Updated: Jan 4
THE BEST OF ROME IN 3 DAYS
Rome - solemn; romantic; ancient; modern; plebeian; imperial - there are many words to describe the capital of Italy. Rome itself holds almost 3,000 years of architecture, culture and art. Some of the best times of year to visit are April, May, and late September and October. If you have only a short time to visit, here are the absolute must-sees until the coin you toss over your shoulder at the Trevi Fountain fulfills the promise of your return to the Eternal City.
DAY 1 - THE VATICAN, ST. PETER'S BASILICA, TRASTEVERE
Start early to get the most out of your first day! Take in the ethos and people-watch before beginning your adventure. You will want to arrive at the Vatican in the morning to avoid the crowds. Dress more conservatively in reverence of the religious city-state. Low cut or sleeveless clothing, shorts, miniskirts and hats are not permitted. Take an early walk and explore the global city streets. Please note, however, that sitting on the Spanish Steps is no longer permitted, and doing so is now subject to a fine of €400 euros, or about $450. Next, head over to the Vatican museums - there are over 54 Christian and art galleries within the city-state and the collections are stunning. Be sure to visit the Sistine Chapel, which holds the striking ceiling art done by legendary artist, Michelangelo. Stop by L'Alta Via delle Grazie (you can do all 12 Stages or just 7 Stages if your time is short), getting some lunch while there. To top off your day, enjoy the beautiful neighborhood of Trastevere.
DAY 2 - THE COLOSSEUM, PALATINE HILL, THE ROMAN FORUM
Begin your second day in Rome by pre-purchasing your tickets online to avoid the long lines. The ticket is valid for entrance to the Colosseum and the Roman Forum / Palatine Hill. Then board the Metropolitana di Roma (subway) and take a ride to the Colosseo Station on Line B. Keep in mind that first Sundays are extremely busy! Be sure to do some research on these ancient wonders beforehand so you understand what you’re exploring. There are many spigots throughout the area with fresh water that comes from the Roman aqueducts - grab a bottle before leaving. To climb Palatine Hill and take in its history, a private tour is suggested. The views from the Hill towers are stunning and overlook the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus. On your way back, keep left to arrive at the Forum to take in even more majestic views of Rome. Grab some dinner and get some rest for your final day!
DAY 3 - THE PANTHEON, LARGO DI TORRE ARGENTINA, PIAZZA NAVONA
Begin your third day with an espresso, then make your way to the Trevi Fountain (no wading, please). Keep with tradition and toss a coin into the fountain over your shoulder for good luck and to ensure your return to Rome! Your next stop should be the Pantheon - its oculus is truly an architectural wonder. While there, be sure to be respectful and keep your voice low. After a good lunch and a gelato from one of the many nearby local restaurants, stroll to Largo di Torre Argentina, which has been identified as the very spot where Julius Caesar was stabbed, and is also a feral cat sanctuary. These cats are well taken care of by a local charity and feeding them is prohibited. Lastly, be sure to explore the Piazza Navona. This elegant showcase square in Rome is built on the Stadium of Domitian, also known as the Circus Agonalis. If possible, visit Piazza Navona at sunset - the sight is awe-inspiring.
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