Only got 24 hours and not sure if it’s possible to see Rome in one day? It sure is!
Of course, you won’t be able to see every monument, but the pourpose of this article we will share an itinerary that will allow you to enjoy your day in the Capital, alternating between art, culture and fun.
Here instead, you can find an article that recommends activities you can do in Rome for two days with a child.
A week ago, my husband and I found ourselves alone. Flavio was in the mountains with his grandparents and, unlike other times, we didn’t want spend hours travelling or taking a flight. It was then when we decided to book a hotel in Rome (our own city) and be tourists.
After all, we never really visited Rome, so why not go for it?
In cases like these, choosing the right neighborhood is essential. We chose Rione Monti. We arrived at the hotel around 7pm on Saturday, and after leaving our suitcases in the room, we went out for a walk. The first thing to do is to book electric bikes for the next day – on Via Cavour you will find Bici & Baci, the only one to open at 8.30 am.
Piazza Madonna dei Monti is always crowded with people, the alleys are full of tourists coming and going. Here it is very easy to come across a tourist restaurant where the food is bad and it is not what you are looking for.
We walked for about an hour before we chose “Thank God it’s Friday”. It is a hectic place and not very big, but the pizza is really very good. Time for an ice cream and then off to bed, as tomorrow you need to get up very early! If you only have one day in Rome you can’t afford to sleep in, and have you ever seen Rome at 8am? That’s the real sight to see!
Morning – Rome in One Day
The first stop is undoubtedly the Colosseum.
In its magnificence, it looks even bigger at 8am on a Sunday morning. Within half an hour the first groups of tourists will start arriving, but for the moment, it’s all yours.
Once we had taken photos, we headed towards Piazza Venezia along Via dei Fori Imperiali; no cars and no tourists. You can walk in the middle of the road and breathe in the majesty of the Roman Empire. On the right, if you look carefully you can see the grandstands where you can sit, but I suggest going back at sunset. The warm colors of the sun make this part of history particularly magical.
Piazza del Popolo
Take a ride up to Piazza del Popolo crossing Via del Corso, and then have some breakfast in the garden of the Hotel De Russie in Via del Babuino. After a brief breakfast stop, go up towards the Pincio promenade and enter the beautiful Villa Borghese. Here we are again on Viale della Trinità dei Monti, until we get to Piazza di Spagna where you can drink a delicious strawberry iced tea in one of Rome’s oldest tea rooms.
It is almost lunchtime, but before stopping to eat we’ll go to see the famous Trevi Fountain. Nearby there is a secret gem that few know about; the Galleria of Palazzo Sciarra Colonna di Carbognano.
You won’t be able to take the bike inside, so make sure you lock it up and head in on foot. Immediately after the gallery, take a lunchbreak. It won’t be the best restautant ever, but still absolutely fantastic.
Afternoon – Rome in One Day
Let’s get back on the bike and head towards the Phanteon, a stop for the best coffee in Rome in Piazza Sant’Eustachio, or for an ice cream in one of the best ice cream parlors in Rome, before we reach Piazza Navona.
We walk along Via del Governo Vecchio with its boutiques and vintage shops to reach Lungotevere, cross the bridge, and find ourselves in front of Castel Sant’Angelo.
A few more streets and we reach San Pietro. We cross the Tiber again here at Largo dei Fiorentini. There is the homonymous church where, on Sundays, the Romans bring their animal friends to mass. A few meters away you can take Via Giulia, the first straight road built in Rome.
This area is my favorite and not to be missed in your one-day visit to Rome. This is where I grew up, and I consider it the most authentic area of the historical center of Rome where you can still find the elderly sitting in the street chatting with passers-by. In this area there is also Campo de Fiori, Torre Argentina and the Ghetto. If you pass by the Tiber, you can also get a glimpse of Tiber Island.
On the other side is Trastevere, with all of its amazing history. If you have time (and the desire) you can cross the Tiber again and cycle through the narrow streets that separate Piazza Trilussa to Piazza Santa Maria in Trastevere. You can stop for a fresh beer at Bir & Fud and then return to the noble bank and get back to Piazza Venezia.
It’s sunset; now you can go back to the stands you saw this morning in Via dei Fori Imperiali. At this time, the colors are warm, the climate is cooler and you will see how relaxing it can be to observe the Trajan Forum. If you don’t want to visit Trastevere, I suggest you go back to Via del Corso and reach the Rinascente in Via del Tritone. The entrée on the terrace is an absolute must. Alternatively, you can have an entrée on the terrace of the Cesari hotel, whose terrace is in the Top Five in Rome.
In conclusion, the day is almost over and you’ve effortlessly managed to see 70% of the historical center of Rome. Of course, in order to visit all of the places indicated, the bicycle is necessary or you couldn’t do even half of the tour that we laid out (and tested!)
I hope you enjoyed touring Rome in one day and, above all, that you fell in love with my wonderful city! Take a look at the pictures.