite and as a first contact with the Italian capital. After this first crush, you will be left wanting much more!
Are you organizing your trip to Rome and don't know where to start? In this 1-day guide I help you plan your route through the city, take you on a tour of the Rome of postcards and movies and give you some gastronomic tips to help you make the most of your time and get the most out of it. Here we go!
1. Breakfast like a champ in Rome
Buongiorno, principessa! As the saying goes, "the early bird catches the worm." Get up early to enjoy the dolce far niente (the pleasure of doing nothing) with one of those breakfasts that will knock your socks off. There is no better pleasure on vacation than contemplating the best panoramic views of Rome with a cappuccino, and something else, in your hand. I tell you from experience!
Option 1: Dagnino Patisserie: the sweetest option
If you have a sweet tooth, you'll love the Sicilian pastry shop Dagnino, located near Piazza Repubblica and the oldest of its kind in Rome. Opened in 1955, its owners have kept the atmosphere and charm of the place intact as the years have not passed.
In addition to its delicious desserts, the iconic space is worth a visit. In the cafeteria lounge you can admire the paintings and carved wooden figures of women representing the cities of Sicily. Its shop windows, filled with cakes and other succulent delights, also host exhibitions of contemporary art.
Option 2: breakfast in the cafe of an architectural jewel
For foodies and savory lovers, the Chiostro del Bramante café offers, in addition to traditional breakfasts with brownies, muffins, homemade cheesecake with chestnuts (especially in the Roman autumn) and fresh juices, a brunch with a breathtaking view of the cloister. Yes, you read that right. This is the cafe of a former convent of Renaissance architecture converted into an exhibition hall today, combining the classic with the modern.
After recharging your batteries with lunch, you can visit its brand new exhibitions, some as significant as the one dedicated to Banksy, one of the greatest exponents of street art. Enjoy your artistic and culinary pleasure!
2. Take an early morning tour of the Colosseum and the Roman Forum.
After an early start and a good caffeine shot in one of these places, the best is yet to come! Head to the Colosseum, the most majestic and monumental building in the city, to learn about the history of ancient Rome on one of the many guided tours you can book.
Any advice? Buy your tickets well in advance
Did you know that until the twentieth century no building in the world exceeded the capacity of the Colosseum? This and other anecdotes you will discover through the eyes of an expert guide who will accompany you throughout your tour if you book a tour. I recommend that you buy tickets to the Colosseum well in advance, as it is one of the seven wonders of the modern world and is usually crowded with tourists. The queues are miles long!
On the guided tour you will discover that the amphitheater was created to give the people "bread and circuses", and above all, a lot of circus, as it was intended to host the bloody games used by the emperors to entertain the plebs. In this space you could see the spectacle of animal fighting and gladiatorial games, which according to the myth ended with the death of the vanquished.
Useful information about the Colosseum
In this article I detail the opening hours of the Colosseum, how to get discounts and cheap tickets to the Colosseum, how to visit the Colosseum with children and give you some tips for visiting the colossal monument so you do not worry about anything.
3. Cross Via dei Fori Imperiali to the Vittorio Emmanuele monument
After your visit to the Colosseum, cross Via dei Fori Imperiali, one of the main streets of the historic center, until you reach the imposing classical marble temple dedicated to Vittorio Emmanuele. This is one of Rome's finest monuments, which was built in an ancient medieval quarter in honor of the king of Italy and the soldiers of World War I.
Next to the central monument in honor of Victor Emmanuel II is also a tomb with an "eternal flame" commemorating the soldiers who died and could not be identified after the Great War. It will make your hair stand on end! The goal is to ensure that history never repeats itself.
4. Toss the traditional coin at the Trevi Fountain
Come to the Trevi Fountain, probably the best fountain in Rome and one of the most famous and famous in the world. After taking a selfie and tossing the obligatory coin (or don't you want to come back a second time?) contemplate this baroque masterpiece for a few minutes. You will be spellbound!
This enclave was one of the sets of the movie 'La Dolce Vita', in which the sensual protagonist took a bath. Who could, right? Well, don't even think of doing it because you will pay a fine of 500 € for the luxury dip. In this case, you'll have to settle for observing the artistic ensemble designed by Nicola Salvi and the monumental statue of Neptune from afar.
Nuria's Traveller Tip
If you have time, I suggest you go back to the Trevi Fountain at night for a second time, which is the time of day when, thanks to the lighting, it looks most majestic.
