Rome may have not been built in a day, but that doesn’t mean you can’t see what Rome has to offer in 24 short hours. Last Summer when Brian and I wrapped up our trip on the Amalfi Coast, we took the train from Naples to Rome. Our flight back to the states was scheduled for the next afternoon, so we knew we had to hit the pavement running. We had one full day in Rome and I couldn’t believe how much we were able to see. Read along to find out How to Spend 24 Hours in Rome so you can see it all!
To me, the Amalfi Coast is all about relaxation and romance. Rome on the other hand is where history comes alive. This miraculous city has so much to offer and what I found to be really special was the mixture of modern and ancient Roman history intertwined. There is honestly so much to see that you start to not even point it out. Oh another column from 80AD over there? PFFTTT! Put your walking shoes on, grab a red bull, here’s How To Spend 24 Hours in Rome.
For your 24 Hours in Rome, I recommend booking a hotel that is located near some of the hot spots to see in Rome. We chose to stay at Hotel Majestic, which was conveniently located a very short walk away from the Spanish Steps. We used this as our jumping off spot for our walking adventure around Rome. The hotel was comfy and centrally located to the major Roman sites to see. We were barely in the room but it was a lovely place. Would recommend!
What to do
Okay buckled up; Rome has so much to see and it can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily it is a very walkable place. This is great because it allows you to see everything you’d like to but also explore some as well.
- As I mentioned, we started at the Spanish Steps which were absolutely beautiful, but also very crowded. We were in Rome during peak tourist season. I feel like going outside of Summer is the way to go. I digress! The Spanish Steps built in the 1700’s, connect to Piazza di Spagna. You might recognize these famous steps from the film Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn.
- From the Spanish steps we walked to the Trevi Fountain which is obviously something not to be missed. Built in 1629, this grand fountain is the largest Baroque fountains in the city and definitely one of the most famous in the world. It is absolutely grand and truly magical to see in person. The attention to detail is hard to describe but something to see with your own eyes for sure. Don’t forget to throw a coin in the fountain over your left shoulder. It is to ensure you a visit back to Rome (Which let’s be real, Italy, pasta, duh).
- After maneuvering through the crowds at the fountains, we took a much needed pizza break. It was more of a working break as we walked and ate, but yay for pizza being portable. After a stop in a local shop to buy some incredible olive oil and balsamic vinegar (they shipped home for us! ) This was really efficient since we had packed in a carry-on) we moseyed our way into The Pantheon.
So far by what we had seen my mind had already been blown. But now, even bigger mind explosion. For starters, The Pantheon’s current standing building was built in 125AD. WHAT. WHAT. That still gets me!! I love seeing what humans were able to build and accomplish knowing how different life must have been for them then. Definitely go inside, the admission is free. Seeing the beautiful domed ceiling letting natural light in is a must.
- Our final stop of the day was a long walk to The Coliseum. Walking through the city we were able to do a quick stop by The Forum on our way. Didn’t get to see much here, had to keep this party going. Once arrived at The Coliseum we found a tour group to join for a reasonable price. This was great because we did not have to wait in the VERY long entrance line and went in a back entrance. We had an awesome guide who was able to share tons of facts with us.
I highly recommend taking a tour when you are visiting ancient or historical sites.
I personally get so much more out of a place learning things about it versus walking around and looking at things. Ultimately, ruins are ruins. It’s the stories and history that make them come alive.
By this point, our gas tanks were pretty empty so we had some dinner and got some rest. Our morning plans started early and since we were leaving to fly home, we wanted to try and sleep.
- We of course could not leave Rome without visiting The Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. After doing some quick research I found that getting into these places at The Vatican can take some time, and sometimes requires hours being in line. We obviously did not have time for that, but I was able to find an amazing tour group that did early morning tours with express entry. Definitely do this because not only do you get a guide and cut the lines, but you are getting to go inside these places before there are massive crowds. Our tour was through Dark Rome / City Wonders. I found out on their site they do other tours in Italy and I would for sure use their tour company again. Here is a link to the exact tour we took.
We met our group around 7:00 AM and walked right into The Sistine Chapel. There are truly no words or photographs that do this justice. Our tour guide was so lovely and shared a lot of information with us and the ceiling painted by Michelangelo. It is crazy to think he didn’t consider himself a painter but a sculptor. (Way to make the rest of us look bad!)
After spending time in there we were given access to St. Peter’s Basilica. By this point in the morning (mind you it was still before 9:00am) a huge line was already formed all the way outside of The Vatican City walls. Since we were on this guided tour we were able to go right in and once again have so much explained to us. This tour was my favorite thing we did in Rome and one of my favorite things we did on this Italy trip.
The Vatican is the only place where I wish we could have spent more time than we had. We did not have any extra time to spend in The Vatican Museum which I’m sure you could spend an entire day in there alone. But I am still happy we were able to squeeze in as much as we did. I mean how often do you get to visit the world’s smallest country?
After sending postcards home from The Vatican’s own post office (Pope Francis stamps, duh) we picked our bags up from the hotel and headed to the airport.
*Transeau Travel Tip* Your hotel will store your bags for you for free after you’ve checked out, or before you’ve checked in. This comes in handy if you have to check out early but have a flight in the evening
Overall I am super happy with our trip to Rome. I hope you got something out of How To Spend 24 Hours in Rome. Have you been to Rome? Is there something we didn’t see that we should next time?
Let me down below! Also, if you ever have any questions about your upcoming travels or need some tips about where to go, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org