What to See in Rome in Two Days, Walking Itinerary (with Map)

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Valery Aloyants
@valeryaloyants
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

This guide of what to see in Rome in two days it is perfect if you only have a weekend available or if you decide to spend only this time in Rome and then maybe aim for other "shores".

Ok, two days in Rome are certainly not enough time to experience the city as it deserves, but if this is the time you have available, you have to try to get the most out of it anyway, right?


That's why I created this guide: with this itinerary I could see the best places of interest in the Eternal city and maybe make you want to come back for a longer time!


In this guide you will visit some of the most emblematic places in Rome on the first day such as the Colosseum, il Roman Forum Trevi Fountain or Pantheon, while on your second day you will go in Vatican and you will discover some of the most fascinating corners of the city, for example Monti, la terrace of the Pincio e Villa Borghese.

Plan your trip in less than 15 minutes

  • Choose your hotel HERE (from €29).
  • Discover the best free tours of Rome (from €0)
  • Find here the best attractions of Rome and book your visit
  • If necessary, book a transfer to and from the airport

In this guide you will also find information and gods tips for visiting Rome. You can click on one of the links below to go directly to the part that interests you. Are you ready? We leave for ours itinerary of what to see in Rome in two days!



  • How to reach the hotel from the Rome airports
  • Itinerary Day 1 Morning: Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, Victorian
  • Itinerary Day 1 Afternoon: Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona
  • Itinerary Day 1 Evening: Aperitif by boat on the Tiber, Trastevere, Illuminated Rome tour
  • Map of the itinerary of the first day
  • Itinerary Day 2 Morning: Vatican, Museums, Sistine Chapel, San Pietro and Castel Sant'Angelo
  • Itinerary Day 2 Afternoon: Piazza Colonna, Barberini, Piazza di Spagna, Galleria Borghese
  • Itinerary Day 1 Evening: Monti, Jewish ghetto
  • Map of the itinerary of the second day
  • Tips for visiting Rome in two days
  • Where to sleep in Rome in two days
  • Download for FREE the guide of what to see in Rome in 2 days in PDF!

How to reach the hotel from the Rome airports

To reach the city center or your hotel from Fiumicino and Ciampino airports, you have these means of transport:

Bus: - Flixbus bus, they will take you to Termini Station from Fiumicino in 30 minutes and from Ciampino in 40 minutes at a price from 3 euros.

  • Find buses from Fiumicino to Rome here 
  • See here the buses from Ciampino to Rome

Train: the train Leonardo Express it will drop you off at Termini in 30 minutes at 14 euros, from Fiumicino. From Ciampino airport you must first get on a bus that will take you to Ciampino station and from there a train to Termini, the total journey will cost less than 3 euros but I think it will not pay you back for the time you will lose.



Taxi: they should have a fixed fare from Ciampino and Fiumicino. It is always better to check the price with the taxi driver first, showing the location of the hotel. I recommend, if they ask you for more, you have to say no! My husband often goes to Rome for work and has me told unspeakable things.

You can see the rates and make a taxi quote at this link to get an idea of ​​the cost.

Transfer: by booking this convenient transfer here, a driver will be waiting for you at the airport and will take you directly to your hotel. The rate is fixed = no rip-offs.

Itinerary Day 1: Morning

1 - Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

I know, if this is the first time you visit Rome you are not in the skin of visit the Colosseum, one of the 7 wonders of the world: for this is the first thing to see in your itinerary!

Try to get there early, around 8:30 am both because it is cooler and because you will find fewer people. Count that the visit of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill will last between two and 3 hours.

A good option to skip the long lines at the entrance and learn more about the history of this impressive building is book a guided tour of the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill o this tour which also includes entrance to the gladiator arena, both with a expert guide.


If you decide to visit it alone instead, you can buy your skip-the-line skip-the-line ticket here.

After visiting the Colosseum, you will pass in front of the ancient Arch of Constantine to reach the entrance of the Forum and Palatine, two of the most unmissable places to visit in Rome and where you must go to see the ruins of the ancient houses and palaces of the emperors, and enjoy incredible views over the archaeological area.


Inside the Roman Forum complex is the Palatine Hill, where a short climb will reward you with even more ruins, but also with splendid views of the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and the city of Rome itself, including St. Peter's Basilica which is silhouetted in the distance.

The climb is easy, short and worth the time spent. Don't forget to bring your camera!

Continuing, you can walk along via Cavour and enter the historical area Monti district, an old popular district or get on the Capitoline Hill to enjoy a unique view of the Roman Forum and admire the scenic square designed by Michelangelo.

Having time it is recommended to visit the Capitoline Museums.

2 - Victorian

Walk up in Piazza Venezia to see the massive National Monument to Vittorio Emanuele II, also known as Victorian.

