24 hours in Rome

24 hours in Rome

by Shereece Spain
Stripes Europe

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So you just stepped off your tour bus and you only have 24 hours to absorb Rome and all its splendor. As nice as it would be to have a week to really get to know this fabulous, ancient city, you can definitely take in the highlights and leave with many check marks on your bucket list.

To get from one major area to another, opt for Rome’s Metro as it is superb and extremely easy to use. Day passes are the most inexpensive way to go. This itinerary highlights the major sights at different Metro stops. The path is basically one big circle, so feel free to start at any of these Metro stops and work your way around.

Spagna (A Line)

A couple blocks from the metro exit will have you at the Piazza di Spagna near the Spanish Steps. At the foot, you’ll find the Fontana Barcaccia, a relatively small fountain picturing a seemingly sinking boat. The splendid Baroque staircase leads up to Obelisco Sallustiano.

You’re also in a prime, albeit high-end, shopping district. Within a ten minute walk, find stores such as Gucci, Prada, Cartier, Bvlgari, Chanel and much more. If your budget, like mine, doesn’t permit purchases from these stores, you can walk down Via Mario de’ Fiori and window shop on your way to the Trevi Fountain.

This iconic landmark is the largest and one of the most picturesque fountains in all Rome. The 85-foot-tall and almost 65 foot wide fountain pumps almost 3 million cubic feet of water every day. Throw in a coin, make a wish and head to your next stop!

After a short 10-minute walk west, you will find yourself at the Pantheon. It has the largest unsupported dome construction in the world. You can’t help but marvel at the magnificent architecture, dome construction with the “Oculus” and the original marble floors.

From here, about a 20-minute walk, including a trek across the Tiber River at the Ponte Sant’Angelo crossing, will be the spectacular Saint Angelo Castle, located to your right. Even though it was originally constructed to serve as a mausoleum, it later became a safe-house fortress for popes. It’s now a lovely museum and worth seeing as you traipse through the city.

Ottaviano (A Line)

©️Lin Chu-Wen | 123rf.com

When you exit this stop off the A Metro line, take a 15-minute walk south, you will arrive at St. Peter’s Square, the entrance to Vatican City and home to St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. To make the most of your time, purchase "Skip the Line" self-guided tour tickets in advance online. Viator.com is a great way to get tickets for St. Peter's Basilica or the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel.

Tip: Ladies, shoulders and knees must be covered in St. Peter's Basilica and Sistine Chapel to enter. The guards will stop you from entering! If you didn't pack anything, there are many street vendors selling scarves for cover. They make souveniers as well.

Colosseo (B Line)

©️Viacheslav Lopatin | 123rf.com

If you didn’t guess it before, you’ll get it almost as soon as you exit this Metro stop. The stop puts you practically right at the base of the Colosseum. Long before Yankee Stadium, this amphitheater hosted the finest athletes of its time. Events were often paid for by Emperors making it free for attendees. Can you imagine not having to pay $10 for a drink?

Next, head northwest from the Colosseum toward the splendid Roman Forum. During the Roman Empire, this was the social, political and commercial hub of the city. Take a somewhat leisurely walk to admire the Piazza di Santa Francesca Romana, Arco di Tito, Antiquarium Forense and other temples and ruins.  

There are any number of tour options for the Colosseum and the Forums. The most important thing is to purchase your tickets in advance. Your best bets are a skip-the-line tour lasting two hours and 30 minutes or this small group walking tour lasting approximately three hours. There are self-guided tour options available as well.

Must-eat foods:

During your day, there are a number of restaurants and cafes for delicious foods. Don’t be afraid to venture down smaller streets. Here a few foods to try while you’re in town:

  • Baccala at Dar Filettaro - fried salted cod
  • Pizza - A far cry from Dominos!
  • Nonna Betta - Roman artichokes
  • Armando al Pantheon  - Veal wrapped in prosciutto and sage, marinated in white wine

Rome may not have been built in a day, but it is definitely possible to experience a good portion of it in one. There will be time to rest afterward!

Check back tomorrow for day eight of our Countdown to Summer!  

ENTER TO WIN a Fuji Film Instax Mini 9 Instant camera in smokey white to document your sightseeing expeditions.

Today's article is sponsored by:


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