What to do in Rome in one day

Rome is a romantic city of ancient splendor that is on the bucket list of most travelers. It is filled with lively history and unparalleled artistic influences. There is a reason why this city has served as the center of religious and artistic movements for so many hundreds of years. The Inn at the Roman Forum is a great introduction to the historic beauty of the city. You will love staying in this elegant hotel. Just around the corner is the Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterno where you will witness royal architecture and amazing art. Café Café is a cozy spot to grab a coffee before you head over to the Colosseum where you will walk through the ancient amphitheater and step back in time. Break for lunch with some fresh and delicious food at the warm and authentic PanDivino

Over in Vatican City, you will be in awe of St. Peter’s Basilica and Michelangelo’s famous ceiling at the Sistine Chapel. Then head over to Caffe Sant’Eustachio for a truly Italian coffee experience. The Pantheon is not far from here, and you will be amazed at how this incredible old temple is still so beautifully intact. Also, don’t forget when in Rome to bring a coin to the Trevi Fountain and make a wish in hopes that you will return to Rome one day. Your dinner at Il Pagliaccio will be unforgettable as will a show at Teatro dell’Opera di Roma. End the night with drinks at Libreria Café Bohemian and dancing at Shari Vari Playhouse. This Rome day trip is sure to be unforgettable

09:00 – Stay in a Hotel Filled with History and Beauty at the Inn at the Roman Forum

It is hard to find a quiet boutique hotel in the middle of the bustling city of Rome, but The Inn at the Roman Forum is exactly the place you have been hoping for. This hotel is quaint and historic and beautifully designed, providing a quintessential atmosphere to call home on this Rome day trip. The hotel is located in a 17th-century building that was built, as many of the city’s buildings are, on top of the ancient part of the city. There is even a passageway to an old market. The Inn at the Roman Forum provides a delightful experience as rich in beauty and history as the city itself

The staff is so friendly and enthusiastic, ready to help you and tell you all about the history of the hotel and the surrounding areas. The individuals at the front desk will welcome you like old friends and help you with your bags and anything else you might need. The whole space from the lobby to the hallways are filled with luxurious and interesting décor such as columns, painting, and statues. It is an incredible space with the most accommodating staff and cozy rooms. You are sure to have a wonderful stay

The bedrooms are decorated with elegant warmth. Many of the beds feature canopies or regal headboards. Intricate chandeliers hang down from the ceiling and bath the room in light. The wallpaper is unique and perfectly selected depending on the ambience of the room. It will feel like a home away from home. Definitely take a few minutes to check out the view from the breakfast terrace. It will offer you a preview of the places you are about to head out to  // The Inn at the Roman Forum – Via Degli Ibernesi, 00184 Roma

09:30 – Witness the Grandeur of the Glittering Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano

Right around the corner from your cozy hotel is the first stop on your Rome day trip, a landmark of historic beauty, the Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano. This regal structure is the official seat of the Roman Pontiff and is the oldest of the Papal Basilicas. It has been a lasting monument in Rome since the 4th century AD. The basilica is of great religious importance and was renovated and rebuilt under the watch of dozens of popes over the last 1500 years. This incredible structure is a great introduction to the beauty and culture of Rome

This church was the seat of the Bishop of Rome since practically the beginning of the church and the interior is decorated to pay respects to the church’s history. The ceilings are ornate and colorful. Large religious murals cover many of the walls. The floors are beautiful glossy marble and alter is elaborate and breathtaking in all its glittering glory. The Arcibasilica di San Giovanni is a one of a kind masterpiece that embodies the holy religious history of Rome

There are many sculptures throughout the basilica depicting important figures from Christianity including the twelve apostles. The holy structure is also the home to a piece of wood from the table where Jesus partook of the last supper and what is believed to be Christ’s blood spilled on the steps of the Scala Sancta or Holy Stairs. This is a central reason why many devout Catholics come to the basilica. It is a place of holy devotion to God. However, you do not have to be Catholic to appreciate the beauty of this incredible holy site  //  Arcibasilica di San Giovanni in Laterano – Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano – 4, Roma

10:30 – Cozy Up in Café Café and Enjoy Some Sweets Within View of The Colosseum

Stop for a wonderful cup of coffee and a great atmosphere at the delightful Café Café, just around the corner from the Colosseum. This is a homey and friendly spot. The walls are a textured gold and twinkle lights glow on the ceiling. The tables and chairs are colorful and fun. Find a place to sit and have a chat with the welcoming staff. They are more than happy to help you with anything you need. Café Café is completely charming and perfectly laid back. It’s the perfect place to spend part of your morning before heading back out for an adventure