From the inside you can reach a nice viewpoint on the upper terrace with the lift. A few meters from this monument are the Trajan's Column and Trajan's Markets, another unmissable visit if you have a little more time.

After this first morning of sightseeing is over, it will probably be time for lunch. I recommend that you head towards the historic center to eat a platter of cheeses and salami from Pane e Salame, which will restore you to continue your visit in the afternoon.

Itinerary Day 1: Afternoon

3 - Trevi Fountain

In the afternoon the visit continues with the famous one Trevi Fountain and a walk through the ancient streets of the city until Pantheon.

From Piazza Venezia, walk along Via della Pilotta until you reach the Trevi Fountain.

Dating back to the mid-XNUMXth century, this huge fountain was designed by the Italian architect Nicola Salvi and is a must-see for visitors to Rome. It's nice to visit both day and night when it's lit up, but keep in mind that it will likely be crowded just about any time of day.

The Trevi Fountain is one of the most famous icons of Rome. Fendi financed the latest renovation, which took more than a year to complete. State-of-the-art lights illuminate the fountain… it's a fantastic sight to see in the evening.

Legend has it that if you throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain, you will secure a second visit to Rome.

As a result, over 3.000 euros worth of coins are thrown into the fountain every day!

After this stage, continue on Via delle Muratte and then Via del Corso to reach the Pantheon.

Passes through Via del Corso at the height of Piazza di Pietra, so you will pass by a spectacular white stone wall made with 11 Corinthian columns.

On this route, don't forget to see the spectacular Temple of Hadrian.

4 - Pantheon

A few steps from the Trevi Fountain is another highlight of any visit to Rome: the magnificent Pantheon, or the Basilica of Santa Maria ai Martiri. With nearly two thousand years old, this is an incredible example of Roman engineering and is guaranteed to leave you breathless.

Originally built as a temple, and later transformed into a church, the building was completed under the rule of Emperor Hadrian. It is a huge circular design, with the main area of ​​the church sitting under a huge concrete dome, in the center of which is a huge opening.

Despite being nearly two thousand years old, this is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. Clearly those Romans were building things to last!

THEentrance to the church is free and, in addition to its jaw-dropping construction, it is also known for being the final resting place of numerous historical figures, including the Renaissance painter Raphael.

You can see the opening hours and more information on the Pantheon's official website here.

5 - Piazza Navona

Continuing with the walk through the historic center you will arrive at Piazza Navona, one of the most beautiful squares in the world where its three Baroque fountains stand out.

Navona Square amazes with his Fountain of the Four Rivers. Here once bizarre water games were played: the square was flooded to create a sort of lake.

Some stories tell that we dabbled with naumachia, naval fighting, but the reality is that the square (once concave) was flooded to cheer the Romans during the hot summer days: people came from all over the city to splash in the water, just as if they had been on the beach.

And as on any self-respecting beach, the inhabitants came with wooden or papier-mâché rafts, it also seems that they went naked to sunbathe!

From Piazza Navona we always move on foot to reach where to spend the evening and have dinner: Trastevere.

Along the way you can pass by Field of 'Fiori.

Itinerary Day 1: Evening

6 - Aperitif by boat on the Tiber

At this point it will be almost dinner time and you will probably want to rest your feet a bit after a lot of walking.

Why not enjoy the romance of the Eternal City with a aperitif on the boat on the Tiber?

You will be able to admire the wonderful sunset views of Rome's attractions from a more unusual perspective: by boat!

Meanwhile, you can sample authentic Roman cuisine paired with fine local wines.

Find out more about the aperitif on the boat here

Alternatively, if you are still not too tired you could do it this Free evening tour of Rome and its mysteries: it's FREE!

7 - Dinner and evening in Trastevere

To conclude this first day in Rome in two days, nothing better than a walk at sunset in the suggestive area Trastevere district and dine with a good plate of pasta from Grazia and Graziella or from Tonarello, two of the most recommended restaurants to eat in Trastevere.

If you want to get to know Trastevere well and taste the more traditional dishes of Rome, a good idea is to participate in this gastronomic tour.

8 - Illuminated Rome tour

A good idea, to do in the evening for see Rome illuminated (trust me it's wonderful) is to take part in this guided tour where you will go to discover the most important squares and monuments of Rome surrounded by the evening lights. The Vatican, Piazza Venezia e Navona Square these are just some of the stages of the journey.

This is a very popular and very famous tour: has a fantastic score: 9,7 out of 10 out of over 3.800 reviews!

The tour starts in front of the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, in Piazza della Repubblica and takes place partly by minibus and partly on foot.

You will see Republic Square and baths of Diocletian, Circus Maximus and Palatine, i Imperial Forums and obviously the Colosseum. But that's not all: the tour takes you to discover many other great wonders of Rome.

Our illuminated Rome tour will end in Trastevere, near the Tiber Island and the Garibaldi Bridge.

