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Maddy and Max visit the Colosseum

Rome, Italy's historic capital, is an enchanting city full of history, culture, and charm. Visiting Rome is like stepping into a giant museum full of ancient ruins and Renaissance masterpieces that transport you back in time. Explore the endless cobblestone streets, bustling piazzas, famous sites, and endless trattorias of this ancient city. If you're planning an upcoming trip, check out this perfect four day Rome itinerary with all of our recommendations and tips!

How to Get to Rome

To travel to Rome, you can fly into Leonardo da Vinci– Fiumicino Airport (FCO), a quick train ride or taxi away from the city center. If you're traveling from within Italy, hopping on a train to Rome is also a convenient option.

Getting Around Rome

Once in Rome, the city offers an efficient metro system and buses to easily get around. We found buses to be super easy to explore the city. Consider grabbing a Roma Pass; it's a great deal providing access to public transportation and major attractions. While taxis are available, they can be pricey, and driving around might not be the best due to traffic.

Where to Stay in Rome.

Located in Rome's city center, this 4-star hotel is just a 15-minute walk from the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, and Spanish Steps. Hotel Artemide also offers a complimentary breakfast to guests every day.

Horti 14 Borgo Trastevere Hotel is a luxury urban resort in one of Rome's most charming neighborhoods, offering a private garden and bar.

An elegant guesthouse located within 500 meters of the Colosseum, featuring private bathrooms, free wifi, and flat-screen TV in each room.

Elegant guesthouse in the heart of Rome

Things to Do in Rome

Rome is one of the most historic and romantic cities in the world, offering an array of unique sights and activities. You can't miss iconic landmarks like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican, and Trevi Fountain. If you plan to visit these landmarks, it's a good idea to book tickets in advance, especially the Colosseum and Sistine Chapel. We love history and wanted to learn about the sites, even if we didn't have time for a full guided tour. The free Rick Steves travel app was super helpful - we downloaded audio tour episodes for sites we visited, allowing us to follow along just from our phone.

Visit the Colosseum

Explore the iconic Colosseum, immersing yourself in ancient Roman history. Walking through its corridors feels like stepping back in time and is a must-see when in Rome. We purchased tickets in advance with the audio tour, which gave us flexibility to explore at our own pace instead of a guided tour. It's a good idea to buy tickets early, especially during peak seasons. We got ours bundled with the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill tickets from, where you'll find various ticket options and tours.

Maddy and Max visit the Colosseum

Visit the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill

Exploring the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill with our audio tour was so much fun. Imagining life in ancient Rome while walking through these ruins was fascinating. While the Colosseum is impressive, we found the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill even more captivating and highly recommend exploring during your visit.

Maddy and Max explore the Roman Forum

Take a Cooking Class

Our spontaneous cooking class through Eat & Walk Italy turned out to be a highlight of our trip. We learned how to make homemade pasta and tiramisu, which have since become a staple in our kitchen. After the class, we ate our pasta with a glass of wine, finishing with our tiramisu and a choice of espresso or limoncello. See the bottom of this post for recipes from this class!

Explore the Vatican

The Vatican is a walled city within Rome and home to the Pope. Explore the museums and immerse yourself in art and history. Visiting the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica was an unforgettable experience. Purchasing tickets for the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel in advance is a must-do to skip the lines and ensure your visit.

Throw a Coin into the Trevi Fountain

No visit to Rome is complete without tossing a coin into the Trevi Fountain for good luck and a promise of return to this beautiful city. As one of the most famous fountains in the world, the Trevi Fountain is impressive and beautiful to visit in person.

Visit the Pantheon

The Pantheon stands as one of the few ancient Roman buildings still intact today. Once a Roman temple, it's now a Catholic church welcoming visitors daily from 9 am to 7 pm. Tickets can be purchased on-site by waiting in line or in advance here.

Visit the Spanish Steps

This iconic landmark is located in the Piazza di Spagna and became a tourist hotspot after it was featured in the classic movie "Roman Holiday" starring Audrey Hepburn. At the base of the steps lies the Fontana della Barcaccia, while the top boasts the Sallustiano Obelisk and the Church of Trinità dei Monti. Since August 2019, sitting or eating on the steps is prohibited. Make sure to follow rules to avoid fees and keep an eye out for pickpockets since this is a high traffic area.

Visiting the beautiful Spanish Steps in Rome

Piazza Navona

We enjoyed exploring Rome's piazzas, especially Piazza Navona which is known for its beautiful fountains like the Fountain of the Four Rivers and the Fountain of Neptune. Taking in the architecture and intricate details of the fountains while people-watching makes for a perfect afternoon in Rome!

Try Gelato

A visit to Rome isn't complete without indulging in authentic Italian gelato. There are many tourist traps with high prices and less-than-authentic gelato. The best gelato shops often display natural-colored gelato rather than vibrant artificial colors. Regardless, nothing beats cooling off on a hot Italian day with a scoop of refreshing gelato.

Trying authentic Gelato in Rome

Where to Eat in Rome

For an authentic Roman dining experience, don't miss out on classic dishes like carbonara and cacio e pepe! Venture a bit away from tourist attractions for more authentic and affordable options.

Le Grotte - $$

Head to Le Grotte for a great lunch on their outdoor patio. Enjoy their delicious spaghettone alla carbonara and bucatini all'amatriciana with a glass of their house wine. They are known for their pasta, wood-fired pizza, and an extensive wine selection. Le Grotte is also just an eight minute walk from the Trevi Fountain (Via della Vite, 37, 00187 Roma RM, Italy)!

Café Gourmet - $$

Café Gourmet is just a six minute walk from the Vatican Museum and a great place for gnocchi and risotto! Via Andrea Doria, 46, 00192 Roma RM, Italy.

Miraggio - $$

Miraggio is a Roman restaurant near the Tiber River. We highly recommend the pizza and gnocchi. Via della Lungara, 16A, 00165 Roma RM, Italy.

Ristorante Sora Lucia - $$

Located just a six minute walk from the Trevi Fountain is Ristorante Sora Lucia. This traditional Roman restaurant was where we ate one of our favorite meals in Italy! We highly

recommend the veal with sage butter. Via Rasella, 138, 00187 Roma RM, Italy.

The Perfect 4-Day Rome Itinerary

Day 1:
  • Arrive in Rome via Leonardo da Vinci– Fiumicino Airport (FCO).

  • Check into Hotel Artemide in the city center.

  • Enjoy a complimentary breakfast at the hotel.

  • Head to the Colosseum (purchase tickets in advance).

  • Visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill nearby.

  • Enjoy a relaxing dinner near the Colosseum and Roman Forum

Day 2:
  • Visit the Vatican (purchase tickets in advance).

  • Explore the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Basilica.

  • Have lunch at Café Gourmet.

  • Visit the Trevi Fountain and toss a coin for good luck.

  • Enjoy authentic gelato.

  • Dinner at Ristorante Sora Lucia.

Day 3:
  • Explore the Pantheon (purchase tickets on-site or in advance).

  • Visit the Spanish Steps and enjoy the iconic views.

  • Get lost exploring the streets of Rome.

  • Participate in a cooking class.

  • Enjoy the dishes you've prepared and relax with a glass of wine.

  • Visit the Trevi Fountain at night

Day 4:
  • Spend the morning exploring Piazza Navona.

  • Explore the city at your own pace, perhaps revisiting favorite spots.

  • Enjoy more authentic gelato.

  • Have a farewell dinner at a local trattoria.

Authentic homemade pasta recipe

Authentic homemade tiramisu recipe

Authentic homemade tiramisu recipe

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