There are lots of options to eat and drink here at Café Café. Of course, they have incredible coffee in various Italian styles. Order an espresso for a jolt of caffeine and an authentic Rome coffee experience. The café also has 40 different herbal teas to choose from that are all delicious. Enjoy some excellent deserts as well. Their cheesecake, Tiramisu, and warm apple cake are all delicious. They also have wonderful smoothies to choose from if you are in the mood. No matter you get it will be fresh and amazing

Enjoy the warm and cozy atmosphere at Café Café as you sip on your coffee and eat your delicious dessert. Glimpse the Colosseum from the window and watch the tourists bustling by on the way to that famous site. Café Café offers a nice escape from the crowds and energizes you with amazing food and drinks and an equally amazing ambience. Soak in the moment of quiet familiarity here at Café Café before heading back out into the city again  // Café Café – Via dei SS. Quattro, 44, 00184 Roma

11:00 – Step Back into the Era of the Gladiators at the Ancient Colosseum

You cannot go to Rome without seeing one of its most iconic landmarks. The Colosseum is the enormous amphitheater that dates all the way back to 70 AD, the glory days of ancient Rome. This is the largest amphitheater ever built and is estimated to have been able to hold up to 80,000 people. It was known to host a variety of shows and spectacles, most famously the gladiator contests. It went on to have a variety of uses throughout the centuries though it still maintained its association with the brutal practice of the ancient Roman Empire

Today, the Colosseum hosts thousands of visitors every year. Everyone wants to witness this famous amphitheater for themselves. It truly is a magnificent site and it is known all around the world for its size and splendor. You will walk along the old seats and as you do, you can almost hear the roaring crowd cheering on the gladiators as they fight to the death. The Colosseum is rich with history and its size is breathtaking. Take your time as you walk through the ancient amphitheater and feel the history of the space you are in

The Colosseum has incredible underground tunnels and passageways that you can now tour. You will be amazed by the elaborate theatrical system. There are trapdoors, ramps, and hoists that provided tricks and added to the excitement of the presentation. There are cages, which housed many of the exotic animals that were included in the shows. It is truly incredible to walk through the Colosseum and witness the architecture and splendor of this ancient monument of Rome  // Colosseum – Piazza del Colosseo, 1, 00184 Roma

12:30 – Enjoy an Authentic Italian Lunch at the Family Owned PanDivino Restaurant

When coming to Rome, Italy, one of the things you are probably most excited about is the food. For an authentic and tasty lunch in Rome, PanDivino Restaurant is the perfect place for this. PanDivino is a favorite spot for locals and tourists. It has a laid back atmosphere, a friendly and welcoming staff and incredible food. When you enter into the cozy space of PanDivino you will be greeted with sounds, sights and aromas that are quintessentially Italian and exactly what you would want for lunch on your Rome day trip

PanDivino’s food is authentically Italian and freshly homemade. When you enter the restaurant you will see a glass case filled with meat, vegetables, cheese, bread and lots of other ingredients that will make up your lunch today. Sandwiches and paninis are usually the favorite things to order. Choose a combination of meats and cheeses wedged delightfully between two slices of fresh bread. You can also order a tapas plate with various sliced sausages and fresh mozzarella. The food at PanDivino is simple and delicious

The seating in PanDivino is made up mostly of big barrels that have been converted into tables. It adds to the laid back and homey atmosphere of the place. Family photos, paintings, spices and little trinkets hang down from the green wood paneled wall. You can tell this is a family owned place, which adds to the charm. After a delicious Panini, finish off your meal with some homemade tiramisu. It is the perfect way to end a wonderful meal in the cozy PanDivino Restaurant  // PanDivino – Via del Paradiso, 39, Roma

14:00 – Experience the Holiness of St. Peter’s Basilica and the Masterpiece of the Sistine Chapel

Rome is known for many amazing and historical things both religious and artistic. As the center of the Catholic Church, it is home to many incredible cathedrals and holy sites. Perhaps none is better known than St. Peter’s Basilica in the center of the Vatican. This glorious structure is one of the largest churches in the world and is traditionally known as the burial place of the founder of the Catholic Church, St. Peter himself. The basilica is astounding to see rising above you as you walk up to the front of it. It is an incredible and holy wonder that you cannot miss

