Called the “Eternal City” because ancient Romans believed that no matter what happened to the world, or how many empires rose or fell, that Rome would go on forever. As we know it is the capital of Italy and the capital of the Lazio region. It has around 2.8 million inhabitants, making it the largest city in Italy. Capital of the Roman Empire during antiquity, today the seat of the Vatican, Rome has exercised a great influence in the history of the world. With Italian unification (the Risorgimento) the city became the capital of Italy and seat of public institutions. Rome is one of the major economic centers of Italy (along with Milan) and many companies have their headquarters there. It is also an important media center of the country (newspapers, radios, television channels…) Rome is visited by nearly 12 million tourists every year.
What I was able to do in Rome in 3 days:
So to begin with, I had planned a program that was too busy to visit Rome for three days, I was excited, just like a young tourist eager to discover a new city and above all; a city of her dreams ! I wanted to see everything in three days when it’s impossible lol!
So I’m going to share with you two plans, the one I was planning to do and the one I was able to achieve, so that you’ll have more options, choices and ideas for your stay in Rome.
1st plan (Mission impossible haha):
1st day :
1-Visit Piazza del Popolo.
2- See the Basilica Santa Maria in Montesanto and Basilica Parrocchiale Santa Maria del Popolo (Church of Saint Mary of the People) which are both a stone’s throw from Piazza del Popolo and with free access.
3- Go through the Passeggiata del Pincio (Pincio).
4- See Villa Borghese + Tempio di Esculapio (Temple of Aesculapius).
5- Visit Museo e Galleria Borghese. (paid + make an appointment required)
6- Direction to quartiere Coppedè + see the Fontana Delle Rane (Fountain of the Frogs)+ see I Villini delle Fate+ see Palazzo del Ragno (Palace of the Spiders).
7- Take a short break to taste the famous Suppli.
8- Direction to Scalinata di Trinità dei Monti (Piazza di Spagna) to see the famous Spanish steps and the sunset from above.
9-See the Trevi Fountain at night.
10-Dinner then return to the hotel. Read this article “…. »
What really happened and what I was able to achieve:
Now let’s get to the real facts! 🙂 As my plane arrived at 13:30min in Rome, I had almost half the day to enjoy visiting a few places in Rome. When I arrived at Leonardo da Vinci airport in Fiumicino I planned to take the bus as a means of transport to the city center, it was the cheapest and most convenient way for me, to know more details about transportation in Rome read my article “…. “. Unfortunately, there was a technical problem during the landing and we got stuck in the plane for about 30 minutes (ah the unexpected!).
So I took my bus to the city center a little late and not only that, I struggled to find my hotel and even more to buy a SIM card, which influenced my plan afterwards. (I bought my bus ticket on the spot when I arrived at the airport after collecting my luggage using the airport wifi, here is the official website of Fiumicino, you need to download the application to be able to connect to Wifi for free at the airport if needed, the connection was fast and useful for me) and I bought my bus ticket on this site for more info, you can still buy your ticket on the spot from a kiosk outside the airport or directly from a certified agent.
So as mentioned above, seeing Piazza del Popolo was the first thing on my list, and since my hotel was close to the Vatican, exactly at “…” Taking the Metro was the best option for me, so I took the Metro from Lepanto station to Flaminio using my Roma pass. I was able to see the Piazza del Popolo, the two Basilicas Santa Maria in Montesanto and Basilica Parrocchiale Santa Maria del Popolo but unfortunately I could not see their interiors because of the lack of time.
I then went through the Passeggiata del Pincio (Pincio), and at that moment I realized that I will most likely not be able to visit the Museo e Galleria Borghese because my entry was scheduled for 17:45min (last entry) and it was too trad. I was a little disgusted at first because I bought the Roma Pass 72h specifically to visit two museums for free, and Galleria Borghese was one of them. For more information on the Roma Pass and how to book or how to buy the Borghese gallery access ticket read this article “…. »
Anyway, I didn’t want this incident to ruin the rest of my day and I decided to simply let go and enjoy the beauty of the gardens surrounding Villa Borghese, I went to see the Tempio di Esculapio (Temple of Aesculapius) it was beautiful, the garden was vast, peaceful and quiet, and there were almost only local inhabitants and very few tourists. The garden was really huge and secured by police cars which watched the place everywhere.
I then took the bus to the Coppedè district which is a complex of Art Nouveau Style buildings + I saw the Fontana Delle Rane (Fountain of the Frogs)+ I saw I Villini delle Fate+ Palazzo del Ragno (Palace of the Spiders)… So I was able to see everything as planned because everything was close together. And it was also a beautiful and calm district with fascinating architecture and decorations to observe, it was a place almost empty of tourists with only locals.
Afterwards, I left to taste my Suppli cacio e pepe which I didn’t really appreciate to tell the truth hah..
I then took the bus to see the famous Spanish Steps, I couldn’t see the sunset because it was already dark but I was able to enjoy the view and the beauty of the square while top of the 135 steps. There were a lot of people but the place was nice.
Finally I left for dinner and enjoyed a good pasta with prawns then returned to the hotel. In this article you will find addresses where to eat in Rome.
Oh yes I did not forget to mention it, I went to see the Trevi fountain and there was still a large crowd of people! Fortunately, I had planned another visit the next morning very early…;)
Let’s say that 90% of my plans for the first day were done !
See you in the next article if you want to know the rest of my remaining days in Rome!