Rome: the land of mopeds, pizza, gelato, and The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Obviously. Rome is full of so much history, but it is also full of colorful streets and charming plazas. I love the way there are flowers sticking out of every corner, fresh pasta sitting in front of restaurants just begging you to come in, and how the paint is chipping off all the old buildings. It makes my artistic heart so happy. Here’s what you should do with 3 days in Rome:
Morning, Day 1:
Visit the Vatican and the Sistine Chapel: Wake up early and be the first in line to visit the Vatican. The whole city, well I guess technically it’s a country, is as beautiful and magnificent as it looks. Going here first thing in the morning is well worth it, because there will be fewer people, but make sure to skip the line by booking your ticket online ahead of time here: Musei Vaticani. After studying Michelangelo’s work in my art history classes in college, it was a truly breathtaking seeing “The Creation of Adam” in person. Don’t forget to go into St. Peter’s Basicalla. Not only is it the largest church in the world, but also the attention to detail is so ornate it’s incredible. Just don’t go on Sunday, because the Sistine Chapel is closed on Sundays. Be sure to wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees to be allowed inside.
Afternoon, Day 1:
Go the Trevi Fountain: Make a wish! And while you’re at it, go ahead and sing “This is What Dreams Are Made of.” Rumor has it if you throw a penny into the fountain and wish to return to Rome again, you will. So basically throw all your pennies in, because seriously, who wouldn’t want to go to Rome again?
Take a Gelato Break: Eat all. the. gelato. This should honestly probably be on your every day, five times a day to-do list. You’re in Rome, so you’re totally allowed to eat gelato that many times a day. Promise. Our favorites were the chocolate from Grom, which has various location all over the city, and the mango from Don Nino, which has a location right across from the Trevi Fountain. You should also try the cannoli from Don Nino, because… cannoli. in Rome. duh.
Sunset, Day 1:
Walk the hill up to Piazza del Campidoglio: Make your way up Capitoline Hill to an incredible view of the Roman Forum and the Colesseum from above, so it’s a great place to wander around and watch the sunset over “ancient Rome.”
Morning, Day 2:
Wake up and go to the Colosseum at sunrise: Make sure to get there early to take pictures, because the crowds won’t be there yet. Then you can enjoy walking around this magnificent structure without fighting the hundreds of people that will be there later in the day. Hop in line as soon as it opens (around 8:30, depending on the season) so you can enjoy the inside practically to yourself. Quick tip: If you want to go for free, go the first Sunday of the month, but be prepared to fight through massive crowds of tourists. Also, if you buy your ticket to the Colosseum, you’ll also get entrance to the Roman Forum and vice versa. The line for tickets at the Forum is generally shorter.
Afternoon, Day 2:
Explore the Roman Forum: Since your ticket to the Colosseum also gets you entrance to the Forum, head on over to the Forum and imagine what the life would’ve looked like in the ancient city of Rome thousands of years ago.
Make your way over to Campo de’ Fiori and enjoy the local markets. Then find yourself some delicious pasta, because nothing compares to pasta in Italy.
Sunset, Day 2:
Head up to the Giardino Delgi Aranci, or the Garden of Oranges: Catch the sunset from this incredible viewpoint of the entire city. This garden is honestly the best spot to watch the sunset, and watching the sunset over Rome kind of feels like the perfect end to your very own rom-com movie day.
Morning, Day 3:
Visit the Pantheon: The Pantheon is one of the oldest churches in Rome If you go at the right time of day, you’ll be able to catch the light shining through the open circle at the top. It’s actually mind-boggling how they built such a unique structure so many years ago.
Piazza Navona: This is one of the most famous plazas in the city. It’s a great place to sit back, relax, and soak in that “Oh my gosh, I’m actually in Rome” feeling. Grab a fresh pizza, and then enjoy just wandering around the different shops and admiring the buildings. Come back again at night for a completely different, yet just as lively, atmosphere.
Afternoon, Day 3:
Sit on the Spanish Steps: Okay, so there are a million other people here, but it feels so Roman and exciting to be in the midst of the city. It’s the perfect spot for people watching and then head down to Via dei Condotti to do a little shopping, because getting a new outfit from Rome seems like something everyone deserves.
Sunset, Day 3:
Wander the streets of Trastevere: Get lost and wander through the streets of the charming neighborhood of Trastevere. This neighborhood was by far my favorite part of Rome. All of the streets are so colorful and there are the most beautiful ivy-covered walls. Grab some pasta or pizza for dinner and obviously finish your trip to Rome off with a double scoop of gelato.
Rome is honestly as dreamy as it seems. It’s full of romance, history, art, and stunning architecture, so it’s the perfect place to go for a summer getaway. It’s also a great spot for a quick layover on your way to your next European Adventure.