5. Enjoy a good traditional pasta, you deserve it!
After you've been walking around all morning, take a break, which in the Italian capital is synonymous with pasta and pizza. Want to know where the Romans eat without breaking the bank? Trust me. A few steps from the Trevi Fountain, in a narrow alley you will find a small, rustic and cozy restaurant, L'Archetto, which has a menu with... 100 different types of pasta!
In its menu you will find classic dishes such as spaghetti with clams, carbonara, cacio e pepe (cheese and pepper), amatriciana, with salmon... Which is the best? If you can't decide on just one pasta, I suggest you order the tasting that they offer with three different types of spaghetti with sauce.
After having refueled, for less than 15 euros (a dish and drink) in the heart of Rome, we continue with the exciting walk through the Eternal City.
6. Visit the Pantheon, an architectural jewel
To wash down the binge, we walk a bit (about 8 minutes from the Trevi Fountain) to reach the Pantheon in Rome, one of the greatest architectural achievements of ancient Rome, so much so that it has been standing for almost 2,000 years. So much so that it has been standing for almost 2,000 years, its impressive eight-column portico welcomes us!
This symbolic temple holds some of the best secrets of the Eternal City. I'll reveal one. Raphael, one of the great painters of the Renaissance, is buried there. Its impressive dome is well worth a visit.
How can you get tickets?
Since it is a place of religious worship, admission is free and from Monday to Friday you won't need a reservation. However, on holidays and weekends you will need to book at least one day in advance. In this article I detail everything you need to know before visiting.
7. Keep walking until you reach the famous Piazza Navona
Piazza Navona, in the heart of the Eternal City, reinvents the phrase "all roads lead to Rome" because all roads lead to Piazza Navona. Don't miss **Bernini'**s beautiful fountain, which depicts the Ganges, the Nile, the Danube and the Rio de la Plata.
8. Take a short break for an ice cream
One of the reasons Audrey Hepburn fell in love with Rome was its ice cream. And she had every reason. After this intense day of sightseeing, I advise you to stop at Don Nino to taste one of the best ice creams in Rome and in the world. They are delicious!
Its owner, Francesco Mastroianni, has been five times Italian champion of ice cream. A passion he has inherited from his father and grandfather. Try some of his specialties, such as the pistachio ice cream and the hand-roasted Langhe hazelnut. Your mouth will be watering!
9. Take the bus to the Vatican
The day is coming to an end, but one of the jewels of the Eternal City remains: the Vatican, home to the impressive Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Dome, the Basilica and the imposing square with Bernini's colonnade. Make the most of your time because it is the largest temple in the world, and you will not have enough days to see it all!
But don't worry because here are some tips for visiting the Vatican, so you can see as much as possible and not die trying. In this article I also explain how to get cheap tickets to the Vatican, free or at a discount. Particularly, my favorite option is to take a guided tour of the Vatican with an expert guide. You are in front of one of the greatest architectural masterpieces, you can't miss a single detail!
10. End a magical day with dinner in Trastevere - Chao Roma!
If you want to say goodbye to Rome in style by enjoying a pleasant evening in the Trastevere neighborhood at night, I suggest you book a table at the Antica Pesa, a Michelin-starred restaurant located in a former 17th century customs post, from which it derives its name. It has a spectacular garden from which to watch the sunset or the moonlight on starry summer nights in Rome!
This family restaurant, which has been run by four generations of the Panella family since 1922, reworks traditional Roman recipes and uses locally sourced seasonal produce, with a nod to modern trends. Its dining room, filled with works of art, has seated actors of the stature of Leonardo di Caprio.
Latest practical tips
Surely your day in the Eternal City has left you wanting more. Don't worry because you can always come back to Rome. For now, here are a couple of tips that can help you make the most of your stay by saving time on transportation or at lunchtime.
Some gastronomic suggestions
If you love to eat and prefer something economical, here is a brief culinary guide to Trastevere for all budgets, where you will find numerous restaurants and bars where you can try some of the best Italian specialties. I guarantee that in the Eternal City, you won't go hungry!
How late is the metro?
If you have the plane back early in the morning, take the last metro in Rome at 11:30 pm on weekdays and on Fridays and Saturdays until 1:30 am; if, on the other hand, you want to let yourself be carried away by the fun Roman night and have a drink afterwards, I suggest you take a cab. They are a bit more expensive than in Spain, but don't worry, because they are not prohibitively expensive.