Any visit to Rome will feature a mixture of Roman history, Italian architecture, shopping, pizza and gelato!
For our recent Italian honeymoon, we spent our first four days (well, 3.5 days) in Rome. Read on for a 4 day Rome itinerary that will take you to all the key sites as well as a few hidden extras. Most of my suggestions involve walking as this was our preferred method to explore the city. If you choose to do the same, just prepare yourselves as it is a lot of walking!
Depending on what time of day you arrive and where you're coming from, chances are you'll be tired when you arrive. The best way to combat jetlag is by getting out and doing things!
Tour the Roman Forum and Colosseum
What is more Italian than some Roman history!? The Colosseum is about as quintessentially Roman as you can get, so it's the perfect starting point for your four day Rome itinerary.
There are plenty of tour companies offering tours of the Roman Forum and the Colosseum, just be careful to pick a legitimate one. Everyone will approach you with various offers, just ask questions and make sure you're comfortable. If you have internet connection, it's a good idea to read reviews as well. We selected one of the tour companies that approached us and after initially feeling apprehensive and unsure about whether we were getting ripped off or not, we ended up being really satisfied with our choice.
Our tour started with a really informative guide who took us around the Roman Forum. Following this, we entered the Colosseum for an "after dark" tour, which I recommend. At night, you avoid the crowds of tourists and practically have the place to yourself. We did find our Colosseum tour guide quite boring but we were also incredibly jetlagged and falling asleep!
This was the only activity we had time for as we landed later in the day, but if you arrive early in the morning, I recommend walking the side streets of Rome and getting a little lost. Doing this, you have a different experience of the city.
Start the day off like an Italian with a pastry and an espresso. Following this, hit the streets and make sure you turn down all the little side streets you find. When we ventured off the main roads, we came across the most incredible and authentic feeling streets.
Strolling down the streets, we actually stumbled across the Trevi Fountain. If you get here early enough, you'll have a chance of missing the crowds, taking a good photos and make a wish while tossing €1 over your shoulder.
I recommend arriving to Trevi Fountain from the front to have the best impact. When I first saw the Trevi Fountain, it was from the side and the view was nowhere near as impressive.
From the Trevi Fountain it's a short walk to the Pantheon. If you're planning a visit here (which you absolutely should) just make sure you're appropriately covered! As with all churches in Italy, you must have your shoulders, midriff and legs covered - so this means pants or skirts longer than knee length.
Take a sightseeing tour
Now it might sound super touristy, but one of the things that we loved doing in Italy was taking 'City Sightseeing' tour buses in each city we visited. The big red buses take you around all of the main sites and provide you with informative commentary along the way.
Via de Corsa
Via de Corsa is one of Rome's shopping districts and what visit to Rome is complete without some Italian shopping?!
Funnily enough, we accidentally stumbled across the Spanish Steps whilst shopping and looking for food. They are close to Via de Corsa and can definitely be done together.
Piazza del Popolo
The Piazza del Popolo is home to the "gates of Rome", the ancient gates to the city and worth seeing.
The Villa and Galleria are housed in a park that feels quite unlike any other area of Rome. Entrance to the Galleria Borghese will set you back €21,50 and you can also hire an audio guide to provide you with more information about the artwork. We accidentally booked into a guided tour conducted entirely in Italian, so we opted for audio guides instead.
After a busy day, you'll be hungry for some classic Italian pasta! Thankfully, there are plenty of restaurants in Rome and there is delicious pasta everywhere you turn. Make sure you sample the local flavours and enjoy a glass or two of Italian wine as well, not to mention gelato.
Vatican City & Saint Peter's Basilica
A visit to the Vatican City should start nice and early in order to avoid the lines. It is an incredibly popular tourist destination, so if you're anything like me, skipping the queues is preferred.
On our visit, we arrived early enough to not wait long to enter Saint Peter's Basilica, which we decided to tour first. The Basilica itself is free to enter (just remember to dress appropriately), however the Cuploa San Pietro (the dome) costs €8. It's a small sum to pay for an up close and up high view of the interior of the church.
You will also be treated to views out over the Piazza San Pietro (Saint Peter's Square) once you are outside the top of the dome.
For the Vatican Museum, we joined a group guided tour, which provided us with commentary of the various rooms and artwork.
Along your tour of the Vatican, you should enter the Sistine Chapel (where photos are not allowed). Tour guides also aren't allowed, so you will receive information about this impressive room before entering.
Where we stayed: K Boutique Hotel
What we ate: Pizza, pasta, baguettes and gelatos at local restaurants
What we recommend: Getting lost! Explore the little side streets and discover the city away from the tourist crowds. When we did this, we discovered the best little standing-only coffee shop just around the corner from the K Boutique Hotel.
If you've been to Rome, what are your favourite things to do? Let me know in the comments below.