7 Days in Rome: The Perfect Rome Itinerary

Rome is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever been to, with stunning architecture on every corner, history everywhere you look, and pizza. You have not experienced pizza until you go to Italy. But seriously, the food in Rome is delicious, and I was in food heaven the entire time. For a city that’s full of history, you can understand why it’s such a busy place to visit, and when you’re sometimes limited to time, it’s best to plan ahead. That’s why I’ve created your perfect itinerary for 7 days in Rome.

If you’re looking for fashion inspo, or you’re curious to see what I wore whilst I was in Rome (in June/July), then you can see my outfit diary in this post. I also vlogged the trip, and if you’d like to watch this video, then you can see it here.

I have put together the full itinerary that I (and my boyfriend) planned before we went, and also added to during the trip. Most nights, we’d plan our next day, so I’ve put this all together for you so that you don’t have to waste a second thinking about what to do next. You can, of course, adapt this itinerary to fit with your schedule, whether you’re in Rome for a few days, a week, or more. Obviously, this is just what we did, and by no means do you have to do everything, but I wanted to share with you everything that we did whilst we were there. I will also have a full travel guide on my recent trip to Rome on my blog very soon, which will be your ultimate guide for all things Rome. This will include things like: tips, tricks and things to do, a review of our hotel and a couple of my favourite restaurants we visited, packing tips, and also our travel and transport around Rome. But for now, here’s my full, 7 day itinerary from my recent trip to the Eternal City…

 

Day One (Thursday 28th June)

  • Flight / Hotel Check-In
  • Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Our first day consisted of an early flight, landing around midday, taking a train from the airport to the main station (Termini), checking into our hotel; then relaxing for the first afternoon/evening. Depending on what time you arrive in Rome, I’d suggest spending the remainder of that day getting to know your surroundings, exploring the local area, and having an early night to prepare yourself for a busy next few days. We stayed in the city centre, and our hotel was in the perfect location to be able to walk to most of the attractions we wanted to see – we stayed at the UNA Hotel Roma. We spent our first afternoon having a walk around just outside of our hotel, and we came across the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, which was beautiful. We didn’t go inside, and unless you’re nearby, I wouldn’t suggest going out of your way to see it, but it was lovely to see on our first day nonetheless.

In the evening, we had dinner at a restaurant called La Mela D’oro, which was near our hotel, and of course, I had pizza. My first meal in Rome HAD to be pizza. During the time we were there, the World Cup was on, and England were playing on our first night, so after dinner, we walked back to the hotel and watched the game in the hotel bar, along with a couple of very nice cocktails.

If you have limited time, you could easily fit at least one attraction in, even if it was something quick and free to visit, like the Trevi Fountain or the Spanish Steps. We chose to take it easy on our first day, as we knew we had a week there, and we were able to spread out everything we wanted to see on different days, so it was a lot more laid back than trying to fit everything into a few days – but there’s definitely nothing wrong with that! I would recommend staying in Rome at least 3 days if you want to explore everything, but I felt that the amount of time we were there was ideal for a more relaxed holiday.

 

Day Two (Friday 29th June)

  • Trevi Fountain
  • Pantheon (Outside)
  • Piazza Venezia
  • Piazza Navona

I woke up at 6:20am on the first morning, as although we wanted to enjoy the city at our own pace, I wanted to get ‘the shot’ at numerous attractions that can get very busy, without there being too many people in the background or in the way. I know, that blogger life. After waking up and getting ready super early, we made our way to the Trevi Fountain, which we walked to from our hotel, and it took about 20 minutes. We got there around 7:30am, and I was surprised to see as many people there as there were. It wasn’t packed (trust me, we went back a few times during our time there, and it gets REALLY busy during the day), but there were a few people there doing the same as us – taking photos.  We spent around an hour at the Trevi Fountain, and then we walked back to the hotel and had breakfast, which was included in the price.

After breakfast (and a quick outfit change), we then walked to the Pantheon, unexpectedly via Piazza Venezia. This is something you’ll soon learn about Rome, that exploring the city by foot will take you to places you didn’t know about, or expect to find! You can pretty much guarantee that you’ll stumble across a few places that’ll then factor into your day, even if it wasn’t planned. It took us about 25 minutes to walk from our hotel, and once we arrived at the Pantheon, we had a look around the outside and took some photos, but the queue to go inside at that point was so long, we decided to go back another day. Instead, we had a drink in a café just opposite, and we sat outside with the most perfect view of the Pantheon right in front of us. I also took the opportunity of having somewhere to get dressed to change outfits yet again, before we walked to Piazza Navona.

