It’s said that you can’t exhaust Rome of its surprises and the places it has to offer. Give it a week, or months, or even years. History, aesthetics, and colours blend to invite you to a dreamscape. Just like a dream isn’t easy to remember, Rome just as difficult to forget.
But what if you just have days to cover this beautiful city? You can’t finish touring Rome in day, that would offend any italian, but we went that extra mile to put together an itinerary that’ll help you experience the best of what this city has to offer.
Now beware, time is short and so is the list. We might have missed some really unmissable points and if you feel we should chuck one on our list for another you have in mind, leave a comment!
Now, let’s divide your trip into three specific themes
Day 1: Ruins, history and love…
Your areas to cover today would be the Colosseum, the Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. Take the metro to the Colosseo station and a sharp right from the station will take you to the foot of the Colosseum. The three places are adjacent to one another and one ticket gives you access to all of them.
Avoid the first Sunday of the month if you are visiting these three places because the entry is free. An hour or two will give you a time warp of centuries. Oh! The audio book that they offer adds to the experience. Save the Palatine hill for the last. The views are breathtaking and one can easily spend the entire day there.
Showered and enveloped in history, Palatine Hill would be great if done in a private tour (No! Not the large tour groups who ferry you like sheep!). We are harping on a tour because every scene you look at, points towards a millennium worth of cultural evolution and history.
From there you go to the Roman Forum. Again a tour through the ancient ruins, with a soft breeze from the Tiber accompanying you, you settle on some delicious dishes of the nearby Ponte Vittorio. Post dinner you take a walk amidst the evening breeze and quaint rush of the old city till Castel Sant’Angelo.
Call it an early day and go to sleep because day 2 is going to be hectic.
Day 2: Exploring the city
Places to visit: Vatican City, Piazza del Popolo, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon
Start your day with Vatican city, a country within Rome. It inhabits the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. The Vatican museums span through 7 kms and you are sure to find your own explorations ravishing, but the Sistine Chapel, the double helix exit stairwell and Basilica are some of our favourites. If you are travelling with Dan Brown fans, please make sure you keep them leashed and under surveillance at all times. The museum gates open at 9 AM and it starts getting crowded real fast. So, go there early and spend the most of the day there.
You visited Castel Sant’Angelo last night. Twenty minutes walk from there and you reach Piazza del Popolo along the banks of Tiber. The ancient gate of Rome where all ships, boats and travellers used to arrive. Much much before we did. A deep crevice of history bordering a river. From there the Spanish steps are close. The best time of the day to visit the 135 series of steps is in the golden light.
Our next stop is the Trevi Fountain. Make sure you visit the world’s largest baroque fountain. In the olden days, it was said, if you flip a coin in this fountain you are sure to return to Rome.
And end your second day in Rome with Pantheon. Pantheon is breathtakingly beautiful as well as intricate. The world’s oldest monument still stands strong and its detailed architecture would still mesmerize you.
What a day! Drag yourself to the Spanish steps, pamper yourself with some delicious dishes and get ready for the last day of your trip. We have three exciting places for you.
Day 3: Surprises…
Places to visit: Mouth of truth, Pyramid of Caius Cestius, Baths of Caracalla
No one knows when this belief originated regarding mouth of truth. But if you’re a liar, the mouth of truth would know and the inserted hand would be cut off! The belief faded and gave place to fun and photo opportunities.
Not everything Roman is original. They were greatly inspired by Egypt at one point in time. The Pyramid of Caius Cestius is a prime example of that. Built in 12th century, it was meant to serve as a tomb of a rich Roman. But don’t miss this amalgamation of culture over boundaries and borders.
And finally…the Baths of Caracalla. Much like the ancient baths of Harappa and Mohenjodaro, this public Roman bath could hold upto 1600 people at a time. A peaceful community sharing away their lives, with smiles on their faces and hope in their eyes. You get the feeling of a distant happiness once you’re there. Don’t miss it. These few, not-so-known places give you the essence of Rome.
So, here you are. Your 3 day trip is ready. To all the love that blooms once you are in the city of colours, to all the emotions you can’t articulate, Rome affects us all even if we are indifferent to it. That’s what an ancient city does with you. It absorbs you. It becomes you. And in return, you become it as well.