3 Days in Rome: the Eternal City

July 5, 2019

by The Blue Chestnut

If you’re reading this chances are that you will be in Italy this summer! Visiting a big chaotic city like Rome could be disarmingly, there so much to see that you don’t know where to start. And mostly you don’t want to miss anything!

But the truth is..you cannot see it all! Not in one trip at least, i have to tell you that! I never met a roman who have seen it all.. so don’t be discourage and take in as much as you can of the italian culture while you’re in the Eternal City. 

Besides the classic itineraries, you can try to live the city like a local would do. These suggestions are great for a first, a second or a fifth time in Rome! Even for people who live here.

Day 1: a walk through the city centre

Start your day in Piazza di Spagna. Wherever your accommodation is located, you can easily reach Piazza di Spagna with the metro (Line A). Enjoy the famous steps and the multitude of people from all over the world that crowd the capital of Italy in the summer.

After a photo break, take Via dei Condotti and from there go toward the Vittoriano, known as the Altare della Patria, magnificent monumental complex.   You can go in for free, and visit the museum part of the building, and with a ticket, reach the roof top, and enjoy a great great view!

Now it’s time for the big star, the Colosseum. There is a reason if it’s the first thing that came to mind when you think of Rome. You take Via dei Fori and get to the Colosseum for a pit stop. If you take the steps on the right facing the metro stop, you can get to the perfect photo location!! 

[Pro Tip: Bring your reusable water bottles!! Summer heat is really strong in Italy, and Rome is not an exception. Right in front of the metro stop “Colosseo” there is a filtered water station where you can fill them up. You’re welcome!]

Trevi Fountain is a must as much as the Colosseum if you ask me! Of course it’s always full of people, tourists and locals too! If you want to throw the coin, expect some line!!

Now you’re probably ready to go home, but not before having some gelato! Take the alleys that lead to the Pantheon, there’s plenty of good ice cream shops. Get back to Via del Corso until you reach Piazza del Popolo, and take the metro back at your staying from there (Line A – stop Flaminio)

Day 2: Explore Tivoli’s Villas

When in Rome, most people don’t think about the surroundings. So for the second day I recommend a tour of Tivoli’s Villas.                                              There are 3 of them ..and all gorgeous!

Get your day started with Villa Gregoriana, the most “wild” one. If your into hiking/light trekking, this one is for you!! Even if your not into walks, this is the most gorgeous out of three if you ask me! So make the effort to visit it!

For lunch you can taste the typical roman kitchen in one of the Tivoli’s tavern! Try the wine of course, and get some rest after the morning excursion.

In the afternoon relax in Villa Adriana, sit and enjoy the park or take a walk and admire the roman ruins around. Don’t forget the water and some sunscreen!! The sun is pretty rough! 

Last Villa d’Este, the more charming one. It’s full of fountains of all kind, and in the summer it’s open at night, all light up! It’s something you want to see!! Wait for it to be dark, and then go!!

All three Villas require a ticket, and usually there’s a lot of people in line..so if you already know when you are going to visit them, book your tickets  online in advance!!

Villa Gregoriana

Villa Adriana and Villa D’Este

You’ll avoid time waste ..and an insolation!

Day 3: living like a local

For your last day, i recommend something maybe unusual but..explore the neighbour your staying in! Rome is a huge city, and as beautiful the centre is, romans live their own districts a lot!! And the majority of people live in the suburbans! So if you want the locals experience, check out what’s near you and discover random places and spots!

San Lorenzo is nice for a younger crowd, is the university neighbour and because of that is always full of students, and in general has a more young range of people.

Pigneto is a periferical neighbour that has grown in popularity in the last couples of year, a lot of new activities opened recently and it’s always a good spot for an happy hour!

And if you’re vegan, the suburban areas in general are the spot for you! Look out for the many many vegan places to eat!! 

other spots to keep in mind:

If those destinations are not enough for you and you want to see more, if you have more days to fill or you’ve been in Rome before and already saw the places named in the 3 day itinerary, check out this uncommon spots and get the Rome experience from another angle.

  • Giardino degli aranci – location of the most famous hole in the lock. You’ll see why!!  A quick nice (and kind of romantic actually) point of interest to keep in mind!
  • Quartiere Coppedé – a residential district built mixing many different styles: Liberty, art decò, greek, gothic, baroque and medieval architecture. It’s unique and a must see!! But be respectful, people actually live there, and it’s not a set touristy location.
  • Via Ostiense – there is a cool Murales wall, Instagram worthy (yes, I said that)
  • Testaccio, near the Macro. There is a food area, incorporated with the local market. Try the sandwich with “panelle” from the first food station right at the entrance. You’ll thank me later!
  • Rione Monti (if you’re looking for somewhere you can have a drink after dinner, basically for the night life!                                                                            But also, the more famous Trastevere and Campo de Fiori are always a good spot, you cannot go wrong)
  • Gianicolo Terrace (where you can have a breathtaking view of Rome, especially at night! Bring a bottle of prosecco and enjoy yourself!)

extra tips

  • Rome public transportations get you everywhere, so you’re good to go! Go for the daily tickets (or weekly, depends on your staying of course)
  • The summer is very harsh, so bring a HAT, SUNSCREEN and have always WATER with you!!
  • Ask around for where to eat, local people always give the best advices!
  • When you’re looking for a place to stay, be sure to have a near metro stop (Line A, B or C) or a bus that connects you to a metro! It’s crucial to move more freely and easily.

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