When we arrived at Piazza Navona, which was about a 5/10 minute walk from the Pantheon, we had a stroll around the beautiful, cobbled square. We were there in the early afternoon, so it was quite busy, but it’s the perfect place to have a look at the gorgeous fountains, grab a coffee, and watch the people go by. There’s lots to see, including the Church of Sant’Agnese, and 3 gorgeous fountains – Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro and Fontana di Nettuno.

After spending some time soaking up the atmosphere in Piazza Navona, we then made our way back to our hotel, via the Trevi Fountain, which, at this point, was heaving. We stopped at Il Ristoro dal Patriota for a quick drink and snack on our way to the Trevi Fountain, and then we went to Antica Gelateria to buy some gelato – which is a must when you visit Italy! Being the blogger that I am, I wanted to get a photo of my strawberry gelato with the Trevi Fountain in the background, so we literally ran from the shop, battling through the crowds, in order to get a photo without it melting and looking like a sticky mess. Thankfully, we made it, and got some great photos. Then we were able to eat our gelato at our own pace, and enjoy the hustle and bustle of Rome during the day.

We then walked back to our hotel, and decided to have a nap after a really early start and long day with a lot of walking. It was very much needed! After our nap (which was probably about an hour), we got ready for dinner, and headed out to eat at, what turned out to be my favourite restaurant that we visited throughout the trip, La Gallina Bianca. The food there was absolutely incredible, and the authentic Roman pizzas were delicious. Also, the giant profiterole there is SO good. I would definitely recommend going there to eat!

 

Day Three (Saturday 30th June)

  • Spanish Steps
  • Piazza del Popolo
  • Piazza del Babuino
  • Rooftop Bar

If you thought getting up at 6:20am the morning before was early, it was nothing compared to my 5:40am alarm on our third day. I got up this early so that I could get ready to go and take photos at the Spanish Steps. Just like the morning before, I wanted to get some photos without too many people being in the background, so I set my alarm that little bit earlier so that we could get it done before the crowds, and also before it got too hot. We walked from our hotel to the Spanish Steps, and it took about 25 minutes. We got there around 7:15am, and left at 8:30am. Again, like the previous morning, there were already a few people there taking photos, including a woman in a wedding dress, which also happened at the Trevi Fountain the morning before. It was lovely to experience the Spanish Steps without it being overcrowded, and it was SO worth getting up early for! We did also go back during the day to experience it in a different way, and it was a lot busier.. After taking lots of photos and filmed for my vlog, we then walked back to our hotel for breakfast.

I changed outfits after breakfast, before we made our way to Piazza del Popolo, which was about a 30 minute walk from the hotel. I’m giving you this information from my point of view of being a fashion blogger and wanting to change outfits throughout the day, which we factored into our itinerary, but you could always walk straight to Piazza del Popolo from the Spanish Steps, as it’s only about a 10 minute walk from one another. We just wanted to get there early to take photos, and have breakfast after, and then walk back, which obviously took a lot longer, but it’s what worked for us. If you’re not worried about taking photos without there being too many people around, then you definitely don’t have to get up as early as we did, and you can work the timings around what works best for you.

When we got to Piazza del Popolo, we had a walk around the square, and discovered that there are two almost identical churches that stand next to one another – Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto. Although we didn’t go inside the churches, it was still amazing to see them from the outside in all their architectural beauty. We spent around an hour there, and we spent most of that time sat in the shade people watching (and avoiding the men trying to sell us roses and bottles of water). It’s worth visiting this square if you have time, especially if you visit the Spanish Steps, as it’s not far to walk from there.

We walked back to our hotel via Piazza del Quirinale, which was a 25 minute walk, and in the strong heat, it was quite a trek. It was then a further 20 minutes to walk back to the hotel from there. There wasn’t an awful lot to see, and if you’re limited to time, I probably wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to visit Piazza del Quirinale, but it’s nice to see if you’re passing it. I wouldn’t say it was worth the 25 minute walk from Piazza del Popolo (my feet were aching with all the walking), but it was another place we could tick off our list.

