How to See Rome in a Weekend

 

Rome is one of those places in the world that I feel is a true wonder. It’s an ancient city full of spectacular things to explore and genuine old world charm. It’s steeped in history and certainly no stranger to romance.

I had been to Rome a few years back, before this trip with my husband, so I already had a few things in mind that I knew he’d want to see and a few things that I really wanted to see again myself. We had a few days to explore the city before our Mediterranean cruise that departed from nearby Civitavecchia and I had everything set out and organized out with my travel planner so we were sure to maximize our time and keep everything within budget. (funny note, most times while vacationing my husband transforms into some sort of wild spender and while this can be nice in some ways, it often results in us going way over our trip budget. Hence the reason I like to budget everything out with my travel planner. I like to see the whole picture.)

 

We walked a relatively large part of this city and it’s totally an easy and navigable area, with a user-friendly subway system if you wish to zigzag around the city a little faster.

 

I should mention at this point that we are not into museums or art galleries or stuff like that, so this list won’t include anything of the such. (Sorry for those looking for places of the sort.)

 

If you’ve got a few days to hit this beautiful city, here’s some things you can be sure won’t disappoint.

 

Coliseum

This was a dead giveaway for us to see because my husband absolutely loves anything with ancient warriors, and I get drawn into the vast architecture. This stadium is totally amazing, not only in size but in it’s history as well. We started our day here and were amazed at the fact that we basically walked up to the ticket counter with little to no lineup at all. We purchased our admission and walked right in. This may have been because it was September and mid-morning, I’m not sure. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to walk the grounds and take in the exhibits. There’s certainly lots to see and plenty of photo ops. If time allows, it’s also neat to walk by at night when it is lit up.

 

Forum

Across the street from the Coliseum is the Roman Forum, touted as the heart of the Roman Empire and it’s impressive to see the ruins. Admission to this outdoor area is included in the tickets for the Coliseum so made sure we walked through this area. It’s pretty mind blowing to know we were walking amidst ruins in which ancient rulers also walked.

 

Piazza Venezia

After walking through the Coliseum and Forum we walked further down the street to see the Piazza Venezia with it’s beautiful architecture. We stopped here for just a few minutes to admire it and made our way towards the Trevi fountain.

 

Trevi Fountain

Legend has it that the throwing of a coin from the right hand over the left shoulder will ensure that you will return to Rome in the future. And it must be true, as I did this a few years before this trip and here I was again. This fountain is spectacular and it’s little wonder, it’s a massive 86 feet high and an impressive 161 feet wide and is astoundingly beautiful. We lingered here for a little while before heading onto Piazza Navona.

Piazza Navona

This square is just lovely, and while I’d been there on my first trip to Rome I never had a chance to take my time and not just rush through it. This square is home to the popular fountain of “Four Rivers” as well as two other fountains, and you may recognize this square from several movies. There are numerous artists selling their masterpieces as well as other shops and restaurants. We decided to have supper at one of the places here, and sat outside so we could just enjoy the ambience.

 

Ponte Umberto

Rome also has some beautiful bridges, and one of the things I really enjoyed is the view of the distant Vatican while crossing the Ponte Umberto. I wanted to do this at night when the lights are on because it’s such a beautiful atmosphere.

 

Vatican

The Vatican itself holds absolutely no meaning to us, and while I had done the tour during a prior visit to Rome, my husband had no interest in going in, nor did I. However, I do enjoy the architecture of it and my husband said he wanted to go to the outside grounds just to say that he went and stood there. We went after our dinner at Piazza Navona which was just a short jaunt to the Ponte Umberto and we walked along the river, passing the Castel Saint Angelo before heading straight for the Vatican. This walk was just beautiful as the evening lights from the Vatican up ahead were just beautiful. I strongly recommend visiting in the evening as there were far less people roaming about and the area is still fairly lit up so that you can see the beauty.

 

Spanish Steps

The following morning after grabbing breakfast we walked to the Spanish steps. Now when I say we walked there, we didn’t make just a bee line, but meandered through various streets and stopped to look at different things along the way. The route we took actually brought us to the top of the steps instead of the bottom (as most people do), so we stopped and enjoyed the view before taking a seat and then making our way to the fountains and streets below. There’s lots of shops in this area and so we spent some time walking around here before heading to the Villa Borghese park.

Park Villa Borghese

This park is huge and simply awesome. We spent an entire afternoon here, admiring the views, the sculptures, the greenery, and everything else, yet there was still a huge portion of this park that we didn’t see. It was a great way to spend a quiet afternoon with plenty of things to see.

 

Piazza del Popolo

We walked out one side of the park and ended up (by mistake, but a happy mistake) at the Pope’s Square which was pretty neat to see. Again, we were not looking for areas of religious monuments but it’s a neat area to see and if you are religious, a great spot to take in.

 

We strolled along until we found a neat place to enjoy supper and ended our second day. All in all, we saw a fair number of things in just two days, many popular things and many things along the way that were unexpected and just unique to this awesome city.

 

There’s so much to see in Rome and scores more things to do if you are really into the arts, or history or religion with museums for just about everyone.

If you’re planning a trip soon, don’t forget to grab my FREE printable packing list and outfit planner


Are you heading to Rome anytime in the near future? What do you hope to see while there?

 

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