Okay let’s be honest, 48 hours is not enough for this historical city. Rome literally embodies history but you don’t have more time and I totally get it. Sometimes one doesn’t have a choice so I made this itinerary for you! It’s everything Rome has to offer and that you can cover in 48 hours.
48 Hours in Rome
8:30 AM: The Colosseum
If you wish to eat something before heading out, by all means go for breakfast or carry fruits.
I personally will suggest to eat breakfast after visiting the Colosseum since the earlier you go, the better. It opens at 8:30 am which means you go stand in the line at 8 am to avoid long ques. Breakfast just near the Colosseum is a dream and nothing opens before 8:30 am unfortunately so eating after walking around the Colosseum is the best bet. If you can go in, that be great. I couldn’t. The line was too long and unfortunately I didn’t have the time.
Guided tours only take 1 hour 30 minutes so I would suggest you do that. Take pictures from all angles and enjoy! You shall be free the latest by 10:00 am.
10:00 AM – Breakfast time
From what I have seen, there’s not much to Italian breakfast than coffee and breads. But Café Café has it all from scrambled eggs and pancakes to croque monsieur and it’s pocket friendly too. It’s just near to the Colosseum so don’t worry you ain’t going far for a quick cup of joe and toast.
11:00 AM – Explore
Once you are done with breakfast, take the tram and head to Trevi Fountain.
It will be crowded so just be patient. It’s tradition to throw a silver coin in the fountain. It’s said if you do, you return to Rome one day, so go ahead, throw that penny! 1.7 million dollars is collected every year from the fountain and given to charity.
Maybe also indulge in a pre-lunch gelato… There are many places to get a gelato near the Trevi Fountain, my favourite is Gelateria Valentino.
12:30 PM – Indulge
Head to Pantheon, it’s just a 10 minute walk from the Trevi Fountain. Walk around, indulge in the history, take pictures! Also, a two minute walk from Pantheon is Venchi Cioccolato e Gelato. A friend of mine visited it and loved their gelato. Go check it out!
1pm – Time out
Head to Piazza Navona for lunch.
3 pm – Castel Sant’Angelo
Head to Castel Sant’Angelo, it is only a 10 minute walk. Take a guided tour and it will last you maximum two hours. You will be free by 5 pm.
If you are in the mood for a party, head to Voodoo bar. If not, head Osteria Delle Coppelle for a lavish dinner.
After dinner stroll through the Spanish Steps and end the night with a coffee like a true Italian. There are many cafes and tea houses around the corner. I would suggest Cafe Canova Tadolini.
Have breakfast like a true Italian, sipping coffee on the go with a croissant or bread near your accommodation to save time. Then, head to the Vatican City. It opens at 9 am so plan your transportation accordingly. Buy your tickets online and oh, be fully clothed. It’s prohibited to wear shorts, cut sleeve tops or skirts, both for men and women. Lowers should level with knees and uppers should cover the arms. Ripped jeans, religious tattoos, see through tops are highly discouraged. Do read the rules carefully before visiting. Also, be careful while taking photos. You can carry cameras and phones of course but not in the Sistine Chapel. Snapping photographs in the Sistine Chapel is an offence that could really land anyone in the Vatican Jail.
Whenever you get free from the Vatican, visit Testaccio Market. It’s the best food market in Rome. Reach there by 2 pm max since some restaurants close at 3:30 pm. I would advise to go on a personal food tour but if that’s out of budget, I am going to tell you the best places to eat there!
For a quick bite, head to Food Box, serving Italian street food. It’s famous for its suppli that is being fried right in front of you. It comes in three flavours; classic, vegetarian and cacao e pepe. It would cost you somewhere between 4-10 euros for a meal at Food Box.
Next stop, Mordi and Vai for the best Roman sandwiches.
For lunch, go to Casa Manoc for lunch. They serve pizzas with seasonal produce. It has all kinds of crazy pizzas, mango, melon, strawberry, you name it, they have it! Don’t judge it before you try it.
After lunch, head over to Prati neighbourhood for a stroll to burn all those calories from Testaccio Market.
Later in the evening go to Trastevere neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is renowned for aperitivo. An aperitivo is as Italian as you can get and according to me it is the best Italian tradition. An aperitivo is a pre-meal drink aimed at stimulating your appetite. Sit at any bar you like, unwind, relax and enjoy. It’s the best way to unfold the Italian culture.
Later eat dinner at Antica Trattoria da Carlone, try their famed spaghetti carbonara.
Italians love to open and close their dinner with drinks. Once dinner is done, a shot of espresso is drank followed by a digestivo at any bar in the neighbourhood one is.
And that’s 48 hours in Rome for you!