One day in Rome itinerary – How Best to Spend a Day in Rome, Italy

Looking for a medieval one day vacation with an excellent feel of ancient architecture? Rome, Italy is the best place for that. Whether you are sightseeing or you just want to mix with the locals and have an amazing time, prepare to have your mind blown because, yes, the massive, beautiful buildings in this city are certainly every bit as magnificent as their reputation claims.

Rome Italy


When is the Best Time to Visit Rome?

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Like many countries above the equator, Italy has four seasons. Each of these seasons has its own perks. However, choosing the best time to go on a vacation in Rome largely depends on what you want to achieve there. The most serene time to go is between April and May, for that cool, sunny crisp weather, warm nights and little rain. September and November are also a great choice before the chilly winds in Italy start blowing.

Summer visits to Rome are not exactly a good idea if you can’t take the crowds and the heat. It would be difficult to spend just one day in Rome with all these obstacles. The queues can be so long that you have to spend your entire day at one location if you want to see it properly. Since you are looking to see as much of Rome as possible, setting the date of your visit based on the number of tourists and the weather should be the best route to take.


Spring brings cool weather, so you will only require a simple jacket on your travels and won’t be too heavy. Also, the International Women’s Day, dubbed ‘Festa Della Donna’, which takes place on March 8, is an amazing time to be around, with women receive mimosa flowers all over the city.

Fall allows people to enjoy the Rome Jazz Festival. Yes, Rome is also a hub for the most amazing music, and you will get to experience all that once you get to Rome in September or November.

Flights to and services in Rome can fluctuate based on the events in the city, so to avoid high prices and heat check out cheap flights to Rome and plan your visit during the spring and fall seasons, or choose a special Rome holiday to visit.

Roman houses, Rome
View of Roman houses in Rome

A Few Facts About Rome

Many people know Rome as a city of rich history and amazing architecture. According to the famous legend, Rome was founded by Romulus who had a twin brother Remus. The tale says that Remus was killed by his twin who later became the founder and the first ruler of Rome. Currently, the city of Rome is home to about 2.8 million people.

Rome Panoramic View
Rome Panoramic View

Boasting about 900 churches and a whopping 280 fountains, Rome really is a city in which you can enjoy architecture, culture and where you can admire the beauty of its incredible early civilization. The Trevi Fountain, where people drop money for good luck, coughs up about 3000 euros every day. This money is given to the poor and needy in Rome, Italy.

Rome is also nicknamed ‘The Eternal City or ‘Caput Mundi’, establishing it as the world’s capital. Finally, if you did not know this, Vatican City, the holy capital of the Roman Catholic Church, is also within Rome’s premises. With such a rich history and so many places to visit, you will definitely have no dull moment when spending one day in Rome.

One Day In Rome Itinerary

Your one day in Rome, Italy should begin as early as 7:00 am with your Rome attractions map in hand if you want the most out of your sightseeing and your entire Rome holiday. This means turning in early the night before, and set an alarm if you can. There is a staggering amount of sights to see.

Store your luggage: LuggageHero allows you to store your luggage for as long as you want to. If you are there only for a day, or waiting for a check-in, this sounds like a perfect option!

St. Peter’s Basilica 

Starting at 7:00 am, you should to go to Vatican City and see St. Peter’s Basilica. This awesome location is best seen when there are no crowds. It gets crowded in the afternoon, so a morning over there can result in getting the full view of the beautiful building and architecture.

There is a mesmerizing statue of Virgin Mary cradling Jesus Christ that is so lifelike here, and the image is imprinted in the minds of all who see it. This beautiful statue is also attributed to Michelangelo, one of the most famous sculptors to ever live. To see this and many other sights, you may want to get your tickets online so that once your day in Rome begins there is no uncertainty or unpleasant queues impeding your progress.

View from St Peter_s Basilica, Rome
View from St Peter_s Basilica, Rome

The Vatican Museums 

Since you are already in the vicinity, you cannot leave without affording yourself a tour of the Vatican Museums, home to a millennia’s worth of beautiful and mesmerizing art from Italy. This museum usually opens at 9 am, so after the Basilica you will have ample time to run over to the museum.

In this case, expect a long line at the entrance, so getting your ticket online prior to this visit is your best shot. Also, there are tour groups you could join since guided tourists are usually given the opportunity to enter first. Since you are pressed for time, you really should try to avoid as many queues as possible.

The museum showcases thousands of works collected by different Popes who have lived several centuries before our generation. You will get to see Laocoön and His Sons, Apollo and his muses, the Pinacoteca and many others.

