Colosseum - 48 Hours in Rome

48 hours in Rome an Itinerary

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Rome, the capital city of Italy, is an intriguing metropolis brimming with monuments, churches, museums, and historic sites. The attractions and warm Mediterranean climate make it the perfect destination for a European city break for those with a little time to spare. Although visiting every popular site may be impossible, with 48 hours in Rome you can still see the best ones with proper planning.

Day 1

Trevi Fountain

Trevi Fountain - 48 Hours in Rome
Photo by Alessandro Porpiglia on Unsplash

Start your day by making a wish at the Trevi fountain, which is one of the most stunning fountains within Rome. Visitors are allowed to throw a maximum of three coins into the fountain for their wishes to come true according to the number of coins used. It is a large fountain that has a rich history and full of traditions since its origin in 19 B.C, making it worth a visit. Standing at the fountain reveals a massive site pumping out water via multiple sources and land in a large pool at the front. After enjoying your time at the fountain, you can grab a filling breakfast at Agrodolce, a small restaurant just next to the location.

Palatine Hill

After breakfast, make your way to Palatine Hill which is the perfect place to take a stroll. The location has many trees that provide a good shade especially on a hot afternoon. On the hill are numerous ruins that are part of the impressive buildings which belonged to prominent people in Roman society. Some of the “must-visit” places at Palatine Hill are House of Augustus, Domus Flavia, House of Livia, Farnese Gardens, and the Palatine Museum. Additionally, it is good to note that Palatine Hill’s opening and closing hours vary depending on the time of year.


Rome Pantheon - 48 Hours in Rome
Photo by Daniel Klaffke on Unsplash

Finish your day by visiting the Rome Pantheon when the crowds at the popular attraction have greatly reduced. The Pantheon is an architectural work of art that gets its illumination from an opening at the top of the building. Its interior is also uniquely beautiful with a wide array of masterpieces displayed for visitors to explore. Additionally, the building is home to hundreds of tombs belonging to Italian kings including Raphael, the main architect of the building. After winding up your tour of the renaissance building, you can grab a traditional supper in restaurants located in the streets next to the Pantheon.

Day 2

St Peter’s Basilica

A pilgrimage to the most sacred Christian site in the world is an excellent way to start your second day in Rome. St Peter’s Basilica offers an amazing experience for visitors in the interior and exterior which are both beautiful. When walking through the church, visitors get to see several important sites spread across the building. Some of these sites include the tomb of Alexander VII’s, Bernini’s Baldacchino, Bronze St. Peter, Michelangelo’s Pietà, and cupola. Other things that stand out in the Basilica include numerous mosaics and the Holy door which is opened during the catholic jubilee, which takes place after twenty-five years.

Besides the Basilica, visitors can also get a good look at the expansive St Peter’s Square by climbing through the dome at the top. The square which is located within the Vatican can also be explored on foot giving you a chance to take it all in from the ground level. 

Piazza di Spagna

Next go to Piazza di Spagna, also known as the square of Spain, and is one of the well-known locations in Rome. It has been the home of the Spanish embassy for many centuries hence its name. Walking in the square reveals several impressive villas that were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. The square is also connected to famous streets that are considered high-end such as via Del Babuino, via Frattina, and via Dei Condotti.

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps - 48 Hours in Rome
Photo by M McBey on Flickr

Besides connecting to high streets, Piazza di Spagna also connects to the Spanish Steps which were built in the 18th Century. The steps have become a popular spot for tourists visiting the capital city as it allows them to relax and watch the activities at the square. They also give access to Trinita dei Monti, a church that stands near the famous square. If you are visiting in July, you can be part of the Donne Sotto le Stelle, which takes place on the one hundred and thirty-five steps. While at the steps, you can visit Caffe Greco which is considered the oldest café within the capital city but its menu can be a bit expensive.  


Winding up your day at the Colosseum is the best way to end your tour of the impressive city of Rome. Visiting the site in the afternoon gives you a chance to explore it better because of the reduced number of tourists. The large amphitheatre was the site for battles between gladiators, roman ceremonies, and other theatrical performances. A majority of the high walls and other parts of the famous site are well preserved giving visitors a chance to go back in time as much as possible. To experience the fullness of the iconic structure, visitors can climb to the third level to get a 360-degree look at the entire Colosseum.

An important part of the colosseum tour is visiting the dungeons that were built underneath the famous structure. These dungeons have hosted numerous prisoners, slaves, and animals that were confined by the Roman Empire for different reasons. In some cases, the prisoners were brought up from the dungeons to be killed in the presence of the people gathered in the colosseum. After the tour, you are likely to be hungry and can grab a meal at the restaurants just outside the colosseum, with many offering affordable meals.

Ultimately, touring Rome in two days is possible when you start planning early and get all the information needed well in advance. If you are a frequent traveller, then planning the entire trip on your own by researching accommodation, famous sites and places to eat, then making the necessary bookings. However, if you prefer everything handled on your behalf, you can sign up for a tour of Rome from various companies that offer the services. These companies have a standard tour for visitors to the city or can customise one to meet your needs.

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48 Hours in Rome

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