Find out more here about the Illuminated Rome tour

Map of the itinerary of the first day

Itinerary Day 2: Morning

The second day of what to see in Rome in two days, cannot fail to include other highlights of the city, such as i Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel. But not only.

1 - Vatican: Museums, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter

Start with a walk along the banks of the Tiber or take the metro to the Ottaviano stop, to reach the small "town" of the Vatican.

In the Vatican you will find three essential places in every visit to the Eternal City: Saint Peter Square Saint Peter Basilica and Vatican Museums that keep the incredible inside Sistine Chapel.

It is worth spending the morning exploring these attractions, in fact you could spend most of the day here - the Vatican Museums alone house an almost infinite amount of exceptional works of art!

You better start the tour visiting the Vatican Museums, which house one of the most important art collections in the world and which open at 9 am: you will find less crowds and you will enjoy them much more.

CAUTION Update September 2021: access to the Vatican Museums is allowed only to people with Green Pass or equivalent certification ed it is mandatory to buy the ticket online in advance!

To get to know the most important pieces of the museum better, it is very interesting book this guided tour which includes priority entrance to St. Peter's Basilica o this offer which includes the guided tour of the Colosseum, the Forum and the Palatine Hill, both with guide.

Another good option to visit the Vatican Museums without crowds, entering 30 minutes before the start of the group tours and an hour and a half before the opening to the public, is book these first access tickets with hotel pickup, transport and audio guide in English.

After visiting the fantastic galleries of the Vatican Museums, you will be left speechless as you enter the Sistine Chapel, masterpiece of the master Michelangelo.

Leaving the Vatican Museums you will head to another of the most beautiful places to visit in the Vatican, the Saint Peter Basilica.

This church, the most important in the world for Catholics, is impressive for its size and for having two great masterpieces inside: the Pietà by Michelangelo and Bernini's canopy, named Canopy of St. Peter and which is one of the most important works of the artist.

Before leaving the basilica sali in cima alla cupola to have one of the symbolic images of the Eternal City with St. Peter's Square in the foreground and all of Rome in the background.

After taking a walk around St. Peter's Square, you can continue your Rome itinerary in two days by eating a quick piece of pizza by the slice, there is still so much to see in Rome on this second day, you can fill your stomach at dinner !

2 - Castel Sant'Angelo

In the afternoon, go to Sant'Angelo castel, built to bury the emperor Hadrian and located near the Tiber.

Having only a few days available, I advise you not to enter and to continue through the photogenic Ponte Sant'Angelo (one of the most photographed places in Rome!) and then along the banks of the Tiber until you reach the Ponte Umberto I, from which you will enjoy a fantastic view of the river with St. Peter's Basilica in the background.

Itinerary Day 2: Afternoon

3 - Piazza Colonna and Piazza Barberini

After taking the time to take lots of photos, make your way to Piazza Colonna, which has an imposing center column of Marcus Aurelius of the year 193 and, on one side, the beautiful one Galleria alberto sordi.

The Rome route in two days continues arriving at Piazza Barberini, one of the most beautiful in the city with the Fontana del Tritone.

4 - Piazza di Spagna

Continue to another of the most famous squares in the city, the famous Piazza di Spagna where you will find the Barcaccia fountain of Bernini and Steps of Trinità dei Monti.

In this square you can climb the 136 steps of its staircase to reach the church of Trinità dei Monti, from where you will have a nice view of the city and from where you can reach Villa Borghese and the Gallery, one of the things not to be missed on a trip to Rome.

5 - Borghese Gallery

Whether or not you add the Galleria Borghese (located in a building inside the Villa Borghese Park) to your 2-day itinerary in Rome is entirely a matter of travel style: if you are an art lover, visit one of the main art collections in Rome. Italy is probably an unmissable experience.

Both the building and the collections are absolutely stunning.

If you decide to visit the Borghese Gallery As part of your trip to Rome, please note that you need to book tickets in advance and tickets are valid for a specific 2-hour window.

The gallery only allows 300 visitors at a time, so access is strictly controlled.

Book your tickets for the Borghese Gallery here

or

Book your guided tour of the Borghese Gallery and the gardens here

6 - Pincio Terrace

The penultimate stop in the afternoon of this two-day itinerary in Rome is the beautiful one Pincio terrace: one of the most beautiful and important viewpoints in Rome. From here you will have an exceptional view of Piazza del Popolo and the rooftops of Rome, in the distance you can also see the dome of San Pietro.

I made this itinerary so that you can arrive here at the right time (obviously it will depend on your speed and the things you choose to visit).

This terrace is located in Villa Borghese, is in the heart of the historic center of Rome and is also easily reachable from Piazza di Spagna.

7 - Piazza del Popolo

Located at the top of a triangle of streets known as the Trident (via del Babuino, via del Corso, via di Ripetta), Piazza del Popolo is one of the largest squares in Rome and one of the most important things in the city.

