48 Hours In Rome
Rome is the bustling heart of Italy. A modern capital in every sense of the word, if you are planning a short break then Rome is an ideal choice of destination.
Whether you want a romantic weekend getaway or if Rome has been on your "must visit" list for a while. There is an old saying "Roma non-fu fatta in un giorno" which means Rome wasn't built in a day, the same ethos goes for travel; You can't explore all of Rome in a weekend. It's like the city was art directed, it's one stunning sight after another, everywhere you turn. One could certainly get used to every angle being jaw-dropping. . .
Pst, flights are really reasonable so what's stopping you. . .
Day 1- 48 Hours In Rome
Whether you are a first-time visitor to Rome or are making a return trip there are plenty of things to explore and keep you entertained. Start your day by grabbing a quick Roman-style breakfast of coffee and a croissant before heading to the Terminal Station and taking the metro. From the metro, your first stop should be the Pantheon. One of the best-preserved ancient Roman structures this stunning temple still boasts the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome almost two thousand years after it was built. It’s been in continuous use as a church since it’s completion and is best enjoyed first thing in the morning before the crowds descend. Entry to the Pantheon is free and does not require a ticket.
Then head to the grand Basilica Papale di Santa Maria Maggiore. Built on the site of a Pagan temple, the Basilica was constructed in the mid-fourth century under the orders of Pope Liberius. One of the cities four major Basilicas it is considered the largest Church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary - legend has it the Virgin appeared to the Pope and instructed him to have the Church built.
When you think of Rome, you think of the Colosseum so make that your next stop. This iconic symbol of the city was completed in 80 AD and at the time was the biggest amphitheatre ever built. Although it gets busy, it’s well worth battling the crowds to see and if you pre-book onto a tour you can skip some of the queues. Either a tour guide or a good guide book are essential to get the most out of your visit though as the information once you get inside is limited.
Lunch in Rome
At midday go to the Forum and spend an hour or two exploring. In Ancient Rome, the Forum was the heart of the city, it was gradually built from 7th Century BC and developed organically over time. Today it’s possible to see the ruins of basilicas, shrines, temples, palaces and government buildings which have been excavated. You may want to book a tour, as the amount to see there can be overwhelming and much like the Colosseum, there is very little information available once there. Once you’ve finished there are plenty of restaurants close by, including Casa Prati for sophisticated dining, La Prezzemolina for a quick slice of pizza or Bistrot 2014 for reliable and classic Italian.
Think authentic, steer clear of places serving "dish of the day lasagne". Think Cacio Pepe instead!
Evenings In Rome
As evening approaches pay a visit to one of the world’s most famous water features - the Trevi Fountain. Not only does it look particularly spectacular lit up at night, it’s also quieter. Construction of the fountain was completed in 1762 and since then visitors have been flocking to see it. Take some change with you as throwing a coin into the fountain with your right hand over your left shoulder ensures you will return to Rome one day.
Once you’ve contributed to the estimated three thousand euros thrown into the Trevi Fountain daily, try one of the many nearby restaurants for dinner.
Day 2- 48 Hours In Rome
Your second day in Rome can be spent visiting the Vatican. Despite the inevitable crowds it really is worth your time to look round the huge amount there is to see. Ruled by the Pope, the Vatican City is the smallest sovereign state in the World and was declared independent from Italy in 1929. One way to bypass some of the queues to get inside is to book onto a guided tour. Once inside there’s enough to keep you busy for a while. On top of the obvious Sistine Chapel and St Peter’s Square and Basilica, there are also vast gardens and museums housing a huge amount of incredible art.
Shopping In Rome
If you’re looking for a slice of Italian luxury and to spend some euros then visit the area around the Spanish Steps in the early evening. Here you’ll find a selection of boutiques, bars, restaurants and stylish Romans going about their days. You’re spoilt for choice in terms of places to eat, but some of the best include, Alla Rampa which specialises in seasonal produce and fish, Le Grotta where you can eat on the terrace outside and Enoteca Regionale Palatium who serve a modern take on traditional Italian in stylish surroundings.
Where To Stay In Rome
When it comes to hotels, Rome has plenty of options - to help you decide, we’ve narrowed it down to our top picks.
Hotel Barocco’s location makes it an ideal base for exploring the sights on foot. This elegantly decorated hotel also provides an excellent breakfast to set you up for the day.
Relais Fontana Di Trevi Hotel is a boutique hotel which boasts a rooftop bar that allows guests stunning views of the Trevi Fountain.
If you’re planning to stay close to the Vatican City Hotel Vespasiano is a small four-star offering with a spa for guests to unwind in after a day of vigorous sightseeing.
There’s too much to see in just one short trip to Rome but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth trying. The Eternal City is home to layers of history stretching back thousands of years, great weather, food and culture all of which should send it right to the top of your list of places to spend a couple of days in.