Do you have only one day to spend in Rome?
Perhaps you have a long layover in the city, or you have planned an Italy trip and can only spend a limited time in the cities you will be visiting.
Or, you may be living in another Italian city or a European country and would like to just do a day trip to Rome!
We will craft up a one day in Rome itinerary which will feel so holistic that you may forget that there are even any limitations to the short duration of your stay!
We will also provide you with some practical tips on efficiency within the city that will enhance your time spent in the City of Seven Hills!
How to do Rome in a day?
We have already argued on and detailed how a 2 day trip to Rome is possible, but now the challenge in question is:
If you only have 24 hours available, can you do Rome in a day?
It is more possible for you to do than you might currently think.
However, time IS of the essence, and so coming up with quicker ways of getting around the city will be a complete game changer.
You firstly need to carefully plan out what you want to see. The good thing about how the famous monuments are distributed within the city is that a lot of them are clustered in similar spaces. This is because a lot of the central hubs of ancient Rome were close together, in the midst of the valleys and on top of the hills that create the parameters of the Eternal City.
This means that it might be relatively easier to reach various points of interest, and you do not need to have a one day trip that only lets you see one of the many wonders Rome has. We understand how that might create even further longing for the city and would not have quenched your curiosity at all.
Regardless of these monumental clusters, we advise finding ways to move around the city in a much more efficient way.
Consider doing a walking tour that specifically create the best routes for the experiences they offer, or even contemplate moving around the city with a Vespa!
Best Way to see Rome in a day:
Take a look at the Rome attractions map as a consultation to decide what there is to do and see. Use it to add further to your base knowledge of what Rome has to offer.
The ideal Rome 1 day itinerary should be based on your interests however. Skip the attractions that you can live without seeing.
One again, make sure to maximise your time. Make you list of attractions and organize them according to their geographical proximity.
What to do on the first day of Rome?
To tour some of Rome’s most iconic monuments is an absolute must.
Start your day early with a visit to the Colosseum, one of Rome’s most iconic landmarks. Arrive early to beat the crowds and consider purchasing skip-the-line tickets in advance for a smoother experience. Afterward, explore the nearby Roman Forum and Palatine Hill to immerse yourself in ancient Roman history. Take your time to walk through the ruins and envision the grandeur of the past.
In the afternoon, switch up your surroundings, walk across the Tiber river (preferably by crossing the Ponte Sant’Angelo in order to view the grand Castel San’t Angelo’s exteriors and Bernini’s gorgeous statues on the bridge) to visit St. Peter’s Basilica. Stand in the midst of crowds on one of the most revered squares of the world- an impressively designed holy ground with colonnades all planned out by Bernini, with the famed basilica in front of you with balconies from which the pope makes appearances!
Now we would say it is time to get your fill of iconic art through visiting one of these two galleries:
- Vatican Museums: If you are already in the Vatican City for the basilica, you might as well visit the famous art collection the Vatican has to offer. We promise you that your jaws will reach the floor (of course, figuratively) whilst wandering around the massive, magnificent rooms, and especially, in the Sistine Chapel where you can feast your eyes on Michelangelo’s world-famous frescoes such as ‘The Last Judgement’ and the ‘The Creation of Adam’.
- Borghese Gallery: Take a stroll in the gardens of Villa Borghese (refer to the next section of this article!) to reach the museum and see the glorious art collection of the notable Borghese family. They collected a lot of Bernini, Raphael and Caravaggio works which you can see, and the interiors of the villa are absolutely stunning to walk through as well.
Amongst the top things to do in Rome in 1 day, savoring some of the culinary experiences Roman cuisine has to offer should definitely be high up on your list! Here are some of the typical dishes that you can possibly try:
- Cacio e Pepe: Spaghetti tossed with Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper
- Pizza alla Romana: Roman-style pizza with a thin and crunchy crust
- Saltimbocca alla Romana: Veal cut into papery thin slices and topped with prosciutto and sage. Uusally cooked in white wine, and is buttery soft.
- Gelato: World renowned, dense, creamy and made with the freshest ingredients. Regardless of the temperature during the time you visit, this one is a must.
Rome in a Day… and a Half:
Let’s say that you actually have a day and a half in Rome at your disposal.
We would suggest not to rush in to try and tick off more boxes on your ultimate Rome bucket list.
Instead, we would urge you to slow down, absorb your surroundings, people-watch and indulge in an activity during this gift-of-a-half day in Rome that lets you enjoy Roman lifestyle.
Deeply engrained in Roman culture is the concept of taking walks – the passegiata. It helps them work up an appetite before a meal, or digest their food after one! It also helps them take in the breathtaking views that every corner and turn of the city has to offer them, helping them practice never taking for granted the beauty they are surrounded by living here.
Try to emulate this attentive walk! Relax in the lush nature the gardens of Villa Borghese have to offer you, or move alongside the length of the Lungotevere, with every few steps coming into contact with the ancient trees that line the river.
Or… take another route and go shopping!
A vivacious energy of the via del Corso and via Condotti streets might be what you need to beat any blues of having to leave Rome in the second half of the day. These streets are full of Italian and foreign boutiques as well as some of the biggest fashion houses, which will satisfy you with some unbeatable retail therapy.
You can go down either of these two routes. It just depends on what Roman activity you align with better.
Rome in a Day Walking Tour
A time-crunch might prompt you to look into seeing the best of Rome in a day, which is a possible feat but at the same time not so easy!
We highly suggest looking toward an expert to help you organize your one-day itinerary. Our team at Walks Inside Rome keeps experience design as their top priority whilst creating our tours. We are also always available to help you customize your experience of the city even further. We are aids in addressing your concerns and your desires to create itineraries that work the best for you!
Tour operators like ours can help you in a myriad of other ways such as providing qualified guides, helping you avoid lines and buying all the needed tickets for you!
There are a handful of tours by Walks Inside Rome that work perfectly in sync when combined together. This may come in handy if you only have one day to spend in Rome. Here are some of our suggestions:
- The Classic Ancient Rome with Colosseum Arena Floor tour paired with the private Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums Express tour help you follow along almost the entire itinerary that we have sketched out for you above!
- The Borghese Gallery private tour paired with the Vatican tour at Night if your interests are more aligned with feverish art consumption!
- Rome in a Day: This tour covers most of the highlights of Ronme, and is fully customizable! Let us provide an insightful tour guide for you for the entire day, qualified to show you around any of the attractions you may choose!