Once we got back to the hotel, it was only late afternoon, so we had (another) quick nap for around an hour, and then headed out to Caffe Washington, which was quite near our hotel. We stayed there to watch one of the football matches during the World Cup tournament, and we had a couple of drinks and a snack to keep us going. We actually went back to Caffe Washington for dinner that evening, which was nice, but it was really busy as they were showing the World Cup, and everyone in there seemed to have World Cup fever! I, of course, had a pizza, and it was so good. I seemed to end up doing a pizza tour of Rome, but I’m definitely not complaining about that!

After dinner, we decided to go for a drink at a rooftop bar. It was just past the Trevi Fountain, and it was great to experience the Trevi Fountain at different time of day. It was still packed with people when we walked past to go back to our hotel, and that was around midnight! It’s a very busy area. The bar we went to is actually part of a hotel, and it’s called La Terrazza Cesari. It was very quiet in there; almost like a hidden gem that not many people knew about, which made it all the more special. It was lovely to sit outside in the evening and hear the surroundings of the Trevi Fountain close by.

On our walk back to the hotel, we stopped off at a gelato shop – you can’t walk past gelato and ignore it. I went for a blue (I think it was advertised as something to do with Minions?) ice cream, but to be honest, it just tasted like vanilla, but it was yummy all the same. It was midnight, and I was just happy to see somewhere like that open!

 

Day Four (Sunday 1st July)

  • Colosseum
  • Roman Forum
  • Palatine Hill

On day four, we had a well-deserved lie-in! I woke up at 9am and got ready for the day, and we went down for breakfast for the first time without heading out and taking photos first. We decided that we would spend this day exploring the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill. We left the hotel around 11:30am – the walk took about 15 minutes – and we spent some time taking photos outside the Colosseum before we went inside to have a look around. We didn’t book our tickets beforehand, even though we could’ve done, because we weren’t 100% sure which day/time we wanted to visit, and we didn’t want to restrict ourselves. It’s worth knowing that in Rome, every first Sunday of the month is a ‘free’ day for most attractions that usually require an entrance fee. I will go into more detail about this (and the whole experience) in my Ultimate Rome Travel Guide post, but on the day, we ended up paying €20 each instead of €40 each, and for that we got a guided tour of the ColosseumRoman Forum and Palatine Hill, and we also skipped the queue and were inside the Colosseum within about 10/15 minutes (including the security checks). This was great because it meant we didn’t have to stand outside in the heat for the 2 hours that we would’ve spent queuing to get in for free. In my opinion, it was worth paying for the tour and skipping the queue, especially as it was cheaper on this day.

The tour of the Colosseum took 90 minutes; then we had another 90 minutes before the next part of the tour was due to start, which gave us time to explore the Colosseum by ourselves without feeling rushed. We then went on the second part of the tour, led by a different guide, and he spoke for about an hour about the history of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and we took photos as we went along. After the tour had finished, we had time to walk around and explore the area by ourselves. We spent about 30 minutes looking around and taking photos, as we’d already spent a number of hours walking around in the heat, and we were keen to go and get a drink by that point!

We stopped off for an ice cold drink at La Biga Ristora Caffe, right next to the Colosseum, before our walk back to the hotel. We actually asked for extra ice when ordering our drinks, it was THAT hot outside, much to the waiter’s amusement. It was just nice to be inside somewhere with air con. Before our walk back, we took a few more photos outside the Colosseum, to capture it in a different light, as we’d spent most of our day there, and the lighting was different by that time.

In the evening, we went for dinner at La Gallina Bianca – again! It was so yummy the first time, we had to go back again. This time, I went for the spaghetti bolognese rather than pizza, although my boyfriend and I did mix and match, so I did have some pizza as well. I had pizza every day we were there, and I’m not ashamed one bit. After dinner, we went back to the bar in our hotel, and we had a drink there. We were too tired to wander round and find another bar, and the bar in the hotel was lovely, so it made sense to go there.

