A History Nerd and Food Guide to Rome: Our 3 Day Itinerary

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Rome is one of the most beautiful and best cities in Europe for a quick getaway with bae – especially if you both love history and great food!

Full of some of Europe’s most iconic ruins, the best pasta you’ll ever have in your life, and pretty winding streets that have place after lovely place to sit with an Aperol Spritz, this is a must visit for you next weekend together. Whether you’re a foodie, a history fanatic, or even just want some super Instagrammable photos, this is definitely at the top of our list for couples’ getaways.

But because there is so much to eat, do and see, we’ve put together a 3-day itinerary to help you get the most out of your visit there and see all of the most historic sites. important – as well as some hidden gems – the best restaurants and how to find the best spots for a truly stunning photo!

Day one

We found it to be a good strategy to eliminate your heaviest day first, which involved doing a lot of major historical things. You might not want to do it all which is fair as it has certainly been a long day but we can say it was all worth doing.

We did it all in one day as these historic sites are all clustered south of the city. They’re a bit remote from the rest of our sites, so it’s easier to group them all together. Go to the Colosseum first and make sure you’ve also booked your day ticket that covers the Forum on their official website. There are a lot of people offering tours but we found the audio guides to be very useful and much cheaper. Make sure to get there as early as possible to avoid the hustle and bustle, crowds, and heat.

Colosseum, Italy

The Colosseum also has a mini museum inside that gives you tons of information so you can walk through the history of the ruins. If you want a photo of the iconic building, there are steps that lead to another level in Piazza del Colosseo up to via Nicoli Salvi, where you can sit on the wall and take a great photo of the building behind you . Again, get there early so you don’t get overwhelmed by hawkers and other tourists.

After the Colosseum, pass through the Arch of Constantine to get to the Forum – which was certainly the most impressive part of our trip. Like stepping straight into 200AD, make sure you have comfortable shoes for uneven cobblestones and don’t bother with a guide – there are signs everywhere telling you what you’re looking at. This is a must visit, as it is such an extremely atmospheric place that really gives you a feel for what the city must have been like to historic Romans.

Ruins

Palatine Hill and Circus Maximus are your next stop, but if you’re tired at this point and you’re not really in the story, this is where I’d advise you to dodge. A climb to the top will give you incredible views, and the complex above is breathtaking in its enormity, but if you’re a little oversaturated at this point, cut your losses and go for an afternoon drink a bit pricey, but worth it -for the ‘Ristorante Martini & Rossini’ views, right in front of the Colosseum to soak up everything.

Keep your afternoon and evening free, then crash a bit after all your walks and sightseeing and spend the evening wandering the beautiful streets of Rome as they come alive at night. Check out Navona Square to see beautiful fountains and touristy restaurants, then go a bit off the beaten track to dine in the lovely Saltimbocca Ristorante, and drink gorgeous wine and eat some super authentic Italian food – we recommend the shrimp pasta. It was for to die for.

Day two

Man in blue waistcoat and white shirt standing near the Pantheon

The second day is definitely lighter than the first, although it seems like there is a lot on your list with the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, Vicus Caprarius, and the Spanish Steps on your morning list. But really, most of them aren’t full of information, it’s just beautiful lace that you can spend a few minutes admiring, so it’s kind of a guided tour of some of the most beautiful hidden gems in Rome.

If you are coming from the west of the city, hit it in the above order, if you are coming from the east, reverse it. Again, try to come early as tourists will flock to some of these major sites. The Pantheon will always have queues and looks super impressive from the outside. The queues move relatively quickly, however, and you’ll probably be in 15-20 minutes. The interior is gorgeous and looks like a church, but it’s not the most exciting thing on the list.

Old fountain decorated with sculptures

Then it’s Trevi, the big one. No matter what time you go to Trevi it ​​will be very crowded so be prepared for that and keep your hand on your bag / wallet as the crowds are easy to steal. wish and take a photo with the stunning and surprisingly massive fountain – it’s also stunning at night if you pass by!

Next is Vicus Caprarius, which not many people have heard of but is a really cool underground place in Rome. This is the source of the Trevi Fountain, so a block or two from the bustling center. A € 4 ticket will take you through the streets of Rome and into the structure that shows you the history of the fountain and the city as you walk through the ruins that existed before the fountain itself!

A staircase on a church facade

Then there are the Spanish Steps, which I personally found a bit disappointing, but there is an iconic part of Rome so a must-see according to many. We have been there in the morning, but it is perhaps a better frequented place at night, where it is known as a gathering place for many young people.

In the afternoon, cross the iconic Sant’Angelo Bridge to see Castel de Saint Angelo, a 2nd-century castle that houses an impressive military museum and a cool viewpoint at the top. Full of breathtaking art and with a rich and long history, this is the one I would recommend taking a tour for, as you have seven levels to go through.

Person holding bread with cheese

Spend a relaxing evening in the wine bars and try all the best small plates and wines Rome has to offer, from the Enoteca Il Piccolo to Astemio Wine and Food, a bit out of the way, but a particular favorite with us.

Day three

White building and people standing near the water fountain

Another intense day well worth it for culture and history, it’s your Vatican Day! Another to get tickets but not a tour, an audio guide is the perfect way to visit the Vatican Museum at your own pace. It involves several different routes because it’s really huge, but it also means you can do as much or as little as you want. We highly recommend that you visit the Egyptian Exhibition to see real mummies and incredible Egyptian artifacts, as well as to learn more about the relationship between the two ancient cultures. The Raphael rooms and the grounds were also beautiful. The end of the line and the star of the show for most people is the Sistine Chapel, where no photos or noise is allowed.

After that, grab an ice cream at Gelateria on Via di Porta Angelica to continue and head to St. Peter’s Square to soak up the view. If you have the time (and the patience for the queues) we heard the dome tour was amazing, but we didn’t book and didn’t want to wait for hours.

Old stone church with sculptures and columns against anonymous at dusk in Vatican City Italy

After your super cultural morning, take your last afternoon and evening in Rome to relax in the Trastevere region, by far our favorite place to eat and drink. More relaxed and less touristy than on the river, here you will find culinary gems like Cambio, Enoteca Trastevere, Casetta di Trastevere and Tonnarella’s, which almost all you will want to book in advance as they are very popular for their super authentic and delicious food. incredibly fresh – seriously, my mouth watering just thinking about it right now.

People sitting on a bench near the river

Take your time to stroll through the streets a little more dilapidated but certainly less crowded and more authentic than the Municipio and enjoy your last night admiring the landscapes, the smells and the tastes of Italy!

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