1 day in Rome - the eternal city

How to See Unmissable Rome in One Day

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   follow our one day in Rome guide.




 °c and it regularly dips below zero overnight.

Are you traveling to Italy for the first time? 

Get the low-down on visiting Italy, with tips about packing, travel, money, staying safe and lots of great city itineraries for your trip.


Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) is Rome’s main airport and 30km away from the city. It is a large airport with five terminals and has excellent European and international connections. 

You have several options to get into Rome city center from the airport;

  • Transfer – the quickest and most convenient option, you can book in advance with Intui Travel.
  • Taxi – grab a cab, the flat day-time rate to the centre of Rome is €48 by taxi and the journey takes around 40 minutes.
  • Bus – The cheapest option to reach Rome city center. There are several private bus companies that you can choose from, but the best lines to the city centre are Sit Bus at €7, and Tam Bus at €10. Both services operate every 1-2 hours and take around 65 minutes to get into central Rome.
  • Train – The Leonardo Express departs from Terminal 3 every 15 minutes for Roma Termini, the main train station, which is also a metro stop. The 32 minute journey costs €14.

in this post

Places to visit in Rome in 1 day
1 day Rome itinerary
Rome in a day walking tour


Visitors to Rome looking for five star style on a four start budget will love Chapter Roma. Equidistant between the Pantheon and ancient Rome, this delightful boutique hotel with its pared down industrial-luxe decor and attentive service provides a perfect stay for those looking to conquer Rome in a day.

See & Do

Our 1 day in Rome itinerary is jam packed and covers a lot of ground, so starting early is a must. 

Top Tip

Remember to carry tissues or loo paper as lots of restaurant and cafes don’t provide this. Hand sanitiser or wipes are also a good idea.


Take a Walking Tour

Even if you’re not a walking tour sort of person and prefer to find your own way, Rome, of all cities, should be the one to buck the trend. With so many things to do in Rome in 24 hours, a walking tour will take you to all the key attractions and important sites, with a full back-drop of information, insider tips, recommendations and answers to all your questions.

The Spanish Steps, one of the must sees Rome, empty of people in the morning light
The Spanish Steps before breakfast | Photo by tomch for Getty Images

Next up is the glorious Baroque Trevi Fountain, one of the oldest water sources in Rome. The fountain dates back to ancient Roman times and provided water to the Roman baths and the fountains of central Rome.

district, with its traditional trattorias and bohemian atmosphere. This is a great place to stock up on Italian souvenirs and gifts before you arrive at one of

 was designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1651. This important Italian sculptor and architect was a genius of the Baroque era and left a lasting mark on Rome’s artistic and architectural heritage. 350 years after his death, Bernini’s masterpieces can still be found in Rome’s streets as well as its palaces, churches and museums.

Top Tip

Just a three minute walk from Piazza Navona is Gelataria Frigidarium Roma, the place to visit in Rome for gelato. So good is their ice-cream, people queue even in January for their legendary flavours.

The Piazza Navona on a Rome in one day tour, pictured across a large fountain filled with turquoise water
Piazza Navone | Photo by belenox for Getty Images

Wander the Villa Borghese



Top Tip

Head for Terrazza del Pincio which lies within the park for incredible panoramic and romantic views of the dominating Basilica of St Peter in the Vatican City. This is one of the best places to visit in Rome to capture the iconic domes of the city skyline.

A view across the city of Rome from Terrazza Pincio taken during a Rome in a day tour
The view from Terrazzo del Pincio | Photo by Elena Odoreeva for Getty Images


Explore the Colosseum

Your first afternoon stop in the city of ancient Rome must be to visit the unmissable Colosseum. Approach along Via dei Fori Imperiali from Piazza Venezia and you’ll be rewarded with one of the most breathtaking sights to see in Rome, as the vast historic colossus rises in front of you.

Rome’s huge arena is the mightiest of the city’s ancient sights and one of the top historic sights in Europe. Opened in AD 80 by the emperor Titus, the inauguration of the Colosseum was marked by gladiatorial games that lasted one hundred nights and days, during which 5000 animals were slaughtered.

The 50,000 seat Colosseum was originally covered by a canvas awning to protect the tiered seating which circled the arena’s wooden floor, which was covered in sand to stop the gladiators from slipping, and to absorb the rivers of blood which flowed during a contest.

