We live in a glorious time, a time where day trips to European destinations are totally possible with low-cost airlines. Rome is one of those cities in which cheap return tickets are available, not to mention you don’t have to pay for accommodation you can spend your hard earned cash on important things, like pizza and gelato.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can certainly catch the highlights by arriving in the morning and flying home that night. Omio has assembled an accessible route through this ancient city without the help of any sightseeing bus, tour guide or taxis. Rome should be explored by foot to be truly appreciated, with one day in the city you’ll get the most from your roman rambles this way.
So let’s begin our excursion, more than likely you’ll begin your adventure from the Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino airport to Rome Termini station, a centre point of transportation in Rome. Hop on the metro to Ottaviano station where your first attraction awaits you, the Vatican.
1. The Vatican
Commencing your day early means fewer crowds at St. Peter’s Basilica. This profound sight was designed by Bernini, one of Rome’s most famous architects, between 1657 and 1667, making it a must-see attraction for any first-timer’s visit to Rome.
If you have some extra time, squeeze in a gander at the Vatican Museum and prepare to be awed by the Michelangelo’s fresco’s in the Sistine Chapel.
2. Sant’Angelo Bridge and Castel Sant’Angelo
Skip on over to Castel Sant’Angelo, originally a mausoleum destined for great personalities as Roman Emperor Hadrian and his wife, whose bodies rest in peace here. Today this castle houses the Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant’Angelo with masterpieces of sculpture, paintings, ceramics and weapons of the roman age.
Head to the top to embrace one of the best views of the city, although if you’re not up for paying the admission fee, it’s completely free to explore the grounds of the castle. Next, cross the Ponte Sant’Angelo, bejeweled with sculptures by Bernini.
In the midst of Rome’s twining, narrow streets full of cafes is the Pantheon, the most prominent, preserved and most influential building of Rome. Built in dedication to all the roman pagan gods in 126 A.D during the reign of Caesar Augustus, it was later converted into a Catholic church in 608 B.C, changing the name to Santa María.
It also held the record for the world’s largest dome for just under two thousand years and is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome. Something, when read online, seems impressive yet in person leaves you in awe.
4. Piazza del Popolo
Piazza del Popolo, one of the busiest square in the city of Rome. Around this pedestrian space you’ll find the church of Santa Maria del Popolo, which casually houses works by Italian painters such as Caravaggio and Raphael. Making this a perfect stop-off for art lovers and architect fans alike.
5. Plaza de Spain
Ah Plaza de Spain, one of the best places in Rome to rest your feet and watch the hustle and bustle pass you by. These famous 135 steps were built in the early eighteenth century, connecting the church of Trinita dei Monti with Piazza di Spagna, where you’ll find a beautiful fountain designed by Bernini, the Fontana della Barcaccia, shaped like a boat.
6. Trevi Fountain
In the midst of charming buildings you’ll, almost unexpectedly, stumble upon the world’s most famous fountain, the Trevi Fountain. The perfect opportunity to rid of all your excess change and maximise the outcome of your wishes.
Or you could stick to the more romantic tradition following the film “Three Coins in the Fountain” (1954) if you throw one, you shall return to Rome; if you throw two, you find love; and if you throw three you will marry. For this kind of ritual work, you have to throw coins with the right hand over the left shoulder or it won’t happen!
7. Piazza Venezia
For the last leg of your day in Rome, head over to the Piazza Venezia, where stands the grand monument of Vittorio Emanuele II, the first King of Italy. You probably spotted earlier whilst at Castel Sant’Angelo as it’s one of the biggest structures in Rome. When construction began in 1454 it brought attention to the surrounding area, causing for a massive facelift of central Rome.
8. Roman Forum
Just around the corner you’ll find the Roman Forum, the political center of ancient Rome. Pick up a standard ticket (which will also get you into the Colosseum) and explore the ruins of what once was the epicentre of the Roman Empire. The oldest and most important temples are located here, as well as the high courts and the Senate.
The world’s largest amphitheatre, an epic battlefield and the symbol of Rome, say hello to the Colosseum. The magnificent structure’s past in not only enduring but appeases the eyes. You must take part in a tour in order to explore the ruin, where you’ll hear tales of exotic animal exhibitions, great Roman Caesars, and Gladiator combat.
10. Circus Maximus
Gather the strength to walk a little further to complete your Roman day-trip with a visit to the Circus Maximus. An elongated arena, with the capacity of 300,00 held quaint public games such as legendary chariot races and wild beast hunts for its audience. Making it the centre of entertainment before its bulkier brother arena, the Colosseum was constructed.
As the days ends and the time to catch your flight is creeping ever closer you can catch a tram from here that will take you back to Rome Termini station and thus, to the airport, ending your day-trip to Rome!