Highlights of Rome In Two Days.
Updated: Nov 27, 2019
Thinking of visiting Rome and being swept off your feet? Well, Romes walls, cobbled stone streets, roman hospitality, Uber taxi drivers, Tiber river, endless historical landmarks and historical stories, will have you smitten. Every sight in the corner of ones eyes, is worth stopping for. The city is so incredible, there's so much to see, and if you only have 2 days, this will help you group things together across 2 days to see it all.
The Colosseum (Colloseo)
Ever wonder what Kings, Rulers, and Presidents gift each other, or ever gifted their own people? After visiting the Colosseum, you'll learn that it was actually a gift given to the Roman people by Emperor Vespasian. It dates as old as 72 AD.
This stone walled amphitheater was used by the wealthy for funeral games to honor the dead. Later, Gladiator games took place to please the Gods and Goddesses and keep Rome away from harm. Now that’s a story you don’t hear of nowadays!
The inside of the Colosseum, is where ‘Gladiator The Movie’ was filmed. This famous historical building must be on everyone's bucket list.
Palantine Hill (Palatino) & Roman Forum (Foro Romano)
Straight after the Colosseum walking distance is Palantine Hill, one of Rome’s Seven Hills. It offers one of Rome’s most beautiful views of the Roman Forum and Circus Maximus.
The hill is a good 50 meter above the Roman Forum, so quite a bit of a walk. If visiting in summer keep in mind there is no shade to hide from the scorching summer heat.
The best time to visit would ideally be away from any holidays. April and May, as well September to November would be ideal.
Palatine Hill was known to be the residential area for the affluent from the start of the Empire 27 BC. Several steps down from Palatine Hill is the Roman Forum. It looks like an entire mini city of its own, but in fact it was a place for political and social activity. The Forum was the marketplace of Rome, and later a gathering space for criminal trials and gladiator matches.
Circus Maximus (Circo Massimo)
Rome has one of the easiest maps to use while navigating through the city. Connecting one landmark to the other, it is so easy to see so much in only half a day already.
From Palantine Hill head towards Aventine Hill, passing through Circus Maximus one of Romes largest stadiums. This proves that Rome is one of the most incredible historical cities, as you are constantly walking through history. From one street to the other, history is everywhere.
In ancient Rome, Circus Maximus accommodated well above 100,000 spectators!
What's left of Circus Maximus nowadays are a few ruins. It is said that part of the ruin stones were taken to fix parts of the Colosseum.
Aventine Hill (Aventino)
Aventine Hill is one of the most relaxing and quiet areas in Rome! It’s one of the Seven Hills, a residential area with the Orange Gardens, offering another incredible view of Rome.
Depending on the time of year, the Orange Gardens (Giardino Degli Aranci) may not bare any fruit, however, if you're in luck and its the right season, it can be quite an incredible view, and the smell of fresh oranges can only have your senses stimulated. Hint: Oranges tend to bloom between January and April.
Knight At The Malta Keyhole
Off the beaten path experiences such as the Knight at the Malta Keyhole, are paths to definitely try and find. One of the greatest reasons to visit Aventine Hill is the keyhole.
As you approach the top of the hill you can see a queue of people that look like they're being turned away from the door. In fact they're peaking through a keyhole!
Once you get your turn you will realize what your eyes are about to see can be quite hypnotizing! Seeing St. Peters Basilica dome through a key hole is completely worth the walk and standing in the queue.. Trying to get a perfect picture in the few seconds of looking through the keyhole is a challenge, but definitely worth having. Some people had visited from different parts of the world to see this remarkable view, and take its photo.
The photo's however do the view no justice.
Bocca Della Verita
Heading back from Aventine Hill is the Santa Maria Cosmedin Church, which was built in the 8th Century. It was one of the food distribution centers in ancient Rome. At the entrance stood another one of Rome’s semi-secrets, the “Bocca Della Verita” translated as ‘the mouth of truth’.
If you have seen the 1953 Audrey Hepbern & Gregory Peck movie ‘Roman Holiday’, you would know the Bocca Della Verita. (Here is the Youtube video of that scene).