Vatican Museum Spiral Steps
Vatican Museum Spiral Steps

Castel Sant’Angelo

This beautiful castle in Rome is found right next to the Tiber River and has stood in all its glory for almost two millennia. It was built initially as a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian and has been used for several purposes including a prison. It is one of the museums that are found near the Vatican City, so if you are starting your day with the Vatican City you might want to have a look at it.

People usually climb to the very top to appreciate the views of Rome from up there which are simply heavenly. It would be nice to make a stop at this place even with a heavy schedule before you continue on to the Colosseum.

Castel Sant Angelo, Rome
Castel Sant’Angelo, Author: xiquinhosilva, Source: Flickr


Once you are done with the Vatican Museums, an excellent place to go would be the Colosseum. The stark difference between the purity of the temples and the barbaric nature of the gladiator lifestyle is sure to amuse you. This magnificent piece of architecture, built from 72 AD to 80 AD, staged some of the most bloody fights between gladiators and some of the most ferocious animals.

Colosseum, Rome
Colosseum, Rome

The building has stood the test of time, through the Roman Empire’s fall, the Middle Ages, all the way to modern-day. It stands as a reminder of ancient Roman life and culture of the people in ancient Rome and Italy. Going with a tour group to this site in Rome is the best option, as the tour guides can tell blood chilling tales of some of the battles that were fought in that very space. Your visit to the Colosseum should be scheduled well in advance, though, so that you can easily get in. It opens at 8:30 in the morning.

Inside of the Colosseum, Rome
Inside of the Colosseum, Rome

Roman Forum

This is just next to the Colosseum, which therefore removes your need to join any form of transport. The visit to the Roman Forum is usually a part of your ticket to see the Colosseum, meaning you get to hit two birds with a single stone.

The Roman Forum at the time was the center of Roman life and business in ancient times. The forum in olden days housed shrines, temples, podiums for speeches to address the people, market places, judiciary buildings and everything else that was needed for life in Rome to proceed normally.
Today, the Roman Forum is like a ghost of what it once was, and walking among the ruins, you can begin to imagine the events that took place in that area. Try not to spend too much time at the Forum, as you still have a lot to do during your one day in Rome.

Roman Forum
Roman Forum

Altare Della Patria

The good news about Rome is that all these monuments are close to each other, so you can visit most of them just by walking in a group with other tourists. There is hardly any need for a Rome guide. Altare Della Patria is a monument that was built in honor of Victor Emmanuel. He was the first king of unified Italy, crowned king in 1861. The monument is in fact so huge that you will surely not miss it.

Altare Della Patria, Rome
Altare Della Patria, Rome


The Pantheon was built as a temple for all Roman gods during the reign of emperor Hadrian in 126 AD. The magnificent building sported large columns, 16 in total, at the front of the building. The temple has continued to be in use and is today established as a church. It is also the burial place for some very notable people. 

This is also a good place to stop for a break. There are several eateries in the area where you can get some great food. The best thing, however, would be to grab a cup of coffee or a gelato. Just be careful not to waste too much time, since you will want to see much more of the ancient city before retiring.

Pantheon, Rome
Pantheon, Rome

Spanish Steps 

You might want to slow down just a little bit and take in the beautiful Italian air as you get something to eat before you continue your journey. Good Italian food must be your aim. After your coffee by the Pantheon, you can go to the Trastevere neighborhood which is rumored to have some of the best Italian food. These homemade classics are excellent and will make your mouth water. Taste some thin crust pizza from Pizzera Ivo, for example.

After you have your lunch, head over to the Spanish Steps. This is a 135-step stairway that goes from Piazza Spagna all the way to the Trinita dei Monti church. They are called Spanish Steps because a Spanish embassy used to be located nearby.

Spanish steps
Spanish steps

Trevi Fountain

Close to the Spanish Steps, and after a few minutes’ walk, you can find the famous Trevi Fountain, probably the most visited fountain in the world. The place is almost always crowded, so if you are looking for serenity, you will definitely not find it there. 

Fontana di Trevi, Rome
Fontana di Trevi, Rome

It is said that if you throw a coin into the fountain with your back turned to it, you will always return to Rome. The fountain is a whopping 80 feet high and 160 feet in length, meaning you will definitely catch a glimpse of it no matter how crowded it is. Certain people also throw coins in there for luck. As to whether they get their dreams fulfilled, well that is a topic for another discussion. The point is, you definitely have to pass through this place to crown your one day in Rome. 

