There’s no way that just a weekend in the Eternal City (Rome) could ever be enough time to full grasp the array of culture, history, art and of course Italian food that Rome holds. But I’ll try my best below to give you a weekend itinerary for Italy’s bustling capital which will leave you with a full heart and a full belly in just 48 hours. This is ‘How to make the most of Rome in 48 hours or weekend’.
Flying in: Rome has two major airports Fiumicino and Ciampino both of which are easily accessed by the city’s fantastic and very affordable metro system. I recommend staying within the city’s historic central district for ease of access to the sites. However if you want to save some $$$ that would be better spent on pizza and wine, as long as you are within walking distance of a metro station, you won’t have any problems getting from A to B within the city limits at an inexpensive cost. You can get 24/48 and 72 hour Metrebus passes which will allow you unlimited travel on the network of trains and buses through the capital and for fewer than 20 Euros. Note the airport line is an extra ticket as with most cities around the world. Remember to validate your ticket inside the bus doors or near the turnstiles for the metro. No one wants an unexpected fine from a ticket inspector to ruin their weekend adventure!
Rise and shine. No sleeping in here, a weekend in Rome is not nearly enough time to see and do everything but you can sleep when you’re dead because right now you want to maximise every hour you have in this wonderful city!
Grab a cappuccino and cannoli on your way to the trusty metro station because today you’re headed to the smallest country in the world…Vatican City. As with anything in Europe, pre-book your tickets! The lines for the Vatican can be ridiculous; we’re talking out the gates of the city and around the corner. I’m sure you’ve all read about them if you’ve ever been on a Tripadvisor forum for Rome! By pre-booking your time ticket you will by pass a significant amount of the line and get so much more out of your visit. I would personally recommend booking a guided tour ticket which combines access to the museums including the famous Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. You could easily lose a whole day wandering through the endless Vatican museums so having someone who can point out what you should be looking at and what you need to know as well as getting you through in half the time is invaluable for anyone who has limited time to spend. Your tour will conclude within St. Peters Basilica which is a bonus of the guided tour and those who purchase separate tickets have to exit the museums and line up again for security to enter the basilica. Make sure you also grab a ticket to climb to the top of the Dome; it costs under 10 Euros and provides excellent views which are actually a highlight of a trip to Rome. Please remember this is a religious site so you’ll need to cover up shoulders and knees, be respectful and once again limit the size of the bag you are carrying with you.
Jump back on the metro and head over to Spagna station. Take the time now to have some lunch and get your walking shoes ready. From here you’ll head over to your next stop, the Spanish Steps. Take a walk right to the top, have a seat, take in the passing parade and appreciate just how blessed you are to be experiencing this wonderful city.
It’s time now to wander in a south west direction. I recommend using the maps.me app offline mode on your mobile for this next portion just in case you can’t appreciate getting slightly lost in a foreign city. Take a stroll down Via dei Condotti with its boutiques and big name fashion stores and over the next few hours wander your way to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and finally to Piazza Navona. Be sure to grab a gelato while you’re in this area as there are so many to choose from all which different flavours, each one better than the next!
Familiarize yourself with the area. Take the chance now to head back to your accommodation, freshen up and rest before heading out later for dinner. Head back to Piazza Navona area for dinner…think pasta, pizza, risotto and more. This area has a vast array of nightlife so enjoy a few drinks after dinner while taking in how beautiful the area is within the night light. After dinner why not take a stroll along the Tiber and gaze at the sparkling lights of Rome or retrace your earlier steps and enjoy the beautiful Trevi Fountain lit up at night.
Another early day today and once again take advantage of pre-booking your tickets. Why waste time in lines when for most attractions you can pay the same price or a few euros more to book ahead of time and skip the lines! For this trip grab a combined Colosseum/Palatino and Roman Forum pass and we’ll start off the day with an early visit to the Colosseum. You’ll get the best pictures earlier in the morning before the hoards of bus tours begin to arrive and not to mention the lighting will be less harsh for your pictures. For an extra few Euro be sure to grab an audio guide so that you can really get a better understanding of the fascinating history that has happened within the tattered walls. Arrive up to half an hour before your entry time to clear security and be sure to only take a small bag as this is one of the few sites around Italy that do not have cloak facilities and strict rules on taking in baggage.
After you’ve wandered around the Colosseum and taken a selfie or twenty, it’s time to walk across the road to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. You’ll want to spend a few hours between the sites, really taking a trip back to Ancient Rome.
Now that you’ve walked up at appetite, rest your feet on the metro and head to the Trastevere region well known for its many shops and cafes. Take full advantage of this chance to eat even more pizza and pasta and follow it up with gelato of course!
Now that you’ve refueled, take the afternoon to throw in an extra site or two of your choosing if you aren’t too tired. Below are a few recommendations:
La Bocca Della Verita (Mouth of Truth)
Catacombs of Rome
Villa Borghese Gardens
Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore
Take a late afternoon or evening flight out of the eternal city and wisely use your time on the trip to home to plan when you’ll be back again to see what else Rome has to offer you.
I hope you enjoyed reading my post about how to make the most of Rome in 48 hours or over a weekend. If you have any tips or advice for a weekend in Rome, or just want to brag about how much gelato, pizza and pasta you ate I’d love for you to share in the comment section below. Safe travels Xx Flick.