So, you want to visit Rome? There is so much to see here you will need at least 4 days just to scratch the surface.
Italy’s beautiful capital is home to ancient ruins, artistic masterpieces and the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.
We spent 4 nights in Rome when we visited Italy in April 2016. I fell in love with the city and am hoping for another visit in the future, fingers crossed!
Read on for our tried and tested itinerary of how to spend the perfect 4 days in Rome.
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THE PERFECT 4 DAY ROME ITINERARY
Try to get an early flight to maximise your time in the city. Once you land the quickest and simplest way to get into the city centre is to grab a taxi. This will cost around €50 but will save you the headache of trying to find your hotel once you get off the bus!
I’d recommend staying near Piazza Navona as this is brilliantly located for all the sites.
Settle into your hotel then head out to explore the Piazza. Piazza Navona is a large, bustling space lined with restaurants and cafes and featuring Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers.
Once you have enjoyed the atmosphere and grabbed some ice cream head off to find the Pantheon. Just a short walk away sits the incredible former roman temple, now a Catholic church. Apparently it is the most complete ancient building in Rome.
Entry is free and there are no queues, so just wander in and stare up at the oculus in the centre of the dome! You won’t be able to stop yourself!
Outside the Pantheon you can enjoy the Piazza della Rotonda which is home to another fountain, Fontana del Pantheon and a variety of restaurants and bars.
Your last stop of the day is the breath-taking Fontana di Trevi better known as the Trevi Fountain. A short 10-minute walk will bring you face to face with the largest Baroque fountain in the city.
Don’t expect to have the place to yourself it will be crowded (not an ideal place to propose IMHO, you know, just in case you were thinking about it!). Get down to the front and wait for a spot to come free to sit down. Make sure to throw a coin into the fountain while you are there.
Spend the rest of your day exploring the small cobbled streets, stumbling upon beautiful Piazzas and enjoying the amazing Italian food.
Today is a busy day so make sure you get an early start. Start the day off with an underground and third ring tour of the Colosseum.
You will need to book your tickets in advance here (you have to buy both an admission ticket and the tour tickets, tour tickets by themselves do not include admission).
This iconic amphitheatre in its day was home to gladiatorial combats and wild animal fights. This particular tour takes you behind the scenes, down to the underground chambers and to the third ring. From there you get amazing views of the entire building and surroundings.
The Forum was ancient Rome’s centre, home to temples, basilicas and public spaces. Now it lay in jumbled ruins. Your best bet is to purchase an audio tour for 7 euros to properly understand it.
The Forum and Palatine Hill covers a large area and if you stop at every audio point it will take you a good few hours if not a whole afternoon to get around.
You should take a break now and grab some lunch. Perhaps have a nap before heading over to Castel Sant’Angelo in the early evening.
The Fortress was originally built as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian. It has also served as a prison and a papal residence. There isn’t a whole lot to see in here so I’d just head straight for the roof to enjoy the views over the city.
Spend the rest of the evening enjoying dinner and drinks before another busy day.
Today head over into Vatican City, headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church and home to the pope.
Make sure to dress conservatively, legs and shoulders must be covered for entrance to the museums and church.
Just walk right to the front where you can go straight in at your designated time slot (although I don’t think they actually check the times).
Depending on your level of interest you could spend many hours wandering the museum. If you are mainly interested in seeing the Sistine Chapel follow the signs directly there.
Don’t spend too long though as your next stop is the beautiful St Peter’s Basilica. There are no skip the queue tickets available, don’t be fooled by the people on the street selling them. Everyone has to queue up and go through security first anyway.
The church is free to enter but first head over to the right and purchase tickets to climb to the top of the dome. The view from the top is simply spectacular, worth the long steep climb!
Once inside the church you won’t know where to look first. It is the largest and most spectacular basilica in Italy.
Inside you will find masterpieces such as Bernini’s baldacchino, a four-poster solid bronze canopy over the main altar standing 96 feet tall. You can also see Michelangelo’s Pieta, carved when he was just 24, protected behind bullet proof glass.
Once you have picked your jaw up off the floor, head back to your hotel for a rest and freshen up before dinner.
Your last day is much more relaxing. Take a stroll alongside the river up to the Piazza del Popolo, the ‘peoples square’.
To get an impressive view over the piazza and city itself climb the stairs on the east side of the square to Pincian Hill. Here you will find beautiful gardens to enjoy, part of the Villa Borghese.
Back down on the road just a short 10-minute walk away are the Spanish Steps. On the way, you will pass the Villa Medici.
The Spanish Steps connect the Trinita dei Monti with the Piazza di Spagna at the base.
There isn’t anything really remarkable about the steps themselves but the area immediately surrounding them is one of the most upmarket in Rome.
Opposite the base of the steps take a walk down the Via dei Condotti where you will find high end designer shops!
Spend the rest of the day wandering and getting lost in Rome’s beautiful streets. Unfortunately you have to head off home in the morning, but I’m sure you will be itching to come back!
What do you think of my 4 day Rome itinerary? Have you been? Let me know in the comments.
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