I adore my family in Italy. If we were in person, you would see my hand over my heart. They are some of the dearest people in my life. Though my family originates from an area in Tuscany, the ones I know best have settled in Rome–a suburb outside of Rome near the sea. It’s lovely.
Long story short, I visited my friend, Chelsea, who was abroad in Paris for about a day before the two of us headed for Rome (if you want to read about seeing Paris in six hours, here you go). She had a very limited time in Rome and so we basically had 12 hours to see the major sights (although we did see La Basilica di San Pietro and the Vatican at night which was amazing since it was around Christmas time…If you are in Rome longer, it is very much worth it to see the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel).
So the next day, since my family had to work and since I’ve spent quite a lot of time in Rome, my relatives drew me a map of the walking tour we’d take. Imagine lots of arguing and back and forth. Chelsea thought it was stereotypically Italian that even though she couldn’t understand a word, she was laughing hysterically over us. I was playing tour guide and while I may know Rome, I am the worst navigator but even I couldn’t mess this up.
Please know that there is so much more to see than what I have listed and planned out (in order) but a lot of European Trips mean limited time in certain cities. So, here we go, How to See Rome in a Day:
They dropped us off near the Colosseum–il colosseo–and so it began. (This was before I learned about photography…I just have to say it.)
Did I mention that you better be wearing walking shoes? Next, we made our way to Piazza Venezia where you will find several things. The most obvious is the Victor Emmanuel II Monument–more commonly known as wedding cake(because, obviously, it looks like a wedding cake). This guy is a big deal because he played a major role in il risorgomento–the unifying of Italy which did not happen until 1861! Not to bore you (Italian minor…can’t help it) but that’s kind of crazy. There wasn’t even a common written or verbal language until then. That’s why the dialects in Italy are so strong (there are parts of Italy where I can barely communicate).
You will also find the very tiny (seriously it’s so much smaller than expected) balcony where Mussolini gave his speeches. Although most things look insignificant next to the wedding cake, I suppose. If you’re hungry wait for the next location.
If I had to choose my favorite monument in Rome…it’s this one. I can’t explain it. There is just something beautiful and still and lovely about it. Go on and check out the hole in the roof. You’ll find great food around la Piazza della Rotunda (where the Panth is: we’re on nickname terms).
You’ll also find the best gelato place I’ve ever found and when I am in Italy I do tend to have gelato in between every meal so…I am an expert. It’s called Giolotti. Don’t miss it.
On the way to the next stop, here’s a treat. Sant’eustachio is well known as the very best–il migliore–espresso bar in the city. And it is. Be sure to pick up some beans for home too! Seriously this place is in every travel guide talks about it. People are so dedicated that this place (which isn’t large) ships internationally.
Next, let’s go to Piazza Navona. This is one of the most gorgeous piazzas in Italy (the word piazzas hurt my heart and I just have to tell you the plural is piazze or I will have a heart attack or my Italian professor will know somehow…He just will.) You’ll often find are fairs here that are such fun. You’ll pay more to eat here because it’s a tourist attraction but you can’t beat the experience.
Depending on the time of year, it’s getting dark now. This is fine because the next stop is the Trevi Fountain–La Fontana di Trevi–and it is lit up and beautiful at night. Watch for pick pockets here (everywhere but here particularly…it’s not scary though and when someone tries to sell you roses just say no). Make sure you throw a coin in with your right hand over your left shoulder to ensure you return to Rome (hopefully next time you can enjoy it at a more leisurely pace, see more of the details, and just see more).
Finally, you’ll make to the Spanish steps at the Piazza di Spanga. There’s a super convenient metra stop right there so you can hop on and take it to wherever you are staying.
Buon Viaggo! Let me know if you have questions!