Once inside, you will be stunned by the sheer beauty and size of St. Peter’s Basilica. The church is gloriously filled with light streaming from the skylights. The grand details of the church’s interior glow with gold. There are many statues and paintings around the basilica commemorating saints, former popes and other historical contributors to the Catholic Church. The ceiling is in and of itself a work of art with its painted details and the floor is regally dressed in patterned marble. To enjoy another building whose interior is a work of art, head over to the Sistine Chapel to see Michelangelo’s famous ceiling painting

The Sistine Chapel has become synonymous with the name Michelangelo. His frescoes on the ceiling of the chapel are some of the most famous images in the world. He famously wanted to decline the job and is said to have worked quite reluctantly on creating the now gorgeous ceiling. Michelangelo painted brightly colored depictions of biblical events, everything from Adam and Eve to the ancestors of Christ. These paintings exemplify the brilliance of Michelangelo’s creative and artistic talent. You will leave the Sistine Chapel overwhelmed and in awe of the impressive beauty found here in Rome  // St. Peter’s Basilica – Piazza San Pietro, 00120 Città del Vaticano, Vatican City

16:00 – Have a Real Italian Coffee Experience at the Bustling Caffè Sant’Eustachio

If you really want to enter into the coffee culture of Rome, the best place to do that is at Caffe Sant’Eustachio. This old coffee shop and roaster is located in the center of the ancient part of Rome. Follow your nose to the cafe, the smell of coffee drifts down the streets and draws in everyone around. This is most Roman’s favorite place for delicious authentic Italian coffee, so you will really enjoy the busy bustling atmosphere of Italians popping in for their afternoon caffeine fix. Caffe Sant’Eustachio will definitely meet all your coffee needs

Most people come to Caffe Sant’Eustachio for an espresso. The expert baristas will ask you if you want sugar or not. They also have a variety of other coffee based drinks. The monachella is espresso with chocolate and whipped cream. Caffe freddo is a sweet cold coffee and there are also frappes, cappuccinos and lots of other options that feature Caffe Sant’Eustachio’s fantastically roasted espresso beans. There are also several sweet options like various coffee candies and fresh chocolate truffles. It’s a wonderfully authentic taste that will make you feel like a true Italian

here is seating outside where you can people watch as you sip your delicious drink. However, most people enjoy standing at the bar inside in real Italian style. The café is spacious and busy it is a great spot to watch the buzz of people swarming through the space. If you loved your coffee so much that you want to take some home with you, you can do that. Caffe Sant’Eustachio sells lots of coffee goods including their whole and ground beans. This would be a great souvenir to bring back for friends but you should also make sure to keep a bag for yourself. You will want to relive your coffee experience at Caffe Sant’Eustachio over and over again  // Caffe Sant’Eustachio – Piazza di Sant’Eustachio, 82, Roma

17:00 – Wander Through the Ancient Pantheon and Stroll Through the Lovely Piazza Navona

The Pantheon is one of the oldest buildings in Rome. It was built between 27 and 25 AD as a temple to the Roman gods. Large grey roman columns support the impressive stone roof. It is one of the best-preserved ancient-Roman buildings and has been in continuous use throughout history making it a location rich with stories and events from various periods of time in Rome. Entry into the Pantheon is free so head inside the ancient structure and witness the history and beauty for yourself

Inside the Pantheon you will walk into the central space of the building, which is covered by a large and impressive dome. The top of the dome lets in a stream of light giving the space a mystical quality. The Pantheon is filled with statues and altars and tombs all brought in at later dates when Catholicism was the ruling religion in Rome. There are many painting lining the walls all with beautiful depictions of religious themes. It is an incredible space filled with art and you will leave in awe

Just a few steps away from the Pantheon is the Piazza Navona, a huge and gorgeous Roman square. There are beautiful grand fountains and incredible statues and monuments within the square and it is a wonderful space to wander and explore. Take your time walking through the piazza and watch the people sitting in cafes or bustling through the square. There are lots of shops, street performers and vendors throughout the place providing various kinds of diversion. Enjoy the atmosphere of this beautiful day. There is nothing better than a stroll through the Piazza Navona on your Rome day trip  // Pantheon – Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma

18:30 – Bring a Coin and Make a Wish at the Magical and Spectacular Trevi Fountain

In the heart of Rome is one of the most recognizable fountains in the world, the Trevi Fountain. This beautiful fountain is at the center of many legends and rituals. The Trevi Fountain is a masterpiece of Baroque-style art. The marble statues depict creatures and figures of fantasy, which add to the ethereal quality of the fountain. The aqua water sparkles in the sunlight and coins glitter from the fountain’s floor. The Trevi fountain is a gorgeous landmark essential to any Rome day trip

