When in Rome, do as the Romans do… and walk! If you’ve read any of my previous travel blogs, you’ll know I’m a huge advocate of seeing a new city on foot and I’d strongly advise sensible footwear for Rome, particularly if you’re short of time as you will be on your feet a lot.
Did I take my own advice? Absolutely not – fashion over function, always. Can I just add that the Roman Forum was not made with cowboy boots in mind *left ankle has left the chat*.
We were delayed approx 2 hours on the way out which is pretty annoying when you have an itinerary as long as the reign of Augustus. But that all blurred into insignificance when we reached Piazza Navona, with the fountains illuminated against the most incredible architecture. I was obsessed on arrival.
2 nights in Rome: Where to stay
Lifestyle Suites Rome is a luxury adults only playground situated in the historic heart of Rome. That sounds way kinkier than intended, although there was a hammock in our room for what reason I’m still unsure. Each suite is unique and is synonymous with staying in a 15th century palace. Hello.
They also have a gorgeous rooftop terrace with views over Piazza Navona, the ideal spot to watch the world go by with a cocktail in hand. Each suite is unique and filled with original features – ours had an entire mirrored wall which turned out to be wardrobes. I struggled to get into said wardrobes so getting dressed each morning was a collaborative process.
I’m no stranger to 6am alarms on city breaks, self-certified queen of FOMO reporting for duty. But it’s safe to say I slept through all alarms; I blame Lifestyle Suites for the bed being so comfortable tbh.
The award for the most dramatic fountain goes to this guy. Obviously, this beauty was top of my “to visit” list, designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi it’s the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous fountains in the world. Legend says that a coin thrown into the fountain will ensure a return to Rome. So, I threw my bank card in…
The aim was to get there for 7:30am to avoid the crowds so I could dick around getting content before the rest of the city woke up, but the accidental snooze meant we got there at 8:30am and it was already busy… so if you want snaps sans peeps, get there as early as poss!
Travel tip: Grab coffee + pastries at L’antico Forno & Caffe (opens at 7am) – great spot for people watching and fountain appreciation.
While we didn’t venture inside, The Pantheon is another must visit. One of the best-preserved monuments of ancient Rome, the Pantheon is thought to have been designed as a temple for Roman gods, so naturally I felt right at home.
My advice would be to head straight here after Trevi as it’s practically round the corner. I’ll drop a suggested itinerary at the bottom of this post, to help with navigating the city – no judgement on the level of detail please.
Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola
I’ll be honest, I discovered this church via TikTok. Sometimes the aimless scrolling throws up a total gem and that is exactly what Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola is. Inside this baroque masterpiece there’s a mirror that allows you to see the wonderful vault frescoed by Andrea Pozzo. Whoever decided to put a mirror inside this church was a genius, I’d hire them in a marketing strategy role immediately tbh. The queue to snap a shot of the ceiling via the mirror wasn’t too bad as we got there early but could be seen snaking through the piazza later in the day so I’m afraid this is another early one kids.
Travel tip: Get here at 9am as it opens to avoid the crowds.
Campo de’ Fiore market
Campo de’ Fiore is one of the oldest markets in Rome. Since 1869, every morning except Sundays, the square has been filled with stalls selling flowers, fruit and vegetables and some questionable souvenirs. Who doesn’t need an apron emblazoned with Caesars’ head? If historical markets and florals are your vibe, then defo head here – preferably in the AM as the brekkie options are top tier. And trust me you’ll need a good brekkie for the levels of exploring there is to be done.
Vatican Museum & Sistine chapel
Before I get into the deets, my first tip is to book ahead to avoid spending unnecessary ££ on a tour – I’m talking months in advance if you can. I tried to book the week before I headed to Rome, and everything was sold out. I would also say go earlier in the day, I went at lunchtime and so did every other tourist in Rome apparently. But 100% needs to be on your list.
The Vatican Museum includes several of the most well-known Roman sculptures and most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The museums contain roughly 70,000 works, of which 20,000 are on display. NB the Vatican is closed on Sunday so make sure you factor this into your travel plans!
Travel tip: Book your tickets in advance here.
Known for traditional and innovative trattorias, craft beer pubs and artisan shops, as well as simple B&Bs and budget hotels. Rome in its Shoreditch era. Absolutely loved Trastevere – pop here for an Aperol, stroll through the colourful streets and soak up the atmosphere. The vibe here is laid back and edgy and if we’d had more time (and I hadn’t eaten myself into a carb coma) I would have liked to see what the nightlife was saying.
Colosseum & Roman Forum
The Roman Empire – literally. You’ll probably need a full day for the Colosseum and Roman Forum if you’re big into history, as it was immediately clear where the phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day” came from. So much to see, Barney Rubble would have had a field day.
Also, strongly recommend doing a Colosseum tour and pretending you’re a Gladiator for the afternoon. You do have to wonder how men went from creating buildings like this and going to war over a woman to reacting with heart emojis to your Instagram stories and hoping you get the hint. Funny but not funny ha-ha.
Travel tip: Book tickets here & again book in advance to save ££ https://colosseo.it/en/opening-times-and-tickets/
One of the most beautiful and famous squares in Rome and I would argue the world – it’s a Baroque masterpiece with works by Bernini and Borromini and will have you feeling like you’ve walked back in time. This is where I stayed and it’s roughly 30/45 mins to walk to all the main attractions but doesn’t feel as chaotic as some of the more central areas e.g., Trevi fountain and the Colosseum.
Travel tip: Eat at La Piccola Cuccagna hands down the best meal I had in Rome or head to the infamous Osteria da Fortunata but be prepared to queue.
Hopefully I’ve inspired you to spend 2 nights in Rome. As always if you have any specific questions about attractions, itineraries or gelato pop me a message or check out my highlights on IG. Ciao for now xo
Suggested itinerary for 2 nights in Rome
- 7:30am – Trevi Fountain
- 8:00am – Coffee + pastries at L’antico Forno & Caffe, order Maritozzo (opens at 7am)
- 8:30am – Pantheon
- 9am – Chiesa di sant ignazio di loyola (opens at 9)
- 9:30 am – Campo de ’Fiore market
- 10:20am – Vatican museum & Sistine chapel (40 min walk or 20 min taxi)
- 12pm – St Peters Basilica
- 12:30 – Lunch @ Osteria da Fortunata
- 1:30 – Spanish steps
- 2- 4pm – Colosseum
- 5:15 – Cocktails @ Oro Bistrot
- 7:30 – Dinner @ Da Francesco (mentioned in Conde Nast) or Campocori (Michelin *)
- 8:30am – Issa Roman Empire TAKEOVER dayyyyy
- Mamertine prison / Temple of Concord / Roman forum/ Temple of Divus Julius/ Forum di Augusto/ Imperial forum/ Palatine Hill/ Via Sacre Road/ Colosseum
- 11:00 – Takeout pizza by Colosseum (37 min walk)
- 12:00pm – Trastevere
- 1:00pm – Aventine keyhole (Piazza dei Cavalieri di Malta 3, 00153 Rome)
More city guide inspo: