I must admit that Rome holds a special place in my heart. Rome was our first trip to Europe and where Marty and I chose as the start of our European honeymoon. When I think of Rome I immediately get a huge smile on my face and relive all of the fabulous memories that Marty and I shared while in the Eternal City. One visit to Rome and you will see why it is easily one fo the best places to visit in Italy.
Not only that, but did you know that Rome is the most visited city in Italy? It’s true! This is just one of the cool facts about Rome, Italy, and one of the reasons people flock to this great city!
Historic, romantic, and exciting, Rome has something for everyone. Although we were able to spend several weeks in Rome, we realize that does not work for everyone, hence the reason we created our 2 day Rome itinerary.
Seeing the highlights of Rome in 2 days is completely possible with a little planning. That’s what we are here to help you accomplish with this post!
Our itinerary moves at a leisurely pace because we believe in taking the time to see things without burning yourself out.
In addition to our Rome itinerary for 2 days, we will throw in some of our suggestions on when to visit Rome, where to stay in Rome, how to get around Rome, and suggest some tours in Rome.
So sit back and relax because we have you covered for your Roman holiday! This is basically a one-stop-shop! LOL!
If you’re using Rome as a jumping-off point to other cities, consider reviewing our 10 day Italy itinerary.
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2 Day Rome Itinerary
When to Visit Rome
I mean, is there ever a bad time to visit Rome? I mean, it’s Rome!
Rome is one of those places that have inspired people to create quotes about Italy. It just steals your heart!
There are a few things you should know in order to make the best decision for your trip.
Marty and I visited in the summer, and it was very hot and crowded. We still had a great time, but it would have been much nicer without the summer sun beating down on us.
One great thing about visiting in summer though is that you are guaranteed to be there during the Lungo Il Tevere festival!
If you have flexibility then I would suggest visiting during shoulder season which is between April and June and then again September through October.
The weather is cooling off but you still have plenty of daylight hours to enjoy the sights. Traditionally this time of year is also much less crowded.
If you aren’t trying to travel with only a backpack as we do, then you might be interested in visiting during the winter months. The winters in Rome are normally mild in comparison to other parts of Europe, so with a few layers and a warm coat, you should be fine.
How to Get Around Rome
Overall Rome is a fairly easy city to get around in.
For this itinerary, the easiest way to get around Rome is going to be on foot since most of the attractions are easily walkable, especially if you are staying in the center of Rome.
Walking around the center of Rome will allow you to stumble upon beautiful piazzas, see historic architecture, and find hidden alleys and cafes that you might otherwise miss.
You might want to consider taking a Rome walking tour to help get you introduced to the city.
If you find yourself staying outside of the city center, then note that Rome has an extensive public transportation system. The metro system is easy to navigate and is pretty dependable.
if you would rather, you might consider investing in a Roma Pass you can have access to hop-on, hop-off buses as well as skip-the-line entry to several of the major attractions listed in this article.
Rome in 2 Days – Day 1
The Roman Colosseum
You’re here! You’ve finally made it to Rome, so of course, you definitely want to start with one of the most iconic spots in Rome.
Hop on the metro and head for the “Colosseum” stop. Once you exit the metro station, there she is, one of the most iconic structures in the world, the Roman Colosseum.
I mean, you really can’t miss it!
The Roman Colosseum should really be on everyone’s couple’s bucket list. This place is a true icon of Rome!
Just approaching this iconic structure made my heart jump for joy. I mean, you can just feel the history oozing out of every inch of it.
Originally commissioned in A.D. 70-72 by Emperor Vespian, the Colosseum is truly a piece of world history. In A.D. 80, the Colosseum had a “grand opening” with 100-days of games that included gladiator combats and wild animal fights.
During its hey-day, the Colosseum had seating for more than 50,000 spectators and was specially designed to get spectators in and out in a very efficient manner.
Sadly, after four centuries of use, the Colosseum fell into neglect and began being used as a source of building materials, hence the holes all over the facade that you see today. One can just imagine the beautiful stonework and adornment that once covered the stone structure.
Now get ready because this is a tourist hot-spot!
Since you are short on time, then I definitely recommend purchasing a tour in order to skip-the-lines at the Colosseum. Shop for inexpensive skip-the-line Colosseum tickets here.
Marty and I personally loved taking the Colosseum Restricted Areas Tour. This tour allows you access to the tunnels of the Colosseum where the gladiators once roamed. Without a tour, this area is strictly off limits!
Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum
ns though, that is a crime! LOL!
Update: Marty and I went back to Rome in 2019 and were able to see the Trevi without all of the scaffolding. It was glorious and beautiful.
Head to our Instagram page to see the photo we captured. While you’re there, why not give us a follow?
A short walk from the Trevi is an architectural wonder, the Pantheon. Designed and built almost two thousand years ago, the Pantheon still remains as an incredible example of Roman engineering that literally brought Marty to tears.
Originally designed as a temple and later used as a church, the beauty of the Pantheon is still drawing visitors to bask in its glory. I mean, the word Pantheon is a Greek word that means “honor all Gods”, so it makes sense that this is a place of worship.
This beautiful structure is said to be the best-preserved Ancient Roman monument in the city.
Still noted today as the largest unreinforced concrete dome, the Pantheon is definitely a must-see while in Rome. It has marveled engineers and historians for years.
The dome was the largest in the world for over 1300 years and still, today remains the largest unsupported dome in the world.
To this day, the exact composition of the building material is unknown. Many say it is very similar to modern-day concrete. Maybe that is a contributor to its longstanding success.
Today, the Pantheon contains the graves of some of history’s most intriguing people.
If you find yourself in Rome on April 21, then be sure to visit the Pantheon as a lighting effect takes place on this day. It is said that around midday, the sun strikes a metal plate above the doorway saturating the courtyard outside with light.
Combine all of this history with the fact that the Pantheon is free to enter, and you have a guaranteed win while doing Rome in 2 days!
Rome Itinerary 2 Days – Day 2
Today you’re going to wake up and head straight to Vatican City. This will require some pre-planning in order to see the Vatican while doing 2 days in Rome.
The lines for this fabulous attraction are very long, really, there is always a queue at St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican, so you definitely want to purchase your tickets in advance in order to save your valuable vacation time.
You could easily spend a whole day here in Vatican City, but we would advise you to keep it to half of a day so that you have time to fit in more of Rome before you leave.
Enjoying half a day at the Vatican will give you time to see the major attractions including the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
If you don’t want to schedule a guided tour, you can also book your ticket directly from the Vatican website. This will also help you to skip the line.
Castel Sant’Angelo was originally built as a tomb for the Emporer Hadrian but ended up serving several purposes throughout history. Originally constructed in 123 AD and completed in 139 AD, it was originally the tallest building in Rome.
The original structure was connected to the city of Rome by a newly constructed bridge which you can still see today.
Castel Sant’Angelo has sat on the banks of the Tiber River for almost 2,000 years and has served as a prison, a castle, a refuge, and currently is a museum. When the structure was converted to a military fortress in 401, many of the decorations and the tomb contents were lost.
Later converted to a castle in the 14th century, it was used as a fortress to protect the Pope and was connected to Saint Peter’s Basilica by a covered fortified corridor.
Visitors can tour the facility to learn all about the interesting history and to view the many beautifully decorated rooms. They are some real works of art contained in the gorgeous frescos and paintings.
There’s a fee for entry, but it’s worth it, especially for the view from the top of the building, which we recommend being part of your 2 day Rome itinerary.
On your way to the iconic Spanish Steps, stop for some food at one of the many cafes that you’ll pass as you head across the river. The Spanish Steps are the place to see and be seen while in Rome.
The steps straddle two beautiful Roman piazzas with a gorgeous fountain at the bottom and a church at the top. Grab a selfie on the famous steps and people watch while the sun settles over an amazing day in Rome.
Where to Stay in Rome
We actually have a complete post outlining where to stay in Rome, but since you’re here, we might as well give you a few recommendations.
For your 2 days in Rome, we definitely suggest getting a hotel or Airbnb in the city center close to all of the attractions listed in our itinerary. If you’ve never stayed in an Airbnb, use our link and get $40 off of your first booking.
For hotels, consider:
When booking hotels, we always head to TripAdvisor to check for reviews from fellow travelers. Then when we’re ready to book, Marty and I use either Hotels.com.
We love Hotels.com for the free nights we earn, but we love Booking.com as well because they often have other types of accommodations such as apartments and bed and breakfasts. Find what works best for you!
2 Day Rome Itinerary Final Thoughts
Like we said before, seeing Rome in 2 days is tough. This city is packed full of history, amazing architecture, artwork, and food. This 2 day Rome itinerary hit the highlights of some of the most popular places in the city.
We hope that we have given you a starting point to create the perfect Rome itinerary for your trip!
While You’re Here, Check Out These Other Italy Posts
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About the Author
Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. While she is a professional educator by day, her passion for travel has her jet-setting all over the world during her free time.
Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blog, That Texas Couple. Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region. She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.
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