The Trevi Fountain is quite notorious around the world. It has often featured in movies, most famously in the romantic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday. The romance of the fountain is often one of the main reasons people visit. The legendary ritual is to throw a coin from your right hand over your left should and it will guarantee that you will return to Rome in the future. If you throw a second coin over your shoulder, it will ensure that you will have a new romance and if you throw a third coin then you are destined to be married. Give it a try, you never know

Enjoy the atmosphere of the Trevi Fountain. It sits in a bustling plaza filled with hopeful visitors making wishes at the fountain. The backdrop for the Trevi Fountain is the Palazzo Poli, which is a beautiful building that adds to the grandeur of the space. A visit to the Trevi Fountain is filled with magic and excitement. The gushing water adds to the noise and rush of the environment. Join in the thrill and let yourself get swept up in this perfect Rome moment  // Trevi Fountain – Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma

19:30 – Indulge in a Delicious and Unique Dinner at the Il Pagliaccio Restaurant

For dinner, the restaurant Il Pagliaccio offers an exquisite Italian fine dining experience without being pretentious or overdone. This is a Michelin two stars restaurant, so your meal is sure to be expertly prepared and delicious and you will be well taken care of by the staff ensuring a wonderful experience. The Italian head chef studied in France and Japan, making the food at Il Pagliaccio an incredible blend of tasty influences. Get ready for an amazing meal in fantastic restaurant here in Rome

The staff at Il Pagliaccio is very accommodating and will do everything they can to make sure your dining experience is delightful and personal. You will be seated in the simple and elegant dining room. The tables are covered with crisp white tablecloths, the floor is black and white checkered, and deep red accents add to the warmth of the space. The menu offers 8 or 10-course meal options so that you can get the full experience. There are many interesting seafood starters like smoked scallops and apple and chamomile infused scampi. The first and second courses have lots of delicious choices such as pumpkin gnocchi, Oxtail with artichokes and Brussels sprouts, and lots of other interesting meat, fish and pasta options

The subtle atmosphere lets you focus in on the incredible food you have in front of you. Relish in each course and experience a rainbow of flavors. Il Pagliaccio also has an impeccable wine list, you are in Italy after all, so indulge in some of the country’s best. Definitely don’t forget dessert. Il Pagliaccio has some amazing sweet options for you to indulge in like hazelnut and coffee pralines and chestnut, calvados ice cream, and many others. This is an impeccable dining experience that you will wish could never end  // Il Pagliaccio – Via dei Banchi Vecchi, 129/a, 00186 Roma

21:00 – Take in a Night at the Opera At the Majestic Teatro dell’Opera di Roma

There is not a better thing to do during an evening in Rome than spending your time at an Italian opera. Teatro dell’Opera di Roma is the perfect place to have an elegant and exciting time. The theater is gorgeous and will make you feel like royalty. From the moment you walk in you will be put in the mood for a wonderful performance. The theater is an old opera house that hosts a variety of beautiful shows that will entertain and wow you. This is the perfect way to spend an evening of glittering entertainment

Once inside the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma you will be amazed by the beautiful glowing auditorium. The seats on the ground floor are classic red theater seats and there are four floors of balcony boxes surrounding the auditorium. The whole room radiates with red and gold. The ceiling is a beautiful round mural with a sparkling chandelier in the center. A burgundy curtain hides the stage as you wait for the show that will be performed once it opens. This beautiful theater literally sets the stage for an incredible performance

The Teatro dell’Opera di Roma is a glowing space that offers many shows for you to see. There are exquisite classic operas like The Barber of Seville and Cinderella and the Mozart composed piece, The Marriage of Figaro. They also have classical ballet shows such as Swan Lake and Carmen. These various performances are expertly executed and completely mesmerizing to watch. You will be dazzled by whatever show you see. A night at the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma is truly a masterpiece  // Teatro dell Opera di Roma – Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 7, 00187 Roma

22:30 – Grab a Drink at the Trendy Libreria Café Bohemian

Rome is home to many interesting people and a booming art scene. Libreria Café Bohemian is hotspot for all things quaint and artistic. The scene here is mostly locals who come to talk about art and literature and music. It is tucked away on a cozy street among other eclectic cafes, but this one is a neighborhood favorite. They host many art and music events and there is usually someone playing a beautiful melody on the café’s grand piano. Libreria Café Bohemian is a beautiful space to spend part of your evening in Rome

