Rome is stuffed full of famous landmarks, iconic buildings, and must-see attractions. It needs time dedicated to exploring its quaint streets and appreciating its many layers. However, it can be done in 48 hours!
Spend an Evening in Vatican City
If you’re not too fussed about going into the Vatican, this is a great alternative. From dusk, this whole area is lit up beautifully and there are many wonderful buildings, fountains, and statues that you can see for free. It’s less crowded during this time too so you should be able to get some stunning photos!
Whilst it’s common knowledge that restaurants in the immediate vicinity will most likely be expensive, if you stroll east towards the river, you’ll find plenty of little places that offer authentic, freshly-cooked food at pocket-friendly prices.
You can also find restaurants that offer a set menu; pizza or lasagne, a glass of wine, plus a dessert or espresso for around €10 per person. After dinner, continue east and cross the river to the Ponte rione. In this area you’ll find beautiful piazzas and lively bars; just watch the prices!
Spend a Day Walking your Legs Off
You need to dedicate a whole day to walking around and just seeing as much as you can! Start at the Spanish Steps but don’t miss the opportunity to have a look around the little side streets too; they’re crammed full of shops and cafés!
Drinks and snacks are pricey but if you don’t mind parting with your money, you can get delicious coffee and cake to set you up for the day!
After you’ve marvelled at the Spanish Steps, head west onto Via del Corso. This street (and the little streets off it) are brimming with designer stores and are frequented by well-dressed Italians flinging their arms about as they yell sexy nonsense into their phones.
Head south until you’re parallel with the Trevi Fountain; this is a must-see! Obviously, it’s going to be very busy, but persevere with the crowds until you get to the front. The sides seemed to be more accessible and we were able to sit on the side and throw our coins in!
At the bottom of Via del Corso you’ll find Piazza Venezia which is well worth a few photos. Then gather your bearings and head for the Colosseum; as you face the piazza, take the left route around it and you should see the Colosseum infront of you! As you make your way towards it, be sure to take in the ruins on either side of Via dei Fori Imperiali.
The Colosseum is breath-taking! It’s something that most people have seen countless times in pictures or on the TV, so to see it in real-life is a treat. If you don’t want to actually go in, you can still get some great photos. With the side of the Colosseum directly on your right, head up the steps on the opposite side of the road. This will give you a high vantage point for some great photos!
The evening would be well-spent in the Trastevere area, which is directly west of the Colosseum and on the other side of the river. It’s packed full of restaurants, bars, shops, and pretty side streets.
It might sound obvious but when you want to stop and have something to eat, avoid the restaurants directly next to main attractions. Instead, head a bit further away or down a side street.
The best places will be fairly busy and will have Italians eating there. If you’re not sure, ask to see a menu and whilst you have a look, listen out to see who the clientele are.
Pizza and pasta shouldn’t cost more than €7-8 per dish and wine €3-4 per glass. Beer and coffee tend to be more expensive, averaging at €5-6, although I’m sure it can be found for less.
Spend a Morning Near the Pantheon
Start at the Spanish Steps again, but take the route on the other side of Via del Corso so that you can see the Pantheon and the gorgeous piazzas.
This area is full of life, and you’re likely to hear beautiful street music, see amazing street performances, and get wonderfully lost in the cute side streets.
And don’t forget to eat ice-cream! There are lots and lots of places selling real Italian gelato so make sure you get some. A mid-sized cornetto or tub costs €2.50 and you can have as many flavours of ice-cream as you want.
And that’s it – Rome in 48 hours!