A heady mix of ancient architecture, amazing art and a divine adherence to a dolce vita (sweet life) lifestyle, combines to create one of Europe’s most romantic and charismatic cities. Rome is the perfect place for gorging on art and culture and whiling away hours people watching in pretty piazzas, but if you find yourself in this iconic city with only 24 hours to spare – what is the best way to spend your time? Well, we’re glad you asked. Read on to find the best way to spend 24 hours in Rome…
Set your alarm bright and early this morning, ready to start your day in Rome right, soaking up the hustle and bustle of a Roman morning. No proper Italian is ready to start the day without a spot of breakfast, so head to a nearby coffee shop ready to join the locals at the bar – remember queuing is not a thing in Italy so be prepared to jump in confidently with your order. Treat yourself to a frothy cappuccino and some warm cornetti - tasty pastries that are similar to French croissants but sweeter and filled with either jam, custard or Nutella (or you can opt for the simple but equally delicious vuoto (plain) variety). Fuelled on caffeine and sugar, you are now prepared for a busy and jam-packed 24 hours in Rome. Your first stop of the day is the iconic pillared walls of the Colosseum, where we can organise a private guided tour to give you a more in-depth exploration of this incredible building. Dive head first into the stories of bloody battles and infamous emperors of ancient Rome with your expert guide. If you are travelling with young children we can arrange an adapted tour to interest your little ones, including a fun private workshop where they can step back in time to become gladiators themselves. After an exciting morning, take a short walk to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to explore the collection of ruins and historic buildings which used to be a bustling marketplace in the ancient world.
A morning spent time travelling back to 31 BC makes for hungry work, so it’s time to head straight to the Forum, which is the heart of the tourist district. Don’t worry about trying to pick the perfect place to eat, we are on hand to suggest the best authentic lunch spots that are still just a stone's throw away from the Forum, hidden down secret cobbled side streets. Some of the city’s finest dishes are meant to be savored on the go, so we recommend heading to a tavola calda (that’s takeaway to us) and securing a bench, to enjoy some classic Roman street food with a side of Italian people watching. Our favourite dish has to be suppli - balls of rice, filled with ragu and mozzarella and lightly fried; similar to arancini, but done the Roman way. It’s the perfect carb-filled lunch to keep you fueled to see Rome in a day (that’s our excuse, anyway).
Spend the afternoon strolling through some of Rome’s most colourful spots, hopping on the metro to Spagna, which is located at the top of the famous Spanish Steps. Admire the baroque features whilst you wander down the steps down to Piazza di Spagna, one of the most famous squares in Rome. This is also the start of the main shopping district in the city , which is pedestrianised, so if you have a craving for retail therapy, this is your place to cure it (you might want to make it speedy – you only have 24 hours in Rome after all). A short walk takes you to the iconic Trevi fountain, where you can pick up a gelato to enjoy while admiring one of the most famous fountains in the world, before strolling to the Pantheon (all these landmarks are sign posted so no maps are required) to marvel at the biggest brick dome in the history of architecture. Entry here is free, so it’s worth taking the time to explore inside. Finally, make your way to Piazza Navona, another of Rome’s beautiful piazza squares. You’ll find all manner of street artists, painters and musicians here, creating a wonderfully European atmosphere, and if you fancy something to drink, take your pick from the restaurants and bars that frame this pretty piazza. Did we hear someone say aperitivo?
This evening, it’s time to head to one of our favourite Roman districts; Trastevere. Sitting on the right bank of the Tiber river, just South of Vatican City, the area is made up of a series of narrow cobblestone streets that are home to many of the city’s best and most traditional bars and restaurants. Dinner typically begins and ends somewhere between eight o’clock in the evening and one o’clock in the morning, so we recommend you head for another alfresco aperitivo (your secret is safe with us) to keep you going before you eat. Order the locals’ classic, the spritz, which combines liqueurs of either Aperol or Campari with club soda and prosecco. After a busy day in Rome, it is about time to treat yourself to some Italian cuisine. Trastevere offers a whole mix of fine dining, casual trattorias and homely pizzerias and we can always recommend the best spots depending on what you fancy on the day. We strongly suggest trying one of the city’s most iconic pasta dishes, cacio e pepe - “cacio” is the local word for Pecorino Romano, a salty, aged sheep’s milk cheese, while “pepe” means black pepper. Wonderfully simple and delightfully delicious - you can thank us later.