The seating was built over an underground area where wild animals were caged, before being let loose into the arena to fight with unlucky gladiators. Trapdoors led down to these chambers, from which animals in cages were hoisted up to the arena by winch operated lifts. Alongside various tiers for seating, depending on your rank and sex, there was also a podium in front of the tiers of seats, which was reserved for emperors, senators and VIPs.

When the Roman Empire fell in the 5th century, the Colosseum was abandoned until the Middle Ages, when it became a fortress occupied by the powerful Frangipani family. Later, it was looted of its external travertine, and marble that was taken from the building was used to decorate notable palaces such as Palazzo Venezia, Palazzo Barberini and Palazzo Cancelleria.

More recently, pollution and vibrations caused by traffic and the metro have taken a toll. To help counter this, the Colosseum was given a major clean-up between 2014 and 2016, the first in its 2000-year history, as part of an ongoing €25 million restoration project.


The Colosseum of Rome and Arch of Titus with blue skies behind
The Colosseum and Arch of Titus | Photo by Alberto Capparelli for Pexels

Visit the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill

‘first nucleus of the Roman Empire’. The Palatine has spectacular views of the labyrinthine ruins of the Roman Forum, Colosseum and Capitoline Hill and the photo opportunities from here are endless. 

You can books guided tours which cover the three behemoths of ancient Rome, you can find the best of them here.

The Roman Forum at sunset, a perfect way to end a Rome one day tour
The Roman Forum at sunset | Photo by Rabbit75


Take an After Hours Tour of the Vatican

You cannot miss the fascinating Vatican Museums and glorious Sistine Chapel when you visit, even if you’re only spending 24 hours in Rome. Visiting this popular Rome attraction in the evening means less crowds, and more space and time to enjoy the sublime masterpieces of art and architecture. 

With our recommended three hour evening tour, you’ll be able marvel at the Sistine Chapel, with Michelangelo’s Last Judgement and Creation of Adam, and admire at masterpieces by the Italian artists Michelangelo, Raphael and Caravaggio. You’ll also visit the Gallery of Maps, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of the Candelabra with a tour guide, from whom you can learn more about the Vatican City. 

What to see when in Rome? The Vatican lit up at night from Piazza san Pietro
St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City | Photo by ChefMD for Getty Images

Cruise the River Tiber

 If you don’t have the energy for The Vatican, t relaxing   

This is one of our top things to do in Rome at night, living la dolce vita and admiring the city without having to move from your chair!

Explore Foodie Rome




Supplizio is is a casual dining, street food inspired spot in the old town, serving gourmet sandwiches, finger foods and delicious fried specialities, such as Roman rice balls and potato croquettes. In their own words, “don’t call it street food, it’s pure and authentic street food”.  That sounds pretty good to us!

What to do when in Rome? Sample authentic street food at Supplizio

Cesare al Casaletto

A traditional style trattoria, Cesare al Casaletto, is run by a  husband and wife team who spent years cheffing elsewhere in Italy and Europe before opening in Rome in 2009. The menu features all the Roman classics, with the pasta alla gricia (cured pork jowl, black pepper and Pecorino Romano) being a firm favourite. Ingredients are local and seasonal and the wine list showcases some fantastic affordable Italian vinos. 

Top Tip

The trattoria is slightly off the tourist path, so you may need a taxi to get there. Book well in advance, this is a popular spot.

Top Five Rome Tips

  1. Carry cash in Rome. Italy is still very much a cash driven society and coins, or spicci, will be appreciates at cafes and small shops. Hotels, restaurants and shops will of course, take credit cards.
  2. Look after your bags and purses. Rome has its fair share of pick pockets and petty thieves who prey on tourists.
  3. Rome has over 900 churches and undoubtedly, you’ll want to step inside some of them as you walk the streets of the city. To enter you must be dressed appropriately. For women, that means shoulders covered and legs above the knee covered, while men should wear pants or shorts that extend to the knees.
  4. Greet vendors, cafe staff and shop workers, a little effort goes a long way. The customary morning greeting is “buongiorno”. In the afternoon and evening it’s “buonasera”. When you leave, you should say “arrivederci” or the more casual “ciao”, which is also used as a greeting!
  5. Rome’s state-owned museums, galleries, archeological sites, parks and gardens are free on the first Sunday of each month. Get there early or pick less popular venues to beat the crowds. 

Do you have just a little longer to spend in Rome?

  • Pompeii & Mount Vesuvius – just a few hours away, it is possible to see both 

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