See Rome in a day

Here’s how to see all that Rome has to offer in just 24 hours.

See Rome in a day

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.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    14th Feb 2015
    Who would go to Rome for only 24 hours unless you had very poor time management skills?
    14th Feb 2015
    Agree Gra
    We were there for 3 days in September, and that was just enough time to give us taste for more.
    When you've spent that much coin to fly there (in our case it was starting point for a cruise) we thought it would sacrilegious to not spend a couple of days exploring Rome itself.
    So (being our first time in Europe) we organized a 3 day pre-cruise stay in Rome. NOT NEARLY LONG ENOUGH.
    There is so much to see and do. The history is so awesome that to gloss over anything without an in-depth tour is almost criminal.
    I want to go back for at least week, preferably two.

    Also, the same thing goes for each port on the cruise, but worse. You only get a couple of hours in each port, except in Venice where ship stayed overnight, giving us enough time to go on 2 tours, hours of exploration, and a late night gondola tour. Why can't the cruises go to half as many ports and stay 2 days (overnight) in each.

    Anyway, I digress. Back to the subject.
    There is absolutely NO WAY to see Rome in a day and come away with even the slightest feeling of satisfaction.
    14th Feb 2015
    PS. Don't bother with the Sistine Chapel. The ceiling looks like comic book art compered to the realism of the works in St Peter's. I thought this would be a highlight but it was my greatest disappointment of the whole trip. No wonder they won't let you take photo's of it.
    14th Feb 2015
    I woulld not even attempt to see Rome in a day good grief you wouldn't even see one street in a day.I spent 6 weeks in a little place in Canada years ago and could have happily stayed on.and on and on. I enjoyed it so much.
    20th Feb 2015
    YES, YOU CAN DO ROME IN ONE DAY: just walk around and you will see and enjoy plenty.
    Save yourself $$$ by eating in restaurants NOT on the main street/promenade but, few blocks back. Most important take an Italian crash course: just being able to seay few words and understanding the culture will take you a long way. Buona Fortuna!
    20th Feb 2015
    True, but you will miss a thousand times more.

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