 

Day Five (Monday 2nd July)

  • Trastavere
  • Fontana dell’Acqua Paola

We had another lie-in on our fifth day. I woke up at 9:30am, showered, and got dressed. I chose extra sleep over doing my make up before breakfast, so after we went down for breakfast, we came back to the room and I did my make up and finished getting ready. We decided to spend this day exploring the traditional small neighbourhood of Trastevere, which is just across the Tiber River. By this day, we had seen most of the attractions we wanted to see, so we were able to dedicate a whole day to experience life in Trastevere, which is a lot quieter than the city centre. We walked there from the hotel, which was the furthest we walked to get to an attraction/destination. It took us around 40 minutes to walk to Trastevere, which felt even longer in the heat, but the views all around were so pretty, it was worth it.

Once we arrived in the beautiful Trastevere, we stopped at a little café for a cold drink – it was needed after walking all that way in the heat! It was really nice to have a day to just chill and explore at our own pace, away from the hustle and bustle in the touristy part of Rome. This neighbourhood is pretty small and quiet, so there wasn’t a lot to see or do during the day, especially as most of the restaurants in Italy open fairly late for dinner, so we wandered the streets for a few hours; then we found a restaurant we liked the look of to eat at later that evening. There were still a number of hours before it opened, so after we’d seen everything we wanted to see, we walked back to the hotel, via Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, before returning for dinner in the evening. It was lovely to visit Fontana dell’Acqua Paola, but it felt very out the way of everything, so unless you have the time, I probably wouldn’t put it at the top of my list of things to do and see in Rome.

We stopped for gelato on the walk back from Trastevere, and this time I went for a caramel flavour, which was yummy! Once we made it back to the hotel, we freshened up and got ready for dinner, then we ordered a taxi from the hotel reception to pick us up and take us to La Taverna de’ Mercanti – the restaurant we’d seen previously in the day in Trastevere. This was the only time we used a taxi rather than walked in Rome, but as it was a fair distance to walk to from where we stayed, plus the fact we’d already walked there and back that day, it made sense to get to the food quicker, and get a taxi. It cost just under €12, which wasn’t outrageous. It also only took 15 minutes to drive there/back.

We ate dinner outside at La Taverna de’ Mercanti, which was just lovely. Everything about the restaurant and the area was stunning, and the food was incredible. Of course, I had pizza, and we were able to take in the atmosphere of a once quiet neighbourhood during the day, come to life at night, with people filling the restaurants, and live music from a small traditional band playing just across the road. It was the ideal setting for a lovely evening out in Rome. After dinner, we had one last look around Trastevere, as it’s a completely different place in the evening when people are out and restaurants are open, before getting a taxi back to the hotel – where we had a drink in the hotel bar when we got back.

 

Day Six (Tuesday 3rd July)

  • Vatican City
  • Sistine Chapel
  • St. Peter’s Square
  • Pantheon (Inside)

We got up around 6am to get ready to spend the day at the Vatican City. This was the only day we didn’t have breakfast in the hotel, as we left for the station just as they had started serving food, but we wanted to get to the Vatican City as early as we could, so I took a small box of cereal from breakfast the morning before, and took that with me to eat (dry!) en route. We pre-booked our tickets for the Vatican Museums online around a month before, as I knew it can get really busy, and I’d definitely recommend booking in advance if you plan on visiting. Although our entrance to the museums wasn’t until 1pm, we still went quite early to explore the surrounding area and take lots of photos. We took the Metro from Termini (under a 5 minute walk from our hotel) to Ottaviano – San Pietro, which is the nearest stop to St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica. This was the only time we took the Metro, as this was the only attraction that was a bit too far to walk to, plus it meant we got to experience the Metro in Rome! The journey took about 10 minutes and cost €1.50 each.

Once we arrived at the Vatican City around 9:30am, we walked around (what felt like) the whole perimeter, passing the huge queues to the museums on the way. We were not allowed in any earlier than 30 minutes before our scheduled time, so we had around 3 hours to explore before going into the museums. We kept walking until we eventually got to St. Peter’s Square, where we were able to walk around (for free). As we were there so early, we had lots of time to take photos and have a look around, without being rushed for time. We then decided to go and get something to eat before we needed to be back for our entry to the museums, so we stopped at one of the cafés nearby (which was probably more expensive the nearer you are to the Vatican City), but we were hungry and didn’t mind where we ate! Again, I had pizza (it just has to be done in Italy!), which was really tasty. After we ate, I got changed in the toilets there, as I’d read online that you had to cover up your shoulders and knees before entering the Vatican Museums, because, of course, it’s a very religious place with strict rules you should abide by when visiting. However, when we did eventually go inside, there were quite a few people not following the dress code, and they were still allowed in.

