Free printable itinerary and checklist included at the end.
Do you have only one day in Rome? And do you want to cover all the major attractions the city has to offer? I know a lot of people say that it is impossible, but I think it is. All you’ll need to do is put on your most comfortable shoes and carry along your optimistic spirit. Read on for all my tips and suggestions and a free printable checklist and itinerary at the end.
If I’m being honest with you, one day in Rome is definitely not enough. There are so many secret gems all around the city that you shouldn’t miss. Even the popular touristic spots are way more than most other cities have to offer. But with my hacks, you will be able to cover major ground in one day too. Let’s start by listing all the important tourist spots in the eternal city.
Please Note: Every place that I mention in the post below links to the google map location. So all you need to do is click it and save it. That way you will have all the important places marked for when you actually visit the city. Hope you find it useful!
Rome in One Day: Unmissable Spots
Here is a list of all the most popular tourist attractions in the city that you should cover:
- Colosseum and the Roman Forum
- The Vatican and the Sistine Chapel
- The Trevi Fountain
- Spanish Steps
- Piazza Venezia
- The Pantheon
- At least one of the Popular Piazzas of Rome
- Pretty streets of Trastevere
If you’re wondering how to fit it all in, keep reading. If you think this list is too ambitious, you could skip Trastevere or the Piazzas.
Useful Tips to Cover More Ground
The biggest advice I can give you if you want to visit all the monuments in the list above is to start your day early. Especially if you’re visiting the city in the summer, autumn or spring months. The main reason I say this is because the scores of tourists Rome sees daily can hamper your experience in the eternal city. The later you start, the longer the lines and more crowded the spots will be. Which will mean 1000’s of people photo-bombing your pictures and having to wait hours in lines. And I’m sure you don’t want that.
Another useful advice would be to find a hotel or an airbnb near the Trevi Fountain as that is the first stop of the day. It is also centrally located and makes it easy for you to walk around the city center.
If you’re a history buff or are visiting with kids, make sure to read up about Ancient Rome so you can educate your kids and entertain them with some interesting facts as you explore the city.
The other thing I do recommend is getting on a tour for the Vatican. A lot of the tourists visit Rome to see the Vatican. Which means there will be lines to enter the St. Peter’s Basilica, the dome and mainly at the Vatican Museum which is where the Sistine Chapel is.
The last tip is for those who don’t care too much about getting the best pictures. You could also visit places like the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, trastevere and the piazzas of Rome at night. Since they are public places that don’t require any tickets. So you can visit at any time of the day or night. In fact, they look even more gorgeous all lit up at night.
One Day in Rome Itinerary
6:30 am: Start your day early and visit the Trevi Fountain. This is the best time to visit this monument as it is the quietest time of the day here. With very few people around, it is the perfect opportunity to get the best pictures. Besides that, you can sit and marvel at the beauty of the fountain without the crazy crowds around. Even though I live in Rome, early mornings and late nights are the only times I ever visit this monument. Mainly because it is located on a very tiny Roman square that is usually packed with tourists through the day.
7:00 am: Grab a quick breakfast at L’Antico Forno Di Fontana Di Trevi with a view of the Trevi fountain. This little bakery has a range of fresh pastries for you to choose from. My favourite here is the Maritozzo, a classic Roman pastry which is basically a sweet bun filled with fresh whipped cream. You could also get a Cornetto which is the most popular Italian breakfast in the country.
7:20 am: Start walking towards the Spanish Steps. It is just a pleasant 8 minute walk from the Trevi Fountain. Besides, at that time of the day, you will only see Romans around preparing for the day ahead.
7:30 am: Reach the Spanish steps and walk up to the top to admire the view of the fountain. Click your pictures and soak in the vibe of the eternal city. Walk around the small lanes near the Spanish Steps. If you’re visiting Rome during spring, make sure to add in a few stops to admire the blooms around the area.
8:00 am: Get on a bus or get a cab to go to the Colosseum. If you would like to walk, it is a 30 minute walk from the Spanish Steps. I love the walk, especially in the morning when the streets are empty.
8:30 am: Reach the Colosseum and line up for the tickets. The ticket window opens at 8:30 am. There might be a line, but it should move fast, especially if it is a week day. If not here’s how you can skip-the-line at the Colosseum.
10:00 am: Leave from the Colosseum and head to the Roman Forum. The ticket for the Colosseum includes a visit to the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. I recommend walking through the Roman Forum and skipping the Palatine Hill if you are short on time. Take your time admiring the ruins and reading up about the history.
11:00 am: Exit from the Roman Forum and head to Piazza Venezia which is right next to the Forum. Walk up the stairs and see the view of the city. The monument is free to visit unless you would like to visit the rooftop. I recommend skipping that since any place that requires a ticket is bound to take time. Besides that, there are many other places you can head to later for the best views of Rome.
11:30 am: Pick a nice restaurant for lunch and get a cab or a bus to the restaurant. I recommend finding one around the Vatican as that is the next stop for the day. Take some time to rest your legs and enjoy a nice typical Italian meal.
13:45 pm: Start heading to the Vatican. Lunch hour at the monuments are usually slow. If you don’t want to risk it, I highly recommend doing a skip-the-line tour of the Vatican. The Vatican along with the Sistine Chapel should take you about 3 hours to visit.
5:00 pm: After exploring the Vatican, take a well-deserved gelato break. My favorite place in the area is Cremilla. There is enough space if you would like to sit and have your gelato there. But if not, you can take it and stroll towards Castel Sant’Angelo which is only a 5 minute walk away. The monument is right by the river and has some great views that you can enjoy. You will also find various street artists playing their music here.
5:30 pm: Head back for some rest before dinner.
8:30 pm: Head to Trastevere for dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. You will find the area filled with typical Italian cobble stoned streets and restaurants serving Italian dishes. My favorite restaurant in the area is Da Meo Patacca. I recommend calling ahead and making a reservation beforehand.
10:00 pm: After dinner, head to the Pantheon and get a glass of wine at one of the restaurants around. Enjoy the evening with a view of the stunning monument.
10:30 pm: Stroll to Piazza Navona and admire the gorgeous square with the fountains before heading back for the day.
I know it sounds like a very hectic day, but Rome is filled with monuments and places that must be visited. In my opinion, if you feel this is a very hectic, you can skip entering Piazza Venezia and rushing through the Roman Forum so you can rest before the long tour at the Vatican.
Hope you have a great one day in Rome! Click here to request for a free downloadable version of the itinerary along with a checklist.
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This is a great itinerary! I have only been to Rome once, but it was on a school trip after high school. I would love to go back now that I am older. Enjoying a glass of wine at night on a rooftop is definitely a great suggestion, I’ll have to do that next time!
Oh you absolutely must then! Rome is just wonderful <3
Lia Pontarelli says
Delicious pizza and gelato, a definite must! Great itinerary ideas. I love Piazza Navona!
Thank you Lia
Rome looks so beautiful and I can’t believe I’ve never been. Definitely going to save this for when I start planning a trip.
Hope it is soon Francesca 😀
You covered all the most beautiful parts of my city! Thanks for sharing this with the world 🙂
Oh wow! You’re from Rome? Glad you like it