The bar has lots of great wine and beer options, so feel free to ask the friendly bartender what they have. Strike up a conversation about the art while you are at it. Libreria Café Bohemian features lots of interesting art by local artists. This is also a bookshop so there are lots of old and new books stacked on the shelves for visitors to peruse through. This bar is bursting with creativity and you will be able to feel it in the air

Find a cozy spot at the bar or on one of the plush armchairs in a book filled corner of the café. Watch the people come and go with their eccentric clothes and loud excited Italian voices. This space is a rare find and worth spending some time in. Sip on a glass of Italian wine and chat with your friends, or make some new ones. The people that come in the Libreria Café Bohemian are friendly and eager to talk about their art and music. It is a warm atmosphere where anyone is welcome. Make yourself at home and feel like a local at this cozy and fascinating bar here in Rome  // Libreria Café Bohemian – Via Degli Zingari, 36, 00184 Roma

23:59 – Party in Italian Style at the Incredibly Chic Shari Vari Playhouse

Just steps away from the Pantheon is the perfect place to end your night in Rome. Shari Vari Playhouse is the place to be once the sun has gone down. A diverse crowd of young cool Italians heads here to party the night away in true Roman style. The club describes itself as “versatile” and indeed it provides an experience that is constantly changing with multiple rooms offering different kinds of music and excitement. This club is a perfect representation of the city Rome with all its noise, culture and care-free attitudes. Shari Vari Playhouse gives you an authentic Italian nightlife experience that you will love and remember for long

Shari Vari Playhouse has three levels of rooms for dancing. Each one has a different music genre, which includes hip-hop, retro, house, and dance. Pick a style or move from one space to another, getting lost in the music of the night. Each room also offers a unique ambience with grungy exposed brick in one and elegant gold and white detailed walls in another. The whole nightclub vibrates with the music and the movement of everyone enjoying a night out in Rome. Don’t be shy and show your best dance moves

Take a break from the dancing for a bit and head up to the bar for a cocktail. There are plenty of excellent and reasonably priced options. The staff is very friendly and is there to make sure you have a great time. You will dance until your feet are sore, but you will not even notice because you are having so much fun beneath the colored lights at Shari Vari Playhouse. It’s been an incredible day in one of the best cities in the world, and ending the night at this spectacular nightclub is the right choice  // Shari Vari Playhouse – Via di Torre Argentina, 78, 00186 Roma

We mapped out your day trip in Rome

Each highlight of your day trip is numbered, simply follow the guide

What you should absolutely know about Rome

City highlights, food & drinks, expressions, weather, how to get there and how to get around

Rome is a mix of vibrant street life, insuring art, memorable sights, fine arts, great food, and rich history. Modern life in Rome is lived to the fullest. One day trip to Rome, spend your day people-watching on from one of the many plazas or sipping coffee in a quaint riverfront café. Wander down the cobblestone streets and visit the ancient churches and basilicas, grandiose monuments, awe-inspiring fountains, and beautiful palaces. Rome is the best of both worlds, a fusion of modern and ancient all in harmony within one city

Relax and people-watch from the iconic Spanish Steps and visit the Roman Forum to gaze at the architectural wonder. The romantic Trevi Fountain, The Pantheon, Vatican Museum, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Colosseum are attractions you must visit

Rome is famous for their hearty food. Try carbonara, a pasta dish made with eggs, cheese, bacon, and black pepper, and the city’s thin crust pizza. Fried artichoke makes a delicious snack and, of course, don’t leave without having a few flavors of gelato

Italian is full of niceties. To express gratitude, say “Grazie” and to excuse yourself, say “Mi scusi”. “Ciao” is Italian for “Hello” and “Goodbye”. To ask “How are you?” ask “Come va?” If you want to ask if someone speaks English, ask, “Parli inglese?”

Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures in the 80s. Fall brings cooler temperatures and rain later in the season. Winters are cool and humid, with average temperatures of 54 degrees. Spring is often breezy and pleasant, around 60 degrees

To get to the city, you can take the regional train (reno regionale) for 8 Euros each way or one of the several buses that make several stops in different places in Rome. Taxis from the airport to the city have a flat rate of 48 Euros

Rome is a perfect city for exploring on foot because many attractions are close together. Central Rome is traffic-free, but to explore the outer edges of the city, take the subway, bus, or taxi. Bike rentals are also very popular in Rome

Feeling adventurous? Have a look at these city guides