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Best of Rome in three days

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Rome Colosseum

A three-day guide to Rome

Rome is a great city and deserves more than a short break to absorb its beauty; however this three-day stay guide, may give you some ideas on how to enjoy a special weekend in the Italian capital.

This guide can help you if you wish to visit some typical Roman sites but not only the most famous. This is what we did when visiting Rome for the third time.

Considering that Rome has some of the most ancient sites of the Occidental World and boasts a countless number of art galleries, open-air museums, parks, historical villas and of course ancient theatres, not to mention the beauty of its landscape, city walks, the exquisite gastronomic excellence and what else? Ah yes, of course, the people, always friendly and ready to help. Organizing your city break should focus on the essence of the Roman life-style, as the essence of beauty and good taste.

You can print this guide and take it with you. Hope you enjoy Rome!

Day One -  Sightseeing around the historic center you will see:

  • Quattro Fontane
  • Quirinale
  • Fontana di Trevi
  • Piazza Colonna
  • Pantheon
  • Piazza Navona

Getting settled into your Roman short-stay apartment

Navona Terrace

Navona Terrace


From the Airport of Rome (Fiumicino) make sure you call your contact person to let them know you have arrived and to give them time to go to the apartment to welcome you. You can take the Leonardo Train and reach Termini Central Station in about 30 minutes for 11 Euros. Just outside Termini Station there are many taxis (for which rates can be quite expensive) buses and the Metro Station Termini.

Tip: Buy the Rome Pass from the station tourist office. This is located on the left hand side of the arrival platform 24. It is not very well signalled, so make sure this is the first thing you do. The Roma Pass costs about 20 EUR and is a three-day card which gives you access to a wide selection of museums, monuments and venues with discounts (the first two are free with it) as well as free public transport.

Rome has only two Metro lines because of the impossibility of creating tunnels without destroying the many ancient sites that are still underground. Every time some work was started, more archeological findings were discovered, making the project impossible.

Depending on where your apartment is, you may take the metro and walk or take a bus. Do not be afraid to ask people for directions. Romans are well accustomed to tourists and are always more than happy to help.

As soon as you get to the apartment there will be the local contact person to welcome you. Take advantage of their local knowledge and ask as many questions about the local area, shops, transport, activities etc. They will be able to give you valuable information that is rarely reported in tourist guides. Now it is time to start relaxing into your new Roman home! Find your city break apartment here.

Are you relaxed, refreshed from the journey and ready to go out for a stroll around the historic center? Let's go...

Sightseeing around the historic center

Tip: Remember that most museums in Rome are open on Sundays and closed on Mondays, except the Colosseum which admits visitors every day of the week. It could be a good idea to explore the Coliseum as well as leaving time for open-air activities (shopping etc.) on Monday.

The best way to visit Rome and enjoying the amazing sights is on foot. At every corner there is a surprise, either a picturesque piazza or an astonishing monument. However, Rome is quite a large city and walking from one area to another can be very tiring. If you prefer to save your feet, take buses to move from one main area you wish to visit to another, especially if you have bought the Roma Pass which gives you free access to buses, underground and trams.

Rome Quattro FontaneStrolling towards the Fontana di Trevi: from Via Nazionale take Via delle Quattro Fontane, a street leading downhill to Piazza Barberini. At the corner with Via del Quirinale do not miss the famous baroque Quattro Fontane (Four Fountains) with each statue representing the river Tiber, the river Arno, Diana and Juno, dating back to 1588-93.This is the highest point of the Quirinale Hill, from here you can look down towards the Trinità dei Monti obelisk on one side and the Santa Maria Maggiore obelisk on the other.

Turn left on Via del Quirinale and keep walking towards Piazza del Quirinale. On your right hand side you will see the Quirinale Palace, which was originally built in 1573 as a summer residence for the Pope, then passed to the royal family of the Savoia between 1870 and 1945, and finally became the Italian Republic President's official residence. The Quirinale gardens are only open to the public once a year, on the 2nd of June, the Italian Republic day; however the palace is open to the public on Sunday mornings.

Opposite the Quirinale is the Scuderie palace, the old stables, now converted into a museum worth visiting if you have consulted the program previously as it often hosts important exhibitions. From the museum stairs you can enjoy a nice view of the city.

Walk down towards the Fontana di Trevi through the quaint little pebbled pedestrian streets. It is easy to reach the fountain from here as there are signs indicating the way. Take Via dello Scalone and then turn left on Via del Lavatore.  All of a sudden you will be stunned by the majestic view of the spectacular Trevi Fountain, with its enormous white marble façade and crystal clear water; it has a magnetic attraction on all and each visitor. Be prepared to find a crowd posing in front of it, still you can enjoy it at your ease if you have a little patience to wait for a seat on one of the benches in front of it.

Tip: In the very same square there are various good gelaterie where you can buy an excellent icecream cone. So take a break while taking in the beauty of this monument.

To go to Piazza Colonna you can take a side street, on the left side of the square (you are facing the Trevi Fountain) and walk through the stylish Galleria Colonna, now named Alberto Sordi gallery after the late Roman actor, beloved by Romans and all Italians for his new realism films and comedies. This is an elegant shopping gallery with stylish fashion brand stores, a coffee bar and other kinds of shops.

Across the gallery and the Via del Corso is the square Piazza Colonna where there is the majestic marble Marco Aurelio Column, from 180-193 A.D., on which it is carved the Emperor's victory of the Germanic war campaign. On top of the column there was a statue portraying the Emperor, which was lost during the Middle Ages and then substituted by a bronze statue dedicated to St. Paul.

You are quite close to the Pantheon, so if you still have some energy left you can reach it on foot. The Pantheon is open Mon-Sat from 8.30 a.m. to 7.30 p.m. and Sun from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Free entrance.

Walk across Piazza Montecitorio (where the Italian Parliament is), through Piazza d. Pietra (where the Adrian's Temple is) and Via de Pastini to reach the Pantheon entrance, in Piazza della Rotonda. Did you know that in the Pantheon lies Raffaello's tomb? You can find it in the third niche on the left from the entrance.

You can then walk along side it to reach Piazza della Minerva and see another sculpture by the architect Bernini, a marble elephant supporting a 6th-century obelisk. Also, despite the stunning architecture of Rome, real treasures are hidden inside churches and palaces. In Piazza della Minerva do not miss the only gothic church of Rome, Santa Maria sopra Minerva. Here you will see a beautifully decorated vault celing by Giotto, a Michelangelo statue and the relics of Santa Caterina da Siena.

Now you are very close to Piazza Navona: from Piazza della Minerva take Via di Santa Chiara, a nice little street full of life, then Via degli Staderari, cross the Corso del Rinascimento and...there you are. in Piazza Navona.

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Hi and Welcome to SSA Live City Break Guides.  The SSA team are great fans of travel, culture and learning and as such we would like to share with you our opinions and information about places we enjoy.
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