The ancient city of Rome offers so much to see and do you’ll be facing an impossible challenge to squeeze it all in within a 24 hour visit. I’ve been to Rome several times, for a week, a few days or just a day trip on the train from Tuscany. I prefer to visit city’s on foot, taking in sights and sounds you’d otherwise miss on a bus or metro. So, let’s put on some comfy shoes and hit the streets of the Eternal City.
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8am – Vatican City
It’s an early start, but a way to beat the crowds. Start in the basilica and be sure to make your way up to the top of the dome, it’s an interesting walk as you bend with the curve of the roof up a narrow staircase. You’ll be rewarded with a view over St Peter’s Square across all of Rome. Back on the ground you can visit the Vatican museums, the highlight being the Sistine Chapel with it’s fresco painted ceiling by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512 depicting the creation of Adam.
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11am – Pantheon via Piazza Navona
Head over the River Tiber using the Sant’Angelo bridge to make your way to the Pantheon. The beauty of being on foot means you can pass through Piazza Navona which readers of Angels & Demons will remember features the fountain of the four rivers and an Egyptian Obelisk. You’re heading through to Piazza della Rotonda where the Pantheon stands. The Pantheon you see today is very different to the original temple that stood in it’s place, but after several fires it was rebuilt by the Emperor Hadrian and combines a Roman structure with Greek inspired colonnades. The Pantheon is one of the best-preserved ancient Roman buildings and it’s dome features an impressive oculus in the top.
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12pm – Trevi Fountain via Giolitti
You now need to head west to the Trevi fountain, but take a slight detour and grab an ice cream from the oldest ice cream parlour in Rome, Giolitti. There’s no better time to visit the Trevi Fountain as it’s just been through £2.2m worth of restoration. Toss a coin into the basin and it guarantees you’ll return to Rome – or so they say!These days you’ll need to avoid the masses of selfie stick sellers which descend on the area.
1.30pm – Lunch
You’ll have definitely worked up an appetite by now, so head south west to Campo de’ Fiori and grab a panino at the Rosciolo Cafe – sandwiches, but on a whole new level!
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2pm – The Colosseum
Re-fueled from lunch it’s time to make your way to the Colosseum and I suggest walking through Piazza Venezia. It’s a major intersection for Romans, but features the imposing Altare della Patria buyilt in honour of Victor Emmanuel. From here you can head straight down Via dei Fori Imperiali towards the Colosseum passing the Roman Forum and surrounding ruins on your right.
The approach to the iconic Colosseum is impressive in itself, with 80 arched entrances which in it’s day would allow access to some 55,000 spectators who came to watch gladiator fights. If queues are short it’s worth going inside, but if you’re faced with lengthy queues and short on time I think it’s most impressive from the outside.
4pm – Villa Borghese
If you’re feeling energetic you can take a 35 minute walk (or jump on the Metro) to Villa Borghese. Enjoy this lovely landscaped garden, providing some tranquillity amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. When you’re finished, head across the road for a pre-dinner cocktail at the Stravinskij Bar in the chic Hotel de Russie. Sit in the wrought iron chairs of the courtyard and keep your eye out for any celebrity clientele.
8pm – Tuck in at il Corallo
Finish off your packed day in Rome with an Italian feast at this bustling restaurant on Via del Corallo near Piazza Navona. The menu features a range of antipasti to enjoy before you tuck into pizza or pasta – buon appetito!
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If you love this guide to Rome and can’t wait to put it to the test, why not stay at Camping Village Fabulous? If you’ve got any top Rome activity tips of your own, share them in the comments below or tell us over Facebook & Twitter!