Monument of Victor Emmanuel II (Altare Della Patria)
Around the corner (9 minutes away to be exact) from Aventine Hill is the Monument of Victor Emmanuel II, first King of Unified Rome, who is buried in the Pantheon. On a large square of cars going in all sorts of directions, you find yourself in the heart of Rome.
There is a lift to the top of the building for a small fee that will offer a view of Rome’s hilltops, but the same view was free at Aventine Hill.
Trevi Fountain (Fontana Di Trevi)
Walking between brick style walls, and old historical buildings, to a sudden brightly bleached white building with the clearest blue water. It truly is one of Rome’s highlights, and no wonder why Fendi spent over $2 million to refurbish it.
People gathered from all over the world, including locals, holding their coins as they made their wishes and threw the coin in the fountain. According to legends, if you throw a coin in the fountain it’s asking the Gods to return you home safe, and if its two coins, it would be for Love.
It is said that if the wish came true, you are to return to Rome one day.
Evenings are great spent in Trastevere's cute local neighborhood. The Piazza Trastevere, a busy square with clowns, painters as well as music performances is a perfect entertainment spot for all the family.
The Vatican Museums
The best way to get to the Vatican is by metro, but it is a little tricky since everything is in Italian. If you know ahead of time which stop to disembark, you'll have no problems getting there. Head to Ottaviano Pietro station which stops at the entrance walls to the Vatican!
The Vatican Museums are over 500 years old, and home to 54 galleries! It was said that the Vatican Museums attracted more than 6 million visitors in 2013 making it the 6th most visited museum in the world! You'll understand why when you get there, so always better start your tour at opening time to try and avoid the masses of crowds.
Buying the ticket online ahead of time definitely saves a lot of time and no queuing! Even though a very crowded place with tourists. It doesn't overwhelm, however, security do need to keep the flow of people going through the different galleries, so time is quite limited if you're one that likes to stay and admire.
Three hours can pass by pretty quickly at the Vatican. As you find yourself reaching the Sistine Chapel and the tombs, you'll then be at St. Peters Basilica and exiting The Vatican museums.
Sistine Chapel (Cappella Sisitina)
Who wouldn’t want to see the official residence of The Pope and the place for which the new pope is selected? but that’s not all, ‘The Final Judgement’ of Pope Clement VII and Paul III painted by Michelangelo are located at the Sistine Chapel.
St. Peter’s Basilica
If you're all about architecture, make sure you visit St. Peter's Basilica to really fall in love. The largest church in the world designed by some of the greatest names, Michaelangelo, Bernini, Bramante, and holds the name as ‘the greatest of all churches in Christendom’ by the architectural English historian Banister Fletcher. Who would blame him, the work is impeccable.
To the left side of the Vatican square, passing by the Vatican walls only 10 minute walk, is the Castel D’Angelo situated on the Tiber River.
Castel D’angelo, Castle of the holy Angel, is initially the Mausoleum for Hadrian. Later the building was used by the Popes as a Fortress and Castle before turning it into a museum.
Legend has it that the Angel statue on top of the building as well its given name, is when Archangel Michael appeared at the top of the building cutting his sword through the air as to say the end of the plague, that took place in 590!
North of Castel D’Angelo is the Piazza Navona. A great place to sit and relax. The backstreets offer authentic Italian food. Wanderich loves La Pace Del Palato, which is located on Via Del Teatro.
The Pantheon has got to be everyone's favourite building. To see the giant like 2000 year old magnificent structure of the former Roman Temple turned Church is mind blowing.
The building is actually round in shape with one of the largest domes in the world, with the entrance being square. The dome has a large hole of 7 meters in diameter and is the only form of light entering the Pantheon. It is believed that it was the only connection between the Roman Temple and the Gods above.
The Pantheon contains the tombs of several Italian Kings, the artist Raphael and poets.
Two days in Rome is certainly exhausting, given everything is best seen on foot. Anyone who thinks of seeing Rome in two days must be out of their mind. But some people may be just passing by Rome or want to experience the city's history and monuments before doing slow travel.
If you're interested in visiting Italy, take a look at our other blogs:
A Guide to Rome - to help you pre-plan your trip
Positano for Single People- A beach destination and one you that will leave you completely in love with Italy, not just for single people, but for everyone.