The same way as all the roads lead to Rome, all travel blogs should have at least one article dedicated to the legendary capital of Italy. Because I think there is no traveler who doesn’t want to visit, at least once, the eternal city of Rome.
To stroll the streets that abound in history and to taste the feeling of La Dolce Vita. To visit Rome in a day, at least, is definitely on everyone’s bucket list!
Rome has all the features of a place that you can explore for a lifetime, but we got no time for that. Sometimes, our time is limited to one day in which we have to make sure we get to taste as much as possible from all the beauty of the destination that we are visiting. In this case, the plan for Rome is strict and very well thought out in advance.
So we can make space, in only a few hours, for all that this grandiose capital means. Rich history, precious architecture, delicious gastronomy, a collection of splendid fountains, Rome has it all! Therefore, I have made a little Rome guide to help you on your next trip to Rome.
What to visit in Rome in a day – Rome itinerary
Visit the Colosseum
In order to make sure you won’t miss the symbol of Rome and you won’t wait in a big queue around lunchtime, start your day in Rome with a visit to the Colosseum. The largest ancient amphitheater opens its gates every day at 8.30 am. And I suggest you be present right from the beginning of your day in Rome.
The Colosseum can successfully compete with the largest stadiums in the world, having a capacity of 50 000 spectators. Although 2000 years old, the construction it’s still very well maintained. I will stop here with the description because my words are useless and you have to see it yourself. This huge monument in the heart of Rome will be the highlight of your day in Rome.
⇒ Find all: hotels in Rome.
Walk through the ruins at the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
Next on your Rome itinerary are the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. Not only that they are situated next to each other, but you only need to pay 12 Euros in order to visit both the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. A cliche or not, here you will really feel that you are in an open-air museum. You will feel that you are in Rome!
And that is because you can freely explore the most important governmental buildings from ancient Rome, statues, temples, and basilicas. Or, what is left of them. Most of them are ruins, but a few are very well kept still right in the heart of Rome.
Like the Temple of Saturn, Maxentius Basilica or Temple of Romulus. Besides the history lessons that you will receive at the Roman Forum, the Palatine Hill will offer you some of the best views of Rome.
⇒ Also read: One day in beautiful Florence, Italy.
Admire Altare della Patria
From all the sepia landscapes in Rome, you will surely notice an immaculate white building. So white that it looks like it was recently built, although it’s more than a century old. This is the Altare della Patria, an imposing monument of Rome, built in honor of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first king of unified Italy.
Responsible for the controversial monument that makes the discordant note in Rome is the architect Giuseppe Saponi. He chose the neoclassical style with eclectic influences that dominates the skyline of Rome.
Next on your day in Rome in the Traian Column. Near Altare della Patria, you will see a 40-meter high column, decorated with a lot of illustrations that show scenes from the wars between the Dacians and the Romans.
The column is dedicated to Emperor Trajan, who appears in no less than 60 times in the spiral of time. The monument dates from 113 and is one of Rome’s emblems that you should not miss when you visit Rome in a day.
Discover the Church of San Marcello of Corso
Almost any Rome itinerary will send you to the Vatican, even though you have only one day to explore it. I believe that one day in Rome is not enough to venture into the little state, so I’m gonna give you an alternative to that. Visit San Marcello al Corso church instead, a very pleasant surprise, situated super close to Piazza Venezia.
Although looking from the outside does not seem, the interior is gorgeous. Therefore, I would add it to the list of the best things to visit in Rome.
The interior paintings are gorgeous, and the decor elements are extremely well and beautifully crafted. My favorite feature is the ceiling, with golden and blue accents. The original church burned after a devastating fire in the 16th century and the only object saved is the wooden cross that you can still admire inside the church.
For this reason, it is considered to be miraculous. As the name says it, the church is dedicated to Pope Marcellus I.
⇒ Also read: The most beautiful places on the Amalfi Coast.
Go window shopping in the Alberto Sordi Gallery
Even if Milan, and not Rome, is considered the capital of fashion, a shopping session won’t hurt anyone. Or better a window shopping session in one of the most beautiful and famous galleries in the capital of Italy. The Alberto Sordi shopping center is located on Via del Corso, very close to Fontana di Trevi and is around 100 years old.
It is an imposing building, built in the unmistakable Art Nouveau style, formerly known as the Colonna Gallery. The name was changed in 2003, taking its name from the great Italian actor Alberto Sordi, after his death occurred that year. You won’t regret adding it to you one day in Rome itinerary!
Throw the coin in Fontana di Trevi
This is probably one of the most loved attractions of Rome. Therefore, you must add it to your one day in Rome itinerary.
Even if I placed Fontana di Trevi among the last sights to visit in Rome in a day, maybe it would be a good idea to arrive here right after sunrise. Only this way you will have the opportunity to admire the fascinating fountain without several hundred souls around.
At any time of the day, Fontana di Trevi is suffocated by tourists. So much that you won’t even have enough space to throw the coin to make sure you get back to Rome, according to the famous superstition.
A superstition that cumulates the incredible amount of 3000 € each day from the bottom of the water. Money is used for charitable purposes, so we can only rejoice that tourists keep the tradition alive.
The Fontana di Trevi was built in the 18th century from the same material as the Colosseum, the travertine. Due to its obvious beauty, it has been used many times in cinematic productions filmed in Rome.
The most memorable is La Dolce Vita. It would have been a shame to have only one Fontana di Trevi in the world, so an identical one, but not as authentic, is in Las Vegas. Of course, no copy will ever beat the authentic fountain in Rome.
⇒ Find all: hotels in Rome.
Take a break on the Spanish Steps
Before reaching the last goal, take a short or long well-deserved break to enjoy a gelato. There are many ice cream shops in downtown Rome, so you have many options. Then retreat to the Spanish Steps, the famous 136 steps between Piazza di Spagna and Trinità Dei Monti.
It’s a very popular place, so you have to expect an avalanche of tourists, but the atmosphere is very pleasant. It’s one of the most famous places in Rome.
Visit the Pantheon
It’s now time to walk another few minutes to Piazza della Rotonda. Where you will admire the grandiose Pantheon. And when I assign this term I do not exaggerate at all. The two-millennium old building looks spectacular and is kept almost intact for its age. A must-see in Rome!
The Pantheon was commissioned by Emperor Hadrian and the one who made the project is the very well known architect Apolodor of Damascus.
The Pantheon is the best-preserved building with such an old age and among the very few who have preserved their original roof. In its case, an impressive dome of 43 meters in diameter with a hole in the center, called the Pantheon’s eye.
How to get to Rome
Rome has two international airports, Ciampino (CIA) and Fiumicino (FCO). From both you can easily reach the city by bus, train or taxi. I recommend that you use the https://www.rome2rio.com site to get from one point to another.
Hotels in Rome
If you need to stay overnight, in Rome you can find hotels for every budget. The best areas to stay are Piazza Navona and Piazza Venezia ⇒ Find the best hotels in Rome here.