Here’s how to see all that Rome has to offer in just 24 hours.
It is true; Rome wasn’t built in a day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see all the best that Rome has to offer – even if you only have 24 hours to spare.
Even if your stay is short, there are a few must-see places for which Rome is famous. One of the most well known is Vatican City. As the smallest internationally recognised independent state in the world, it houses both St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. Both of these structures are breathtakingly beautiful. A spiritual stillness washes over the hundreds of tourists as they wander through these thousand-year-old buildings, spreading calmness in the bustling city of Rome. We visited in winter, the low season, and could walk right in; however, I have heard this is definitely not the case in the high season so be prepared to wait if that’s when you choose to visit.
Another Roman attraction, which is hard not to miss, is the Colosseum. Once you have walked through, you will understand why it is considered one of the greatest works of Roman architecture and engineering. Its rich history has seen gladiator contests, public executions and animal hunts. It stopped being used for entertainment in the early medieval era and was later re-used for such purposes as housing, workshops, markets and, even, a fortress. Again, I would pre-book to avoid queues, especially in the high season.
Italy is known for its delicious cuisine, and you are definitely spoilt for choice when you dine in this country. One helpful hint we received was never to choose a restaurant within 1km of a tourist attraction if you wanted local, authentic food. With this advice in mind, we stumbled across a great little prosciutto bar in Travestere called La Prosciutteria. It’s hard not to stop as you walk past this little bar with prosciutto hanging from the ceiling and a deli cabinet full of wonderful produce. The food was as tasty and fresh as it looked, and the friendly staff created a beautiful platter for us to enjoy along with their local wine, which was very easy to drink and good value for money.
A local with whom we were chatting suggested we try a little restaurant called Bucatino. A family run restaurant, it is situated on a quiet back street. The restaurant looked closed, however, we were quickly and warmly greeted by the owner with kisses and handshakes once they saw us peering in through the window. With limited English, he ushered us in, recommended his best pastas and supplied us with bibs. The food was simple but traditional and full of flavour. The walls of Bucatino were covered with funny décor and old photos from the past – and definitely made us feel that we were in the Rome of old.
As we were in Rome for only a whirlwind trip, we decided to stay at the Star Metropole. This hotel was reasonably priced, modern and clean. It was close to the train station (we travelled by train throughout the whole of Italy), the Colosseum, as well as great shops and restaurants. If we had stayed longer, I would’ve liked to have stayed in the suburb of Trastevere. This area was probably the prettiest suburb we saw, and had cobbled laneways, little bars and beautiful old apartments with washing hanging and flowers in pots on the balconies.
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