Fontana di Trevi detail, Rome
Fontana di Trevi detail, Rome

Nightlife in Rome 

After a hard day of sightseeing, you may want to unwind for the night and have a taste of Italy’s nightlife. You can visit any of the wine bars because, obviously, Italy is home to some of the finest wines in the world. You have a large variety of venues to choose from, and you are bound to have a great time. Your day will have been extremely busy, but your night is a perfect reminder that Italy on its own is truly a laid back country with lots of fun to offer.

St. Peter’s Basilica
St. Peter’s Basilica during night

Where to Stay in Rome, Italy

If you are staying the night, the chances are that you will need to book a hotel in Rome in advance. The city has a plethora of accommodation options for tourists. The best ones are located in the city center, allowing you to easily find places of interest in the area. This is between Piazza Navona, Piazza Venezia, and Piazza Del Popolo. 

Navona Theatre Hotel

Navona Theatre Hotel

Vicolo Dei Granari 3, Navona, 00186 Rome

The Navona Theatre is an excellent choice for tourists because it lies at the very center of Rome. The hotel itself is located in a 500-year-old building, which also speaks volumes about the décor you can expect.
It is within a walking distance from some of the main Rome attractions and the hotel gives you a serene atmosphere because the rooms are mostly soundproof. You will definitely enjoy your stay here.


Sleep’n Go Hotel

The Sleep’n Go Hotel

Via Redipuglia 25, 00054 Fiumicino

For those who have to leave early in the morning, the Sleep’n Go Hotel is an excellent choice. It is located in Fiumicino and offers a shuttle service to the airport. It is definitely far from noise, so you can get some restful sleep before you leave. The hotel has very comfortable rooms and free WiFi, plus you can check in anytime till 11:00 pm. 


Generator Hostel

Generator Rome

Via Redipuglia 25, 00054 Fiumicino

For world-class experience for a good price, you can opt for the Generator Rome, which is situated near Basilica Di Santa and the Roman Forum. Its location makes it very easy to get to and from sites. The hostel has 75 uniquely designed rooms for your comfort and you get luggage space, event space, access to a restaurant, laundry and some chill out areas during your stay. 


Day Trips From Rome

Once you are done with this magnificent city, you may want to make a few day trips from Rome as you stay in Italy. The options are endless, and getting tickets and transportation is easy. You can get on a bus tour of some places nearby, or you could get on an actual bus and take yourself to locations up to an hour or two from Rome. Here are a few places you might fancy.

Ostia Antica

After taking in the beauty of Rome, getting on a train to go 30 km outside Rome to Ostia Antica might be just what you need. This is an ancient city that lies in ruins today, just near the Decumanus Maximus street and is hard to miss if you are going that way. On your way along that street, you can treat your eyes to several temples and public baths and finally the world-famous amphitheater which could accommodate up to 4000 spectators. Accessing this place is hardly a struggle. Using public transport, you can take a train from Roma Porta San Paolo Station and expect to be at Ostia Antica within 45 minutes. 


A fun option would be to visit the hill town of Orvieto which, like the Eternal City, has a great history and amazing architecture. Your first stop in this city could be Duomo di Orvieto, which has such an amazing interior. You should also take the opportunity to see rooftop views of the rest of the town from the top of Torre del Moro. Orvieto is an excellent trip to take because there is an underground tour which will help you discover a labyrinth of caves created as far back as the Etruscan times.

Taking a tour of the city through the streets is equally relaxing. There are many restaurants to visit as well, which will also add to your incredible experience. There are frequent trains that can help you commute to Orvieto from Rome. You could opt for a fast train to get there within 50 minutes, or the regional train which is less expensive but will get you there in 90 minutes.

Extra Tips for visiting Rome

Rome is incredibly busy and always bustling with tourists. Getting as much Rome tourist information as possible is necessary before you come to the city.

Early days and non-peak hours are your best bet when it comes to getting away from the crowds. Try to make your bookings while in Italy as early as possible and opt for many guided tours so that your time can be evenly spread around Rome.

Do take some time to stop by some of the amazing eateries in Rome and taste the best pizza, the food created in Italy. Commuting from Rome to other areas in the country during peak tourist seasons like summer may be more expensive, so choose times that are less crowded. 

Rome is a beautiful city, so going there with a loved one is an excellent way to enjoy some quality time together. Just make sure you have planned well enough before you take off! 


One day in RomeOne day in Rome

Make sure you have everything you need

What to pack for your next trip?

Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.

Ronald Ronni

The author is a well-traveled person who enjoys seeing the world and all it has to offer. He has a blog where the sole goal of his is to expose the multifacetedness of traveling and you can visit this website to find out more about it. When he is not writing or visiting beautiful cities in the world, he is dedicated to his family and plans new trips to discover new extraordinary destinations.

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