From 12:30pm, we were able to go and collect our tickets for entry to the museums. We had to show our ticket confirmation that we had from pre-booking online, and we were then given actual tickets, which was a great little souvenir! We spent some time looking around the Vatican Museums before entering the Sistine Chapel, where you are not allowed to take photos, so I don’t have anything to show you from there. This took a couple of hours in total to walk through, but you can do it at your own pace. I would say that the Sistine Chapel gets really busy, so this took a bit longer to get through, but the museums were fairly easy to walk though at our own pace. The exit actually took us back out to St. Peter’s Square, so we took a couple more photos there before moving on.

By mid-afternoon, we’d finished looking around the Vatican City, so we decided that as we didn’t go inside the Pantheon on our second day, and we had a free afternoon, that we would walk back to the Pantheon and go inside to have a look around. It’s free to enter, and it’s really worth seeing from the inside if you get the chance, as the architecture and design is amazing.

Once we’d finished looking around the Pantheon, we started to walk back towards the hotel, not realising until we got back that we had actually bought a return Metro ticket that morning.. oops. We did stop at the most incredible gelato shop, Venchi, on the way back, so the delicious chocolate gelato more than made up for it. I honestly cannot tell you how incredible it tasted. We eventually got back to the hotel and had a little rest, before heading back out to Caffe Washington to have a few drinks and a snack, and we watched England progress to the World Cup quarter final. As the game went to penalties, it was quite late by the time it had finished, and by that point, a lot of the restaurants were closed. We ended up having dinner in the restaurant opposite our hotel, Imperium Ristorante, which was really nice. You guessed it, I had pizza. I actually wasn’t able to eat it all this time, so I took it back to the room to finish there!

 

Day Seven (Wednesday 4th July)

  • Open Top Bus Tour
  • Hotel Check-Out / Flight Home

We had a lie-in on our last day, before getting ready and heading down to our last yummy breakfast in Rome. We then went back to the room to finish packing, and we checked out around midday. As our flight home wasn’t until the evening, and it didn’t take too long to get to the airport on the train, we decided to spend our last day going on an open top bus tour of the city. This was a fairly quick way to see some of the sights, and it meant that we didn’t feel like we wasted our last day, nor did we do something that took too long.

We bought the bus tickets from the hotel reception, and the stop we needed to get on from was very close to the hotel. You could’ve got on and off the bus at each stop, but we thought we’d save some time (plus we’d seen pretty much everything) by staying on for the whole route, and got off where we got on, just under 2 hours later. There are a few different companies that run these bus tours, but we went for City Sightseeing Roma, which cost €23 each for a 1 day adult ticket. I will go into more detail about the tour in my Ultimate Rome Travel Guide post, but we went past the Colosseum, along the Tiber River, and through the city centre.

Once we arrived back at the original stop we got on from, we then went for a quick lunch at Burger King (I know, not pizza!), as we wanted to see the difference between the Italian and English Burger King – it was really nice, and actually didn’t taste that different! After lunch, we did some last minute present shopping, and then we walked back to the hotel to collect our luggage, and we then made our way to Termini station to go to the airport, around 5:30pm. When we got there, we checked in our bags, and we had to have one last pizza in Rome, so we shared a pizza at the airport. I also bought one last chocolate gelato tub from Venchi – I was VERY excited to see this at the airport! We then boarded our flight around 7:30pm, and flew back to London…

 

I hope you enjoyed reading this post and seeing what we got up to whilst in Rome. I also hope that you’re able to take some inspiration from this itinerary, and it helps you to plan your trip to the Eternal City. If you have any questions or anything you’d like to know, please leave a comment below, or get in touch via my social media (my links are at the top of the page), and I’d be happy to help you! Stay tuned to my blog to see my Ultimate Rome Travel Guide, for even more tips, tricks, things to do, packing tips, a review of our hotel, and more details about each attraction. Thank you so much for reading!

 

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