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- Posted:Monday, November 26, 2012
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We love to make the most out of a new destination regardless of how little time we have to spend there. So that’s why we’ve put together a quick guide to what we would do with just one day in Rome.
9am - Start your day like a local (when in Rome and all that) with a quick breakfast that normally consists of a coffee and a pastry. The locals don’t take long over their breakfast and you’ll see many of them even standing while they eat.
Then make your way by metro (buy a day pass for savings and efficiency) or foot towards the first of many Roman squares you will encounter - Campo de' Fiori. The best time to visit Campo de' Fiori is definitely the morning as you will be greeted with a colourful and lively market. Vendors here sell everything from flowers to handmade pasta.
10am - Our favourite thing about Rome is that as you are walking to your next destination, you will encounter some beautiful buildings and historic architecture without even planning to. Make your way to The Pantheon on Piazza della Rotonda next as it’s only a short walk from Campo de Fiori. Always have a map with you in Rome as the narrow streets wind and criss-cross a lot! Rome is packed full of churches but the Pantheon is one of its oldest and is also the best preserved building in the city. Don’t forget to check out its famous dome along with its central opening.
11am - Next, loop back around to Piazza Navona. Often regarded as one of the most beautiful squares in the city, Piazza Navona is not only surrounded by great restaurants, but it’s also where you will find some stunning fountains and the Sant’Agnese in Agone Church. And if like me you think it’s never too early for gelato, there are a couple of great gelato shops around this square. Grab your favourite flavour and sit out in this piazza.
12pm - After your gelato fix you’ll be ready for a little walk over to Piazza di Spagna where you’ll take in lots of hidden architectural gems along your way. You’ll also take in some expensive gems if you walk up Via Condotti – home to many designer shops! Piazza di Spagna is a beautiful and busy square where the dominating feature is the Spanish Steps. Climb up the steps to the very top and take a look inside the church that sits atop the famous steps - Trinità dei Monti. The Spanish Steps also make for some great photo opportunities from any angle.
*Quick tip: Keep your empty water bottle and fill it up at the fountains in the squares as they are fresh water.
Lunchtime - After all that walking, you’ll probably be feeling a bit peckish at this point, and what better way to refuel for your remaining hours in the Eternal City than with pizza or pasta. You’ll find a whole host of restaurants in Rome but our main tip is to stay away from anywhere that advertises their meals with pictures, and most of the establishments close to tourist attractions; otherwise you’ll be paying a small fortune for just a bottle of water! Instead, wander a street or two from the main squares to find some authentic Italian cuisine. Close to Piazza di Spagna you will find one of our favourites - L'Enoteca Antica di Via della Croce.
2pm - Next stop is an image that really is synonymous with Rome – The Colosseum. If you’ve eaten too much pasta then hop on the metro to Colosseo. If we’re completely honest here the main thing about the Colosseum is to just get a look at it. If you haven’t much time or money on your hands then don’t bother going inside – the best view is from outside. Once you’ve taken lots of snaps here stroll over to the Roman Forum. This Rome attraction is now a paying one, so again, if you’re working with a tight budget the best thing to do is to find a good viewing point on a hill to take in these historic ruins.
4pm - Hop back on the metro at Colosseo to Ottaviano to have a walk around the world’s smallest state – Vatican City. You really can’t come all the way to Rome without checking out Vatican City, even if you don’t have the time to visit the famous Vatican Museum (the line alone can take hours of waiting). Take a wander through St. Peter’s Square and take in St. Peter’s Basilica, and if the line isn’t too long, take the time to go inside as entry is free. From here walk down Via della Conciliazone towards Castel Sant’Angelo and a beautiful bridge called Pont Sant’Angelo.
6pm - Jump back on the metro to make the most of that day-pass to the stop Barberini Fontana di Trevi. From here you will easily find the Trevi Fountain, the most grand of all of the city’s fountains. In fact you will probably hear the water gushing before you see it. This Rome attraction is always busy, unless you get there very early or late at night. But the crowds of tourists sitting around this famous fountain really do add to the atmosphere of it. Sit back, take some photos and relax as you watch the fountains and it surroundings.
8pm - Eat! Have we mentioned we love Italian food? Well, we do! Dinner in Rome is not to be rushed – it’s a relaxing few hours enjoyed with wine and many, many courses. If you want to join some locals then make your way to the Trastevere area that lies slightly outside of the city centre. These streets are home to some real Roman cooking along with some fine wines.
11pm - You can stay in the Trastevere region for some nightlife entertainment too. You will find a great mix of laid-back bars and cafes to continue drinking wine in. You can also make your way back to Campo de Fiori for some lively venues or check out Via di Monte Testaccio for your pick of bars.
Some tips from our facebook fans on what to do with one day in Rome...
Carina Casas says: I would go to Piazza Navona to walk around and to sit at a cafe.
Cheryl Hooks says: When in Rome, one does as the Romans do!
Jisun Lee says: I would take pictures, lots and lots!
David M Mahler says: Drink beers in Campo Di Fiori.
Neli Cortes says: Very Little obviously... 1 day is too short! But I would visit the Colosseum and all the ruins, walk the streets of Rome and eat as much as possible in every trattoria I could find! If there is enough time, I would go to Vatican City as well.
Jaleru Mina says: I would walk from Piazza del Popolo down to near to Colosseum.
Sunyoung Park says: Take a walk with a cup of coffee and ice cream.
Mateus Aguiar says: St Peter's Basilica and Colosseum at least.
From previous experience, after a full day in Rome we know there’s nothing better than falling into bed. Make sure it’s a comfy one for a great value price with one of these great Rome hostels.