This post really highlights how much you can pack into just one day! I’m excited to FINALLY be getting our Rome itinerary down on paper and to be able to share it with you all. To be completely transparent, it’s been a few years since we visited Rome and obviously a lot has changed since then but we visited some of the main attractions which are staples in any Rome Itinerary. While visiting them may look a little different these days, they’ve lasted the test of time and will come through this pandemic, like they have so many others in the past.
*I have double checked other businesses we visited and it appears everything is still in business.
May 5, 2017 – 24 Hours in Rome
Our day started on the Island of Capri where we woke up early to catch the ferry from Capri to Naples [ferry ride takes about 50 minutes]. Our Capri hotel was generously accommodating and arranged for free transport down to the ferry port along with an early breakfast spread just for us in their bar which included fresh fruit, pastries, coffee and tea. They also took our ferry vouchers and exchanged them for actual tickets at the ticket office upon arriving at the port and had our luggage taken down and loaded into the boat by the port porters. Less than an hour later, we arrived in Naples and grabbed a taxi to the train station [taxi cost 10 EUR and took less than 10 minutes].
We chose not to pre-purchase train tickets to Rome because we weren’t sure how reliable the ferry would be but everything ran smoothly and we were able to get on the 8:30AM train to Rome with Trenitalia. [We purchased tickets through the kiosk in the station and validated them at the machine on the platform before boarding the train. Tickets cost 39 EUR per person. Trains depart almost hourly from Naples to Rome.]
One hour later we arrived in Rome and grabbed a taxi outside of the train station to our Airbnb [taxi cost 15 EUR and took about 10 minutes]. We quickly dropped our bags then set out to explore. Our first stop was the Colosseum but we got super turned around and happened across a beautiful Rose Garden that’s only open select dates April – June and offers incredible views of the Colosseum from the back. After strolling through the Rose Garden we passed the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus, which used to be the biggest amphitheater in Italy but now is just an empty field filled with dirt and sand.
When we finally arrived at the Colosseum, we were able to skip the line since we purchased tickets ahead of time, key because the lines are crazy long [tickets are 14 EUR per person]. Once inside, we opted to take an audio guide for 6 EUR since we chose not to do a guided tour. Highlights include the history of the Colosseum, what it was used for and a few fun facts. For example, it’s estimated to hold between 30-70K spectators, the most elite guests had permanent seats at the front with their names engraved in marble and there’s an entire underground area that you can visit as part of a special tour. In total our self-guided tour of the Colosseum took about one hour.
Our next stop was the Vatican City and we initially attempted to walk there but got super lost again and ended up hopping in a taxi for 8 EUR [literally the best 8 EUR we spent in Rome]. Since our ticket reservations for the Museum were at 3PM, we stopped for a quick lunch at Antiche Mura which is right on the corner of the entrance. Even though this spot is super convenience and inexpensive, the food is NOT good so I definitely would not recommend it.
We both enjoyed our tour of the Vatican Museum. My favorite room was the Maps room and Kevin loved the Sistine Chapel, the crown jewel of the tour. If you haven’t visited the Vatican Museum before, it’s basically an art museum with lots of beautiful sculptures, ceiling murals, tapestries, paintings and mosaic floors. In my opinion, the Vatican is a must-see while in Rome, even if you aren’t Catholic, but it is crowded and they don’t allow pictures of Michelangelo’s beautiful ceiling mural.
Once we finished at the Vatican Museum, we walked around St. Peter’s Square then we grabbed gelato from the popular spot down the street, Old Bridge Gelateria, and made our way back towards the center of Rome stopping to see Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain where we tossed in a few coins for good luck. We continued on our walk to the Spanish Steps and stopped to admire the beautiful 16th-century Trinità dei Monti church at the top. All of these popular tourist spots are free but very crowded so be prepared to battle some crowds. *Note, I don’t know how COVID restrictions impact these sites.
For dinner we decided to head back to a restaurant we had passed near the Trevi Fountain called Il Chianti Osteria Toscana. The building is covered in ivy and has a special charm that drew us in and brought us back. We waited about 20 minutes for a table upstairs and enjoyed a nice, long, relaxing dinner. We loved everything about this little gem – the food, ambiance, service and wine were all amazing. It was actually over this very dinner that we decided to move to San Diego! I’m sure there are thousands of restaurants in Rome but this one will always hold a special place in my heart and I will definitely go back if I’m ever in Rome again.
After dinner, we slowly walked back to our Airbnb completely exhausted after a very long, action packed day on our feet! The next morning we grabbed a taxi back to the train station and were off to Florence for the weekend!
Accommodations & Country Specific Details
We loved our Airbnb in Rome! Our host was super accommodating, coming to meet us early when we got in so we could store our luggage even though the other guests hadn’t yet checked out. The Airbnb was equipped with everything – pastries, homemade chocolate liquor, toiletries, fruits and snacks. It was really clean and centrally located [once we figured out how to navigate Rome]. At night it was a little loud from outside pedestrian traffic but we were so exhausted it didn’t bother us.
To Rome: By ferry from Capri and train from Naples
Around Rome: We mostly walked everywhere in Rome but did take a couple of taxis.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Language: Italian but had no problem finding English speakers. Our favorite Italian phrase was ‘molto buono’ or very good food!
Outlet Adapter: The standard voltage is 230 V. The standard frequency is 50 Hz. The power sockets that are used are of type L.
Passport/Visa Requirements: U.S. Passport valid for at least six months from date of departure. No visa for visits under 90 days required.
Weather: We were in Italy the first two weeks of May. While still technically spring season, it is one of the best months to visit before the towns become overrun with tourists for the high season. That said, Rome was quite busy when we were there. We also had incredible sunny, warm weather. I wore a midi-length dress, sandals and a jean jacket and was comfortable all day/evening long.