Here the real protagonist is the"Flaminio" obelisk with the Fountain of the Lions that develops around it, but you will also find one of the most beautiful churches in Rome: the Basilica of Santa Maria del Popolo. 

Inside you will find works by great artists of the history of art such as Raffaello or Bernini to give two examples.

In Piazza del Popolo you will also find the famous twin churches of Rome: Santa Maria dei Miracoli e Santa Maria in Montesanto.

The two churches, however, are not the only twins in the square: on the two east and west sides you can see the fountains of Nettuno and  dea Roma; also in this case we speak of fountains virtually twins and it might be fun to see the differences.

Are you staying more days in Rome? Read my 3 days itinerary in Rome!

Itinerary Day 2: Evening

8 - Evening and dinner in Monti

Monti district, proudly the first district of Rome, is a young and "hipster" neighborhood that coexists in harmony with the old. This is one of the areas of the city preferred by young Romans and beyond.

What was the Suburra in Roman times, with working-class slums, prostitutes and pimps on street corners, today is one of the coolest neighborhoods in the capital.

A neighborhood where you will find alternative art galleries and wineries, vintage shops, restaurants, bars and a few craftsmen exhibiting their products.

Located between Via Cavour and Via Nazionale, a stone's throw from the Colosseum and Fori, Monti is the right neighborhood to spend some time chatting at aperitif time sitting on the steps of the fountain in Piazza della Madonna dei Monti (like a real local).

A small neighborhood much less touristy than other neighborhoods such as Campo de 'Fiori and Piazza Navona, but much more genuine!

9 - Jewish Ghetto

Il Jewish ghetto of Rome is considered among the oldest in the world (second only to that of Venice) and unfortunately it is sadly famous for the roundup of the October 16 1943.

The Jewish Ghetto (which it would actually be more correct to call Rione Sant'Angelo) is located between the Tiber and the Capitol.

There are many things to see in the ghetto, and in my opinion it is unmissable, one of the most important places in Rome, and too often a little snubbed.

In addition to taking a tour you could stop and eat right here.

Here, in fact, you can taste some of the most delicious dishes of traditional Jewish-Roman cuisine, a clear sign of the millennial presence in Rome of the Jewish tradition.

Enjoy a pie of anchovies and envy, the fish broth, the artichokes alla giudia (fried in boiling oil, which is definitely worth trying) and the cod fillets, but don't miss the opportunity to taste at least one dessert of the typical koscher pastry as the Mishmarà.

Don't miss the courgette flower stuffed with cod and lamb!

Map of the itinerary of Rome second day

Tips for visiting Rome in two days

Some tips that can help you have an amazing trip to Rome are:

Check the prices of food and drink before taking a seat at any terrace or restaurant located near a tourist attraction.

Since you only have two days, it might be a good option book the tourist bus which stops at the main points of interest.

If you use i By public transport remember that you can buy tickets in tobacconists and newsstands in Rome.

Check how much you save on tickets by booking the OMNIA Vatican & Rome Card, a tourist card that allows you topriority access to the main attractions of Rome and the Vatican, discounts and free public transport.

If you want to take pictures without people, you need to reach the most famous points of the city, especially the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain, at dawn.

Where to sleep in Rome

Rome is a very large city and there are many areas to consider in order to understand where to stay. Having said that, for me, if you are short on time, like two days, the best choice is to take a hotel in the center.

Maybe it costs a little more, but you will have all the main attractions "close at hand", you will not waste time on public transport (and in any case you will save a little if you can walk around without public transport) and if you are tired you can return to hotel to take a shower, before resuming your visits.

Check out these recommended hotels in Rome:

Budget -> Trastevere’s Friends it's a great option in Trastevere for the budget traveler. This bed and breakfast has spacious rooms and a common room. There is also breakfast each morning with a wide variety of options.

Middle -> The B&B Colosseo Panoramic Rooms it is located right in front of the Colosseum. It has modern decor and comfortable rooms. Some rooms even have views of the Colosseum!

Middle -> Condotti Boutique Hotel - Located a stone's throw from Piazza di Spagna (and consequently from the metro station of Piazza di Spagna), you couldn't ask for a better location in Rome! One of the most popular hotels in Rome.

Middle -> Pantheon Inn - If you are looking for a building with classic Italian charm in the heart of Rome, this is it. Located just behind the Pantheon and on your doorstep, the Pantheon Inn offers a quiet and peaceful retreat in the middle of bustling Rome.

Download for FREE the guide of what to see in Rome in 2 days in PDF!

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Plan your trip in less than 15 minutes

  • Choose your hotel HERE (from €29).
  • Discover the best free tours of Rome (from €0)
  • Find here the best attractions of Rome and book your visit
  • If necessary, book a transfer to and from the airport
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